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Posted: 6/16/2009 3:32:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 3:32:41 PM EST by patchouli]
I took a pistol class once, and this particular scenario really bothered me. Today, I still think of it, and am disappointed in my actions. What say you?

Scenario: Day 2 of class, intermediate shooters. Low light/no light shooting instruction. We move from an outdoors range during the day, into a "barn" type room, with a roof and three walls. We are going to be shooting at the fourth wall. It is made of black plastic film/sheeting. It is dark inside. As the instructor shoots the plastic film wall, the bullet holes are lighted from the sun outside.

The instructor tells us to begin the drill. I object and ask if we are violating safety rules. The instructor says no. We continue. I shoot at the wall, in the dark, making light-brite bullet holes in the plastic film. I feel guilty.


Discuss.




Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:34:04 PM EST
Were you aware of your backstop and what was beyond it?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:34:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:
I took a pistol class once, and this particular scenario really bothered me. Today, I still think of it, and am disappointed in my actions. What say you?

Scenario: Day 2 of class, intermediate shooters. Low light/no light shooting instruction. We move from an outdoors range during the day, into a "barn" type room, with a roof and three walls. We are going to be shooting at the fourth wall. It is made of black plastic film/sheeting. It is dark inside. As the instructor shoots the plastic film wall, the bullet holes are lighted from the sun outside.

The instructor tells us to begin the drill. I object and ask if we are violating safety rules. The instructor says no. We continue. I shoot at the wall, in the dark, making light-brite bullet holes in the plastic film. I feel guilty.


Discuss.






At least you weren't standing in front of the plastic taking pictures.....
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:38:36 PM EST
shoot the fuckin wall , who cares about the wall man?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:41:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By paul_the_welder:
shoot the fuckin wall , who cares about the wall man?





Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:41:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By paul_the_welder:
shoot the fuckin wall , who cares about the wall man?


I didn't care about the plastic wall.

I still felt like I was doing something utterly wrong and dangerous. I should not have continued shooting.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:43:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:
I took a pistol class once, and this particular scenario really bothered me. Today, I still think of it, and am disappointed in my actions. What say you?

Scenario: Day 2 of class, intermediate shooters. Low light/no light shooting instruction. We move from an outdoors range during the day, into a "barn" type room, with a roof and three walls. We are going to be shooting at the fourth wall. It is made of black plastic film/sheeting. It is dark inside. As the instructor shoots the plastic film wall, the bullet holes are lighted from the sun outside.

The instructor tells us to begin the drill. I object and ask if we are violating safety rules. The instructor says no. We continue. I shoot at the wall, in the dark, making light-brite bullet holes in the plastic film. I feel guilty.


Discuss.






If it really bothered you then you should have used your big boy voice and said you were gonna sit it out.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:45:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 3:46:36 PM EST by DOUGHERTY03]
The exercise was successful. I doubt from your comments that when you align the sites on a target, you always think of what is beyond it.

It was a mindfuck, and a rather good one I think. It does not matter what you do in training, it's what the training makes you do when you need to save your own life.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:45:48 PM EST
If there was a safe backstop and you knew there was no way to hit anything you didn't want to hit behind the wall, what's the problem? You didn't check out the funny 3 sided building before going into it?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:47:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gunwritr:
Originally Posted By patchouli:
I took a pistol class once, and this particular scenario really bothered me. Today, I still think of it, and am disappointed in my actions. What say you?

Scenario: Day 2 of class, intermediate shooters. Low light/no light shooting instruction. We move from an outdoors range during the day, into a "barn" type room, with a roof and three walls. We are going to be shooting at the fourth wall. It is made of black plastic film/sheeting. It is dark inside. As the instructor shoots the plastic film wall, the bullet holes are lighted from the sun outside.

The instructor tells us to begin the drill. I object and ask if we are violating safety rules. The instructor says no. We continue. I shoot at the wall, in the dark, making light-brite bullet holes in the plastic film. I feel guilty.


Discuss.






If it really bothered you then you should have used your big boy voice and said you were gonna sit it out.


