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Where The Workers Are Louder Than The Bullets

, , , | Right | June 1, 2022

I work at an indoor shooting range. The way it’s set up is that there’s the overall store building, and then there’s a secondary, totally enclosed structure inside which comprises the shooting bays. The three walls forward of the direction where guns are pointed are reinforced to heck. The back wall, where guns are never pointed or handled on the threat of being immediately kicked out, is a thick, highly insulated wall with windows, connecting the bays to the shop. It allows us to have a clear view of what’s going on inside while muffling the noise. To get in and out, you have to go through one of two small airlocks.

I’m manning the range counter one day, checking people in and out, and watching the security cameras inside.

I’m in the middle of the safety spiel for new customers.

Me: “Eye and ear protection stay on at all times. You put it on out here and keep it on until you’re back out here. If you need to adjust it for any reason, you have to come back outside first. You’re going to be in [bay] today, through there. We have a two-door system for our sound barrier out here. When you’re going through, make sure one door is completely closed before you open the other one…”

Inevitably, someone will thoughtlessly rush through the airlock, opening the second door while the first is still swinging shut. If we’re unlucky, a shot goes off before it closes. Those customers get a single warning not to do it again. The worst, however, is when a group is laughing and bantering as they come out together, not even thinking while they try to hold the doors open for each other so they can keep talking as they casually amble their way through. When that happens, as it does today, and gunshots are ringing off behind them, and they’re wearing hearing protection, I get to do this:


The customers are startled to hear a mom/drill-sergeant-like scream above the muffled noise through their headphones. They look at me in confusion for a second and then amble through more hurriedly when I keep screeching at them, still confused but recognizing that a store attendant this angry at them is a bad thing.

I glare at them in silence once the airlock is closed until they take their headphones off.

Me: “ALWAYS close one door COMPLETELY, BEFORE opening the other!”

Customers: “Okay, sor—”

Me: “That is our sound barrier! No one out here is wearing hearing protection! Every gunshot that goes off while those doors are open goes directly to our eardrums!”

Customers: *Meekly* “All right. We apologize.”

I relax while they put their things down.

Me: “What lane were you on?”

I check them out with a perfectly pleasant customer-service voice and a neutral, calm expression, something I’ve found makes customers feel even more uncomfortable after getting yelled at. These ones meekly apologize once more after we’re done, and since they’re being gracious about it, I thank them. My manager wanders over from the other side of the large store.

Manager: “We heard that over there. Everything good?”

Me: “Yup.”

Manager: “Yeah, that was loud. I told [Regular], ‘And that’s why I like having her there.'” *Looks in the bay windows* “Was that those guys on [lane] going in?”

Me: “No, it was…”

I discreetly point to the customers who haven’t quite left yet, organizing their stuff behind him.

Manager: *Whispering and chuckling* “Oh, that was these guys?! We heard you screaming at them clear on the other side — as you should.”

I’m often asked if I like working at a gun range. All I have to say is that if you know anything about working retail, imagine a retail job where your managers love hearing you scream at customers, and customers will NEVER scream at you because they know they’ll get kicked straight to the curb if they don’t follow directions and behave nicely.

And yes, my hearing is still just fine. Safety and health are the number one concerns here. We just also happen to be big on personal responsibility.

Well, Shoot!

, , , , , , | Legal Right | CREDIT: functi0nalPsych0path | May 27, 2022

Content Warning: Gun-Related Injury


This takes place back around 2008. In Iowa, quite a few state parks have shooting ranges that are completely free and just have posted rules. As a rule, everyone is responsible for making sure the range is safe and clean.

I have just bought a new gun and want to sight it in to my shooting style. I’m a left-handed shooter but right-eye dominant.

When I get to the range, there are the usual people there, including the brass thief, but he’s a story for another time. The far left lane is open.

I move my stuff to the table and start setting up my sled and other equipment.

To the right of my lane is a father and son shooting a tiny bolt action .22. The gun is one of those that takes a key to function every time. The kid is maybe ten years old and seems to know how to use the rifle because he is loading .22 shorts, using the key to reload, and shooting again. He is being safe and keeping it pointed downrange. His dad is giving pointers and overall is a good mentor.

I load and shoot.

Then, I wait for the range to clear and for people to reset targets.

The dad next to me walks away and leaves the kid to shoot.

I pick up my rifle and start to wipe the barrel. I’m planning on waiting for the barrel to cool, shoot, wait, and so on.

