Fail to see how be­ing hawk­ish on taxes could make some­one ‘anti-gun’

The Enterprise - - Community Forum -

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

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