Exactly. That's why I'm posting this. It still bothers me that I didn't sit it out. I disappointed myself. Didn't do what was right.

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:47:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:

Originally Posted By paul_the_welder:
shoot the fuckin wall , who cares about the wall man?


I didn't care about the plastic wall.

I still felt like I was doing something utterly wrong and dangerous. I should not have continued shooting.


What did you feel was wrong and dangerous?
Did the training staff check the impact area before the start of the drill and have it roped off and marked
so no one would enter? Did they tell all the students that zone was off limits?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:48:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By killingmachine123:
If there was a safe backstop and you knew there was no way to hit anything you didn't want to hit behind the wall, what's the problem? You didn't check out the funny 3 sided building before going into it?

No way to see it from where we went in. Could have checked physically with a special trip, but no one did.

We all "assumed" there was a safe backstop. But none of us checked. WE ARE EACH RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY BULLET THAT LEAVES OUR GUN.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:52:13 PM EST
Really? Didn't bother to take a moment to walk outside and verify which direction the plastic wall faced and where your rounds were going to be headed?

Or you didn't bother paying attention to these details on your way in the "barn"?

That being said, once you realized that you didn't know where your rounds were going, why didn't you man up and ask to be able to make a quick check?

Did you let the extrovert personalities of the instructors cower you into not following your instincts?

If so, you've no reason to complain.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:52:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gunwritr:



What did you feel was wrong and dangerous?
Did the training staff check the impact area before the start of the drill and have it roped off and marked
so no one would enter? Did they tell all the students that zone was off limits?
I did not know (nor did any other students), what was on the other side of the wall. For all we knew, it could have been a school playground. Or an execution yard. An animal could have wandered into the area. A CHILD could have wandered into the area. A DEAF child could have wandered into the area. A RETARDED child/adult could have wandered into the area. A SUICIDAL human could have been there.

The point is, we didn't know. Be sure of your target and beyond. When I objected, the instructor said that it was safe, because there was a backstop there and nobody should be back there. To my knowledge, no one checked.

Was it safe? Probably.

Did we KNOW that for 100% certainty? NO.

Were we responsible for our bullets? you tell me.

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:53:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:00:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
Really? Didn't bother to take a moment to walk outside and verify which direction the plastic wall faced and where your rounds were going to be headed?

Or you didn't bother paying attention to these details on your way in the "barn"?

Nope. We were led into the front. Couldn't see out the back. Didn't know what the room would look like or what the layout or even what the drills would be prior to going in. Did not ask to personally check it. Should have. Did verbally object and say that I thought it was unsafe. Was "assured" by the instructor that he knew it was safe. That shut me up long enough to start shooting. Then I started to question myself.



That being said, once you realized that you didn't know where your rounds were going, why didn't you man up and ask to be able to make a quick check?


Did you let the extrovert personalities of the instructors cower you into not following your instincts?

If so, you've no reason to complain.


Described above. Yep. You're right. I'm a smart guy. I knew something didn't feel right. I let my own insecurities and his extrovert personality and assumed "expertise" cloud my own judgement. I failed. If I had killed some kid, I would feel eternally pitiful and shitty. If I can make a lapse in judgement like that, then it's easy to see why the shooters at Tactical Response all had "group think" and failed in their safety as well. Something to be learned for EVERYONE. Safety is a CONSCIOUS act, not just a vague concept. It must be practiced!


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:06:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Did the training staff check the impact area before the start of the drill and have it roped off and marked
so no one would enter? Did they tell all the students that zone was off limits?


Above.

1) I don't know if they checked it during some other period, but I know it was not checked right before we shot. We were led into the front of the room, could not see the back of the building. I don't know if it was roped off and marked. The instructor/property owner said something like, "nobody should be back there, besides they've been hearing us shoot all day [at the nearby range]."

2) Did they tell us it was off limits? No. There really wasn't a throrough/comprehensive safety briefing/orientation etc, like I've seen at other areas/classes. They mentioned the basics, though?

