Guys 2 things
1. The rules are the rules, logical or not, geared to the lowest common denominator or not, someone has to make them and so it goes, when you have to sit at the top and run heard on a group of people doing something where there is major potental for very bad goof ups you get to decide such things and the rest of us have to play along or take our toys elsewhere, there is no debate, especally not on the range, if some rule seems particuarly dumb to you I would suggest sending a calm and well written letter to the manager, club executive board or whoever makes the rules, that's the proper arena for such debate.
2. That having been said, anyone who treats people in the manner described is a jerk and moreover is exactly what the shooting sports DO NOT need. I have friends ask me on an almost weekly basis if they can tag along to shoot because they are afraid to go to a range on their own for the very reason of either embarassing themselves or running afoul of someone such as you describe. The local public range here has the most friendly and helpfull RO's (all volunteer I might add) I have ever met and I hope that their professonalism goes a long way towards supporting and encouriging many shooters.