Gunfire is loud! That is probably the most off-putting aspect to a newcomer to the world of shooting. The sound is so loud that it forces some people to become a spectator far away, fearful to step up to the firing line and give it a try. Despite hearing protection, gunshots are still loud!
If you have not heard gunfire, stand directly in front of an amplified speaker at the loudest rock concert you can imagine. Gunfire is a lot louder than that, as you can see from the examples below. These ear-piercing, high dB gunshots not attenuated are absolutely damaging to human hearing.
How loud is loud?
The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit of measurement for sound pressure.
Not so fast. The 2nd Amendment gives all law abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms. However, many people simply do not have the right mindset for gun ownership. Some people do not think they need to dedicate time to learning safety, practicing, and training. This is all particularly important for people who want to conceal carry. Before you start shopping for a gun, learn about safety. Check out books from your public library and view enough online sources until you are confident you would be able to competently handle a firearm.
There are many different versions of the gun range safety rules. One easy one to remember is treat, never, keep, keep.
Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
Never orient the firearm toward anything you do not intend to shoot.
Keep you finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
Keep the weapon on safe and pointed downrange until you intend to fire.
There are NO Accidents!
If something bad happens, it’s because one of the rules was broken. If something bad happens you will lose your firearm and probably go to jail.
Always wear eye and ear protection! There’s no reason to lose your sight or hearing. Don’t be afraid to double-up on ear protection, use both in-ear and over-ear to attenuate sound. One of my shooting instructors has trouble hearing due to a permanent loss of hearing. He said it has a negative impact on his relationship with his wife, when she is talking and thinks she is being ignored, but he simply could not hear her speak. I double up on my ears and encourage you to do the same.
Of course there is a lot more to know, but you can be safe following these basic rules while acting in a responsible manner. Use common sense and if unsure, consult a range safety officer, or experienced shooter. Everyone remembers when they were a newbie and they will be glad to help you learn.