VSO Gun Channel Gets Serious About Gun Safety And Training

In a bold move Curtis Hallstrom, of VSO Gun Channel, puts himself down range while pontificating on the 4 rules of Gun Safety.

  1. Treat All Guns As If They Are Loaded
  2. Never Let You Muzzle Cover Anything You Do Not Wish To Destroy
  3. Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On Target And You Have Made The Decision To Shoot
  4. Be Aware Of What is In Front And Behind Your Target

I can understand the point Curtis’ is trying to make. However I am ambivalent. At no point in time was there a gun actually pointed at him. Logically if you shoot the target and get bullets hitting the two no-shoot targets on either side, something is drastically wrong. How likely is it that an experienced shooter would miss their target by that much? So then the likely hood of Curtis getting hit is even more slim. And yet all my experience shooting, which has not been that long but frequent, tells me that this stunt is an unnecessary risk. Does he need to stand there and discuss the safety rules of firearms? No not really. It does jar something in the viewer though. A lot of it is head scratching or kneejerk reactions like “what an idiot”. And yet I further question this knee jerk reaction. Are we too safe?

He has a point about a self defense shooting not being ideal. There will probably be people down range along with the bad guy. Do we stop shooting? Of course it depends on the scenario and skill set of the shooter.

I do disagree with Curtis’ point that “you have no business carrying a handgun in public”. I think any person who carries for self defense should seek training but should it be mandatory? Some shooters might have a good understanding of their skill level and in fact that has happened on occasion. Some shooters decide not to take action due to circumstances at the moment of crisis.

Curtis’ point about the 180 degree rule is a bit odd. I do not agree that the 180 degree rule of a range is for the economy and efficiency of packing in customers. It is a safety issue. However there are some ranges with 270 degree ranges. One of the local ranges I shoot matches has used such a bay for some interesting stages.

What are your thoughts? I imagine this will be quite a hot topic of discussion.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Budogunner

    The basic rules of gun safety are, at their core, about eliminating unnecessary risk. They don’t say, “except if you know what you are doing” they say, “at all times.”

    My motto: Fear expert mentality.

    Self Defense situations are very different and require good judgement case by case. It may create more risk to NOT engage a threat even with bystanders. Apples to oranges. The basic philosophy of ALWAYS seeking to minimize risk is still in play.

    • QuadGMoto

      Serious question: How do you train to acquire the good judgement needed for self defense cases while minimizing the risk at the same time?

      The point about self-defense situations being 360 degree is an important one. I recently saw a video of a shooting in a Walmart. A guy with a gun acting crazy walked into the store. An armed citizen saw him and followed him with the sound intent of stopping him. What he didn’t see was the girlfriend lagging about 10 to 15 yards behind the first guy. Said girlfriend shot and killed the good guy. Being alert for accomplices needs to be a part of our training.

      180 rules, cold range rules, downrange rules, etc. all exist for a very good reason: to reduce the risk of shooting a person by accident.

      Shoot houses using Simunition are designed to allow for such training, but they’re very expensive and the extra gear necessary to make sure you don’t accidentally hurt someone changes things. (I once missed a deer because I was wearing mittens, which I hadn’t practiced with. Gear does change things.)

      No shoot targets are a step in the right direction and they’re inexpensive. But they can’t move like people will in real life, and most ranges have strict lanes that again limit you well beyond the 180 rule.

      So again, how can we train for real life situations without creating unacceptable risk to others and unaffordable costs? And no, I do not think was VSO did in that video is actually training.

      • Mark

        Two ways that come to mind quickly are “Force-on-Force-Training,” and “Immersive Training Simulator.”
        Find a facility that uses training munitions, SiM-Munitions, or Airsoft in a force on force, scenario based format. A good class will get your adrenaline pumping and get your hands shaking. It does expose you to the elements of a realistic situation.
        google “VirTra.” It’s a Virtual training simulator where you are partially surrounded by shoot-through video projection screens, and you use either SiM-Munitions, or even live rounds, and are put through scenarios that unfold on screen. Very life-like, surprisingly tense.

      • The_Champ

        You already seem to know the answer. Good force on force training using simunition is great training. Not cheap, but hopefully you get what you pay for. Not sure if there is a budget option.

        • Paladin

          Airsoft would be the budget option, though I’m likely to catch flak for saying so.

          Airsoft allows realistic weapons manipulation, force on force training, and 360 degree ranges all at much lower cost than simmunitions.

