If you have been following us for the past year you may know about the “Disney World” of gun ranges the GEARs crew shoots at. For those of you who might be new or just haven’t heard, you can find out more about TDSA HERE.
While TDSA is my favorite place to shoot for work and play, I won’t take friends and family there if I have never shot with them. While it might seem a little rude of me, to not share this range with everyone I know, I have a rule to keep me and my “new” shooters safe.
TDSA draws more of the seasoned shooter crowd. They are a membership based range, which means the range officer for each bay is the member themselves. I have been a range officer for years with different groups, and don’t have a problem when I know the shooters and their abilities.
I have found that I need to focus all my attention on the individual I am taking shooting with me for the first time. Over the years I have found that when I go to the range with someone for the first time (even if they own guns or have shot for years) I have a chance to learn their deficiencies in shooting. This helps me keep everyone safe when I shoot with them next.
When I have official range officers behind me, I always know I have one more level of safety to protect us. On top of that, when I am first introducing someone to shooting, I want them to feel as safe as possible. The sound of full auto going off in the background might not be the most comforting thing when someone hears it the first time.
I also will not shoot the day I take someone to the range for the first time. The simple fact is, that this day is not about me. It is about the person I am shooting with. I want to see if this is someone who is ready to go shooting in a very different shooting environment. TDSA is a place we have more freedom to try different things like shooting metal targets from a golf cart or shooting Tannerite.
friends seem to shoot fine but have a hard time remembering basic safety rules like keeping your glasses on at all times. At our range, this can get the member a violation, even if it is the guest, When this happens, I have given myself two options.
1. I can never shoot with this person ever again.
2. I can choose to protect my membership and shoot with them at a more structured shooting range, like the one I take my new shooters to.
When deciding to take someone new to the range it is important to keep things like this in mind for everyone’s safety. Too many times, have I seen a guy taking his girlfriend out to the range and acting all macho with this guns. He forgets that the day isn’t about him, but about introducing her to the SAFE world of firearms.