A shooting range next door

Published 8:36 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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    We live in a still-rural community, and hunting is among the pleasures we enjoy. Thus, we also are accustomed to the sound of firearms.

    Being awakened early in the morning by a barrage of shotguns fired from a duck blind is just part of living in Isle of Wight. It’s no big deal. Nor is the opening day of dove season when, if you’re sufficiently close to a cornfield it may seem that skirmishers from Lee’s Army of northern Virginia are testing the flank.

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    Deer hunters, rabbit hunters, bird hunters. They all take guns to the field and the noise they create is mere background in a rural community.

    But then, there’s the shooting range. Frankly, I can’t imagine anything more annoying than living next door to a shooting range, listening day after day to a barrage of firearms discharging.

    This isn’t even about safety. Let’s assume that a shooting range is properly managed, that there are berms in place and monitors to keep idiots from pointing guns where they shouldn’t. Granted, that’s a lot of assumption, but let’s assume just for the sake of putting the best face on the matter.

    That leaves the noise, and if you’re living within a half-mile of a gun range, it has to be a nerve-wracking experience.

    Which brings us to the K-9 Interdiction application. Forget for a minute that the company completely ignored the county’s requirement that it obtain its permits first, and then begin shooting. The owners of the company seem to think that a fairly expansive view of the conditional use permit they obtained to train dogs allows a virtually unlimited right to train people in the use of firearms as well.

    We’ll leave that argument to the county and courts where, if K-9 Interdiction persists, the matter will likely be decided.

    For now, let’s just focus on the annoyance of living next door to a bunch of cowboys practicing with assault rifles — presumably against the day when our country is under attack and we’re all called to stand to arms. Or something.

    If they truly want a gun range, then they should build an indoor, soundproof one. They say that’s too expensive. That, it would seem, falls under the category of too bad.

    As proposed, the range would be outdoors — and loud. The thought of living next door to that is less than exciting. The good folks at Walters must rely on the county to make a decision whether to permit the range. Hopefully, common sense will come into play.