I hear the kid fumbling with the keys and getting frustrated

Pop! I just got punched in the leg. It hurts but in a weird way. The kid squeaks a “sorry” and I take inventory. I feel my leg and find the hole. It isn’t even bleeding yet, but still, my brain is going, “Holy f***, f***, s***, f***, I just got shot!”

I look for the dad and he’s fiddling with fishing equipment in the back of his truck.

Me: “Excuse me, sir—”

Man: *Interrupting* “My son is allowed to shoot and we aren’t moving.”

Me: “Yes, sir, but the issue is that he just shot me!”

Man: *Laughing* “No, he didn’t.”

I take my hand off my leg and show him as, by now, it has started to bleed.

Man: “You must have shot yourself. My son has been shooting since he could walk!”

Me: “Accidents happen. I’m not upset. I just need insurance information for the ranger and paramedics as I need to call 911.”

Man: “Look, I’ll give you $100 to just leave and say it was an accident.”

Me: “No.”

I call 911.

Other people on the range start to gather and some go find a park ranger.

The dad keeps arguing.

Man: “My son couldn’t have shot you. He doesn’t know how to load the gun. And if he did, it was because you were downrange.”

Kid: “Yeah, I do, Dad; you showed me. I did shoot him. It was an accident!”

The dad starts to panic and starts tossing everything into the truck in a scramble to get away. Before he can, another shooter grabs the man’s keys from the table.

The guy gets more and more upset as I sit there with my pinky stuffed in a brand new hole.

Eventually, the ranger gets there and everyone starts yelling their side of what happened. The ranger calms everyone down as the police arrive and start sorting through everything.

Me: “The kid shot me by accident. His dad was freaking out and tried to leave, but another person has his keys.”

They summon an ambulance and they look me over.

The officers handcuff the dad.

Me: “Wait, he didn’t do any harm. I’m not pressing charges.”

The officers explained that he was a felon and thus not allowed to be around guns anyway.

I was taken away, and they removed the bullet. There was no major harm done, but it did chip bone.

Failure To Liar

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2021

My first job in high school is as a scorekeeper at a trapshooting range. Five guys with shotguns line up sixteen yards away from the trap house and shoot at bright orange clay pigeons. A shooter calls “pull” or some variation thereof to indicate they are ready for a target. Before the days of voice-activated pulls, it’s the scorekeeper’s job to push a button immediately upon hearing “pull.” If a shooter feels the pull came late, they won’t shoot at it. Most are pretty nice as this is an unusual occurrence. Each bank has four traps where the shooters take aim at twenty-five targets each. Their final score is out of 100.

I’m at the fourth trap of the bank. We are a few shots into the round when the only teenage shooter of this group calls “pull.” I push the button and he lowers his gun and calls, “Late.” I don’t think it was, but I give him the benefit of the doubt. I send another target when he calls again and we move on.

A few shots later, the same thing happens. He asks for a target, I push the button, he calls, “Late,” and doesn’t shoot. I know I wasn’t late and suspect he simply didn’t like the placement of the target when it left the trap house. Now I’m paying special attention to him.

A few shots later, he calls, I push the button, and he simply lowers his gun without saying anything.

Me: “Failure to fire.”

This is usually called when a gun misfires but is also appropriate when a shooter chooses not to fire at a good target. If a shooter has more than one failure to fire per round, he will be charged with a missed shot. The teenager turns to me, mouth wide open.

Teenager: “Excuse me?!”

Me: *Pointedly* “Failure to fire. That was a good pull.”

He looks around at the other shooters in his group for support, all of whom are studiously ignoring him and not making eye contact. The round continues as normal. He fires at every target after that.

At the end of the round, shooters usually come up to check their scores, say thank you, etc. The teenage shooter stalks away without coming by my chair. The lead shooter comes up to me.

Lead Shooter: “He’s been pulling that crap all day and you’re the first one to call him on it. Here, this is for having a backbone.”

He handed me $20!

Taking “Wild & Unruly” To The Next Level

, , , , | Legal | CREDIT: Pavel1562 | November 19, 2020



This summer, my dad and I decide that we will go shooting at a nearby range. We have a gas pistol — like an air rifle — which in our country you don’t need a license for. This pistol can only shoot blank or gas cartridges, but we have also a special attachment for the barrel that allows us to shoot a flare, pyro, etc.

We go to the range and shoot a few pyros and flares. Then, when I have just loaded a new flare, a woman around forty years old and her son around eleven approach us from behind, about twenty feet away.

