Fail to see how being hawkish on taxes could make someone ‘anti-gun’
I fail to see where being fiscally hawkish and asking about responsible management of county tax funds magically transmogrifies to being “anti-gun.” It seems reasonable to ask politicians to exercise fiduciary responsibility and financial restraint when it comes to spending commonly sourced revenues. Perhaps some explaining against previously asked (but yet unanswered) questions from letters by Mark Broadhurst would be useful. Specifically:
1) How many recreational gun users do we actually have down here that would be using any of the proposed shooting ranges? A number was offered by Mr. Broadhurst in the Nov. 23 edition, but no sourcing for this claim has yet been provided, despite my request.
2) In the same letter, Mr. Broadhurst also states “county public shooting ranges are normally revenue generating and self-sustaining,” but no documentation for breakeven time frames on this claim have been provided, despite request.
3) We already have six shooting locations in nearby counties, a range at Naval Air Station Patuxent River for personnel with base access, a private longarm range in St. Mary’s, and shooting permitted on some private lands. Flat Broke Shooters is literally willing to bet their farm (nearly $2 million investment, exclusive of their own land) to try and meet perceived demand in the free market. But Enterprise readers were told in Mr. Broadhurst’s Oct. 19 letter “the county needs to provide an outdoor shotgun facility, and an indoor rifle and pistol facility. The outdoor shotgun facility would include skeet, trap and sporting clay ranges.” But how much are these two tax-supported ranges going to cost, and what’s the likely economic impact on the businesses of local entepreneurs? Again, no documentation has been provided, despite request.
4) The assertion was made in his Dec. 14 letter that “an opportunity exists for the partial funding of public shooting ranges” from a federal grant. Note the phrase “partial funding.” Is this a lump-sum gift or a matching grant, and if the latter, on what ratio? We, the taxpayers, will still have to come up with a substantial whack of money by increasing taxes or cutting expenses somewhere.
The last time I went out with my shooting partner (to a private range — shocking), we took four handguns, two deer-type rifles, and two shotguns — easily $2,000 worth of weapons, plus the cost of gun safes, transport cases and personal protective gear.
This sort of personal equipment investment is not viable for many people.
It is unconscionable to expect the county to pay for a convenient venue for one’s costly sporting hobbies — especially when there is minimal benefit to the populace in St. Mary’s as a whole.
Sandra McGann, Mechanicsville