Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here in Alabama, we call them "range goobs": Dave Workman on "slob shooters."

Thanks to Dave Workman for bringing my attention to his Examiner column on slob shooters. Here in Alabama we call them "range goobs." For those of us who voluntarily clean up the ranges, these guys are lower than worm excrement. I once made a guy haul off his computer (and all the pieces) with my hand on my holstered .45 and my finger pointing at the No Littering sign. He called me an "asshole." According to my ex-wife, he was right. So what? I'll be an asshole if it means I still get to shoot on a free public range. Frigging parasites.


Careless slobs jeopardize recreational shooting for everyone

Dave Workman
June 30, 11:06 AM

The lowlands corridor along Interstate 90 some 38 miles east of Seattle which runs through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is being closed to recreational shooting starting this weekend and continuing for at least 12 months, while the Forest Service determines whether the closure should become permanent.

The problem: Slob shooters. The bane of all responsible gun owners, these people are responsible for other such closures on public lands all over the map. For years, they have brought their garbage onto public property, shot it to pieces, and left it as an eyesore. On rare occasions, they accidentally shoot one another while ricocheting bullets off of boulders against which they have propped a target.

Their litter in the North Bend-Snoqualmie Ranger District – where this closure is taking effect – has included aerosol cans, televisions, computer monitors, appliances and even stolen cars. In the shooting community, these individuals are not simply black sheep, they are social lepers. Responsible shooters don’t want them around, as they are typically responsible for the low image some people have of all gun owners.

Days before the closure was announced, Snoqualmie District Ranger Jim Franzel contacted me about the problem. In 2005, Gun Week – a publication owned by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation that is something of the “newspaper of record” in the firearms community – launched a series of stories under my byline that criticized arbitrary shooting closures on national forest lands. That series, which continued for two years, led to a memorandum from the Forest Service in Washington, D.C. clarifying shooting regulations on national forest lands.

This is not an isolated problem. There have been recreational shooting troubles all over the place, in New Mexico, South Carolina, California and Colorado (where it stirred up a hornet’s nest and got plenty of news coverage), often times the result of a conflict between shooters and expanding nearby development. In some cases, the problem has been addressed with the establishment of elaborate regulations that try to find common ground and give shooters some opportunity on public land.

Unfortunately, slob shooters don't follow the rules, instead preferring to act like swine.

Franzel put me in touch with a contractor who had been doing road repair work along the Tinkham Road between Exits 42 ands 47. Asking not to be identified, the contractor – himself a recreational shooter – reported that while he was on the job, he found bullet holes through signs posting a temporary road closure, and in one incident, a group of boneheads had set up targets so that they were shooting in the direction of a popular trailhead. A wildlife agent showed up and ran them out of the area.

Franzel said several citations have been issued, primarily to people who have been shooting along the road, an act that is not simply in violation of the national forest regulations; it’s also against state law. On top of that, shooting along a roadway is simply stupid.

This closure, Franzel assured, will not prohibit hunting in the area, nor does it apply to the higher elevations overlooking the I-90 corridor through the upper Snoqualmie South Fork drainage, an area the locals call “High Valley” that reaches all the way to the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

It will also not prohibit someone from carrying a firearm on a hike. Some of the region’s most popular trailheads are located here; when I hit the trail I always have a handgun, and am not alone in that practice.

Slob shooters are on the same level as trailhead and campground vandals. They spoil things for everyone and contribute to a backlash against all shooters.


Kent McManigal said...

This is why I always pick up (and pack out) as much trash as I can when I go out to the informal shooting areas I prefer. I may not be able to change the behavior of others, but I will do what I can to keep the environment cleaner.

ParaPacem said...

I didn't even know there WERE any free public ranges in Alabama! I only know about the FOP which is very nice and reasonable at 20.00 per, but even they have trouble with people just doing plain dumbass things!!! You somehow just expect better, from people who are presumably trying to hone their skills on the accurate and disciplined use of lethal-capability firearms!

drjim said...

We've had to run people out of the INDOOR range I go to for being slobs. Brass not swept up, used targets all over the floor, empty ammo boxes everywhere. And this desoite numerous signs telling people to sweep their brass under the bench, and throw their trash in one of the SIX trashcans on a 20-lane range, and FIVE push brooms in there!
The older I get, the more I agree with something my Dad taught me when I was very young: "There's good people, and there's ASSHOLES in this world, son. Learn the difference, and only call the good people your friends".

