Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pssst...Hey, buddy...

I was reading today about the dearth of rifle and pistol ranges in the city of Chicago even though the City Council approved their opening. Sounds like a good deal until you read the restrictions concerning "where" a range is permitted to exist. Running down the list of "forbidden" locations ("within 1,000 feet of a school" -- hell, when I was a kid on the South Side, we had a rifle range IN our high school), it appears only a concrete bunker built on an artificial island way offshore in Lake Michigan would be suitable real estate. Now, THERE's a use for abandoned Northerly Island!

Sportsmen and women are asking why do we have to drive 40 miles outside the city to receive firearms instruction classes demanded by the city to obtain a gun permit? Why are ranges barred from being built near any human habitation? Do City Council members fear shifty gun owners in long overcoats standing on street corners trying to peddle firearms along with their Rolex wristwatch knock-offs, or selling guns out of car trunks in alleys...? Oh, wait, that's what's happening now.

We need more rifle and pistol ranges and more instruction locations where adults and young people can plug back into an American tradition. We need rifle or pistol teams to get at least as much newspaper sport section space as local Bass Fishing tournaments! And I love bass fishing. Shooting sports are great character builders requiring practice, physical skills, responsibility and rigorous respect for the rules of safe gun handling.

Let the gun worshiper patriotic bullies woof, stomp and bellow while the anti-gun crowd slithers around with their sweat-stained statistic pads. The rest of us can just keep working to take back our sport.