          • marine6680

            I used to do airsoft about a decade ago… had some friends who were all former military, we were planning on setting up a formal team to compete in the tournaments in the area.

            People down on airsoft, but if you are willing to spend the cash, you can get very faithful reproductions of real weapons, that simulate recoil and everything. Even the cheaper all metal electrics at least simulate much of the experience.

            Sure, there are the ones who do it as a game, like paintball, and they may tacticool up their gear and gun due to not knowing any better… (young, or otherwise not knowledgeable in real fighting use of a firearm… or their only experience is the unrealistic setups of videogame guns) But that is just that segment of the users… There are rich yobos who pay to go use simunition rifles in real training centers, just so they can shoot their friend Terry or whoever, for fun. We still look at simunition as a legitimate training aid.

            Those pellets hurt too, when fired from a full powered rifle at 450fps+. At very close range 300-350fps will break the skin easy. I have seen some rifles hit 600fps. (max before they are considered a weapon if I remember properly) Usually those are outdoor long range rifles not intended for closer than 25yds I think. 300-350 for QCB, and a mid range to do a bit of both.

            And if you have guys who are serious about using it as training, it really works. You can set up realistic scenarios, and do real force on force with it.

            Its also a lot of fun… And I think that is the thing people have the most trouble with…

            “Training is serious!”

            Yes it is, but that does not preclude you from having fun or enjoying yourself.

          • Rick O’Shay

            Genuine question as I’m now a middle-aged guy who never fell into that culture… is there a difference between paintball and airsoft?

          • Billy Jack

            Paintball is balls of paint shot out of paintball guns. The paintball guns look strange and don’t resemble real firearms from my experience.
            Airsoft refers to airguns that shoot pellets and guns can resemble real firearms very closely. The air guns are marketed as being good for training too due to very closely resembling popular firearms especially pistols.
            Airsoft is also a operator kind of cosplay thing where people around the world try to get as close as possible to looking like real tactical team members. Some real tactical instructors are worshipped by this community. Seems more popular in countries or areas where real firearms are illegal for civilians.

          • neoritter

            They do have paintball guns that resemble ar-15s and mp5s nowadays, but good pb guns are not like that. And airsoft does far outclass pb on the realism front.

          • Paladin

            Yes, quite a few differences actually. Paintball was actually originally developed for marking trees for the lumber industry, and was later adapted for use as a sport. Paintball guns fire large balls, typically 0.68 calibre, made of a thin shell filled with water based paint. The markers are typically fed from large top mounted hoppers and powered by external CO2 or high pressure air tanks.

            Airsoft was developed in Japan as a way for military enthusiasts to own and shoot replicas of firearms that would otherwise be illegal, and as such there is a much greater focus on realism, both aesthetic and functional. Most airsoft guns are designed to closely resemble specific real firearms, right down to the controls and the way they are loaded. Airsoft guns most commonly fire 6mm plastic BBs, fed from magazines designed to resemble those of the real gun, and powered either by an internal rechargeable battery, or by a propane or CO2 reservoir in the magazine. Airsoft guns also use a system known as “hop-up”, which uses a rubber nub in the top of the chamber to impart backspin to the BB, allowing it to generate lift, leading to straighter trajectories and longer range compared to a paintball marker. Since airsoft BBs are non marking the game is played on the honour system, with players expected to call out when they are hit.

            Airsoft has become quite popular in recent years and there are now airsoft replicas of most major firearms available.

          • Yes. Paint balls are usually the size of a large marble, while airsoft is just a little bigger than a BB. Paint balls have a gelatin exterior with a non-permanent “paint” inside. Airsoft pellets are typically just a solid piece of colored plastic.

            Another difference is feet/second (fps) of projectile travel,. Paint balls typically are in the 270-300 fps range. This provides enough speed for accuracy without rupturing the projectile in flight. Airsoft can range from 150-750 fps, with low end pistols slower than higher end rifles/shotguns.

            Finally, there is a big difference in felt impact. Having experienced both and numerous occasions I’d take an Airsoft hit any day over a paint ball hit. Airsoft is like a bee sting, while paint ball can feel like getting hit with a big switch.

          • Mark4931

            Yes, airsoft seems to focus on “realism” more than paintball. The arms look real, and they shoot at 6mm plastic BB at 300-400 FPS. Scenario play is also big in both sports.

    • FarmerB

      I half expected comments here on “train hard or go home” which I was pleasantly surprised to not yet see. I found that video cringe worthy. Just unnecessary.

