First off, the blog lives again. Second, this wasn’t the post I was planning on doing, for reasons that should soon become obvious.
This is probably going to be a huge shocker to most of you, but I’ve never actually fired a gun before. Yeah, I know. In the past, I’ve made several attempts to go to a range that rents guns and shoot, but either life/work got in the way or I just didn’t get around to it. So over the weekend I decided “screw it, I’m going for real.” I know of a range near me that rents guns, which is the one I’d planned on shooting at before. I went on their website to double check their store hours and range rental rates & policies… and stumbled upon a little something I hadn’t noticed before:
To help ensure the safety of the staff and other patrons, the following policy is effective immediately:
- NO CUSTOMER MAY RENT A GUN IF THEY ARE SHOOTING ALONE
- If customer is in the possession of their own firearm that they will be shooting at the time of the rental
- If customer is a member and it is not their first time on the range
How is this a problem for me? I don’t own a gun, my present living situation makes my buying a gun nigh impossible, none of my friends who shoot live local (college will do that), and since I’m the only one in my family who even likes guns, let alone has any desire to shoot one, no way I can get another member of the Raptor Clan to tag along. So that range is out.
A quick Google search turned up a few ranges fairly close to Casa del Raptor that rent guns… and every single one of them has a similar rental policy. You can’t rent a gun if you’re going to be shooting alone. The only exceptions are if you’re taking a firearms safety or basic pistol class. Now don’t get me wrong; I was planning on taking one anyway. Only problem is that those classes run about $100, which will add up pretty quick, and I really don’t want to waste my time or the instructor’s time re-learning the same basic stuff all over again.
Now, I can (and probably will) spring for a membership at one of the ranges if it’ll get me around the no-shooting-alone rule, but still, it’s aggravating. Mostly because I figured out why these policies are in place.
Shooting Range Suicides.
Do a quick Google search for the above three words and you’ll find dozens of news stories of people who went to shooting ranges, rented a pistol, walked out onto the firing line to their assigned lane, and shot themselves in the head. In one particularly chilling incident, a mother brought her son to the range with her, rented a pistol, then shot her son in the back of the head before taking her own worthless life. As a result, because of insurance reasons and because we are a lawsuit-happy society, ranges that rent guns can no longer afford to operate unless they put the no-renting-if-you’re-alone rule in place.
While this may or may not have an affect on ending shooting range suicides (personally, I doubt it), I can tell you for certain that it does affect something: new shooters, like me, who don’t/can’t own a gun of their own but want to be able to practice and develop their shooting skills, but don’t have anyone to go to the range with them, can no longer shoot.
Way to go, you thoughtless, selfish [CENSORED]s. I hope y’all are happy, ’cause you’ve royally screwed things up for the rest of us.