Pricks closed our range. WTF? I confess, I have just been messing with you guys to liven things up and blow off some steam. My bitching about the dirty politics in my little town was just me venting. Normally, I would chalk it all up to a lesson learned and go on with life. However, the last straw has to do with our local range.
Here's the reader's digest version. Our range is on a Bureau of Land Management lease. Unfortunately, our local town fathers haven't had the funding stream or enough give a shit factor to keep us in compliance with the lease agreement. When we chartered USPSA WY04, our club got a bit of money scrounged together, matched the funds with in kind labor and got the club going. While we were at it we made other range improvements to get us compliant with the BLM lease. It wasn't a ton of money, but the total was around $32,000.00 in the last 15 years or there about.
In 2007 our mayor signed a 25 year lease renewal. I think he just pencil whipped the agreement. Anyhow, he certified that we were operating and maintaining an archery range. Unfortunately, the archery range was never developed. When the BLM folks looked at the archery range, all they found was undeveloped land and a shit load of dumping where the local shit bags haul everything from household waste to refrigerators. It's a mess. There were other issues as well.
After working with the BLM, we collectively decided it would be best to deed the land over to the town. That would get us out from under the lease requirements, allow us to lock the undeveloped land, and run the range in perpetuity as the town saw fit. Before I could all of that to come together, a third party entered the picture. There is nothing but high plains desert surrounding the range. Desert or not, there is an old homestead south of our range. The owner was on the old family homestead doing improvements when a bunch of shooters on our range decided to shoot steel targets, rocks, etc., that they had placed on BLM property off of our range, and only 110 feet from the neighbor. Well the shit hit the fan. I talked the neighbor down. The solution was simple, we build a berm to block line of sight to the neighbor's property, make our expectations known to range users, and castrate anyone shooting 50 BMG rifles at rocks off of range property.
Up to that point, the conversations were by telephone and by e-mail. I asked the neighbor to put his concerns and suggested remedies in writing so we could get a paper trail together for him, the town, and the BLM. Well now, our town attorney didn't like the tone of the guy's letter so she advised the town to immediately close the range, panic at the wheel, do all of this in an executive session, and just generally go into orbit mode. I did a little checking on our town attorney and it turns out she is from Chicago (so is our mayor) and she is so damn liberal that she was fired from the County Attorney's Office for failing to prosecute criminal cases in line with adopted policy. Apparently, (hyperbole to follow) the gal would plea bargain rape of a thirteen year old down to tailgating or following to close for conditions. People who think the "anti's" can't get a toehold in redneck country need to get a clue.
But wait there's more, but limitations on post length won't allow me to tell you the rest of the story. Anyhow, I knew I couldn't take the town to task on this and other issues, while being part of the good old boy system, so I bailed and took them to task. We have five members of our governing body, and only one of them ever heard of the second amendment. The town mayor doesn't care is the range is open or closed, and he thinks closing the only public range in the area is no big deal. The other two members are tough to read and they bob their heads when the mayor talks like mechanical dog on a low rider dashboard. Get this, the one and only pro-gun council member couldn't even convince the town council to open the range under his supervision over Christmas time so kids and others could shoot their Christmas toys. Furthermore, our USPSA club doesn't even have access to our shooting supplies, props., etc., unless I chase down the town cop, follow him to his house to get the key, follow him to the range, etc.
Honestly guys, I am just f'ing burned out. I don't shoot much USPSA anymore, and around here we (the club) don't even know if the club is viable with such a low population. I don't need the local rifle range. I have a 1500 yard range on a friends property.
Right now I am in the process of letting the public know what is going on with local government. The one decent town council member has taken up where I left off with the BLM. I joined a newly formed local club and I'll be bringing them up to speed with the relationships with the adjacent property owner, terms of the BLM lease, status of the undeveloped lands, what went on in the super secret illegal executive session, etc.
Thanks for letting me vent. BTW, I am still working on that warning point that I was after in 2015.