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Old September 24, 2009, 11:31 AM   #1
Parapliers
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No Cure For Carelessness

I couldn't convince an accident prone acquaintance not to buy a pistol for personal protection so I went to the public range with him to try to mitigate the menace. On the first occurrence I had to hover over him constantly reminding and physically forcing him to keep his weapon pointed down range.
The second range session was no different from the first with the exception that he got the attention of the range officers who gave him stern warnings for numerous rule infractions. After that session I tried to have a heart to heart with him but he got all belligerent and told me that he has his own way of doing things. He has had his pistol and carry permit for two weeks and now he is the master and I am the student.
I will not be associating with this dangerous menace but am considering trying to get him to go to an NRA sanctioned training class since he is an NRA member. I am afraid this will only produce another qualified idiot because I don't believe that training is a cure for carelessness.
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Old September 24, 2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Find another friend. You missed an opportunity to introduce your foot to his backside at the first range session. I had one instance like that many years ago and "convinced" the other person to modify his behavior.
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Old September 24, 2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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Hi,
Depending on how much you like this friend, you could either get him to go for proper training ( I think any decent instructor will either get him to correct his bad habits, or kick him off the course) or sever you conections with him ( the part where he turned belligerent made me think he may not be a great friend, but maybe I am wrong)

Whatever you choose, I would avoid his company while he is armed. Bad habits with guns are usually repeated away from the range.

Brgds,

Danny
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Old September 24, 2009, 01:00 PM   #4
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He has had his pistol and carry permit for two weeks
This highlights a larger issue of people "buying guns to carry" with no training or experience. There's an impulsiveness and lack of long-term thinking involved there.
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Old September 24, 2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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In all seriousness, be belligerent back. He needs to know you are serious...

And I wouldn't follow the "find a new friend" comments. Real friends will tell friends when they are wrong, and help them. Don't give up on a friend.

Quote:
This highlights a larger issue of people "buying guns to carry" with no training or experience. There's an impulsiveness and lack of long-term thinking involved there.
I agree, but its a bit of a problem when exposure to guns is sort of taboo away from home. I would bring firearm safety classes and rifle teams back into public school, but that's just me...
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Old September 24, 2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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in all honesty i would just file a report with the police. get the RO's who were there to also give some say. if an "accident" happens, you can have proof that he's being reckless.
Thats messed up...
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Old September 24, 2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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I had a friend something like that. Everything he bought he wrecked it or some accident would befall it in some way or another. He moved to Arizona because his parents had moved there. His Father bought him a pistol, he ended up killing himself with it in just a few weeks. I was told he was drinking with some friends he started waving the gun around pointing at people. He put it to his head and pulled the trigger, if he had lived would have been a vegetable. This was a person who had never owned a gun in his life
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Old September 24, 2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Darwin's theory strikes again.
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Old September 24, 2009, 02:20 PM   #9
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I had a friend something like that. Everything he bought he wrecked it or some accident would befall it in some way or another.
I hate to say it but I think we've ALL had at least one "friend" like that.

Somehow the "accidents" or breakdowns or whatever were always "just the darndist bad luck"

I got pretty good at walking away from those types of folks.
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Old September 24, 2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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I'd treat him the same way as someone who cant handle their booze...walk away. People like that are a liability. They will manage to harm both themselves and those around them--usually while claiming, "it wasn't my fault."

You tried to talk to him, and that was as much, or perhaps more, than he deserved considering his angry reaction.

I make and keep friends who are worthy of that level of trust. Sometimes I misjudge people, but once I realize someone is reckless or stupid, I make tracks.
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Old September 24, 2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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"You can't fix stupid."

Also: you can't save the whole world, just try to not be near them when they go off.
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Old September 24, 2009, 04:28 PM   #12
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Thanks For Feedback

I appreciate all the feedback from senior members. This had really been bothering me. The subject is actually an in-law who has seriously injured himself with every power tool that he has used. His driving record is abominable and he is just another "accident" waiting to happen. I always thought Jeff Cooper's rules of gun safety just about covered it all but lately I've been thinking that maybe there should be at least one more like: Never give a gun to a baby or a chimp. or Don't drag your gun behind you with a string.
Seriously, I don't think there should be new law concerning this but shouldn't there be a way to discourage initiates from acting beyond their experience level? Perhaps always suggest revolvers for first handgun or not carrying automatic with round in chamber until one has managed to prove to himself that he can carry without mishandling or dropping it.
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Old September 24, 2009, 04:43 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure that I know that guy Fortunately, he never got his hands on a gun while I knew him.

I'd go back and have a talk with the RO. Let him know that the guy continues to be a hazard to himself & all that are within bullet's range of him. I'm sure that the RO could make a report that would wind up in suspension of carry permit until such a time that the guy takes proper training & demonstrates that he isn't a hazard.
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:27 PM   #14
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The subject is actually an in-law who has seriously injured himself with every power tool that he has used. His driving record is abominable and he is just another "accident" waiting to happen.
I'll say it.

Unfortunately, guns are not for everyone. It's one thing for him to injure himself, but the possibility of him injuring someone else is unacceptable.
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:53 PM   #15
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I'd treat him the same way as someone who cant handle their booze...walk away. People like that are a liability. They will manage to harm both themselves and those around them--usually while claiming, "it wasn't my fault."
I wouldn't walk away if - as Tom and others have pointed out - the threat extends beyond himself. A self-destructive friend, maybe... one who poses a danger to others, I can't, at least as long as there's a prayer (even if it destroys the friendship), of me being able to push him toward safer actions.