3)The owner/instructor probably KNEW it was safe based on his experience. We didn't. It was OUR responsibility to know or check. I failed to do so and took him on his word.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:09:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
Really? Didn't bother to take a moment to walk outside and verify which direction the plastic wall faced and where your rounds were going to be headed?

Or you didn't bother paying attention to these details on your way in the "barn"?

Nope. We were led into the front. Couldn't see out the back. Didn't know what the room would look like or what the layout or even what the drills would be prior to going in. Did not ask to personally check it. Should have. Did verbally object and say that I thought it was unsafe. Was "assured" by the instructor that he knew it was safe. That shut me up long enough to start shooting. Then I started to question myself.



That being said, once you realized that you didn't know where your rounds were going, why didn't you man up and ask to be able to make a quick check?


Did you let the extrovert personalities of the instructors cower you into not following your instincts?

If so, you've no reason to complain.


Described above. Yep. You're right. I'm a smart guy. I knew something didn't feel right. I let my own insecurities and his extrovert personality and assumed "expertise" cloud my own judgement. I failed. If I had killed some kid, I would feel eternally pitiful and shitty. If I can make a lapse in judgement like that, then it's easy to see why the shooters at Tactical Response all had "group think" and failed in their safety as well. Something to be learned for EVERYONE. Safety is a CONSCIOUS act, not just a vague concept. It must be practiced!




Basically the instructors told you it was safe
and it ended being safe as you all shot the drills
AND NO ONE GOT HURT.

Methinks you are overthinking this.....

When I trained with James Yeager he was anal about safety whether or not students saw the big picture......
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:10:01 PM EST
To clarify...

When we were moved from the outdoor range to the "indoor" range to begin low/no light instruction, I assumed the "indoor" range would be like a standard "indoor" range with a gravel backstop, etc.... I had no inclination that we would be shooting through the tarped walls to the OUTSIDE. Therefore I did not inspect the area as we entered the front of the room.

This was a few years ago, so many of the details are foggy, but I just remember thinking, "This does not feel right... I should say something.... I should stop this....Oh well, he knows best....He's the expert, not me...."

To this day, I don't feel right about it. I think I should have been firmer is all. It wasn't the instructor's fault, it was mine and every other student's fault.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:12:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gunwritr:



Basically the instructors told you it was safe
and it ended being safe as you all shot the drills
AND NO ONE GOT HURT.

Methinks you are overthinking this.....

When I trained with James Yeager he was anal about safety whether or not students saw the big picture......


You are probably right. It's just that we are taught the four rules. Then 20 of us were breaking one of them: Be sure of your target and beyond.


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:14:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 4:25:36 PM EST by wgjhsafT]
Training one day not with TR. Instructor had us shooting targets at various heights almost like some kind of maze on an outdoor range. One of my rounds went through the the correct spot but it appeared that the round went over the berm and into the woods. I stopped. Instructor did not hate me for it and the targets were adjusted.


ETA: to add to the OP, if you knew what was behind said film (backstop, etc.) and no one was allowed back there then I would not have a problem doing it. I guess I'd have to be there to appreciate the safety/lack of safety. YMMV.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:17:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:20:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 4:21:06 PM EST by patchouli]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:


I'm afraid I don't understand the point of the drill here. You're gonna have to help me out...what benefit was shooting the film supposed to have?


It was the only "dark room" the range had. It was a 3 walled building, like a barn lean-to, with black plastic covering the exposed wall to make it dark. There was no backstop inside this building.

So it was just to make it dark for practicing low light techniques. I didn't know it was going to be like that till the instructor started shooting the targets and spots of sunlight started shining through. I was like, "Where the hell are those bullets going?"
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:28:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 4:36:19 PM EST by John_Wayne777]
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:31:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
As for the shooting, it's never a bad thing to ask questions, as in "Hey mr. instructor, this may sound like a stupid question, but there's a berm back behind that tarp, right? I'd hate for them to dig my bullet out of some poor schmuk's cranium."

Yeah... He seemed upset that anyone would even question him or that. Which immediately shut me up. He said it was safe, so I believed him. What's the saying? Trust, but verify.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:35:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:41:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Originally Posted By patchouli:
Yeah... He seemed upset that anyone would even question him or that. Which immediately shut me up. He said it was safe, so I believed him. What's the saying? Trust, but verify.


