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May 7, 2012 / 1911ryan

Lessons Learned in Firearms Safety

Last Saturday, April 28th, I became a casualty of my own carelessness. While shooting an IDPA match at the Lemon Grove Gun Club I suffered hearing damage after forgetting to replace my hearing protection before a string of fire.

The use of hearing protection is paramount when firing any kind of firearm indoors or outdoors. The problem with most earplugs and earmuffs is that they do their job very well. It is hard to communicate while one is wearing the personal protection equipment. I had removed my earplugs to engage in a conversation between my events and when it came my turn again, I was caught off guard since I was not paying attention to the lineup and when I commenced firing I immediately knew that I had made a mistake. The real problem is that I kept making mistakes after the initial incident. My course of fire was from inside the cab of a pickup truck. The purpose of IDPA is to practice self-defense shooting within a competitive and safely controlled environment hence being inside the vehicle. Consequently shooting from inside of a vehicle multiplies the percussion of the weapon and made for a very painful few seconds. After firing the first shot I realized my mistake but I didn’t want to stop the match due to my unfounded fear that I would lose my chance to reshoot the string. I kept firing, and each shot was a terrible torture that felt like I was poking my brain with a pointy stick!

The point to take from my idiotic incident is to pay attention at all times while engaging with firearms. This is a perfect example how complacency will get you hurt. I wasn’t paying attention because I wasn’t actually handling a firearm. I thought that since it wasn’t my turn I could let my guard down. Wrong! In order to maintain the level of safety within a shooting environment every parson must be constantly vigilant in regards to safety. If I had done my job I never would have removed my earplugs on a range, no matter how far from the line i was. If my peers would have done their job they would have corrected me before allowing me to proceed, harshly no less.

I hope that my idiocy will serve as a lesson to you all, I know it will for me! Stay safe and go shoot. -Ryan


One Comment

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  1. Liz Losh / May 21 2012 3:42 pm

    This first-person story about a safety lapse certainly makes an impression on the reader. You do a good job setting the scene, and I would encourage you to use more concrete details to help the reader engage with the story and understand the sequence of events. What other resources or experts could you point the reader to? Often news stories use an incident to illustrate a larger trend.

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