1.Don’t Shoot Me 2.Don’t Shoot Me 3.Don’t Shoot Me
Those were the words of the shoot leader. He was a good leader.
The additional reminder to everyone else was, “Don’t shoot anyone.”
And no one got shot, though the arsenal included a twelve gauge shotgun, single action .22 revolver, and an Italian 9mm.
A party of nine drove from Portland to a rally point in Central Oregon, four boomers and five twenty-somethings.
Eight of them mounted up on quads and one 4X4 with the weaponry and headed into the deep woods on dusty roads with no names.
Seven walked up to the firing line and cut loose into a mounded burn pile with a tree line a hundred yards back.
One by one they shot guns and not each other. How did that happen?
The gun conversation should start early in the trip planning. Will there be a place to shoot? Is it okay to bring guns?
That takes care of the preliminary talk. What’s next?
Treat every gun as a loaded weapon, even if you know it’s not loaded. You’ve seen those headlines, “I didn’t think it was loaded.” Or the equally poor, “It happened when I was cleaning my gun.”
Place every gun on safety and keep the business end pointed down range or down. That’s part of gun rules.
If someone in the group seems a little over-excited, or nervous, before the first shot, talk it out. Explain what they can expect. If they don’t listen, they don’t shoot. That’s another part of gun rules.
Talk about the way some handguns jump and the importance of locking out your elbows to avoid a kickback in the face.
With the shotgun, remind the shooter to grip it tight with the butt pressed firmly against their shoulder and not their collar bone.
One shooter moves up to the line with a spotter while the others stand back.
Check for proper ear protection.
Review what the phrase, “Clear down range,” means.
Watch their hands on the guns and remind them to keep their finger off the trigger until they’re ready to fire. Explain that holding a straight index finger beside the trigger guard with the gun safety on prevents most accidents.
The shooter empties their weapon and leaves the firing line to reload while another shooter and spotter move up.
If they’re new shooters, they hand the gun to the spotter and leave the line.
All shooters fire until they dry fire to the click.
After everyone has had enough shooting, or you run out of ammunition, you’re done. Mount up on the quads and the 4X4 and head back to camp.
If it’s this easy all the time, what’s the big deal on the gun debate? Call it the Rambo effect. Call it the Charlton Heston effect. It sounds like this:
“The 2nd Amendment guarantees my right to own any weapon allowed under the law. If I want to shoulder my rifle inside my house with extra ammo and strap on my hog-leg to pose with my young kid and a Chihuahua, I’m within my rights.”
“Why should the Government have all the guns?”
Boomerpdx says gun accidents happen to careless gun owners. Follow the safety rules above and avoid the problem.
If someone in your group is an Army veteran, all the better.