Walla Walla needs a gun, archery range

With no public shooting range within a few miles of Walla Walla, some people use rural spots to fire guns. That’s not safe.

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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.

Comments

Igor 11 months, 3 weeks ago

With all the publicity the national media has given recent mass shootings (Sandy Hook, Aurora, Ft. Hood, Naval Yard, Virginia Tech, Gifford, etc.) gun sales are through the roof. The reasons for this are varied. Some folks now feel they need to be armed to defend themselves. But the primary reason is fear of gun legislation that will make it impossible for the law abiding to purchase firearms. Sales of ammunition have been even greater and there have been shortages of certain types of ammo as manufacturers scramble to keep up with the demand.

With more and more people arming themselves every community needs a place where shooters can go to shoot safely. Many new purchasers have no experience in the safe use of firearms. They need a place where they can go to learn how to use their new purchases and shoot safely. The Gun Club’s proposal makes infinitely good sense. If the City Council is interested in public safety it should cooperate with the Gun Club on its proposal.

I realize, of course, that there are some on the City Council that do not believe that the public should own firearms and that supporting a public range will only encourage the proliferation of firearms. However, this sentiment is misguided. Failure to provide a public range and instruction for new gun owners is just as goofy as failing to provide driver’s education for new drivers. Automobiles and firearms can both be lethal in the hands of those without proper training. Proper training and instruction reduces the chances of tragedy.

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

As someone new to the community, I'd sure appreciate knowing who on the City Council does not believe the public should own firearms.

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