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I need a sounding board, if you will.

LinefinderLinefinder ModeratorPosts: 7,773 Senior Member
I have a 17 YO great-nephew, a lifelong German citizen, (I've laid eyes on him thrice over the years) who is visiting his grandparents (my sister and BIL) for a month in a very small town in the mountains of Colorado. The views are great, but at 17 YO there isn't much to appeal for a  whole month and  I can understand that.

Anyway, I get a call that he wants to shoot a firearm, since being in Germany, he's never had the opportunity, not even an airgun. I agree to take him to the range this coming weekend, with the stipulation it'll be rifles only.

I remember this morning that it's only a couple weeks until early rifle season for elk here, and the local range will be an absolute zoo.....waiting for a bench, and a time limit for firing once you finally get one. And you know the goobers on your left and right likely won't be goobers you'd choose to hunt alongside. And bringing a complete newb into that environment wouldn't be exactly fair to them either.

I call this morning to point this out and suggest another time might be better and I'd take a vacation day to do it mid week. I was quickly informed that he was adament about firing a handgun, and to make matters short, I was equally adament that wasn't going to happen, that I wasn't taking a person who's only experience with firearms came from Hollywood onto a busy gun range with a handgun. Of course, I've ruined his vacation.

At another time of the year, I'd not be so hardline about it. OTOH, I'm not inclined to take a newbie to the range that's adament about anything at all.

Was I the jerk I feel like, or correct with running with decades of experience?

Mike








"Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
N454casull

Replies

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,143 Senior Member
    edited September 2019 #2
    I've taken a few folks to the range for the first time, and they shot handguns - FWIW. Started with a .22, then a larger .32, then a 9.
    And yes, the range was busy. How this translates to your particular situation though, I dunno!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,068 Senior Member
    As a former firearms instructor, if you want to learn to shoot i will teach you, but dont tell me what we are going to do.

    You are 110% correct in your decision.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I see no issues with any of your decisions.  I would have probably done the same.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,194 Senior Member
    Another one of those your house, your rules things.


    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    You absolutely did the right thing. the attitude alone would prevent me from taking him shooting. My nephews came to my house and wanted to shoot. I laid down the rules before I handed them airsoft pistols. I explained that one trigger discipline violation would bar them from shooting anything. They complied without a peep. Again, attitude was key.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,335 Senior Member
    You were not a jerk in anyway.
    I understand if its not possible, but is it possible to go shoot anywhere else?  Like here one would think you could go to the Everglades and shoot anywhere, but you cant.  Or take him to a indoor range and let him shoot a .22 pistol?  If not and you do not feel comfortable let him be mad.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,773 Senior Member
    Thought about that, but public land around here will be full of archery elk hunters this weekend. Even with little chance of seeing an elk there, I'd not dash the hopes of the optimistic by popping a few 9mm rounds at a beetle killed stump.

    While we have millions of public acres here, there are times you leave them alone for the folks that are out there trying to bring home some meat.

    IMO, it was just the wrong time with an unfortunate attitude.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Some years before the birth of my son. His mother didn't know how to drive. I attempted to teach her. The experience made us both debilitatingly nervous. She had a lady freind several years our senior with abundant patience. She's been driving for along time now. Not trouble free, but without catastrophic failure.

    A professional instructor with a rented gun might be just the thing?
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,950 Senior Member
    Had my grandson and sil's grandson here for 2 weeks and both wanted to shoot. We did not have a lot of time for this so I picked two days towards the end of their stay. I have a place on the property to shoot so no other people around. They wanted handguns but only one of them had handled guns so I chose not to do that. We shot a 22 rifle the first day and then 223 and 7.62x39 the second and nether one was disappointed.
    Under ideal conditions both did very well and were able to concentrate on proper gun handling.
    As was said your rules
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,643 Senior Member
    I would assume someone making  demands of an already established "not happening" activity would be less than receptive to range instruction as well. 
    Your position is on the money as far as I'm concerned as I would have made the same choice. 
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,908 Senior Member
    You made exactly the correct decision.  BTW, you didn't ruin his vacation, he did it all by himself.  If it had happened to me, I would have told him I might reconsider once he becomes a man.  Es geht nach dem Motto, "Ich weiß wo die Wurst wachst."
    No good deed goes unpunished...
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,170 Senior Member
    I’ll echo what everyone else said.  That attitude is not conductive to learning a dangerous and potentially lethal activity.  
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    I agree with everyone else, you did the right thing.  From an RSO's point of view, with his attitude he would have been a potential serious problem.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Mike, I probably know you better than anyone else in this forum.  I completely trust your judgement on this, and agree with others that you made the right decision.  If not letting him shoot a hand gun is all that is needed to "ruin his vacation", shooting one is probably not going to save it, either.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,459 Senior Member
    edited September 2019 #16
    Thought about that, but public land around here will be full of archery elk hunters this weekend. Even with little chance of seeing an elk there, I'd not dash the hopes of the optimistic by popping a few 9mm rounds at a beetle killed stump.

