Wow… this is fucked up. Apparently yesterday a woman attempted to commit suicide at a local gun range.
Red’s Indoor Range is the only indoor range in Austin (there are 2 locations). I am closest to the south location, where the incident occurred, and go there on occasion. I actually don’t like to go there because I don’t like indoor ranges (too loud, too much crap to breathe in), and I don’t like how some of the clientele lacks gun handling discipline (it’s not fun having a gun pointed at you) and the “range officers” aren’t consistent about enforcement of rules. You also can’t do much practical shooting there: no drawing from holster, no movement, slow fire, can only use their approved targets, etc.. The guys that work there are generally nice tho. I do like the ease of adjusting distances and benchrest ability, good for checking the state of a gun, a scope zero, and so on. They also provide rental services, which is nice for new gun owners to be able to try before they buy. Red’s also provides a Ladies Day, which is a welcome thing. So like I said, I do go there on occasion, but try to keep it to weekday mornings if I do go.
Does the incident change how I’ll look at Red’s? No. The sad situation is this was a woman that was suicidal. She was crying out for help, crying out for attention, and was determined in her course of action. It is not Red’s fault (the owner, the employees, the store). It is not the fault of gun owners. It is not the fault of guns. I know there are those that use incidents like this to further their political agenda… the blood still flowing, the body still warm, and they jump at the opportunity to advance their politics. I think that’s distasteful and wrong, and it serves no constructive purpose. It was a woman in need of help, and if she recovers from her injuries I hope she’s able to get the help that she needs.
If you’re into such things, say a prayer for all involved: the patrons that witnessed the event, the employees that have to deal with it, the store/range owner whose business will be adversely affected (i.e. affects his ability to provide for his family), the police and medical personnel exposed to it, and the woman and her family. I hope they can find peace.