I drove out to the range this morning. Got there at 10:00 a.m. Gates were closed. Locked. Chained shut. Range is closed.
The range I use is the only public shooting range in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. It is near Woodworth, LA and is run by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as part of their outdoor education program. Ostensibly, it is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Yet, this morning it isn't. And often, inexplicably, it isn't.
Long ago I went through a hunter safety course. I see the value in it, but that is done. I don't need that any more. I got my children through it, and that is done. The LDWF doesn't mind taking my money for boating licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses, yet it can't provide something as simple as a range for weekend shooting.
Civil Servants are gnerally worthless, and the LDWF employees, around here anyway, are even more worthless than usual. Comparing them to something worthless is not fair to garbage, because even garbage, or scrap has a recycle value. I don't think you could recycle a LDWF employee into anything useful, so they have no salvage value. They can't even manage to do something as simple as open a range on the weekends. No, gracious! They are off on the weekends, and if it isn't convenient they aren't going to do it. If someone is scheduled, and he gets sick then the range can't be opened.
One man, one range, every weekend. Simple, yes? Businesses and government agencies like police, fire, and medical personnel have figured out how to do it. You think the LDWF could figure it out? No, hell no! Ain't gonna happen. They're worthless as tits on a boar hog.
The Army, in its wisdom, long years ago qualified me to run ranges from small arms up to tank qualification. I know how to run a range. From simple shooting to complex qualification tables. I can teach people to shoot. I have offered to give up one day a month, gratis, to open the range at Woodworth. Other folks have also made the offer. Have LDWF get a dozen volunteers and run us on a rotating schedule. Open the range to the public so they can shoot. Have it open every weekend. No cost to the state. Have I been called? Hell, no.
We are coming through the greatest test this state ever faced, the twin tragedies of Katrina and Rita. Armed citizens were instrumental in protection of life, liberty and property. Do ya think that the LDWF could keep a range open so the shooting public could hone their skills and get instruction in a place that is safe and convenient? Hell, no.
Has anything been done to keep the range open? Hell no. Does the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries care anything about the shooting public? Hell, no. If the LDWF isn't serving the public, what good are they? The simple answer is: None.
I'm not interested in how many enforcement hours are spent in the field. I'm not interested in the fisheries program. Not interested in any problems but one. I'm being a grouch and a curmudgeon on this one. That damned range needs to be open every weekend. No excuses, no problems, no failures. Make it happen, or get someone who can make it happen. Just do it.