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
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.