Woman: “Excuse me!”

Me: “Yes?”

Woman: “Could you please let my kid shoot?”

We have some restrictions on the guns. One, you must be at least fifteen to shoot the gun, and two, for you to be able to shoot the explosives from the gun, you must have paperwork, which my dad has.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t let him shoot. He’s too young for that.”

Woman: “No, he’s not! He is seventeen!”

Kid: “Mum, let them go; we will rent one right there.”

My Dad: “And do you even have the paperwork to shoot explosives from it?”

Woman: “No, but you do, right?”

My dad rolls his eyes.

Woman: *Angry* “JUST GIVE ME THE GUN!”

Me: “No, and you don’t even have the paperwork.”


And she grabs the gun from my hand and PULLS THE TRIGGER. The flare goes off right on my T-shirt. I put the fire down and shout for security. When the woman realises what she has done, she grabs the flare box and Usain Bolts from the range, going toward the forest. Her son just stands there, frozen.

Here comes the security guard.

Security Guard: *To me* “Are you okay?”

Me: “Yeah, just the shirt is a bit ashed.”

Security Guard: “Where did she go?”

My Dad: “Into the forest.”

This range has a kennel. There are two dogs that are trained to find guns and people. This is because the people have been trying to sneak out with guns or ammo. My dad is an off-duty officer, so he gets a dog and he and the security guard and they go to find her. The kid and I follow behind.

After about fifteen mins of searching, the security guard spots the woman hiding in a bush.

Security Guard: “Look, she is right there!”

And the security guard unleashes the dog. It runs toward the bush where the woman is. And just before the dog gets there, the woman stands up and shouts:


And she shoots the dog. The dog howls in pain as the explosive pyro explodes in its face.

Security Guard: “Hands up!”

The woman was tackled to the ground, apprehended, and later charged for assault, stealing, and injuring a police dog. The dog lost an eye. At court, the woman got a total of FIFTEEN YEARS in prison.

This story is part of our Best Of November 2020 roundup! This is the last story in this roundup, but if you’d like to read more of our favorite stories, you can always check out October’s roundup next!

Read the first story in the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

A Different Kind Of Switching Lanes

, , , , | Right | October 28, 2019

(I work at an indoor shooting range. My coworker’s favorite anecdote is about a member who makes a reservation for himself and his friend to come in and share a lane, both of whom are regulars there. It’s packed at the time of the reservation, but they manage to keep one lane open when the customer’s friend arrives first. He explains that the member will be ten minutes late and asks if he can go in and use his own pistol in the meantime. My coworker gives him the okay, so he sets up and gets started in their lane. Ten minutes later, the member arrives.)

Member: “Hey, I had a reservation?”

Coworker: “Yeah, your buddy’s already inside on lane 20. As soon as you’re ready, you can go in.”

(The member looks surprised at this. He goes to the windows that look into the lanes, sees his friend firing away, sees that the place is packed, and comes back to the counter.)

Member: “Are there any other lanes available?”

Coworker: “No, we’re full up. But you wanted to share a lane, right?”

Member: “Yes… but… He’s supposed to share my lane.”

Coworker: “He is. We held that lane for your guys. He just got here early and wanted to get started while he was waiting for you.”

Member: “Right, but I don’t want to be on his lane. He’s supposed to be on mine. That’s how the reservation works, right? It’s the member’s lane, not the non-member’s. I can’t be on his lane.”

Coworker: *pause* “You know what? You’re right. Hold on a minute.” *turns on the microphone for the speakers inside the range* “Lane 20, please come out to the front counter.”

Friend: *comes out of the range, confused* “Hey, everything okay?”

Coworker: “Yeah, everything’s fine, but I have a favor to ask. Would you mind getting off your lane, coming back out here, and letting [Member] get on that lane before you go join him, so that you’ll be on his lane instead of him being on yours?”

Friend: *after a long pause during which he probably tries to figure out if this is some kind of trick* “Sure?”

Member: “Oh, man, thank you so much! I’m so sorry, but this is just really important!”

Friend: *now as quietly amused as my coworker* “Yeah, no problem! Totally fine!”

Member: “Man, you saved the evening!”

Coworker: “Glad to help. Enjoy yourselves.”

Member: “We will!”

(The friend dutifully packed up his bag, came back out to the counter, and then joined [Member] in returning to the same lane. My coworker still laughs about it to this day.)