A movement’s afoot in Walla Walla to establish a shooting range. It’s surprising.
No, it isn’t surprising members of the Walla Walla Gun Club have been working for three years to find a suitable location for an all-inclusive public gun and archery range, it’s surprising — if not shocking — this town doesn’t already have one.
Last week in the Diversions section of the U-B, Walla Walla Gun Club Secretary-Treasurer Bob Bloch wrote a column explaining in detail the effort to acquire land in or near Walla Walla.
The current Gun Club site is limited to shotguns. Milton-Freewater and Waitsburg have full gun ranges (through the East End Rod & Gun Club and Waitsburg Gun Club respectively).
People who live in the Valley are welcome to join those gun clubs and use the ranges. Bloch has access to the Milton-Freewater range as a member of that club.
He and others in the Walla Walla Gun Club would like to have a range more conveniently located. But if convenience was the only reason for a range, it’s doubtful Gun Club members would have spent three years on this quest.
The most compelling reason to establish a full shooting range closer to the city is so that those wanting to test guns and archery equipment, practice or just have fun shooting targets don’t wander into a seemingly safe rural area and open fire — as is apparently what is going on now.
Those rural locations might not be as safe as the shooters think. People could be nearby or animals could be wandering through. A tragedy could occur.
Beyond that, a shooting range near town would provide opportunities for those who own guns to learn more about gun safety. Being safe around guns is critical.
The Gun Club has found what it believes is a good site for the range at the city of Walla Walla’s Sudbury Road Landfill.
Apparently there are some legitimate issues to resolve with the land, so in the end the location might not be viable.
However, Gun Club officials seem to have done a solid job looking into the options and are willing to keep working to find a way to make it work for the Gun Club and the taxpayers.
Let’s hope an arrangement can be worked out that benefits the entire community.