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What To Do If You Get Called Out By Another Gun Owner

What you don’t know can hurt you. It’s a simple truth that we gun owners can become hardened to. The toughest pill to swallow is when someone calls you out for something and they’re right.

In the interest of saying I’m not immune, I’ll relay a little story.

One time I was taking an AR-15 rifle course with a bunch of other guys with a mix of different backgrounds. During this particular portion of the course, we were firing from the 15 yard line and then walking down to our targets to figure out our zero.

Two things happened to me during this course:

#1: I never used a scope on an AR-15 platform.

By this point, I had only ever used iron sights or, on a few occasions, red dot optics.

The scope I mounted wasn’t mounted correctly. But I couldn’t know what I didn’t know. And being stubborn, I didn’t ask for help. Unsurprisingly, my shot groups were all over the place as my scope bounced around between shots.

One of the other students in the class noticed I hadn’t affixed the scope correctly and called me out about it. He was polite but he noticed I hadn’t done something correctly and it was affecting my performance. So he volunteered to help and show me how to identify the problem and correct it.

#2: I’m a lefty.

The range safety officer instructed us to lock the bolt to the rear and sling our rifles behind us when we walked down to our targets.

The way my rifle hung behind me, the slide lock kept pressing against my back, causing the bolt to go home.

This understandably made the other participants nervous. No one likes to be walking up to the target while on the line with complete strangers and hear a bolt carrier group slam home.

And, after it happened, I’d obviously want to rack and lock the slide to the rear.

This didn’t help the situation at all. The range safety officer called me out on the bolt slamming home and told me if I couldn’t keep it locked, I’d need to leave it back at the firing line with the bolt locked to the rear, ejection port facing up.

And that’s what I ended up having to do.

I didn’t like being called out but the range safety officer was right. And I needed to respect my other fellow students as well as the range safety personnel.

Is it embarrassing getting called out on the range or in the real-world? Yeah. It sucks.

However, when the person calling you out has a point, it’s time to put the ego aside and do what needs to be done. A simple acknowledgement of, “I see what you mean” or “thank you for letting me know. I’ll get that fixed” can help allay any hard feelings and show that you intend to follow through.

Of course, it helps when the person calling you out is polite and direct.

That’s a bonus — not a requirement.

And depending upon the severity of the mess-up — like a bad habit that could jeopardize the safety of others and yourself — you may not always have the luxury of polite instruction.

Take advice with a grain of salt but definitely consider the merit of it. Not all advice is helpful. Not all advice is practical. And not all advice is correct.

If someone is very adamant you need to be doing something different but you honestly don’t see what that other person is talking about, ask him or her to explain. If after he or she explains it still doesn’t make sense, tell him you’ll look into it and move along.

A sign of a responsible person is the one willing to accept advice when something he’s doing is unsafe. Responsible concealed carry can sometimes fall into this category. If someone out in the real world or at the range spots some behavior of yours that could get you or someone else into trouble, take the lesson at face value, be thankful someone stopped to point it out, and correct the behavior if possible.

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