Irresponsible gun owners, drinking and shooting edition

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,575 Senior Member
I have been in AZ for work this week. This weekend I've been staying with one of my good friends and today we decided to go out to our old shooting spot out on some public land not too far from his house. It was a nice day out and we noticed quite a few other groups of shooters out in other spots in the area, but our normal spot was open. We got settled in and had set up some targets and had been shooting for a little while and an SUV drove up and parked maybe a few dozen yards from our vehicle. A group of 4 young men and a pittbull (leashed luckily) started to get out of the car. We stopped shooting and observed for a few seconds. I noticed on got out of the back seat with an uncased 18" pistol gripped pump shotgun in one hand and a nearly empty beer bottle in the other. This set my radar off. I cautiously walked towards him as he addressed us and asked if their group could join us. I politely informed him that we have no problem letting responsible gun owners shoot with us, but we wouldn't allow anyone who was consuming alcohol to shoot in our vicinity as a we take gun safety very seriously. As I was saying this I noticed that his friends were unloading a case of bud light and some cases that I assumed contained other guns. He continued to press me and I informed him that they'd be welcome to stay and shoot with us, but they'd have to leave the beer in the car and drinking it after they were done shooting. This was not a satisfactory answer to him and he insisted that "this is Arizona and we do this all the time". To which I replied if they wanted to do that there was plenty of other land around and they should go further down the trail and find another spot. He reluctantly agreed and walked back to his vehicle and told his friends to pack up. They didn't seem happy and it and I overheard things like bull "droppings", and reference to him being a certain part of the female anatomy and other thing that might have been his friends trying to convince him to start a confrontation. As this was happening I quietly backed around our vehicle (sought cover) and discretely inserted a loaded 25 rd magazine into the 10/22 we had just finished sighting in (closest available long arm) and observed them argue for a few minutes before driving off.

Now for some other facts and self criticisms:

At the time that they approached neither of us had a sidearm on us (I, being out of state didn't have any with me and my friend only has one and we hadn't pulled it out of the case yet). Note that immediately after they left I loaded a 15 round mag into his CZ and carried it the rest of the afternoon just in case they did decide they needed to come back and prove something. The only firearm we had out was a scoped contender in .222 that my friend had in his hand. He unloaded it when they drove up, but discretely loaded a round and was essentially covering me (at low ready) as things got a bit more tense. Clearly if things had gone bad we were not in a good position, me exposed and unarmed and him with only one shot at the ready. His one shot might have taken out the greatest threat and given me time to retreat to cover and obtain a weapon and return fire, but the odds were not in our favor if things went sour. Luckily the guy who we can call their leader had at least a few braincells in his head and decided it was better to swallow his pride and move along than pick a fight with an unknown adversary.

As an aside, we could hear them shooting on down the road and we left about 2 hours later but before they finished and came back our way. As far as we can tell they got lucky and none of them did anything stupid while drinking and shooting, at least this time. Unfortunately dealing with people like this seems to be a risk with having open land where people can shoot near a major metro area. I fear that eventually they're going to ruin it for all of us.
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho

Replies

  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,978 Senior Member
    I'm glad it didn't escalate. Alcohol and firearms don't mix, period. I wasn't there so I can't say how I'd have addressed the situation, but one way or the other I would have separated myself from the buffoons either by them or me putting some distance between us.

    And yes it was prudent to take action and get a gun loaded in case they got really ignorant.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    Good move on your part, although sounds like it got hairy for a few minutes. Obviously they have on concern for others as it appears they were also drinking and driving.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    If me and my guns are out at a public range, first thing that happens is a pistol on my side.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    If me and my guns are out at a public range, first thing that happens is a pistol on my side.

    Same here. The sidearm doesn't get a turn on the range. But, I switch out the next time.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,575 Senior Member
    rbsivley wrote: »
    Good move on your part, although sounds like it got hairy for a few minutes. Obviously they have on concern for others as it appears they were also drinking and driving.

    That was my first clue. I didn't see the driver up close. The guy who approached me got out of the back seat, but they were at least breaking the law about open containers in a moving vehicle. However I didn't get the impression any of them were interested in abstaining.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    If me and my guns are out at a public range, first thing that happens is a pistol on my side.

