Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Web--ReasonableNut

Many good things are on the web today, so today’s posts are going to be a little different than usual. These are thoughts I had while reading other blogs rather than an essay on a given topic. There are three posts each with this tagline.

Benjamin at ReasonableNut talks about Single Action Shooters who built a range in his home state of New Mexico with state aid. Now they won’t let other shooters use it even when they’re not doing their cowboy games. Ben slams the Cowboys pretty hard since he’s steamed about range restrictions especially when certain range improvements came from state funds.

As Ben points out in a link to Ten Ring, I’d like to give Cowboy Action Shooting a try. I’m not that interested in wearing “Halloween costumes” as he calls them, but I like shooting single-action revolvers and enjoy three gun competition.

Ben hits something that bothers me; sometimes it’s hard to find a place to shoot. New England doesn’t have huge amounts of public land where one can shoot. What little exists here is surrounded by houses and businesses.

Rod and gun clubs are where most of us shoot here and often their ranges are inadequate. Bill and I are members of one club that has nice trap and skeet fields. Most of the club members are shotgunners and don’t want to put money into rifle and pistol ranges. Consequently, there’s an indoor pistol range where one must use lead bullets only since the steel bullet deflector dents with any type of jacket. The rifle range is 100 yards only and its 2 x 4 wood target holders are shot away.

Bill and I live about half a mile from another gun club with a 600 yard rifle range and other facilities. We’re trying to meet members to join, but you have to know who these people are before you can meet them. Frustrating. In contrast, I went to Benjamin’s club’s website and they have a new member orientation where a prospective member can meet and greet and then join (link is in Benjamin's post). Not in New England. You need to find a “senior member” to sign sponsoring papers, before you can meet membership committee members.

Gun banners are trying to curtail where we can shoot and we gunnies don’t help our cause. If shooting becomes more frustrating, more limited to “private” clubs, and to public ranges that charge an arm and a leg then we’ll lose shooters and few people will come to the sport.

Those Cowboys who Benjamin mentions need to open their range to all comers unless they’re using it. Private clubs should be more open to new members. At the same time, we shooters must treat ranges that are built and maintained by others as we‘d want them to treat ours. Too many shooters leave a range littered with shredded paper targets, brass, blown apart cans, broken bottles. Pick up after yourselves. You know who you are.

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