      And for the people that think training can overcome all mistakes and human frailties I offer a counter point – the airline industry. Even though airline pilots are better trained than any ninja, have more go-time than any operator and practice their training 8 hours per day, they occasionally make very fatal screw ups.

      And there are billions spent every year to reduce risk even further, for when the 0.001% eventuality happens. Saying that we shouldn’t bother doing that cause pilots should train harder is ridiculous – because it doesn’t work.

      • The_Champ

        Yeah I’m surprised as well, I don’t think there is a single positive comment for the video.

        • Billy Jack

          I would chime in here for them but the guy isn’t even standing on someone’s chest. Totally half-as$ed the half-as$ed attempt. Quarter-as$ed pioneer?

          Not sure why I never cared for their channel. Production quality is good but content has seemed not really weird but off somehow. It’s kinda like a watered down Soldier Of Fortune magazine/fake agency or mil training with the fighting stick & knives stuff. Too operator me thinks.

          We all make mistakes, but when those mistakes endanger others who are relying on you for precious information it’s harder for me to forgive. This is Fire Marshal Bill stuff but coming from serious trainers the comedy disappears fast.

      • n0truscotsman

        ‘train hard or go home” is great but that doesn’t mean train stupidly and create unnecessary risk. It also doesn’t mean ‘training’ with controversial and egotistical trainers.

        • Billy Jack

          These guys have come off as too “operator” to me for awhile. I’m not even sure if that’s specifically what I have a problem with. They seem like they’d be ready to put an 8 inch blade through some guy ruining through a mall looking for his wife.

    • Bill

      Real experts are those who realize that they don’t know it all.

  • DGR

    You have no business carrying a handgun in public if you are stupid enough to stand down range while someone is shooting or if you are shooting while someone is downrange or if you think its ok to film while 2 idiots shoot at each other while talking about safety. Seriously, why are these guys given air time here? This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Wolfgar

      Exactly, I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Billy Jack

      I think covering this is good training for readers, so we remember these types are begging to die or be killed for no good reason. Same as Jimmy Yeager. Yeager actually teaches cops. That’s scary.

  • Squirrel

    The responsible thing to do would have been to publicly acknowledge their mistake, and reevaluate their training doctrine. I shuddered watching the instructor pushing and sliding that wheelchair over a shotgun hull strewn range. One slip and a student is aced in the back… Utter negligence. I’ve seen plenty of wannabe cool-guy bad-asses who get backed into a corner when called out for their bullshit and respond by digging themselves deeper. That tool embodies the: “Im a high speed, tier one operator” goofball type of range-only experience shooter. I bet he has a ‘Molon Labe’ tattoo. I like how he has a tourniquet wrapped around his wrist. As if he knows the inevitable is coming soon.

    • Billy Jack

      It’s “Melon Labia”! Temper fi bro

  • Rjcz

    VSO has not ever been worth anyone’s time. The only time a person should spend dedicated to VSO should be warning people not to waste their time on VSO.

  • Lyman Hall

    I didn’t watch the full 11 minute video, so I guess I have “No business carrying.” Every review I’ve read says the same thing: “I get his point, but…”
    So, without watching it, I’ll give it thumbs down.

  • Bullphrog855

    I imagine this edge lord is switching between evanescence songs every time he looks down at his phone.

  • Joseph Goins

    Evolution typically eliminates this type of stupidity.

    • Swarf

      One might thinks so, yet here we are.

    • SignalFromTheRim

      I would go with Natural Selection over Evolution.

  • FeistyCrawfish

    When you have a little autism sprinkled on your extra chromosomes, you get VSO. Take one Yeaher class and you feel like a hotshot expert. It’s laughable.

    • Swarf

      Autism sprinkles!

  • M-dasher

    i wonder if hell post an update video when he catches a round in his chest from his “safe gun handling”


    Video starts with:
    “DO NOT attempt to duplicate anything in this video. Firearms are dangerous tools capable of inducing serious bodily injury that may result in death or dismemberment. This video was filmed under the supervision and direction of experienced professionals with proper medical support and safety countermeasures in place. VSO is not responsible for your ineptitude, DO NOT try this at home.”
    And then he says if you’re unwilling to do what they are doing you shouldn’t carry. Hmmm…

    • Swarf

      Someone rightfully points that out in every VSO thread.

      I’m not saying that as a dig at you, DABLE, I’m saying it because it should be stickied to the top of every post about this group of death-taunting embarrassments every time.

