Thursday, November 24, 2016

Rethinking Firearms Safety (Redux)

Beth at Delta Defense has a fresh Point of View about training New Shooters:

She had a "Pointing The Gun At The Instructor" moment, and found herself in an uncomfortable situation which is not unfamiliar to any firearms-for-newbies instructor:

BUT she turned it into a learning experience for the instructors!

Rethinking Firearms Safety | Pacifiers & Peacemakers - USCCA: ;

A few hours later, as we were out on the shooting range, putting their fresh knowledge and skills to work, one of the ladies, excited about her very first shot, briefly turned to high-five her friend … with the muzzle of her revolver pointed straight at my husband. He immediately stepped over and corrected the issue, taking the time to review that the muzzle needs to be pointed in the safest direction (downrange, in this case) at all times! 
(All Emphasis Added)

I quite concur!

In my six  (+) years experience teaching an "Introduction to USPSA" class, I've often seen class participants who become overly exuberant with their newfound expertise ... and immediately forget everything they've learned .. especially that which made them feel so exuberant.

The mantra which Beth & Company have espoused is "Not A Safe Direction" (printed on the shirts of the instructors!)

I quite agree, and I think that there are some reasonable t-shirt designs which I may consider adopting in the near future for the benefit of my own classes ... and for myself!

However, that mantra that I personally inject into my own classes is this:


Not as pithy as "NOT A SAFE DIRECTION", admittedly.  And perhaps it's excessively exclusionary.

But I teach the USPSA rules, which include:

  1. Finger off the trigger when moving (except when engaging targets)
  2. MUZZLE! (keep it pointed downrange)
  3. SWEEPING (don't point the gun at your own personal body parts)
  4. DROPPED GUN (if it hits the ground and you're not touching it, you're outta here!)
  5. D&D (Drunk and Disorderly: which means no intoxicants or rude behavior on the range)
  6. Over The Hill (if the round goes over the berm, you go home)
  7. Chearing (competition is an orderly sport; if you break the rules, you go home)

Those are my personal interpretations, but for new shooters they're easier to remember than the dozen pages in chapter 15 of the USPSA rule book.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are tough but fair. That's the mark of a good leader or instructor.