Saturday, August 27, 2016
Why we can't have nice things
A good friend of mine lives a bit over 100 miles away. He happens to be a firearms engineer so he has the best toys to take to the shooting range. I've got a few plinkers myself and enjoy punching holes in paper at distance. Add in a few kinetic targets and you've got a few hours of quality entertainment.
About half way between us was a nice little shooting range open to the public. It had covered shooting benches, and was well laid out for safe shooting. The range was free. We'd meet, do some shooting, then head to a nearby restaurant for some dinner and relaxation.
There were a couple problems with the range. Occasionally there would be some guy, usually an old duffer, who refused to exercise proper range safety. When that would happen we'd pack up and hit the restaurant early. Once we didn't even retrieve our targets until after the idiot left the range.
Another big drawback to the range was that some people would leave it a mess. Our crew always left it in better condition than how we found it. Sometimes the mess was truly staggering. Then someone thought it'd be a good idea to shoot the roof over the benches full or holes.
Surprise, surprise, the range is now closed. The vast majority of the people who used it treated it properly. Sadly, it only takes a few bad characters to ruin it for everyone else. That's why we can't have nice things.
Now my buddy joined a local club range near his house. I've got a couple sandpits near me where shooting is still allowed. That's fine, but I sure do miss getting together. The extra driving distance is just enough to make the trip a lot less likely.
My friend now has to pay to use a range. My sandpits are free, but there's nothing there. To sight in a firearm I've got to set up my own shooting bench and measure out target placement. While that's doable, it's a lot less convenient that going to a range that's already set up.
I also really miss talking over our shooting while having a sandwich and a coffee.