    Yep!...even out here in the sticks, people will drive for hours from to use our county range...you never know who is going to show up or what condition they are going to show up in.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    This was on public land? I would have told you to pound sand.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    Sooooo...by virtue of being on public land you must let anyone join you while you are shooting?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,244 Senior Member
    I have been known to leave the public range a time or two when morons show up. Never had any of them ask me if they could join us though. I could be wrong, but I believe it was not an established range, more of a wide spot in the desert.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Sooooo...by virtue of being on public land you must let anyone join you while you are shooting?

    I believe the block of words said 72 ft how is this joining them. 72' 200' don't matter with firearms. I'm not condoning it although I have done it plenty of times myself. What right do you have to run someone off of public land?
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    On a side note I am never without a loaded firearm at a gun range, public or private. I always take a gun down range at an open public land shooting area also.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,978 Senior Member
    Glad to hear tings came out ok.
    The range in town requires membership and a key to get in.
    While the private range where I do my distance shooting, requires permission, and a fee per gun.
    Thank goodness I have not had to deal with any of that nonsense.
    If I was on public land shooting I would approach things a little wise than I do on the other two ranges where I typically shoot.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,575 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    I believe the block of words said 72 ft how is this joining them. 72' 200' don't matter with firearms. I'm not condoning it although I have done it plenty of times myself. What right do you have to run someone off of public land?

    Buford, I'm a bit confused by parts of your reply are you saying that you frequently drink while shooting?

    For clarification this was a large stretch of open desert with plenty of washes that make good backstops. I didn't run them out of the whole area, just suggested they find their own spot on down the road if they were going to be drinking. If they had really pushed things then we would have packed up and gone elsewhere.

    For some background on this I still keep up with some AZ shooting forums and lately there has been risk of them banning shooting in large parts of the state due to irresponsible behavior. It is a huge pet peeve of mine to see good things ruined by irresponsible idiots.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    Buford, I'm a bit confused by parts of your reply are you saying that you frequently drink while shooting?

    When I used to drink, yes. On several occasions I have had couple of drinks to smooth out the rough edges. Never had a problem, and I have done this with other gun owners. I could lie and say I didn't do it but I'm quite sure many folks here have had a beer or two while shooting. Although this is forbidden to admit in the shooting community it happens quite a bit. I would be leery of someone shooting and drinking if I didn't know them. I like to know my shooting friends after all alcohol and firearms requires due diligence.
    I don't see how 24 yards is joining you though, if they made me that uncomfortable I would just leave. I also deal with the yahoos out here getting stupid on public lands. The biggest thing is the mess people leave behind. The public ranges always look like a garbage dump and they are disappearing quick. What's one to do.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    These days when it seems more people have guns and little training. My son, grandsons and I were on a public range a couple weeks ago. Andrew and I are both Army trained and are training the boys. There was a couple guys and a young woman set up on table on the end. Before we go down range we wait until all shooters are through alnd call for a cease fire. Well, those guys wouldn't. They'd just walk down range while people were shooting. Of course we would cease fire and Bud and I started watching them. We have to watch out for other folks.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,575 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    I don't see how 24 yards is joining you though, if they made me that uncomfortable I would just leave. I also deal with the yahoos out here getting stupid on public lands. The biggest thing is the mess people leave behind. The public ranges always look like a garbage dump and they are disappearing quick. What's one to do.

    Buford, the issue here is with the fact that there are no defined target stands or firing line which greatly increases the risk of accidents if you're dealing with multiple groups shooting in the same area. That of course gets multiplied when one of the groups is intoxicated. Yes I was judging a book by it's cover, but these guys screamed lack of safety and discipline and was absolutely a risk I wasn't willing to take.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    I suppose there is a lesson here, well actually 2, first one IMO is that saying it is okay for me to shoot and drink comes from the same folks that say that it is okay "for me" to drink and drive, lesson 2 is to NEVER allow yourself to shoot in public places without a loaded defense proper gun on you.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,719 Senior Member
    You should have notified the law of the open bottle.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    I'm going to say that I agree wiyh Buford on this one,public land is just that,public and while rude for someone to move in on your area it is indeed their area too.
    If you don't like it or them you have the right to find another spot,but not to tell them they have to go somewhere else.