      • DABLE

        So their cognitive dissonance is worse than noted? Amazing.

      • Billy Jack

        Death Taunters could be a show like Ghost Chasers (Supernatural)

  • Risky

    Are their really enough dumb people out there willing to give people like this their hard earned money so they can make a living being so ignorant? These guys really need to run for public office!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I see some chowder head standing downrange yapping while his buddy fires.

    Thats all the information I need to form an opinion.

    Im not watching this video and letting any of his garbage take up space in my head.

    • Nicks87

      I refused to click on it as well. I’m not going give them what they want, which is clicks.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Im surprised these guys arent worried about the possibility of litigation.

        • Jeff

          If they’re not worried about getting shot, why worry about getting sued?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Good point.

          • Squirrel

            The dork is wearing a tourniquet on his wrist. He obviously has SOME thoughts about GSW…then again, its probably more of an accessory, like a lame modern version of the elephant hair bracelet that mercenaries used to wear

          • Billy Jack

            He’s operator enough to know he’s going to bleed out someday but doesn’t realize/care that it will be self-inflicted.

    • Richard

      Wise decision, I wish I could get my time back.

  • Will

    I’m glad that they put this out and hope for more of it. This way everyone knows what to expect when they associate with the Yeager crowd and if a few trucks or students get shot, well, that just adds to the LARP.

  • Joel

    Clickbait? “I’m sure that this pissed a lot of you off.”

    Breaking/ bending rules only serves to add relativism and confuse our large population of participants. Broadly understood and adhered to rules make it easier for the population to work together on shared ranges.

    His behavior is not okay. Perhaps he fancies himself as some authority, but in reality he is a voice among many (and apparently, a fairly green voice).

    Yes, there may very well be people downrange in a defensive shooting scenario. No, this does not make it just fine to do this behavior on a square range. Logically, the connection does not exist.

    Yes, there may be extreme risk in a defensive gun use scenario. No, this does not mean that we need to add similar risk to training environments or tell people who seek to avoid risk that “they have no business” protecting themselves with a firearm. My business is my business, Curtis. I don’t agree that you are the arbiter of my 2A rights.

    Generally speaking, one wonders from where his authoritarian/ authoritative tone developed.

    Maybe Curtis is just trying to defend the jackassery in the other video. Perhaps it was a buddy of his. In that case, kudos for your loyalty, but thumbs down for your overall message.

  • Rick O’Shay

    I’ll buy what he’s selling if he’ll shoot this video exactly the same way, frame-for-frame, while he has a student in a wheelchair pushed toward the target while shooting.

    • QuadGMoto

      Don’t forget to add significant amounts of litter on the ground to cause significant bouncing of the wheelchair.

    • Swarf

      We have a winner!

    • Billy Jack

      Sick bastard. (Upvoted)

  • Havok

    They posted this as a response to the recent outrage over the video of the man in the wheelchair at a training class falling behind the shooting line, and the RO’s abandoning their section of the line to all gather around the one student that fell behind.

  • The_Champ

    Where to even begin with this?

    I guess I’d ask these “expert” shooters if they’ve ever accidentally dropped their cell phone, some cutlery, or whatever. People are not robots and sometimes their motor skills fail them. And then I would ask if proving a dumb point on YouTube is worth risking their one and only life? All it takes is that barrel to slide a couple degrees left or right. Apparently, to them, it is worth it.

    Here is a thought, if you feel you MUST train super Delta elite high speed down range of your buddies slinging lead, why not shoot simunition, and, you know, eliminate the threat of death?

    • Paul B.

      Good point–there has to be redundancy built into firearms safety rules. You need more than one layer of protection, because people forget, get distracted, etc. and if that happens, there goes the first layer of safety. 180 degree rule is there because what if you trip on an empty cartridge case? What if you get hot brass down your shirt or, God forbid, inside your glasses? Standing downrange like that gives virtually no margin of error.

  • Independent George

    Safety is 10% about skill, and 90% about judgement – and that video is pretty much the textbook definition of poor judgement.

  • imtoomuch

    Why do you keep giving morons press? This is bad and more fodder for the anti-gunners!

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    I’ll say it again, WHY do people pay money to get this kind of “training”?

    • Nicks87

      It’s ok to pay money for quality training but what these guys are peddling is not that.

