Ben, The Reasonable Nut, tells us how he really feels
Let me qualify a bit before letting loose on these fat, middle-aged pussies. At our club, there are 8 ranges: 1 silhouette, 1 military long range, 1 200 meter range, 3 action pistol ranges, and 2 practice ranges. If you are on one of the action pistol ranges and one of the Village People in chaps wants to use that range, according to the rules, you have to surrender it. Of course, this street doesn’t go both ways.
While a range I used to go to wasn’t quite this militant, they did have certain ideas about priviledges the SASS folks were given over everyone else, except for maybe the Trap and Skeet shooters.
At this to-be-left-unnamed range, the SASS guys were given the IDPA range to decorate in the old west style and use. The IDPA folks had to carve themselves new, smaller ones out of the woods. Sometimes, even these new ranges would be given to the SASS without notice.
The Trap and Skeet guys were always wanting an expanded area for their shooting discipline, and the range gave them an area just off from the rifle range. They said this was safe, but I know that the stuff falling out of the sky as I walked past the 100yd berm and out to the 200yd mark was not frozen gray rain.
It seems that the skeet guys were ignoring the rules about not following clays past a certain point. When this was complained about, I was told that I should just make sure no one was using that shooting position on the Trap and Skeet range before deciding to shoot past 100yds.
Needless to say, even though the rangemaster was both knowlegable and helpful (not a common occurance in rangemasters, in my experience) I don’t go there any longer.
Except for the obvious safety concerns with #9 birdshot landing on my head, the motives of the range were easily discerned by just going to the range on any given weekend.
The SASS and the T&S guys were the moneymakers for the range. Being a place to go shoot in Western Washington these days is rather expensive because 1. You need a goodly about of decent, level acreage, and 2. They get sued by some community organization or other BS group just about every other year for some made up concern that said community organization believes should cost the club their license.
This particular range had been in the same location since the mid-1930’s, yet because the county decided to build a school within a mile of it, in the opposite direction of ALL fire, Ceasefire Washignton decided that the range needed to go bye-bye. Everyone’s range fees went up shortly after the delivery of the legal paperwork on that case. The range won, btw.
Ranges need the money and the community support which are brought about by large groups of local shooters. It is also nicer to have someone dressed like Wyatt Earp or “Pheasant Hunter Jim” around when the inevitable reporter for the local MSM station drops by, unannounced and with a camera crew, to do a story on the current lawsuit against the club, than it is to have non-friendly looking me with my shooting glasses and vest and my large, ominous looking “sniper rifle”.
I do not know that the club Ben is talking about has these exact concerns, so I will not excuse them for the rules that he is objecting to, because they’re deplorable. But then again, I may be biased here because I also am no fan of the majority of the strictly SASS and T&S shooters.
I have never been looked down upon by any other type of shooter/fellow gun owner so frequently as I have been by them. Modern Action Pistol shooters and the guys like me who bring our so called “assault rifles” to the range are looked at as less “sophisticated” than they.
Certainly not all of them think as such, but I would venture an educated guess that probably half of each of the two respective groups, at least locally, would not lose sleep over a new “Assault Weapons Ban”, simply because of the weapons themselves. They wouldn’t see it as an encroachment on their rights, because they only own tricked out lever guns and single action revolvers.
I don’t have to whip out the “First they came for the…” quote here, right?
I will still, of course, fight for their rights to shoot whatever they want to, knowing full well that a good number of them will not return the favor. Common courtesy, like common sense, just isn’t so common anymore.