Two Men Banned for Life from Gun Range After Selfie Goes Jaw-Droppingly Wrong - Flashback


For gun owners and patriots, there’s never a bad time to remind yourself about firearm safety — and why two men who went very viral are now six years into a lifetime ban from one gun range.

The year was 2018. The state, Texas. The president, Trump. You’d think if there was any time and place to be aware of the cardinal rules of handling a weapon, this would be it.

Yet, two unidentified individuals hit papers and the 11 o’clock local newscast from coast-to-coast for what they did at Top Gun Range in Houston.

Normally, Top Gun is a place for some good, clean American fun — provided, of course, you follow the commandments of gun safety.

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However, two men in the viral video from October of 2018 — faces blurred — definitely weren’t about that.

Was a lifetime ban the right decision in this case?

Instead, according to KTRK-TV, one of them started pointing his pistol around to take selfies. Then, he pointed it at his friend.

That’s when the gun range safety officer stepped in to put a stop to this jaw-dropping behavior.

“Great job from our Range Safety Officer in stopping and addressing a safety violation on the range,” Top Gun Range said in a post on X, or what was then called Twitter.

“The former customer brought in his own weapon for him and his friend to shoot. They were given a stern recap about which rules they broke then banned for life.”

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Kyle Harrison, manager for the gun range, told KTRK he was deeply troubled by what he saw in the video.

“Didn’t keep it pointed downrange, and then on top of it, he pointed it at his friend,” Harrison said. “And that’s just a cardinal safety violation, you just can’t do that.”

“My little ones at home know better than to do that, and they are two and three years old,” he added. “It was sad to see, so he had to go.”

Harrison told The Associated Press that the gun range safety officer “acted perfectly.”

“He was very professional and he was very direct,” Harrison said.

“He disarmed the gentleman, cleared the weapon and evacuated them from the range. So after they had the incident, we took them in the lobby, we recapped with them what rules they broke at our range, and then we got their stuff for them and then we banned them for life.”

It didn’t matter that, as per KTRK, that the gun wasn’t loaded. The first rule of firearm safety is that you don’t point the gun at anything or anyone you don’t intend to shoot. The second rule of firearm safety — indeed, much like the second rule of Fight Club — is that you don’t point the gun at anything or anyone you don’t intend to shoot.

“Taking pictures is OK, but you just have to do it safely,” Harrison told KHOU-TV.

“You have to assume every firearm is loaded,” he added. “You don’t want to point it at something you want to destroy, and he was pointing it at his friend’s head.”

Responsible Americans who are legally able to carry should be carrying firearms. And those who carry firearms need to train both themselves and their children. Who in their right mind would do something like this? This is the kind of terminal irresponsibility that needs to be nipped in the bud — and if it takes a lifetime ban from one gun range to do it, so be it. It’ll be a very viral lesson to these gentlemen when it comes to gun safety.

It’s also another reminder that guns themselves are neither good nor bad; they’re a reflection who uses them. When people think these sorts of selfies are cool, it’s not the gun’s fault; it’s ignorance and neglect on a massive scale. Don’t be these guys. Get yourself educated and stay safe. It’s not only a right, it’s a solemn obligation as a patriot, a protector and a parent.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture