Friday, March 21, 2008

Firing Range Aftermath

We recently wrote a scathing post about the stealth measure sponsored by the Idaho Fish & Game Department and eleven North Idaho legislators. A real feel good issue, according to some quotes by the evil eleven. I find it rather strange that a measure requested by F & G. Introduced and sent to committee February 13 and passed the house and senate February 20.

In five days, without any feedback or publicity enabling Bayview to at least be heard, this measure passed. In an attempt to circumvent a judges ruling, the state raised the noise bar to 64 decibels. Several remarks by area legislators forces me to believe that these well meaning people thought that a band of extremist ban the guns types has taken over the village. Not so! Prior to the lawsuit, the Bayview Chamber of commerce, supported by most locals and the fledgling Bayview community council both voted to send a resolution to the Fish & Game Department opposing the resiting of a world class firing range.

Contrary to one mouthy legislator, this is not about gun control, nor is it about banning the right to bear arms, which I am, as a conservative, very much against. Many of the people that sued, have and use firearms. For example, last Summer, many of this group trotted their own rifles out for a sound test, with a qualified audio engineer in attendance. What this is about is the inappropriate location, not firing ranges per se.

A magnificent park such as Farragut specializes in nature walks, wildlife observances, Camping and hiking,in addition to horseback riding, Winter sports such as sledding, cross-country skiing and many other compatible uses. The tranquility is broken only when loud explosions occur. That hasn't been a problem for the sixty years since the Navy abandoned the base. The known distance range in use during WW11 training,was only used on rare occasions, such as a few days prior to hunting season, when hunters would trek up to the office, beg the key to the gate, and were permitted to use the range in a very limited way.

It was only when Fish & Game, with apparently too much money overflowing their pockets, decided to create a world class range with multiple rifle pits, and trap and skeet, with shotgun blasts echoing throughout the park. While there may be a need for a facility such as this, we believe this is the wrong place. Since 1946, property lying vacant and wooded during and before the war years, has built up and is still growing into a vital premium place to live.

We are not weird headed cranks, nor extremists. The rural experience is one of great value, but without the sounds of silence, it is wasted. To suggest that the 11 incumbents that co-sponsored this attempt to circumvent the will of the voters that live in this community will go unpunished, is laughable. Jorgenson, Broadsword and others will be remembered when election day rolls around. Frank Henderson, when I e-mailed him as soon as I heard about the bill, which turned out to be too late, said,"I've never heard of that bill. I thought the firing range was a dead issue." Shortly thereafter, thanks to Bill McCrory, I found out he voted aye on the issue. either he didn't bother to look at the bill, or I was lied to.

In a county, Kootenai, that brags about being the most conservative county in the state, we have 11 so called conservatives siding with big government against local control. Sheesh, and they call themselves conservative. Ronnie Reagan would have taken them to the woodshed for a good hiding.


Bay Views said...

Courtesy comment by Sheryl:

Good job, Herb. The issue has always been safety and noise and not anti-gun sentiment. Fish and Game refused to compromise which forced local residents to bring a lawsuit that overwhelmingly condemned the rifle range plan. Now the legislature in classic form is trying to use the law to subvert the law. Throughout this process, the more Fish and Game fought the truth, the more clear it became that this was the wrong place for any shooting sport.
The noise of gunfire may seem to some the sound of freedom, but for me hearing gunfire while in my living room with the doors and windows closed was nothing less than stealing my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not to mention the enjoyment of my property.

Anonymous said...

Please post your blog in the newspaper! These so-called representatives sure don't represent the people of Bayview! Since they closed the range it has been quiet here once again - just like it was BEFORE they started promoting the range! That range was used so seldom that for the first 4 or 5 years that we lived here we didn't even KNOW there was a range there! I can't believe that these so-called representatives would sign that bill without even reading the entire court procedings on WHY it was shut down in the first place!

What can we do to fight this, Herb?

Anonymous said...

Lied to by a legislator? No way. This is America.
Oh wait - THIS IS America!