    While we have millions of public acres here, there are times you leave them alone for the folks that are out there trying to bring home some meat.

    IMO, it was just the wrong time with an unfortunate attitude.

    Mike
    Nobody else in CO with a dirt bike, cross country ski's, mountain bikes, a chainsaw clearing ski trails, or walking a dog gave a crap when I was hunting out there, go shoot a stump, if anything, to just upset all of the above.

    Bring the handgun and see how he does, if you deem him worthy, you can always get it out for him. 
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,917 Senior Member
    I like the idea of going out to the woods. There has to be some place that would not have a load of hunters there to complicate things. You could bring a few rifles and a handgun with you, and tell the young man that if he does well with the rifles, that you will let him try the handgun. Other than that, you made the right decision. Gun safety has to be above all other considerations.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,747 Senior Member
    ...

    Was I the jerk I feel like, or correct with running with decades of experience?

    Mike
    You did the right thing... Hands down.
    Someone has to be the "Adult in the Room." He's the guest asking to participate in what has every potential to be dangerous activity. Carefree or immature attitudes and guns can be a dangerous mix.
    You feel like a jerk because you care. Spoiler alert, you're only human.
    I'm sure he bilt up this visit to his circle of friends and how great it was gonna be. That's on him, not on you. But you care about the boy and feel bad. It's for his own good, one day he'll figure that out.

    On a side note, Mike you've really destroyed my optics on Colorado. No other place to shoot besides an overly crowded gun range? You live in California now?
    🤣
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member

    Mike,

    a thought just occurred to me.  If it's not too much trouble, you could take him out to Wilma's.  I doubt that you would have to fight a crowd, and he might even get to shoot a prairie dog or two.  I'm not sure about hunter safety requirements for shooting pdogs on private land, though.  And, unless the regulations have recently changed, he doesn't need a hunting license to shoot prairie dogs on private property.

    And, if you like this idea, secretly carry your 9 with you.  If he behaves himself, consider rewarding him by letting him shoot a few rounds through it. 

    You might even invite your BIL along, or the kid's parents if they also made the trip.

    Just don't break out the .270, though.  Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too much gun for a 17 year old boy. :)

    As for those who commented on shooting on public land, there's no law against it.  There is a law against shooting live trees and such, and you would be well advised to wear hunter orange.  I'm also not sure if a game warden would believe that you were just target shooting while a hunting season is in swing (rifle bear, archery elk, perhaps something else). Add to that the possibility that you just might be messing up someone else's hunt.   It may just be one of those things best not done.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Bad timing all around, and I support your decision and the reasons behind it. A crowded range isn't a place to take someone new, and ESPECIALLY with a pistol the first time out. Ditto on the public lands; guys 'n' gals out there trying to put some meat in the freezer so a little understanding goes a long way.
    It's hard enough watching your flanks at a crowded range without adding in someone new to shooting and watching to make sure they shoot safe, too. Too many chances for something to go sideways.
    Too bad we live so far apart. You'd be welcome to light up anything ya got here, and I'd throw in a .50 BMG single shot rifle to 'ring his bell'. :D (And I got gobs of stuff to make Tannerite!)
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    Another one of those your house, your rules things.

    Yup.  
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • HappySquidHappySquid Member Posts: 451 Member
    Being from Europe and familiar with the current crop of teens on this continent:  Mike you are right

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,773 Senior Member
    Thanks for your thoughts, guys. 

    Something just didn't feel right from the start, but I think it was the "adamant" about shooting a handgun part that gave me a particularly hard case of, "Well, screw you then, kid".

    This was my great-nephew....turned out he'd already tried to enlist my 38 YO nephew, but he turned him down flat. I guess it runs in the family, sort of.

    Mike


    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,143 Senior Member
    Yea, being pushy like that isn't the way to win friends and influence enemies.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    Kid wanted to shoot a handgun.  I'd have laid down the rules firmly, watched him closely, and let him shoot a handgun, but then, I start complete noobs with pistols all the time.  Seems like a non-issue to me.  Your level of "restrained terror" should be the same regardless of what they're holding.  If he demonstrates immature idiocy prior to going to the range, don't go to the range.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,259 Senior Member
    I agree with your decision. I've taken all my grandkids to the range at one time or another and been I couple times we had to load up and leave because of amateurs on the lane beside us.  
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknow
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member

    ...I'm not inclined to take a newbie to the range that's adament about anything at all.

    Taking an aggressively ignorant adult child to a public shooting range is a cluster**** in the making. You were right. He failed his first lesson, without even having to make an appearance - very efficient.

  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,634 Senior Member
    edited September 2019 #28
    I'm guessing he was adamant because he'd told his buddies back home that he'd be shooting all the big American guns and was planning on selfies to prove it.  Regardless of his reasoning, you made the right choice.  If he'd approached things with a more reasonable attitude, things could have been different.  This is all on him. 
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
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