Sunday, December 17, 2006

An afternoon at the range

It's been too long since the Family Freeholder went to the range. With moving, football season and so on, time has been at a premium for months. However, as counter-intuitive as it seems, with the nearing of Christmas, we found ourselves with a lovely Sunday afternoon and nothing that had to be done.

Off to the range!

This first picture is of Daughter and her 9mm Springfield XD. The young lady is a very good shot. This picture is from the 10 yard line. Shortly after it was taken, all the plates were down.

The second picture is of Son, shooting what was supposed to be my Smith and Wesson 22A.
He's a better shot than the picture might indicate, as the less-than-manly .22 cartridge is usually not enough to drop plates on the plate racks.

However, good time for all was spoiled and we were forced to leave early. Old Friend's Older Brother and his Lady Friend were also in attendance. Lady Friend managed to break 3 of the 4 rules laid down by Col. Cooper, and did so by pointing a loaded .380 at Daughter's stomach from about 3 feet. When I reached over and pointed the gun in a safe direction, she immediately moved it back. At this point, I moved it again told her in some very specific terms that she was pointing a loaded gun at my eldest child and that I was not impressed.

Now bear in mind, this was an intensely stupid and potentially tragic mistake, but it was a mistake--she was asking me a question about said firearm and not paying attention to what she was doing. The 4 rules worked, because even though she violated three, her finger was well off the trigger. (Col. Cooper, I hope you looked down from Heaven and saw the good that you continue to do us even after your death.) I was doing my parental job, because I immediately noticed the threat to my offspring and dealt with it forcefully.

A normal person, having this pointed out to them, would have immediately realized just how close to tragedy their carelessness had bought us, and would have been appropriately mortified. Instead, she turned something approaching belligerent. Not a Good Thing.

At this point, I removed my children from the danger zone. Shortly thereafter, I plead back pain (true as far as it went, but an excuse nonetheless) and left the range. I informed both of my children we will never again shoot with this person. She is simply too dangerous.

Old Friend's Older Brother saw none of this. He was on the firing line, doing his thing. I haven't told him yet, but I'm going to have to do so--he needs to know. I have the feeling a 28 year friendship may well hang in the balance, but that pales in comparison to my kids safety. I'm not sure how I will bring it up or what I'll say, but it will get brought up and something will be said.

A perfectly wonderful afternoon spoiled. However, it wasn't tragically spoiled, and that makes all the difference.

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