You have a gentleman that has been a friend of the family for years. He is one of those people that classically say, “I have been around guns my whole life.” Yet any time you interact with him on the range he is blatantly dangerous and seems to muzzle you at every opportunity. You have gently corrected him but at each occurrence; he seems to be more and more offended. He refuses to adopt sound gun safety practices. In your latest range time, he has a negligent discharge into the ground just in front of his feet. Is it time to say – enough?
Gun Safety Trumps All
This scenario unfortunately plays out more than we would like to imagine in the firearms world. People of all ages fail to embrace the fundamentals of firearms safety. While our scenario puts an older gentleman in the role of the knucklehead, there is no age or sex limitation to this issue. I have seen videos of young men and women being nothing short of stupid with guns while claiming gun expert in their bio.
The heart of the matter and ultimate question though is when do we say enough and burn the bridge between you and captain reckless? Well, my personal opinion is that we must first make every effort to educate this person. I use polite gentle corrections, to begin with, but will quickly be blunt about the matter if things do not change. For most people, this corrective action may be embarrassing, but they take it to heart and become more responsible. Unfortunately, there is a class of people that believe their “experience” supersedes your correction and the problems continue.
It is difficult to say blankly that this or that should be the breaking point because that is a personal call. What I will say is this. If this person is dangerous on the range or at home with firearms, you need to put your safety first. If they are not willing to accept the unbendable rules of firearms safety, you need to burn that bridge and walk away from them. This can be difficult if they are connected to your inner circle, but firearms safety is not a flexible option. In the end, try to educate but be willing to walk away if things don’t change. Until next time – stay safe!
“It’s like after the wreck. He’s driven around drunk plenty of times with me in the car…”This happens once, and if your correction falls on deaf ears you never interact with person again. Otherwise you are not innocent in what may happen to you.” – Dave B.
“For your safety. I would say yes its enough. Especially if he isn’t open to following basic safety like knowing where his barrel is pointing at all times and not having his finger on the trigger when he isn’t intending on shooting. You can still be friends but no more range and shooting time is what I’d say. And him flagging you all the time would definitely make me mad and not want to be around him with a firearm.” – John O.