Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Woodworth Range

Last weekend, some of the family wanted to do some shooting, so I checked the calendar of the Woodworth Shooting Range and saw that it was reserved for the normal 3rd Saturday muzzleloader shoot.  This shoot has been happening for years. 

The local muzzleloading club reserves the range every 3rd Saturday morning, and normal, taxpaying recreational shooters are not welcome unless they want to burn charcoal.  They have all kids of weird rules, and you have to pay dues to be in the club, and all this takes place at a shooting range that is built and maintained by tax dollars, especially Pittman Robertson money.  Dollars that I pay so that the range might be available for my use, and the rest of the shooting public.

So, this morning I loaded my gear to go do a little recreational shooting.  I drove out to the range and got there at about 8:30, only to be told that the range was closed.  Closed to let some other club use the range.  A kids group had come up from the New Orleans area to shoot.

Well, hell.  I support kids groups and hunter education, but this is the second Saturday in a row when the range has been closed.  I came home and looked on the calendar and I see that the range will be closed again in May, on the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th for the state muzzleloader shoot.  They get the whole range for four whole days.  A public range, built and maintained with public money.

I have once again written a nasty-gram to the state offices, specifically, a fellow named John Sturgis.  He runs all the LDWF ranges in Louisiana.

It's a damned stinking low-down-dog shame that a taxpaying citizen can't use a public shooting range on a Saturday morning.  It's even more of a dirty stinking shame that a public range allows private clubs to reserve those public ranges for their private use.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a private club uses a public range, then all match fees should go to the public purse. Or some other arrangement should be made to collect rent on the facility, so as to discourage abuse.

You do realize just how PC the muzzle loaders are? They are the weapons that would have been carried by the original framers of the Bill Of Rights, and as such are the last ones that can be regulated.

The folks who look down their nose at guns will use any excuse to deny access to the range - and allocating 25% of the range days to perhaps 5% of the shooting public is just another form of restriction of access.

The local club finally had to stop providing the local cops, sheriffs, and highway patrol courtesy access to the range, because they were abusing the privilege - showing up for a free qualifier in the morning, and staying all day, monopolizing the range for the whole day, crowding out the club members, scheduling their activities on the weekends, which further crowded out the members who worked during the week, and other un-neighborly behavior. They (the officers, and their leaders) developed a bit of an attitude over time - possibly because of some conflict between the club and the city council. (What - you mean you don't support law enforcement? I'm Shocked!!!) Now they are out - and the taxpayers built them a new range (Aren't we nice) that no one but they can use.