Your instructor had issues. Safety on the range is everybody's responsibility. They preach that over and over and over and over and over and over again at decent training outfits. Ultimately YOU are the one who is on the hook for where your bullets end up...not your instructor. If your instructor can't handle answering a basic question about the safety of what you're doing, then he's really not somebody who should be instructing.

When you're holding a firearm in your hands it's not the time to be a robot. Your brain has to be switched on and actively ponderin' the possibilities of what you are doing.
Well, he did handle it. It wasn't that bad. Not like he flipped out or anything. Just seemed to throw a wrench in his rhythm. Seemed like he was surprised anyone would question that particular thing, or him. I wouldn't say he was unprofessional about it at all.

It was a good class, definitely. I probably would have handled it differently had I been the instructor, pointing out that it was a valid concern that had been addressed...

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 5:26:11 PM EST
So whose class was it and what was the name of the instructor?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:15:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By goose97:
So whose class was it and what was the name of the instructor?


Rather not say. Not here to bust on someone or drag anyone through the internet mud.

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:48:19 PM EST
I thought all these threads were about instructors and range safety? That's why you started a new thread and put your story out on the internet, right? So others could learn from your mistakes (or perceived mistakes)? You don't have any problem calling Tactical Response and their students out by name in the title of your thread. Why not name names and give everybody else an opportunity to make their own educated decision about who to train with.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:57:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By goose97:
I thought all these threads were about instructors and range safety? That's why you started a new thread and put your story out on the internet, right? So others could learn from your mistakes (or perceived mistakes)? You don't have any problem calling Tactical Response and their students out by name in the title of your thread. Why not name names and give everybody else an opportunity to make their own educated decision about who to train with.

Rather not.

Thanks though.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 7:32:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By Gunwritr:
Originally Posted By patchouli:

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
Really? Didn't bother to take a moment to walk outside and verify which direction the plastic wall faced and where your rounds were going to be headed?

Or you didn't bother paying attention to these details on your way in the "barn"?

Nope. We were led into the front. Couldn't see out the back. Didn't know what the room would look like or what the layout or even what the drills would be prior to going in. Did not ask to personally check it. Should have. Did verbally object and say that I thought it was unsafe. Was "assured" by the instructor that he knew it was safe. That shut me up long enough to start shooting. Then I started to question myself.



That being said, once you realized that you didn't know where your rounds were going, why didn't you man up and ask to be able to make a quick check?


Did you let the extrovert personalities of the instructors cower you into not following your instincts?

If so, you've no reason to complain.


Described above. Yep. You're right. I'm a smart guy. I knew something didn't feel right. I let my own insecurities and his extrovert personality and assumed "expertise" cloud my own judgement. I failed. If I had killed some kid, I would feel eternally pitiful and shitty. If I can make a lapse in judgement like that, then it's easy to see why the shooters at Tactical Response all had "group think" and failed in their safety as well. Something to be learned for EVERYONE. Safety is a CONSCIOUS act, not just a vague concept. It must be practiced!




Basically the instructors told you it was safe
and it ended being safe as you all shot the drills
AND NO ONE GOT HURT.

Methinks you are overthinking this.....

When I trained with James Yeager he was anal about safety whether or not students saw the big picture......


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 7:37:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 7:40:58 PM EST by lamarbrog]
I wouldn't trust Tactical Response to do anything safely...



If you need help hiding in a ditch while someone else saves your wounded comrades from bleeding out, after you deposited them into a kill zone.... They can help you.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 2:53:00 AM EST
Three choices:

1 - Open your mouth and ask if the impact area was checked, and ask permission to take a quick peek of your own.

2 - Be quiet and politely excuse yourself from the exercise.

3 - Participate, knowing you are doing so with craven indifference to the possibility that someone may be hurt or killed.

Even though you probably didn't do what in the 20/20 hindsight seems like a better idea, I think you've learned from it.

Let's talk about what you're going to do NEXT time.

––Fargo007
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