Host please move as needed. Just a safety reminder; it could be the other guy that hits your car! I couldn't think of another description. Lovely day, take the 1926 Ithaca NID out for a ride. Went to shoot skeet today at my local range. Focused on getting ready, happy to run my lovely SxS again. So I sat at the picnic rest table about 15 yards behind Stations 2-3 while waiting for the on-field crew to complete their round. I noticed a couple guys in the crew were of latter age, however one seemed to move about like my father (early 80's in age). At least he's still ambulatory, I Know! However, what i really noticed was this gentleman, decked out rather richly in shooting attire, was having minor trouble keeping his muzzle directed "downrange" while fiddling with loading. And also while concluding a shot and while still in the box.
Then, while he was standing in the box at low house Station 7, he took one shot but had some malfunction. He proceeded to try to clear the malfunction by partly bending over at the waist and leveling the shotgun with his paws all over the receiver. Yes, w/ his back against the house, while trying to clear the gun he proceeded to intermittently sweep the field with the muzzle, occasionally swinging it even PAST my direction.
Pretty much simultaneously, my gut told me to take cover so I stood up and told the fellow who just came off the line the issue and we both hopped back some yards and stood behind a very thick concrete light post. I wasn't going to stand around exposed or walk across a field to address this right then. I presumed that during my distraction to move to cover in haste that the RO handled it.
As we muttered to one another, the malfunction appeared fixed and the crew moved to the center, Station 8. He attempted to take a shot, then again bent over to help clear a malfunction by way of same process above. Bent over, muzzle leveled and swinging erratically this way and that while he fixated on the receiver. And BANG! Shot the damn high house Station 1 wall in an area about 4 feet up above ground level. If the gun was pointed another 30 degrees wide it would've been a decent total body shot on us. He never much reacted, was allowed and proceeded to shoot the station, and walked off to the picnic table. His compatriots (none of whom seemed to know him) were seething. Yet this man, who for all sense didn't care a wit as to what just preceeded, went about his chatty business and eventually picked up and left. I chastised the range officer.
It reminds me of an octgenarian who being parked in front of a store on Main Street just up and starts the car and plows forward into the building. Always they stand outside as though they were simply a witness and seem none to bothered of loss of property, much less potentially of life and limb. I'm afraid the range was being much too polite today and I have a scathing letter to write the county which runs it.
Maybe it's just his being callous, perhaps too proud, I don't know but I see a little of my dad in him, no harm no foul with a touch of in my dad's case his latter age results in this aspect of losing the ability to process things in three-dimension, that is, his being too uni-dimensionally focused on a task without paying attention to the bigger picture.
The gentleman above had a really nicely stocked semi-auto (didn't pay much attention to make) which may have been part of the problem, however, my point is ALWAYS take care to observe the field and firstly protect yourself. We may have looked silly out of all caution hiding behind the concrete post, but "it" could've happened.