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Old February 3, 2000, 01:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 6, 1999
Posts: 367

Last weekend I went out to the National Forest area near where I live for a little rifle shooting. When I go I make it a point to carry out everything I carry in. While I'll pick up most of my brass, I cannot claim to get all of it. However, the most annoying problem at public shooting areas is the stuff a lot of shooters bring to shoot with no intention of cleaning up. These people are for all practical purposes, Litterers. Why not bring portable target stands for cardboard and paper? Maybe a steel silhouette or reactive plate, even biodegradable stuff like fruit, eggs, or cookies that explode when hit. Soda cans and glass are often the most offensive type of targets, not to mention the ubiquitous washing machine or television set. I can understand wanting to use aluminum or steel cans provided they always, without fail, get picked up. However, glass is never a proper object to shoot at on public land. Once, in my county, we had an area near the highway that was used by thousands of weekend plinkers. Over the course of many years, until it was (wisely) closed down, the brown, barren hillsides were home to an assortment of discarded items. After it was posted "No Shooting", and the Forest Service contracted a clean-up, these same hills sparkled with the unnatural glitter of broken glass for quite some time. I used to pass this area occasionally and couldn't help but feel embarrassed by what these ignorant members of the shooting public had done to the natural beauty of this land. I felt guilty of the charges that environmentally sensitive people could legitimately make against recreational shooting. I am amazed that there wasn't a bigger controversy regarding this abuse. Now, a new area has opened up, and except for being away from the road, it suffers the same disrespect. If you have an area like this that you use for plinking , what are your thoughts? Do you pick up after yourself? Others?
It has been my practice, with the exception of last weekend, to simply restrict my shooting to private ranges where this is not an issue. I cannot see being locked into this practice since ranges for rifles are becoming more scarce. Should tax dollars be used to provide men and equipment to close, clean up, and re-open these sites? What about funds from an excise tax imposed on ammunition? Please, offer your comments on this topic. Thank you.
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Old February 4, 2000, 01:46 AM   #2
George Hill
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: October 14, 1998
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 11,546
Hunting Plinks is one of the best things there is to do on a long lazy saturday morning...

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!
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Old February 4, 2000, 11:29 AM   #3
Join Date: January 11, 2000
Location: Indiana
Posts: 94
I feel the same way you do. It seems a few bad apples spoil the whole batch. I used to plink in a couple area at a local wilderness area.But they built a proper range and now discourage unsanctioned plinking. The couple of places I used did get really messed up. All kinds of crap left there. It was my practice to bring a couple large plastic trash bags and pick up all the plastic jugs, cans bottles, glass, brass, trash etc. I'd fill two bags in no time.

Now the range gets trashed with the same stuff. I've done the same thing, cleaning it up, but what really pisses me off are the hillbillies who shoot up the Range Rules board, or the sign-in board, or anything else they think would be cool to shoot.

Just like anything else, if people would be more considerate, we could all enjoy the shooting sports, including plinking without worry of another shootin' spot being closed down.
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Old February 6, 2000, 12:40 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,126
Wrong question. Shoulda been, "What's wrong with SOME plinkers?" The people you're griping about are the same ones who shoot holes in signs and mailboxes.

Years ago I ran across a worthwhile comment: "Slums don't make slum people. Slum people make slums." Looking here and there around this country, I gotta agree. So, folks who toss trash are just trash people.

About the only answer across society is, "You can't do that anymore." And we're reduced to mumbling about "a few bad apples" and losses of freedoms.

"That which belongs to everybody belongs to nobody", so there is no sense of responsibility nor attachment to the place of use. Not like at home, where the trash-tossers would be irate if you threw trash into their yard.

Have you noticed that most private ranges are kept cleaner? That private-range fella might not let a trash-tosser back in.

Regards, Art
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