I was at the range this weekend and have come to the conclusion that there are many, many, many, and so on many people that have jumped on the AR/AK bandwagon that have absolutely no idea what they have or how to use it.
I say this because I witnessed numerous handling and operating errors each time I go to the range. This weekend, I just happened to be sitting next to a group of people that were firing ARs. After watching them misfeed numerous rounds and jam their firearm a few times, I decided to help them out a bit. One of the guys was trying his best to load the AR and instead of locking the bolt to the rear, inserting the magazine and then releasing the bolt with the bolt release button, he was trying to feed the rifle using the charging handle causing him to misfeed and damage several rounds. The guy before him did the same thing, but finally got the round chambered. Anyway, after watching this happen several times, I got up from my bench and stopped the guy, gave him a class on loading the rifle, and "Waa Laa", he was loading and firing with no issues. The guys switched places and the next guy had watched and listened to my instruction and promptly loaded the rifle with no issues and then a cease fire was called. He dropped the mag and cleared the rifle; he even locked the bolt to the rear. He then sat the rifle on the bench without putting it on safe. I told him to put the rifle on safe and he looked at me and asked, "Where’s the safety", I quickly showed him the safety and he thanked me for all of my help. Once the cease fire was lifted, they got back to shooting, and spraying me profusely with hot brass. I again stopped them and pointed out that there were brass deflector fences available at the range shack, I also gave them a tip to look for far right benches that would not have anyone on their right side, especially when rapid firing. One of the guys decided that he would be the deflector and stood with his back to the side of their bench. Well I guess he decided that the brass was really too hot to be a human deflector and they slowed down their shooting, shot up their remaining ammo and packed it up at the same time I finished up and packed up.
The big ban scare has definitely helped fuel the mass purchase of the infamous "black-gun" and added billions of dollars to the gun manufacturers' businesses. It is very sad that many of the firearms are a lot of citizens' first and sometimes only firearm. For all of us experienced AR/AK type firearm owners, I would like to encourage you, when you see these new gun owners at the range, to take a little time and educate them on how to properly operate their firearm. Although the range was packed that day, and I really just wanted to test a couple of loads and get out of there, I spent extra time helping these guys learn how to operate the firearm so they, and everyone around them, would have a better range experience the next time they went to the range.