I hope that my friends would do the same for me... just my 2 cents.
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:59 PM   #16
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I did talk to the senior RO at the time but we ended up reminiscing about our time in RVN. It didn't occur to me to put the finger on my nut because I hadn't given up on him yet. I think that is the best suggestion yet, Fast Forty. Don't know if license could be revoked but RO could put the fear of God in him by the suggestion.
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Old September 24, 2009, 06:21 PM   #17
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If he's an in-law, it's a bit hard just to write him off, it's true... I'd make it clear to him that you won't shoot with him, and don't want him handling guns around you, until he's had some serious instruction, like that NRA sanctioned training class you mentioned. If he refuses to do that, then I think fastforty's idea of involving the RO is an excellent one.

I'm a bit hesitant to ask this, but is this someone who's "just" accident-prone, or do alcohol and/or drugs play any part in his careless behavior? If so, you might should involve the RO in this situation now... that would make your rellie someone who should not be carrying.
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Old September 24, 2009, 06:36 PM   #18
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Vanya, that was a legitimate question. He is just accident prone possibly ADD. The most careless reckless person I have ever known. Constantly breaking things and knocking things over, burning holes with cigarettes etc. He can learn and I am sure he could easily pass a safety course but he will never be a conscientious person. He may even be an NRA qualified instructor in the near future.
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Old September 24, 2009, 06:46 PM   #19
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I have an issue with the "you cant fix stupid" crowd.
You don't need to be smart to be gun safe. The more you drill proper gun safety into his mind, the more safe he'll be. One class wont do it, it has to be ingrained into him...
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Old September 24, 2009, 07:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KLRANGL
I have an issue with the "you cant fix stupid" crowd.
You don't need to be smart to be gun safe. The more you drill proper gun safety into his mind, the more safe he'll be. One class wont do it, it has to be ingrained into him...
Very true. And it points up what a dilemma this is for the OP, who is rightly concerned for his own safety around this fellow, but wants to do what he can to see that he's not endangering others.

He doesn't need to be smart to be gun safe, but he probably does need to be conscientious, and while drilling gun safety would help, I don't know how you'd get someone to change a lifelong habit of carelessness.

What a difficult position to be in...
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Old September 24, 2009, 08:17 PM   #21
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now he is the master and I am the student
.

The what?

The friend of yours will have to find his own way. Humility and the realization that we are all failable is the halmark of maturity. This man is not there yet. So he will have to find his own way. It may be a rocky road, but that's how he will have to learn.

Von Bismarck was right. "Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience."

I wish the young man lots of luck.

But, I hope you didn't tell him he was accident prone. That insult would just make him determined to buy the gun and carry it, just to show you he could.
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Old September 24, 2009, 09:44 PM   #22
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I am afraid this will only produce another qualified idiot because I don't believe that training is a cure for carelessness.
I believe training is the cure for carelessness , but I'm not sure the guy's problem is carelessness. I've known otherwise intelligent people who I couldn't trust around a gun. They simply never developed anything resembling muzzle consciousness.

Quote:
In all seriousness, be belligerent back. He needs to know you are serious...
Oh right. Just because avoiding verbal altercations is one of the first things emphasized in any good CCW class, doesn't mean you should heed the advice. What could go wrong with two beligerents yelling at one another while armed?
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Old September 24, 2009, 11:05 PM   #23
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Some people learn more slowly than others and in different ways. Some people have all they can do to remember to breath when they walk and adding complexity to that is a real challenge for them.

Quote:
Parapliers
He can learn and I am sure he could easily pass a safety course but he will never be a conscientious person. He may even be an NRA qualified instructor in the near future.
Part of the instruction given to NRA Certified Instructors includes that a student who attends a course does not get certified by merely attending and/or passing a written test. The instructor has the subjective decision whether the student has learned the proper attitude and skills necessary for safe gun handling and shooting.
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Old September 24, 2009, 11:58 PM   #24
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I hate to say it but I think we've ALL had at least one "friend" like that.
I am in agreement with ZeSpectre. We all know people who should not be allowed to own firearms, operate power tools, cars etc. I knew several guys that thought they knew everything, and practiced unsafe firearms practices. Another friend and I remedied this when we asked to see his brand new Glock, and while he wasn't looking removed the firing pin. We gave it back to him after he went to a safety class.
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Old September 25, 2009, 08:10 AM   #25
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Oh right. Just because avoiding verbal altercations is one of the first things emphasized in any good CCW class, doesn't mean you should heed the advice. What could go wrong with two beligerents yelling at one another while armed?
Well if you want to make the assumption that it would degrade into a physical yelling match then be my guest...
But we all know what happens when we assume

Im pretty sure I've had plenty of fights with my friends, and it never ended with anyone being shot... Maybe its because we are all mature people, who explain our point of view to make an argument... but I mean if you feel you cant control yourself, then by all means don't.
Now if this was someone you don't know, then yes, most certainly avoid any sort of confrontation. There is no benefit there. But as fallible as we all are, even best friends fight. Family members fight, spouses fight...
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