Gun Safety Lessons from a Firearms Professional

When John Johnston of Ballistic Radio came to Winston-Salem to guest lecture in my Sociology of Guns class, we took some free time before class to hit the range.

It was fun to get basically two hours of free personal instruction, and although I failed “The Super Test” (in part because of not making the par times), my shooting got more accurate under John’s watchful eye.

“Before” target above, “after” target below.

More significant than the shooting, however, were some excellent reminders John gave me about gun and range safety.

Immediately upon arriving at the range, John asked me for the address in case we needed to provide that to emergency responders. Smart. At the Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Conference I observed last fall, they suggested writing down GPS coordinates (e.g., on a target) because street addresses are not always accurate enough, especially given where many gun ranges are.

As we were setting up on the range, John put out a medical kit and briefly and casually reviewed what would happen in the event that either of us suffered a gunshot injury. Although I have several medical kits around (at home, in my car), I had never gotten around to putting one in my range bag. This was a good reminder to do that right away, which I did for my next trip to the range.

After we were done shooting, John encouraged me to practice my safe gunhandling, noting that I tended to treat the gun one way when I knew it was loaded and another way when I knew – or at least thought – it was unloaded (e.g., I drove to the range with the gun empty, magazine out, and with the slide locked back).

One excellent tip he provided was to think of keeping the gun pointed AT something in a safe direction rather than trying to keep it pointed AWAY from things I didn’t want to kill or destroy. Having a more proactive mindset in this respect has helped me since.

The gun trainers I have observed over the past year or so don’t all preach gun safety in exactly the same way, but they ALL take gun safety very seriously.

Its always a pleasure to be around and learn from these professionals.

John Johnston at Veterans Range, Mocksville, NC. Photo by David Yamane


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.