"I wish they'd gone to gun school," replied Shootin' Buddy, glancing meaningfully at the trio occupying the two lanes to our right. He had a point.
I can poke fun at "tactical golf vacations" 'til the cows come home, but in general I know that if the shooter in the next lane over has chosen to invest thousands of dollars in training rather than buying every Gun O' The Month from the cover of Guns & Ammo, I'm probably not going to have to divide my attention between my front sight and his.
The threesome next to us exhibited the entire panoply of gestural tics that spell, in my mind, "accident waiting to happen":
- Walking in with a Henry Golden Boy held at the balance, muzzle casually sweeping the line.
- Whenever a gun malfunctioned, it suddenly ceased being a firearm, and muzzle discipline went out the window as they attempted to reduce the malfunction.
- Whenever a pistol was picked up, the booger hook leapt to the bang switch as though drawn by a magnet.
- Rifles were held in the "beginners lean" (ie. with the head held erect and back over the shoulder instead of in a good cheekweld, as though they feared the rear sight might jump off the gun and bite them) and pistols held "cup & saucer" in the reverse-lean isosceles, muzzles jumping skywards with every shot.
Sometimes as you reflexively twitch away from the gun muzzle, they will actually laugh as they tell you it's not loaded. I usually respond "Yes, but I try and make a habit of dodging away from guns pointed at me, just like you should make a habit of not pointing guns at people."
I know folks who get all worried when "gang-bangers" (which all too often seems to be a code word for anybody younger and darker-hued than the speaker) come on the range, but silver-haired flannel-shirted Uncle Cletus doesn't get so much as a second look when he strolls in with the loading gate closed on his Colt Cowboy and his finger casually inside the trigger guard. And then he turns the muzzle so that it points straight down the firing line to load the pistol...
Folks, it's Uncle Cletus that'll kill you, not Ice Dog and Ray-Ray, because you kept an eye on the latter's gun handling while ignoring the former. And the last words you'll hear will be "Oh, gawd, it wasn't loaded! It must've broke, it just went off! I'm sorry!"