Posted: 5/23/2002 3:51:17 PM EDT
I'm an active 3 gun shooter and have shot some more rigorous invitation only "tactical" matches. I consider myself to be a safe shooter/competitor - it's not that I'm super skilled or super confident, I just always take a moment to remind myself what each sitation requires in order to remain safe. I do not let the "need for speed" become my driving factor - I can clear a jam in a heartbeat, but when equipment breaks or something really out of the ordinary happens I back off and slow down. I have observed this same behavior in top shooters (I'm aspiring, but not there yet).
My regular group of shooters is also very safety oriented, as are most competitive shooters. Rarely do you find a Highpower, IPSC, PPC, Bullseye or other type of competitive shooter that is not continuously focused on safety.
On the other hand some "gun guys", you know the type - they talk the talk, but their gun handling skills and safety just isn't there. A pleasant day at the range becomes suddenly very stressful when you have to continuously watch the guy next to you to ensure he's not pointing his muzzle in your direction or shooting a rocks down range, etc.
The liberal crowd keeps driving for more gun control, personally I'd like to see gun safety/handling taught in middle/high school.
Every now and then, even at one of the more select competitions where everyone should be plenty qualified and safety minded - someone will break the 180 or sweep themselves.
I've seen some top shooters do this and they just accept it and move on. Some average shooters take it just as well. Others try to fight with the RO. I don't understand the mindset that says "I did something unsafe, but I should just be forgiven and allowed to continue."
I'm beginning to ramble a little, but I feel strongly that gun handling, even amongst LEOs is not stressed enough. This becomes painfully obvious with reports of officer's firearms going off under stress - we all understand that the officer had their finger on the trigger and under stress began to squeeze.
My gun handling skills were ok, but not that great. I'd point the gun away from people, but still put my finger on the trigger because no one had ever taught me otherwise and it just seemed natural to do so. I learned quickly after being around some safety concious guys and after taking my concealed carry class.
And living in Texas, most gun guys are just hunters or some weird form of psycho redneck. At a gun show last year I almost got beaned in the bead by some moron holding an AK-47 over his shoulder, parallel to the ground. He turned around and nearly clocked me with it.
God Bless Texas