Letters | 3-7-14
Shooting range needed here
There are a lot of guns already on the island. The exact number would be available from the police department since all legal guns must be registered. There are undoubtedly a number of illegal guns also, there always is.
An article ran recently about one gun shop on the island that has had a 500 percent increase, if I remember right, in sales of firearms in the past three years. I can only assume that the other gun shops have had similar sales increases. That adds to the existing guns on the island by a considerable amount.
The issue is not whether there are going to be more guns or not as Mr. Brown seems to think but rather where they are going to be used and how well trained shooters are and how safely they might be used. Would we rather that those seeking to shoot their legally owned guns shoot them in unregulated hunting areas, backyards or other potentially dangerous places or would a well-regulated, safe and controlled environment be preferable?
It is important to remember that the legal gun owners are not the ones that commit the gun crimes but rather those who have illegal guns who tend to use them illegally.
Denying legal shooters a well-regulated place to shoot only decreases the safety of the public and the skills and safe handling of the shooters.
It is further doubtful that having an official shooting range will cause visitors to the island to suddenly bring more guns here. Most only stay a few weeks at most and are not likely to be looking for a place to shoot on their vacation; perhaps a few will. Shooting groups that might be inclined to have large functions here are alway comprised of well-trained and knowledgable shooters and gun owners who would not and could not be included in Mr. Brown’s supposition that somehow more guns automatically leads to more gun crime. Better trained and regulated shooters make for a safer area all around.