Friday, November 19, 2004

Range Safety (i.e. will you have one)

As I noted when I added Kirk at Limpidity to my blogroll, I anticipate some good discussion with the man.

Yesterday he had a post regarding non-lead policies at ranges. As you can see, I commented that Yucca Mountain is a slightly more toxic site than most gun ranges in the eyes of your average voter. I added to my comments that the range I shoot on, which is rumored to be some toxic testing site from the 50's, will be closed in a year or two due to the continuing sprawl that Albuquerque, NM is quickly becoming.

Kirk took this to heart and did a full post on the subject today. Kirk bases his argument on his experience with over-reaching local politicians who cite noise ordinances as rationale for gutting range rights. He also rightly points out that our ex-governor, Gary Johnson (may he run against Bingaman in 06', please) signed into law a range protection bill.

Unfortunately, the problem with my range is not a noise pollution one. On the X-axis, it is kind of squished between the airport and Kirtland Air Force Base. It is also very close to the local drag strip. In this area, noise is not really a factor.

What is going to happen, is that a subdivision is going to be built on the Y-axis downrange. They are going to be breaking ground on this in 18 months and range will be gone. Of course, the distance we are talking about could not be traversed by .30-06 round and BMG rifles are not allowed at the range. Essentially the reason the range is going to close is twofold.

Firstly, you have the wonderful environmental lobby. Albuquerque's main (or only) source of water is the water table present below this area of the state. Now you could spend X amount of money to try and figure out if a couple of lead rounds are going to poison every child in town, but it's much easier to just shut the range.

I cited approvingly Mr. Johnson's efforts (and some of you may hate him, although I think he was the best governor in the US while he served; he vetoed everything; a little different than Bush.) Since that time we have elected ex-Clintonista Bill Richardson to the governor's mansion; a man my father affectionately refers to as "Porky." Bill was a good student as far as the usurpation of powers from an executive standpoint and he had an excellent teacher, he who can not be named.

Richardson has already taken executive steps to ensure that "growth" is possible in the Albuquerque area. As we have Indian reservations on two sides, and a mountain range in one, there is basically only one direction for the city to expand in. And we can't take any of that land away from the Indians, in case anyone has any suggestions in that flavor.

What it will come down to is eminent domain. This is an area of law I am not well versed in and I don't understand its roots. SayUncle blogs on this topic frequently and I am starting to understand why. Basically the state will revoke the range's charter because expansion is in the best interest of the people or, more likely, a better revenue source for the government.

I will research the roots of eminent domain over the weekend and blog more extensively on it.

In any case, thanks to Kirk for picking up the ball and running with it. If you haven't checked out his site, do. It is worth your time.


UPDATE: SayUncle has usefully isolated his blogging on Eminent Domain issues. It is illustrative as well as scary.

UPDATE II: Kevin over at Smallest Minority has written an appropriate response, although the legal technicalities I'm not sure of.

Comments:
Remember, forewarned is fore-armed

There was a study done on lead in rangesI did a lot of research in conjunction with my search for lead-free ammo.

It all boils down to the fact that lead is not a very mobile pollutant. I does not leach into the soil past a couple of inches and it does not wash away.

Just where did that lead come from in the first place ehh???

Maybe you should try and make a contact with Cerebral Misfire as he is a lawyer...

I will be doing a post about Grass roots activism in MD and what we accomplished. Just for you...
 
Before I turn 30, I must have Hearth Classics Premium Series Suede Wyoming
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