You walk into this place and the atmosphere seems light and jovial. An interesting aroma in the air. People are asking questions and the employees are eager to show off their knowledge. You ask for the tools that you would like and double check to ensure that you are dressed appropriate and with the proper protection for the senses you need to protect. You open the door and walk into a booth to prepare the thing you have been waiting for all week. Then it hits you!
Why are there holes in the roof? Why are there holes in the wall? Why is the person next to me taking a selfie while waiving that thing around as though it was acceptable?
Javill Byron calls a shooting range the most dangerous place on earth if one simple criteria is not met. Why is it the most dangerous place in the world? If a shooting range is WITHOUT an NRA certified Range Safety Officer; Javill Byron considers it to be among the top most dangerous places to be.
Those annoying people behind you telling you what you can and can’t do while at the range are all there to keep you safe. Most of the people who go to the range are there because they thought it would be cool to shoot a firearm. Most have zero formal training and even less awareness with respect to the safety aspect associated with it and even less understand the most important safety rules which are:
1) Keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Most people don’t know what a muzzle is so they can’t possibly understand this first basic safety rule.
2) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. When a novice sees a firearm, the number one thing they want to do is what they see in the movies; pick it up and press the trigger.
3) Keep the firearm unloaded until ready to use. You would be surprised how many people arrive to the range with a loaded firearm.
The range can be one of the most dangerous places to be simply because you have a lot of people who THINK they know what they are doing, when in reality they have no clue. And even worse, there are many more first timers being taught by these same people who have no idea and are spreading bad information.
Here is a story and then I will give you a suggestion.
We recently walked into a range and got everything together to begin a round of marksmanship. On our left was a father teaching his son how to properly operate a firearm. Most of what he was saying was incorrect but what’s more American than a good time with your son. On the right was a young socialite in her teens taking several selfies and pointing the muzzle of the firearm at people and flagging everyone in the immediate area. Imagine this; Chris Kyle, one of the best Snipers ever, served 4 tours of war in the United States Military and survived but lost his life on a range.
This same lady with the selfies ended up having an accidental discharge, most likely because she had never taken a formal training class, and didn’t respect the firearm enough to treat it with the esteem it deserves. No one was hurt that time; however it’s only a matter of time because this particular range did not want to have a Range Safety Officer on staff because of cost. Putting cost over human life is never a great idea.
The official suggestion from Javill Byron and Top Shot is to NEVER shoot at a public range that does not have an NRA Range Safety Officer on staff for the participation area.
This content was created by Javill Byron after several experiences at ranges that refuses to act in a manner indicative of safety. Javill Byron is an advocate of the second amendment but also an advocate of firearm safety. The best Safety Avenue to pursue in the opinion of Javill Byron is through the safety advocates themselves; the NRA.