I’ve written plenty of times about the Safety Sin and how the shooting community in general has turned safety into religion more than science. (see e.g., The Safety Sin, Follow-Up to the Safety Sin, and The Safety Sin Revisited with a link to Tim Chandler‘s excellent Thinking Critically article at GunNuts).
Circumstances have put me at the range quite a bit over the past few weeks. Because I only use ranges with on-staff Range Safety Officers, this tends to provide lots of opportunity to see shooters being corrected when they’ve made safety errors.
One unfortunate but common result is that shooters get offended to the point of anger and even verbal conflict when told they’ve done something against the rules. You’re angry at me because I asked you to stop pointing your gun at me? Why?
Because I’ve questioned your devoutness to the Holy Order. You’re so wrapped up, emotionally, in blind obeisance to some rules you can recite that you don’t actually think about whether you’re being safe or not. And when you do get called out for violating one of those Holy Rules, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you admit your sin, or do you condemn the witness?
So here’s a protip: if you do something unsafe, own it, drive on, and try not to do it again. If no one got hurt, it’s just an opportunity to improve yourself and your gun handling. No one is accusing you of burning the Bible. Just try not to screw up again, ok? Simple.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG