I shoot at Ommelanden in New Castle, which is a public range run by the State of Delaware. As you can imagine this means we get all kinds of people shootings. I've seen people of all ages, races etc. I usually try to go on weekends right when they open so I'm up and out for the day and so the range won't be full.
This morning I got there around 11AM and the pistol side was almost full. I walked in with hearing & glasses on, put down a box of ammo and both pistols, action open, facing downrange in the stall. I then waited for a cold range.
As I was waiting a shooter came in with a full duty belt, holstered pistol, no eye or ear protection and setup next to me. As you can imagine he was holding his hands over his ears. (hell, my 1st range trip I had a set of badly fitting plugs and my ears hurt for a few days) I had to wait maybe 10 minutes for cold range to be called and the entire time this guy was holding his ears and wandering around aimlessly. I would have offered him plugs if I'd brought spares. The RSO was on the rifle side and did not see any of this. When he finally did come over he asked mall ninja / security guard guy to put on his eye protection, but curiously didn't mention his lack of ears. Once the range was cold I mentioned to the guy that he could get free plugs from the cashier down the road. He didn't leave and get plugs, likely because he couldn't hear me, but luckily someone overheard our conversation and gave him a spare set.
I honestly have no idea how he stayed on the range that long with no hearing protection. Common sense and pain should tell you to get the hell off of a hot range if you don't have ears on.
The guy on the other side of me was oblivious too. During a cold range and with people downrange he was fidgeting around in his stall doing I'm not sure what. I couldn't tell if he was handling a weapon or not. The RSO came over and asked him to step out of the booth & behind the cold range line. He ignored the RSO and had to be asked 3 times. Even with plugs & muffs I can hear the RSO talking to me, so he clearly just ignored him.
Interestingly, both of these guys shot at 10 yards at targets bigger than mine and couldn't hit much of anything. I'm not a good shot by any means, but it seems like common sense to improve your shooting at shorter distances before moving back.
I guess my question is, do people not read the range rules when they come in for the 1st time? How do you not see the huge sign that says "Do Not Enter With Loaded Firearms?"