    • Billy Jack

      Ignorance should be a measured economic indicator.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    The four rules of firearms safety are not “absolute.” They form the first layer of the RELATIVELY safe use of firearms. If you wish to add additional layers of safety you can add things like the 180 degree rule and such. Guns are dangerous. Thats the point. There isnt a threshold for “zero danger use of firearms” You just get increasing measures of safety with more “rules” and more competence of the shooter. We dont need people pretending to be authorities on the internet saying that an arbitrary level of safety is absolutely necessary and anything beyond is irrelevant. Use common sense in your situation.

    Also, what annoyed me even more about the video is that the constitution gives us the right to carry firearms regardless of skill. No American “has no business carrying a firearm” due to skill level. [also again an arbitrary skill level that of course the man in the TV exceeds] Judicious application of that firearm is appreciated according to your skill level; and all consequences, including criminal consequences, apply for misuse of that firearm, but to say one has no business carrying at all is wrong.

    • Bill

      “Also, what annoyed me even more about the video is that the constitution gives us the right to carry firearms regardless of skill.” We sort of part ways here. Unfortunately an unskilled carrier is potentially going to cause more harm than good, so the right needs to rebalanced against the responsibility that comes with carrying.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        I agree that an unskilled carrier in certain circumstances is more of a liability, but there is a certain set of circumstances that exists for every person where their liability is negligible. Saying they shouldnt be allowed to carry for those circumstances is not okay just because there are circumstances that exist where if they were to use their gun they would run a high risk of doing more harm. The important parameter is not the level of skill, but the judgement to know if your skills are sufficient for the situation. Unfortunately that is not easily quantifiable.

        • Bill

          I can’t think of such a situation in which firearms related liability would be negligible. Even if the user only shoots themselves accidentally, if the squad wrecks responding to the call, they own part of that.

          This is where the “shall not be infringed ” trope gets wheeled out, but requiring a reasonable level of knowledge and competence in the interest their personal well being and that of their fellow Republicans is hardly an infringement.

  • RWP

    What’s the old saying “opinions are like ass holes everyone’s got one and they usually stink” this guy comes across as a massive douche

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    At 7:25 he stumbled. What if that happened during live fire? Obviously he does not have the skills necessary to do that kind of drill and therefore by his own comment he has “no business carrying a firearm in a public place.”

  • Joe Gamer

    Guy acts like a condescending douche all video, ends the video with “check your ego” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f5b552ca569a136f18077e3318221bd0c804294f09d0040b84b91f63731f352.jpg

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    And one more comment for good measure, this guy just loves to invalidate his credibility over and over again. Not only did he do something unnecessarily dangerous to make a point that nobody cares about, but he questioned everyones 2nd amendment rights and even opened the Training vs Gizmos can of worms. Certain things, like a quality optic, increase your capacity to hit your target. They just do. Poor shooters often dont learn to use irons because they have optics, but a skilled iron sight shooter will still (given a small time to learn the optic) shoot better with it. There is plenty of snake oil on the market, but there are also a number of shooting aids that do work as well. Why dont we work smarter AND harder?

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    The vodeo description says:

    “DO NOT attempt to duplicate anything in this video. Firearms are dangerous tools capable of inducing serious bodily injury that may result in death or dismemberment. This video was filmed under the supervision and direction of experienced professionals with proper medical support and safety countermeasures in place. VSO is not responsible for your ineptitude, DO NOT try this at home.”

    If they do not employ their described “proper medical support and safety countermeasures” when doing what we consider to be normal range shooting then they have obviously recognized the increased risk of their actions.

  • Jeff

    I don’t want to be in the same zip code with this nimrod.

  • Swarf


  • And, have a gun vault/safe to store your firearm when not carrying, especially with children in the home.

  • SignalFromTheRim

    Do you want to get shot? Because this is how you get shot!

    • Swarf

      I just wanted ants. 🙁

  • FLdeepdiver

    What about rule #5:
    “Let Falling Handguns Drop”

    • Sam

      We had a Naval range accident several years ago where trying to catch the dropped pistol resulted in a fatal discharge.

      • CommonSense23

        You are talking about the one were the guy shot himself in the heart in Norfolk right.

        • Sam

          I was thinking it was Williamsburg (Camp Peary) but probably the same one.

          • CommonSense23

            The one in Norfolk was a absolute major failure of the RSOs trying to push people thru. The guy was obviously scared of the gun. To the extent that he should have had a lot of prep before he got to line. And should have started with only a round in the chamber.

        • RSG

          It happens frequently enough that it is the number 1 type of accident at gun ranges.