W W Woodward said...

I believe that people who may be honestly considering a change from anti to pro gun very well be convinced to side with the antis when they see highway signs riddled with bullet holes.

Millions of advertising dollars and thousands of man-hours spent talking, blogging and demonstrating the concepts of responsible gun ownership can literally be shot down the tubes by one inconsiderate act with a firearm.

Old Pablo said...

I apologize. This is not the proper place for this comment, but I thought you might be interested:


The 'Absentee' Senator
Franken wins by changing the rules.

The Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of last year's disputed Senate race, and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman's gracious concession at least spares the state any further legal combat. The unfortunate lesson is that you don't need to win the vote on Election Day as long as your lawyers are creative enough to have enough new or disqualified ballots counted after the fact.

Mr. Franken trailed Mr. Coleman by 725 votes after the initial count on election night, and 215 after the first canvass. The Democrat's strategy from the start was to manipulate the recount in a way that would discover votes that could add to his total. The Franken legal team swarmed the recount, aggressively demanding that votes that had been disqualified be added to his count, while others be denied for Mr. Coleman.

But the team's real goldmine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman's lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.

What Mr. Franken understood was that courts would later be loathe to overrule decisions made by the canvassing board, however arbitrary those decisions were. He was right. The three-judge panel overseeing the Coleman legal challenge, and the Supreme Court that reviewed the panel's findings, in essence found that Mr. Coleman hadn't demonstrated a willful or malicious attempt on behalf of officials to deny him the election. And so they refused to reopen what had become a forbidding tangle of irregularities. Mr. Coleman didn't lose the election. He lost the fight to stop the state canvassing board from changing the vote-counting rules after the fact.

This is now the second time Republicans have been beaten in this kind of legal street fight. In 2004, Dino Rossi was ahead in the election-night count for Washington Governor against Democrat Christine Gregoire. Ms. Gregoire's team demanded the right to rifle through a list of provisional votes that hadn't been counted, setting off a hunt for "new" Gregoire votes. By the third recount, she'd discovered enough to win. This was the model for the Franken team.

Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don't end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.

Larry said...

Old Pablo, if you are hanging your hat on the Republicans, you will end up picking it up off the floor every time. All we can do now is keep harranging them to do the right thing, but don't expect much in results - look at their history - tyrants since the 1850s. Appears the only party out there with Constitutional values is the Constitution Party. May well be too late for any political solution anyway. The collectivists run the courts, the executive and legislative branches and now the Nazi SS runs Federal "law enforcement." And yes, the global collectivists still run the Federal Reserve, although they are moving the assets to the world bank so that when congress finally gets there all the money will be gone. They will then have "no choice" but to dump the dollar, and declare martial law. Then all of Americal will know what we've been talking about when we refer to the "militarized" law enforcement of the Fed, State and Local governments.


ParaPacem said...

Yes, I heard the news; you mentioned the 'street fight' metaphor, but one of the requirements in winning a street fight is having balls... so the Republican was out of the picture from the start.
Coleman was apparently trying the Obongo approach - bow low, apologize for anything and everything, and give the enemy whatever he wants. I suppose that publicly kissing Franken's commie arse, is optional.

Respectabiggle said...

"In the shooting community, these individuals are not simply black sheep, they are social lepers."


Kyle said...

I am very familiar with the area described in Mr. Workman's article. I grew up just west of there and did most of my shooting along the I-90 corridor. We always packed up more than we brought in, but there's only so much that you can do against the slob momentum. In fact, I can honestly say that MOST people we saw shoot up there cleaned up as much as possible, but again, the slobs are a small percentage of the population and cause all the problems.

One thing that Mr. Workman left out of his article is that the north side of that stretch of I-90 has had a de-facto ban on shooting for almost eight years. There is a private organization that has been working hard to get the entire area closed to automobiles and shooting, and although there were not any signs posted or official rules on paper, the rangers and county mounties have been "enforcing" the shooting bit of this project since at least early 2002.

There is no way that this is a temporary ban. It's going to be permanent.