All serious shooters on the range wear electronic earmuffs, which muffle the shots to protect your ears while still permitting you to hear speech.
In fact, they do such a great job of pulling in speech that you can often hear ordinary conversation from 30 yards or more. This is something you need to remember if you’re going to make a private remark!
One day I was on the range taping targets while another squad took their turn on the stage. My three targets were close to the front of the stage, and the first two were very low to the ground, so I had to bend down to reach them.
On one occasion I had bent over to tape a low target when a guy visiting from another province made a private remark to one of my squad. He said something stupid, like, “Oh, I love the way she tapes a target…”
I could hear him, though I likely wasn’t meant to. I decided to ignore him. My squad felt differently, and two things happened.
The first thing was, the man standing nearest the speaker said something short, sharp, and unfriendly.
The second thing was, without any discussion or coordination that I could see, my squad made sure I never touched the low targets again that day.
No fuss, just someone else got there first. All day.
I felt protected and honoured by their respect. The incident itself was nothing, but their response made it a very good day.
Ten years later I still carry that small but shining example of ordinary men doing the right thing. It’s not the only example I have of course, but it’s one of my favorites.