As an avid shooter, a Range Safety Officer, and an instructor myself, I want to speak my mind on the senseless death of a firearms instructor in Arizona this week at the hands of his own stupidity – which, happened to occur by the way of a nine year old girl by proxy.
I’m not sure if any of you who are clamoring about America’s love of guns has actually bothered to read the information on the website at the gun range where this all occurred, but after reading their website and seeing the photos they share for advertising purposes, I’m left with a few thoughts. Please pardon my use of language in this post, but I quite honestly don’t feel it possible to express the sincere depth of my feelings on this subject without actually cursing. I don’t know HOW to say how stupid these people are without actually using a few four letter words, and that’s rare for me.
Are you fucking stupid?
According to a New Jersey news article, one of the comments they’ve made in their advertising at Bullets and Burgers is “This is your lucky day!!! No need for gun skills here … just fire at will and have a Blast!!!!””
Wow. As someone who holds gun safety in the highest regard and a supporter of our second amendment right to bear arms, gun ranges like this make a mockery of gun safety and show absolutely no respect for the deadly power these firearms are capable of. Moreover, you are actively attracting novices who have NO shooting experience and encouraging them to come to your range where you give them a fully-automatic firearm and say things like “No need for gun skills…just shoot it.”
I’ll say it as plainly as I know how: It’s a fucking miracle no one has died before now. Holy shit!
Let’s show if off with photos
The only thing you could possibly do WORSE than that kind of advertising is to post photos on your website of your patrons AND STAFF breaking all the basic gun safety rules. Oh wait, there’s a photo gallery? Let’s check it out. I pulled a few photos from their gallery to share with you. Let’s just take a look at some of them.
This is presumably the range prep table – the place at every firing range where guns are unloaded (supposedly) and all pointed in a safe direction (down range) at all times. Based on the photo above, there is a Glock pistol and a full auto pistol pointed at the nuts of the person taking the picture. If you look up to the table at the top you can clearly see three rifles pointed at the person off-screen to the left (visible by his shorts in the frame.) That’s at least TWO people that have guns pointed at them on this range. You shit heads expect the public to have basic firearm awareness and yet you let your range instructors toss firearms on a table pointed all over the damned place? You’re literally TEACHING people bad habits. Monkey see, monkey do. Someone that visits your range will remember that one day and think it’s perfectly OK to point a gun at anyone, as long as you aren’t actively holding it.
What is the FIRST FUCKING RULE OF GUN SAFETY???
ANYONE? It’s the FIRST rule posted on EVERY range in the United States and taught in EVERY gun safety class, hunter ed class, and range safety briefing across the continent – and you’re breaking it here.
Why is this retard standing near the gun table with no one around? Hey Johnny Appletard.. GET AWAY FROM THE GUNS if you’re not firing. Why do you not need to be near the guns? How about because there are two rifles pointed down range directly AT the instructor! Two of the guns on the end of the table are pointed directly at a range officer. Nice one! Way to reinforce rule number 1 on the gun range you idiots!
How about Safety Rule Number Two? Since no one here seems to get it, let me spell it out. KEEP YOUR FUCKING FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL THE MOMENT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SHOOT! Why in the hell isn’t an instructor tackling this woman and taking that firearm from her? Great jobs ass holes. You just reinforced to a complete firearms-tourist that it’s completely OK to put your finger in the trigger guard at any time. I sure hope she doesn’t slip coming down that hill carrying that rifle and accidentally shoot an instructor in the head…. again!
And here… this wonderful piece of advertising shit-sandwich is actually posted in their marketing material! Let’s violate ALL the gun rules at ONE time! Four of the eight people in this picture are in a position to let you see their fingers are on the trigger. Fucking beautiful! Further, the guy on the right in the white shirt, has the gun pointed at the brachial artery or the head (can’t really tell for sure) of the guy standing beside him. Great work people!
Where in GOD’s NAME is the firing line? Oh, you’re standing on it? In that case, how about telling your Range Safety Officer to do his damned job and get those FUCKING IDIOTS AWAY FROM THE LINE! No one should be within 20 feet of the shooter’s back except the RSO and the instructor. And for God’s sake, take off those ACU’s and Desert Camo uniforms before someone mistakes you for our military and thinks the shit you are teaching is endorsed by them or anyone else with an ounce of common sense. But hey.. don’t miss a chance at a good photo op for the sake of safety or anything. Meanwhile, why are those two photographers standing in front of rifle barrels? Why is an AK-47 barrel pointed AT the shooter? What the fuck are you people thinking?
Let’s break this one down a minute, shall we?
Why in the name of Christ is the instructor letting this student shoot with that grip? That Glock is PERFECTLY positioned to fly right out of his hand, snap his wrist, or hit him in the forehead. He’s almost 1 inch off the top of the backstrap. Oh wait, it get’s fucking better! The guy in the Superman shirt is standing there, 4 feet to the right of the ejection port with no safety glasses on. Beautiful! Where do you think that hot piece of brass is going to fly from a Glock when that kid pulls the trigger? And last but certainly not least we have a guy down-range of the barrel with his phone up, recording the shooter. Wonderful. Let’s put him right in the concussion radius of the bullet. Smart thinking! Again… NO ONE SHOULD BE WITHIN 20 FEET of this kid unless they’re either the instructor, the RSO, or on the shooting line with him. And finally… instructor boy is wearing sun glasses, not range glasses. Those $200 Oakleys are NOT rated to stop a cartridge from hitting you in the face you asshat!
Let me start wit this: I have nothing but the deepest sympathies for the family of Charles Vacca, the instructor that lost his life at this range due to his own inept stupidity. It’s sad that someone had to DIE before people find out about shooting ranges like this. But…. that 9 year old girl did nothing wrong. Charles Vacca decided it was OK to give a nine-year old girl a fully automatic short-barreled firearm that she couldn’t control (that many adults can’t control) and let her loose with it. His stupidity cost him his life.
The ONLY thing I can think that MIGHT come out of this to the positive is that someone will SHUT THIS FUCKING PLACE DOWN BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE GETS KILLED! Every single one of these instructors, owners of the facility, and staff that work there need to be brought of up on charges of criminal negligence. Places like this are a disgrace to the firearm community, a complete mockery of every gun safety rule in the book, and they need to be shut down.
It’s a fact that every gun accident in the world comes down to a breaking of one of the three rules of gun safety.
1) ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2) ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3) ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Breaking any of those three rules can result in someone being injured or killed. Based on the photos this range uses to ADVERTISE, they break these rules on a daily basis and they do it intentionally. They solicit ignorant patrons with phrases that state training is irrelevant – c’mon down and shoot a machine gun! The only thing that surprises me about an instructor being shot is that this was the first time it has happened.
Written by: Tommy Jordan
NRA Basic Pistol Safety Instructor
NC Concealed Carry Instructor
NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor
NRA Rifle Instructor
NRA Shotgun Instructor
NRA Refuse to be a Victim Instructor
NC Wildlife Hunter Safety Instructor
Chief Range Safety Officer
Every shooter needs to be a Shepard of our sport. This means no stupid pictures posted publicly. I’m tired of the Instagram and Facebook posts featuring unsafe gun handling and also the guns and alcohol pics. Social media is littered with them. Great article and good job proving this was a pattern of unsafe behavior instead of the “freak accident” the media keeps saying it was.