    As for the alochol and guns I too will admit that in my younger days my pals and I drank beer and went shooting quite often,or would take some beer along on dove hunts.

    Smart?............not really..........but were not talking about getting flaming drunk,rather just enjoying time with friends.

    Just sayin
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    I suppose there is a lesson here, well actually 2, first one IMO is that saying it is okay for me to shoot and drink comes from the same folks that say that it is okay "for me" to drink and drive, lesson 2 is to NEVER allow yourself to shoot in public places without a loaded defense proper gun on you.

    Rule #1 you got wrong, It's not OK to drink and drive. Rule #2 two you got correct.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,650 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    I'm going to say that I agree wiyh Buford on this one,public land is just that,public and while rude for someone to move in on your area it is indeed their area too.
    If you don't like it or them you have the right to find another spot,but not to tell them they have to go somewhere else.

    As for the alochol and guns I too will admit that in my younger days my pals and I drank beer and went shooting quite often,or would take some beer along on dove hunts.

    Smart?............not really..........but were not talking about getting flaming drunk,rather just enjoying time with friends.

    Just sayin

    I'd shoot with you.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Rule #1 you got wrong, It's not OK to drink and drive. Rule #2 two you got correct.

    What is the point of drinking and it's side benefits?

    Folks smoke cigarettes because it relaxes you and makes you feel good, it derives pleasure via a chemical reaction but the side effects will seriously mess you up, this from a 4 pack a day smoker that quit 11 years ago.

    Perhaps I misunderstood your reply but why is handling a car and drinking wrong but handling loaded gun/s is okay?

    That you and others have gotten away with it seems to me not a good enough an answer, that works until Darwin shows up!
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    All I know is the mantra of do not consume alcohol and operate machinery or drive or shoot or anything that requires all of ones concentration has been drummed into Me at a young age way before I ever fired a firearm or drove a car or operated machinery.

    Even a little alcohol well under what is considered the legal limit can impair judgement seriously.

    Peacefully asking drinkers to take it on down the road a bit is not wrong or running them off public land IMHO, it is simply being prudent or not wanting to get shot by a drunk.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Even a little alcohol well under what is considered the legal limit can impair judgement seriously.

    Peacefully asking drinkers to take it on down the road a bit is not wrong or running them off public land IMHO, it is simply being prudent or not wanting to get shot by a drunk.

    This ^^ :agree:
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    All I know is the mantra of do not consume alcohol and operate machinery or drive or shoot or anything that requires all of ones concentration has been drummed into Me at a young age way before I ever fired a firearm or drove a car or operated machinery.

    Even a little alcohol well under what is considered the legal limit can impair judgement seriously.

    Peacefully asking drinkers to take it on down the road a bit is not wrong or running them off public land IMHO, it is simply being prudent or not wanting to get shot by a drunk.

    STRONGLY AGREED. He wasn't substantially inconveniencing them.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,254 Senior Member
    Driving, shooting, running power tools, reloading, or even operating a computer under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences. "If you drink and drive, don't park- - - - - -accidents cause people!"
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,244 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    All I know is the mantra of do not consume alcohol and operate machinery or drive or shoot or anything that requires all of ones concentration has been drummed into Me at a young age way before I ever fired a firearm or drove a car or operated machinery.

    Even a little alcohol well under what is considered the legal limit can impair judgement seriously.

    Peacefully asking drinkers to take it on down the road a bit is not wrong or running them off public land IMHO, it is simply being prudent or not wanting to get shot by a drunk.

    Yup :agree:
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,889 Senior Member
    I thought I'd comment about the side issue brought up and that is being always armed at the range. That is not going to work at the commercial ranges in these parts as they subscribe to the NRA range rule that during a cease fire all guns will be put down and all people on the range will be behind the safety line. Also, guns then cannot be carried down range either. Guns brought on the range from the parking lot must be unloaded.

    I see the need on wild lands to carry a gun down range, I think it isn't smart to go down range in such areas and leave guns 100 or even many more yds laying out while the shooters are down range with a loaded gun or not. I'm thinking a guard has to be left back with the guns.

    Personally, I'll only have one gun at a wild land make shift range anyway, so when shooting or tending tgts, it goes where I go. In fact the only place I have ever gone shooting with more than one gun was at Teach's and there was a plt of gun guards there.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
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