Unsafe Training

Sean decides to walk away from a bad experience with a PA-based trainer. It’s tough to walk away when you’ve paid for something, but it’s often the right thing to do. In this case, the instructor seems to operate under the belief that having an “unloaded gun” allows you to ignore fundamental safety rules.

7 Responses to “Unsafe Training”

  1. Thanks for the link.

    It was really difficult to walk away. I think I might not have if it weren’t for my brother. Once we started talking, I realized I wasn’t alone in how I felt. Before that, I wasn’t sure.

  2. ern says:

    It’s an unfortunately common attitude that I’ve seen at the range. People think that once they’ve confirmed their gun is clear, they can do what they want. I had the same attitude when I first became interested in guns. It didn’t take me long to realize that one needs to practice the rules *all the time* if you’re going to build good gun handling habits. You can’t have two sets of handling guidelines, or you’re going to screw up and hurt someone when you forget which rules you’re following.

    Mostly, though, I see this attitude in gung-ho old-timers who think they’ve been around long enough that the rules don’t apply to them anymore. Last time I went to the range, just one of those types of guys had an ND. Thankfully his gun happened (at that moment) to be pointed down range, but had it happened a moment earlier, it wouldn’t have been. And he was all, “See? No problem,” after it happened. No one wanted to use the two lanes closest to him until he left. Of course, no one had the guts to tell him off.

  3. Andy B. says:

    Just a brainstorm and an unformed idea:

    If he thinks it would be a worthwhile investment, he should consider suing for return of his fees on the grounds that the “training” was demonstrably fraudulent, by violating so many basic rules of safety. It might cost as much or more than the fees to sue in small claims court, and he might not win, but it could and should get publicity.

    The downside of course is that the antis would paint this as a schism in our ranks, and an unsafe firearms instructor theme might be amplified across the country. But, on the other hand, if you really think that someone in the role of a teaching expert should be stopped from promoting bad practices that might kill someone someday, it might be a cheap price to pay, and a warning to other slacker instructors.

    I don’t know what I’d do; the above are only my thoughts. At a personal level, someone as arrogant as what was described would sorely tempt me to hit back.

  4. tkdkerry says:

    You gotta speak up, you gotta act. The last time I was at the outdoor range, the guys to my left were handling their rifles when the range was down. There’s no touching of firarms when the range is down, only when hot. I said “Hey, remember we’re cold, OK?” I tried to be pleasant but firm. They were apologetic, and didn’t do it again. At an estate auction years ago when one of the bidders was muzzling a bunch of us with one of the rifles up for auction. A couple of us yelled at him for it. He replied “I don’t think the sellers are stupid enough to leave loaded guns out.” We told him to either knock it off or go play outside with rest of the children. He got pissed and left, which I think was a win. Speak up, the life you save may be your own.

  5. HSR47 says:

    One thing I took away from Sean’s post is this:

    “Bob also owns Bob’s Gun & Indoor Range located in McKean, Pennsylvania.”

    Presumably, he has owned said gun store for several years; By virtue of owning a gun store, it therefore follows logically that he has spent a great deal of time working in said gun store.

    This brings us to a question: How many times have you been muzzled at a gun store? How many hours per week do you spend in gun stores?

    It seems to me that, at least to a degree, that those who work in gun stores tend to get desensitized to being muzzled. As such, the sort of caviler attitude towards muzzle discipline Sean describes strikes me as an outgrowth of spending too much time working in gun stores. When someone so desensitized runs a training company, and has a bad attitude, the result will likely be bad.

    This is why it’s so vital to vet instructors before you shell out a ton of cash to take one of their classes. There’s a reason I went to vest fest this year: it offered an opportunity to meet a large number of instructors at minimal cost, and evaluate them before I spend more money with individual instructors.

  6. Andy B. says:

    ” those who work in gun stores tend to get desensitized to being muzzled.”

    That also reminds me of being in the service. I’m sure no reliable statistics ever existed, but a large number of “combat deaths” resulted from accidental discharges by soldiers desensitized to handling LOADED guns.

    In general, those of us in non-combat areas were not even permitted to THINK about possessing live ammunition. In my maintenance company, I believe there was one magazine of live .45 ammo for the CQs 1911, and 7.62 ammo was acquired, probably an ammo can at a time, for new guys to “sight-in” their M-14s. We were issued nine rounds to do that, and had to account for every one of them. An NCO was standing at our boots as we fired them. It is rumored some people purchased .308 sporting ammo on the economy, and stored it in magazines remote from my — er, their — bunk areas.

  7. benEzra says:

    “People think that once they’ve confirmed their gun is clear, they can do what they want.”

    There was an entire thread on this on THR a while back, in which several long-time shooters loudly and proudly defended casual muzzle-sweeping “as long as it’s unloaded.” Aaaargh.

    I dare say that the majority of accidental shootings every year involve “unloaded” guns carelessly handled.