This is probably a good thing…

So Sebastian made a post about the idiot in Sparks that decided to carry a pocket gun without a holster.  Can we all guess how that ended?  How many of you think that it went bang?

If you thought it went bang, well you were right.  This folks as Sebastian said is why you need to carry your gun in a damn holster.

I only bring that up because Nicholas Dropped a comment which I’m going to re-post here (emphasis is mine):

 Very true. We have morons at our shooting club. Who are questionably not safe. At USPSA matches they are shooting over the berm and into the hill behind it. Our berm is an aluminum sheet with rubber tire bits as a back stop. Very fine for pistol. But shooting over it is unacceptable. As well as keeping their finger on the trigger when they mag change or move to the next target. Really unsafe people. And when you bring it up to them they get all defensive. why do these people not think of being safe? It is the most paranoid thing I do at the range.

To which I replied:

Why are they not immediately DQ’d by the RO. All of those things listed there are explicitly stated in the rules as an immediate DQ.

See rule 10.5.8 and 10.5.10 explicitly on the booger hook bang switch problem while moving.

See rule 10.5.9 explicitly for the booger hook while reloading problem.

See 10.4.1 for shooting over the berm.

As for why they don’t think of being safe often it’s because this is how they have always done it and don’t see a reason to change. They do not understand or comprehend how their actions are unsafe.

If you see that happen at a match, notify the RO. At minimum they should be warned if the RO didn’t see it. If the RO did see it they need to get the boot for the rest of the match. The rules exist to protect everyone. The RO isn’t kicking them out, they kicked themselves out by breaking the rules.

Wow, all that time spent reading the USPSA rule book actually made the crap stick.  As I read his post I immediately recognized each of those instances being an immediate DQ, with explicit rules to cover every instance.  Of the rules listed above there were probably secondary rules they broke as well.

The fact is the RO needs to boot them, period.  I don’t care how you play around in your sandbox at home, but if you walk onto a range at a USPSA event those rules exist for my safety as well as everyone else at the event.

I know there are a lot of people who would hesitate to drop the axe and DQ someone.  Thankfully I haven’t had to do that, though I know one day it will come.  My biggest fear is having to drop the axe on a new shooter.  Which is why as an RO I will give verbal reminders about the booger hook if things start to look questionable with new shooters.

Kevin Imel said it best though during our RO training.

When the day comes when a competitor is DQ’d under your watch, you didn’t DQ him, he did that to himself.

He’s right.  Because honestly it benefits neither the club, nor the shooter to just let him get by with the mistake.  Some mistakes have to be punished in such a way that you NEVER want to repeat them again.  Telling you to pack up your guns for the rest of the day is a good way to do exactly that.

If you see unsafe gun handling, STOP it immediately.  Even if the RO didn’t see it.  The RO’s word is final and it’s his choice to issue the DQ, but at a minimum the issue needs to be brought to his attention.*

*For the most part other observers cannot really see what’s going on so this is mute.  If you are the RO running the shooter your eyes should be focused on that gun and his gun handling.  If you’re looking where he’s shooting you’re looking in the wrong spot.  Your score keeper should also be helping to look for penalties as well.

Letting people get away with unsafe gun handling is bad juju.  Especially if they take it to an area match.  Saying “Well I do it all the time back home,” isn’t going to cut it as an excuse.

So as I was saying, it’s probably a good thing they made me damn near memorize that rule book.  It’s also a good thing Kevin gave that speech saying drop the axe if it happens.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

About Barron Barnett

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.
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2 Responses to This is probably a good thing…

  1. Harry Sucio says:

    I used to shoot 2 semi-informal club matches where no one would ever get DQ’d for really bad violations – like muzzling the crowd with a loaded gun, or one time, some moron walking the stage, airgunning with his gun (slide locked back). They are small clubs, everyone gets along, etc. is BS. Those idiots still shoot the matches. Me and my squad of friends, who know the safety rules and follow them, have quit shooting at those matches. DQs are for the good of the sport. People’s “feelings” should not come into play.

    • Barron says:

      It is an understanding at our club, if you screw up you’re done. We’ll all still like you, we know crap happens, but the rules exist for a reason.

      I haven’t had the unfortunate experience of a DQ yet, though I’ve been told it isn’t a matter of if, but when if you play in this sport long enough.

      Our club is a little different though since we have an NROI instructor as one of our members. This means we have an oddly high number of actually trained and certified RO’s on the course. I can’t think of anyone behind the timer lately that isn’t at least a Level 1 RO. Often behind the clip board well have people who aren’t certified RO’s but usually they’re not shooting, they’re with a shooter. (For example my wife, she doesn’t shoot in USPSA currently, it’s on the road map but time and finances haven’t opened it up yet.)

      The bottom line is the regular shooters and ROs all know the following,
      “A DQ isn’t personal, it’s business.”

      If you get DQ’d it’s not necessarily because you’re a bad guy, or don’t know what the hell you’re doing. It’s because you F’d up and it’s a lesson and reminder of why you don’t F up.