To the man at the gun counter that kept pointing guns at me….

Dear Customer at the Academy Gun Counter:

Your gun handling sucks.

You have almost no awareness of where that muzzle is pointed, or maybe you intended to point it in every possible direction in 3-D space — including yourself; I don’t know. I say “almost no awareness” because when you decided it was time to point the gun in some direction so you could look at the sight picture, you did seem to care about where the muzzle was pointed… but you still pointed it in less than optimal directions, because tho you can’t see anyone in that aisle now, it doesn’t take but a blink for someone to come around that endcap. Furthermore, all that cardboard and thin shelving steel isn’t going to stop a bullet — safe direction doesn’t stop where your line of sight does, safe direction means where the bullet will come to rest. The safest direction would have been at those huge gun safes behind the counter, which no bullet would penetrate and while it might cause a little lead splatter, that’s certainly more acceptable because the bullet would stop and we would know where it would stop.

I tried to step out of the line of the muzzle, but you kept flipping the guns in every direction possible, and apparently invented a few new directions. I’m not one of those little Chinese contortionist girls so I just couldn’t move well enough to avoid how you flashed that muzzle about.

It didn’t help that your finger was constantly on the trigger.

I so wanted to engage you and correct you and enlighten you about your poor gun handling skills. But I know how the conversation would have went.

Me: Excuse me sir, please keep that gun pointed in a safe direction.

Customer: (Defensively) It’s OK. It’s unloaded.

Me: Col. Cooper would disagree with you.

And I would repeat both Col. Cooper’s 4 rules and the NRA’s 3 rules, whichever set you follow you are egregiously violating. I would attempt to politely educate about better skills… but it wouldn’t work. Your ego would be bruised, you would become defensive for being publicly corrected, and I’ll admit… why would you take any correction from me? There’s nothing you could perceive that puts me in a position of authority on the matter; I just look like some young long-haired dude that’s correcting you. Your lengthy conversation with the employee demonstrates you read a lot of gun magazines, so hey… you’ve got all the knowledge you need, and I don’t appear to be anyone worth listening to.

Granted, I could be assuming too much and maybe you would be willing to learn and improve. If that’s the case, show up at KR Training; there are lots of classes and I’d recommend you start at Basic Pistol 2. There’s a class on July 9, still open for enrollment. If you do show up there, I’ll gladly shake your hand, look you in the eye, apologize for being wrong, and thank you for coming out.


John Daub, who is tired of having guns pointed at him.

P.S.: Mr. Employee behind the Academy Gun Counter: you suck for not being any better with your gun handling safety, thus I can’t expect you to have done anything about Mr. Customer’s failure.

P.P.S.: Mr. Employee, you think internal locks are a worthwhile feature? *sigh*

11 thoughts on “To the man at the gun counter that kept pointing guns at me….

  1. Hello??? Gun Safety 101! Shame on the employee for not correcting the situation. I’d definitely bring that up to the management.

    • I probably should talk to the management. But frankly by that point, I just wanted to get out of there. I’ve seen this sort of negligent gun handling at almost every gun store I go to. *sigh*

  2. I know exactly how you feel and I have no issues correcting poor practices like that. Tactfully, of course. 🙂
    I’ll take a little risk of offending an ignorant handler once, rather than leaving the bystanding observer with the impression that is how all gun owners are.
    But I also keep my wooden spoon ready to stir someone’s pot if it seems to be sticking on the bottom. 🙂

    • I’ve attempted to correct people in the past, but it’s an ego battle (on their end). They generally get defensive, they assume since they’ve handled guns “all my life” and that no one has gotten hurt (yet) means they don’t need to be told by anyone that they’re doing something wrong, etc.. I have energy for people willing to learn; for those unwilling, I have better things to do with my time. That whole thing about horses, water, and drinking.

  3. Yup – drives me crazy too and I’ll add one more.

    I’m at the counter. Take a sight picture at something safe. And the guy who handed me the gun keeps moving into my sight picture!

    • I admit that it’s very hard to find a safe direction at the store… people are all around you, you don’t know what’s behind walls and shelves and so on. It’s hard. I won’t deny that.

      Nevertheless, when there’s a big damn gun safe in front of you that provides a reasonable backstop, use it! And if the sales guy moves in front of it, correct him.

    • No.

      As an engineer, I believe one should strive to make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. Internal locks make the mechanisms more complex, and thus it’s more things that could break or go wrong. They do nothing to aid the function of the tool, and the intent of internal locks is really better served by other means (e.g. gun safe, cable locks, disassembly, etc.).

      They say internal locks won’t interefere, but there have been enough instances where internal locks engage when you don’t want them to. As one example, Michael Bane experienced it:

      If it’s a range toy or a competition gun, who cares… what do you lose? But if it’s something where your life is on the line, be it a hunting gun, a concealed carry gun, whatever… I really don’t need it to lock up when my life is on the line. Sure, statistical chances are low, but statistics are of little comfort when you’re the anomaly. If I can get a gun without an internal lock, I will do so. If I can’t get it without an internal lock then well… I’ll consider the purpose of the gun and if failure to function is acceptable or not.

  4. I don’t really know what I would have done if I had been in your shoes. I tend to be much more beligerant in my mind that I am when I speak so I might have just left or even patiently waited it out. But the conversation in my mind would have gone like this:

    “Excuse me, sir? If you point that gun at me one more time I will punch you right in your f@#&ing face.”

    Or maybe I would have asked to see another pistol and just sat there pointing it at him until he got the message.

    But yeah, I probably would not have done any of that. My ornery mood today though sure makes those thoughts appealing 🙂

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