Here's a couple important lessons for all you shooters and spectators. Saturday at the fun shoot Paul (at left) got hit in the arm with a piece of jacket that came from a disintegrating bullet that had struck the plate rack. Paul came over and showed it to me with very little emotion. He just kind of told me the facts like it was no big deal. The thing left a gash that looked like the whole bullet had entered his arm between the wrist and elbow. There was already bruising and a lot of blood. I didn't know exactly what to say. I think I was just so amazed how little he was upset. After he convinced me he was OK I told him about the first aid kits in the stat shack and he and Jan went up and bandaged it up and then he came back and kept shooting.
Lesson 1: That man is one tough hombre, and he cannot be rattled.
Lesson 2: Not getting rattled is good. Especially when there are lot of new shooters, women, and children around like there were Saturday. If he and everyone else around had panicked it would have scarred some of those people for life and left them with a bad opinion of shooting.
Lesson 3: And this is the most important one: Always wear your shooting glasses. Good ones. A piece of jacket like the one Paul dug out of his arm would certainly have blinded someone if it had hit them in the eye.
Shooting can be dangerous. You shouldn't have an irrational fear, but please do everything you can to minimize the risks involved. Wear your shooting glasses and hearing protection. Stand a little farther away whenever you can. Don't stand right on the 180 or in other hazard zones. Watch where the splatter from steel targets goes and avoid those areas. Be sure to look out for others who may not be as experienced as you are and warn them of these potential dangers.