Sunday, June 04, 2017

City-run range would be misfire

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 3, 2017)

I love libraries, parks, and zoos. However, I'm not selfish enough to believe other people should subsidize things I enjoy. For me to force someone to hand over their hard-earned money to pay for something they don't want and won't use would be wrong. Every dollar I take is a dollar someone can't use for things such as food, the electric bill, toys for their child, or medicine. My wishes don't change theft into something moral.

To have government do the taking on my behalf, through taxation, doesn't magically change wrong into good.

Government should never do anything which could be done privately and funded voluntarily. I believe this covers everything which should be done at all. If something isn't popular enough to be funded voluntarily it should go away. If people miss it, they can bring it back and pay for it.

I mention this because there's apparently still talk of establishing a city-run shooting range. While I love to shoot, it would be a mistake to let the city use tax money this way, and to let the city be in charge of such a facility. Government employees and guns are a bad mix.

Noise is also a problem. If you move near a shooting range you have no right to expect them to stop shooting just because the noise bothers you. However, if someone starts a new shooting range near your house, they are responsible for accommodating you. If they go ahead with their plans, they owe restitution for the harm they cause you by their presence.

Unfortunately, when the offender is government, the offender makes and interprets the rules, employs those who enforce the rules, and choose winners and losers. When government is the bad guy, innocent people are usually out of luck. Even if restitution is paid to the victim, it doesn't cost the offender, but is stolen from the injured party and his neighbors through the fraud of taxation. The bad guys can't lose.

Of course, I've been around long enough to know once some government gets a notion, the idea never truly dies. Not even when you believe it's defeated. Government ideas are real-life zombies. Kill one and It keeps crawling from the grave again and again, with the knowledge that eventually no one will be paying attention and the program can be imposed on the reluctant population. They do it because they get away with it, and it works.

You have the power to foil their schemes. Use it.


This blog, like all of, is reader supported. 
Any donations or subscriptions are GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.


  1. The Eastern New Mexico News site has started putting your columns behind a subscriber only paywall.

    1. When I go to it, a popup asks if I would like to subscribe or "just keep reading". I click "just keep reading" and it shows it.
      But, I know the internet can be a bit random.

  2. Yeah, I used to get the subscribe/just keep reading option. Now I get the option to 1) log in if I am a subscriber or 2) subscribe. It may be some kind of setup triggered by the user's number of views per month.

    1. I think there is a limit per week. Also, I think the limit is 3.