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Snohomish County

Shooting range critic way off mark

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The Dec. 24 letter, "Rethink decision on shooting range," would have us think that rifle ranges are used " hone the shooting skills of the next generation of mass murderers?" Responsible hunters and firearms owners are not mass murderers. The problem lies with the mentally ill.
I don't speak for the affiliated clubs of the Snohomish County Sportsmen's Association, but I am a member. The SCSA is not about your right to shoot people with assault weapons. If the writer takes part in any outdoor activity, it's likely that at some point in history one of those clubs gathered money and volunteers to create the opportunity for him, and you, to enjoy leisure time in this county. Many SCSA club members are hunters and recreational shooters, and they've watched too many ranges disappear as the county population expanded into sparsely populated areas.
Sultan Sportsmen's Club member, Dwight Hanson, began working with the county in 1983 to get this proposed range in place. In a county with a population larger than all of Wyoming, that 1 percent figure that the writer throws out there really is a lot of shooters with very few places to shoot. Rifle, pistol, and trap ranges are maintained through user fees, and the facilities also serve as training sites for law enforcement groups. The SCSA clubs have given much to the citizens of this county, and they have earned this range.
Perhaps if we invested funds on identifying and treating the mentally ill we wouldn't need to spend that money to incarcerate them -- after they've committed their horrendous acts.
Ron Larsen

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