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More on target shooting.

In my previous post, I expressed my feelings about the young kid who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for fatally shooting a hiker, last year on the Sauk Mountain Trail. Some of the readers got an impression, that I was sympathizing the boy. Well, I was. And not just because he was 14.

I have to come clean. I am a target shooter myself. Not an avid one. As a matter of fact , I don't even own firearms. But some of my friends do. A lot. Rifles,shotguns, handguns,M-14-16s,semi-automatic... And one of their popular spots was ex 38 along I-90 HWY.

It's never been an issue for me before. But this particular incident made me think about the danger that reckless and destructive discharge of firearms impose on forest goers. According to the recent rules developed by DNR. :
Target shooting is supposed to be at manufactured targets placed against earthen backstops no closer than 500 feet from a campground, structure or residence and not on, down, next to or across roads and trails.

Here are some pics from my last shooting practice. As you can see, we did use manufactured targets, but some of them were placed down a hiking trail.

Later we were interrupted by somebody's voice behind us (since we had our earplugs, we couldn't hear what was going on around or behind us), and saw a terrified hiker going in the same directions our targets were. He asked us to give him at least 20 minutes before we start shooting again. Now ,even knowing that somebody was going in that direction, it didn't occur to us to remove the targets and place them against earthen backstops.

After we were done, a local sheriff pulled over. Looked around ,told us not to forget to pick up shell casings and drove away. One of the guys was on probation, that prohibited him to have or even to be around firearms.

Like I said, I am not a big fan of target shooting and actually, prefer a shooting range. But recent posts on WTA blog, The Seattle Times and other local media, show that target shooting is a big emerging issue statewide. And while safe shooting can exist in the forest, more work should be done to ensure safer trails for everyone who loves the woods--firearms enthusiasts included. No wander that more people start thinking that nothing short of an outright ban is going to work.

Designated Target Shooting Area in Olympia, WA


Anonymous said...

The solution is simple..
Designate an area for the sole use of target shooters,
no hikers, bikers, just target shooting heaven,
like a huge outdoor gun range,
kinda like Exit 38...
a target shooting recreation range
how hard can it be?? they build trails, and campsites, but no target ranges?? they can spend $1000 for signs that get used as targets, but not a dime for a target range?
oh, and I'll tell you why target shooters hate indoor ranges, there's no wind, or shadows or sunlight, and my biggest problem...
RULES RULES RULES...example, only 5 rounds loaded at a time??
my magazine holds 25...they sell the ammo in 500rnd boxes!!!RELOADING SUCKS, and it could kill you! Aren't there enough rules and laws about guns??? now your gonna tell me how to load it too???
Besides, there's not enough ranges around anyways

I just want the rights that my ancestors died to defend,
stop trying to take them away from us
I'm only being patriotic!

ExtraHyperActive said...

Actually, I absolutely agree with you. Don't think it will happen any time soon. Besides, let so many people go shooting and local government can't make money off of it and can't control it?