    • Bill

      trying to catch an out-of control gun invariably ends with a bang.

  • Robert Brian Steely

    The guy is an asshat. He got called out for flagrant violations of weapons safety during one of his courses.

    Now, like the proud Liberal, he can’t admit he made a mistake and take actual corrective action.

    The tactic is to double down and call everyone else cowards for not being as awesome as he is.

  • Insults don’t contribute anything so that part is gone.

  • st381

    I find the VSO channel to be unentertaining, holier than thou, with terrible reviews. It is more of a look at me shoot and I’m cooler than you. When I want a preacher I go to church. When I want to learn, I look for an educator.

  • Bill

    One codicil: “All guns are always loaded.” For working guns, it should be true. All mine are. No gun is unloaded until I unload it, which includes multiple redundant checks of chambers, magazines, etc. Once it leaves my control, It’s loaded again.

    “Treating” guns “as if” they are loaded leaves room for complacency.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    He’s been brainwashed by Yeager.

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’m not big on the drill not because of not trusting the shooter’s ability, but because the firearm only works 99.99~% of the time. What size cone will you get with a totally smoothbore barrel for one?

  • DIR911911 .

    this video was done in response to many people pointing out how unsafe another video from their range, the guy bouncing around in the wheelchair shooting from behind other students. giving him more free publicity is not what needs to happen.

  • Nick

    Hardcore operator LARPer with a clickbait video. Send it down the memory hole, no need for ad revenue.

  • marine6680

    During training… They had us line up on the firing line a some feet apart, and then the odd numbers would fire as the even numbers ran towards the targets. After a couple seconds of sprinting… The even numbers hit the deck, and began firing, while the odd numbers ran forward towards the targets.

    Rinse repeat…

    So that day, I was running down range, while the two guys to my left and right, were firing live ammo at targets that were in the direction I was running. Bullets were flying by me within a few feet. Had one of those guys got a little disorientated during their sprint, and started shooting outside their firing lane, at my target, I could have ran into the line of fire.

    This situation in the video, was much more controlled than that training.

    I am not condoning, the actions in the video… Just adding some perspective.

  • I jerked my knee and thought “what an idiot”, but after a moment’s consideration I changed my impression to “what a colossal idiot”. The problem with the dumb macho posturing of “big boy rules” is that some people aren’t, and when they see video clickbait like this it just prompts them to go out and be even dumber, which puts all of us at risk.

  • M1911

    He is a moron.

    Putting someone downrange next to the target is unnecessary risk. Yes, in a self defense situation you might need to take that shot. In a training situation, however, you don’t need to run that risk. I will run that risk if I need to in order to save a life. I will not run that risk in a training class. If I was ever in a class where an instructor did that, I would walk off the range and leave immediately.

  • Texas-Roll-Over


  • I’m actually mystified how these guys are trying compare and equate a firearms training fiasco (the moving wheelchair guy over large gravel incident), with a very valid real-life shooting training concept.

    First, I applaud the wheelchair shooter for seeking to improve his shooting skills, but I hate to say it – Dirty Harry was right, “a man’s gotta know his limitations!” The range is not his fault, but he has to realize his limitations and put the brakes on, and the instructors recklessly allowed that train wreck to to start and then continue. That is what is unacceptable, and what these guys apparently don’t get.

    Now … for this video debacle! Some self-defense shooting courses are so sterile that the student is left with little more than a static range course with human/silhouette targets rather than bulls eye targets. Those courses do not adequately prepare the student for the multitude of information to be processed in a real-life deadly force situation (proximity of innocents, positive target identification, target and beyond, legality for deadly force, etc.). So their point about safety being so much more than 180-degrees, and muzzle discipline being a must for the shooter both on and off the line, these guys make very valid points. This lends to the concept that everyone is a safety officer, not simply the instructor or designated safety officer. If you want to teach people the realities of a gun fight in public, they have to become accustomed to 360-degree awareness and firearm safety.

    However, you don’t have to blatantly skirt the Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety to make that point. Did they violate the safety rules? Technically, no. Can I achieve the exact same training lessons without any potential risk of a gunshot wound, absolutely. Use airsoft or Simunition pistols to teach about muzzle discipline with innocent people “downrange”. Take the live firearm out of the equation, and the instructor could absolutely teach these important concepts. Students could be required to show good muzzle control, and even place “shots” on target when the innocent is out of the way.

    Training to a higher level is the goal. Taking unnecessary risks to get there is foolish.