Saturday, April 28, 2007

Geezers At The Gun Range

Went out to the range today to provide an initial orientation to a new member. The range I belong to has membership on an annually paid basis, with orientation required at the range for new members. We review our policies in detail during the process, and walk the range so new members become familiar with the layout, and are able to ask questions from an experienced member. Besides safety, this process is also intended to make the new member feel welcomed to the club.

That said, what happened today is a fine example of how to give the impression that the membership consists of pissed off old cranks:

Sit in your van and eyeball people for half an hour;

Walk up to two people reviewing the distinctive club SOP books, one of whom is explaining to the other the intent a paragraph, don't introduce yourself, and demand, not ask, "who are you", immediately followed by, "are you a member?" in a pissed off tone, ignoring the club issued name badge on his chest. Turn to the board of directors member giving orientation, and immediately ask the same questions in the same tone;

Maintain accusatory tone while asking if the two people trying to complete the orientation know the membership status of the people on the firing line thirty yards away that he just spent the last half hour glaring at from his van;

Interrupt the next several attempts by board member to continue orientation by interjecting questions about new member's work history, family members, etc;

Ask what they think about those semi-auto military rifles used to kill all those people recently;

When told that the questionee would buy one in a second flat if he had the money, act surprised and ask why you would want one;

Abruptly get up and leave without saying anything like "nice to meet you, glad you joined, hope you enjoy the range", etc.

To that member, I'd like to say: thank you for being a rude, inconsiderate, boorish, unwelcoming, parochial pain in the ass. I also thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a teaching moment for the new member after you left, in which I explained how important it is for different shooting disciplines to cooperate and tolerate each other, as clubs and ranges die due to ignorant boobs who would love to ban guns that they don't own, attempt to keep membership low so that there aren't "too many people using the range", believe their way is the only way, if it's new it's bad, and can't see how minimizing the total number of gun owners impacts their niche in sport.

Lastly, in your honor, I will be on that same range tomorrow with my bastardized FN-FAL, 20 round military surplus magazines, and a lot of 7.62 FMJ. If I'm lucky, you'll be there, gritting your dentures.


BobG said...

I don't think I've shot at a range in almost 50 years; I prefer going out in the hills and plinking.

MauserMedic said...

I'd love to have that option, but population density here, while low, is spread out all over. There's nowhere around here that you could safely shoot high power w/o berms.

BobG said...

We have a lot of old washes and hills in the west desert, so there are a lot of backstops. The problem is that people have started moving into some of the places, and there aren't as man sites as there used to be.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wish I was so rich I could buy a small island, figure out a way to get it power and water, then stock it with every weapon imaginable, and go nuts turning it into a environmental disaster zone.