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.



  1. Was that the Fryeburg range? Around southern Maine we have also lost a few sand pits we had access to as some thought them convenient places to dump their broken appliances and the owners of the property the cut off public access.

    1. Yep, that's the place. Good guess!

    2. Well that's a shame, I had recently been made aware of it and intended to go check it out. We have a big range here in Scarborough but membership is 250$ year and you get in by invitation only. Hardly worth it for the number of times I'd use it. I guess I'll have to find another place.

    3. The Fryeburg was a rare treasure, both well laid out and free. I don't blame the owners for shutting it. Someone even shot up an old tube TV on the range. What a mess.

  2. When I lived in PA we went to a shooting range in an old limestone mine. It was always nice and cool in there, but ear protection was really important.

  3. I belong to a range in the brush of the Oregon coast. One needs a key to get in there. People dump shit there. shoot shit up, AND, while they were building the new handgun/ carbine range, somebody came in and stole all the lumber and stuff for it. Now the range has hidden security cameras. Great.

    1. Why are some people such crap?

      Hope those cameras do the job.