I’m not Ed Anger, but I do want to be him when I grow up.
If you’re older than a certain age, then you no doubt remember that supermarket checkout-line staple, the Weekly World News. Maybe you even remember my favorite columnist, Ed Anger, who was always pig-biting mad about something or other. Today, I feel a certain kinship with Mr. Anger, Esq., for I have just returned from a gun club and range, and it is only the lack of farms around here that is preventing me from catching a nasty case of trichinosis. You see, in the past I’ve written about the three types of gun-club “guys” that are pretty nice people, with their harmless foibles. And then…there are the ones I saw today. (Naturally, any of these could also apply to a woman…I generally just use “guys” because the term is mostly gender-neutral at this point.)
1. A Guy and His ‘Gram
You’ve seen this guy before. He’s the same kind of guy who complains to the waiter that his food is cold, when he spent the first five minutes after it was delivered trying to frame his plate with just the right composition and filters to look perfect on social media. He’s the guy who watches every concert, every kid’s recital, and every special holiday moment through his iPad lens. And now, here he is on the range, with a Real! Live! Gun! Granted, footage of someone shooting a gun will usually be more entertaining than pictures of his club sandwich, but my problem here isn’t the subject matter. It’s the fact that this guy is thinking much harder about getting likes and re-Tweets than he is about actually using his firearm safely. To wit:
Major props to that RSO, though.
2. A Guy and His Girl
Ah, springtime on the range, when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of playing a really dangerous prank on a woman he claims to care about. I’ve never understood the motivation behind this one, but I’ve seen it enough times to know it’s not just one bad apple here and there. Here’s how it goes: Guy takes girl who has never shot a firearm before to a range. He hands her something really tasty–pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun, perhaps, or maybe a nice X-frame revolver–and without any further ado, gleefully encourages her to shoot it. He doesn’t warn her about not bringing that shottie up to her face, or bracing herself on her back leg, oh no. Where’s the fun in that? Instead, in a metastatic growth of the cancer that is A Guy and His ‘Gram, he whips out his phone to shoot some video of his lady love getting knocked on her ass, or having her teeth loosened. To wit:
Leaving aside the entire matter of how cruel a trick this is to play on someone you supposedly care about, let’s talk about what happens when a person loses control of their firearm like that. What happens when someone falls ass-over-teakettle with a gun in their hands? Why, that muzzle gets pointed all over creation! And what happens when someone has something startling or painful happen to them while they’re holding something? Why, they flinch, of course! So if that booger-hook is still on the bang-switch, what you have is a muzzle being pointed every which way while the flinch reflex causes them to pull the trigger again.
3. A Guy and His Pb
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for teaching kids about gun safety and handling when their parents feel they’re ready to start learning. What bothers me is when I see parents modeling really bad habits for their kids at the range. Letting the children goof around while Mom and Dad are shooting away, for one. Sure, they’re probably in more danger running around your average restaurant than your average range, but the RSO isn’t a babysitter and neither am I. But what really gets me mad enough to sink incisors into porcine butt is watching a family troop out together without stopping off at the handwashing station. This isn’t some gas-station-bathroom situation in which the child’s hands are probably cleaner than the sink. This is a small child with a still-developing brain who is now coated in an invisible layer of lead dust, which he is going to start eating the second you hand him the granola bar you packed. And we all know what happens when a still-developing brain gets poisoned with a heavy metal, don’t we?
Yup! They grow up to be one of the the three above-mentioned Guys At the Range Who Make Me Pig-Biting Mad.
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