Michigan residents freak over gun range

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Gun ranges are one of those things you kind of need if the Second Amendment is going to mean anything. Shooting is a perishable skill, after all, and gun owners need to be able to practice regularly in order to maintain that skill.

However, gun ranges are oddly controversial in many places.

Communities routinely try to prevent them from opening, and not just because they’re upset at the noise. In Ypsilanti, Michigan, some are trying to link the gun range to violent crime.

As plans for a new indoor shooting range and firearms retailer reach their final stages, they’ve encountered pushback from residents concerned about worsening gun violence in the Ypsilanti area.

The 15,000-square-foot range is slated for what is now a parking lot on James L. Hart Parkway in Ypsilanti Township, along I-94 just south of the Ypsilanti city limits.

The project came before the township’s Planning Commission for a second and final time on Tuesday, March 22, and for the first time saw significant input from residents.

“We have so much gun violence in Ypsilanti that bringing a gun range to Ypsilanti isn’t going to solve that problem,” township resident LaResha Thornton told officials. “It’s going to add more fuel to the fire.”

“The connection between gun availability and gun violence is obvious and proven,” added the Rev. Laura Hunt, associate pastor at the Ypsilanti area’s New Beginnings Community Church, who called bringing anything promoting local firearms ownership a “mistake.”

Except, it’s not proven.

See, gun stores don’t just sell to anyone who walks in off the streets. They have to perform background checks on all firearm buyers. They’re not arming criminals.

So why are there studies showing such a link exists? Because those studies use correlation and decide it’s causation. Gun stores are often forced into certain parts of town because so-called respectable people don’t want them near them. Those parts of town are already high in crime, so when researchers look, they see high crime around a gun store, and POOF! Instant “proof” of a link.

And gun ranges aren’t going to help?

Well, I’ll likely give them that. I mean, the existence of a range won’t help in and of itself. It won’t hurt, either. Plus, if people have more places to practice self-defense, they might actually be able to put an end to some of the violent crime.

Over and over again, we keep seeing this anti-Second Amendment bigotry where absolute morons equate lawful gun ownership with violent crime. They can’t grasp the idea that gun ranges and gun stores aren’t responsible for what criminals do, that their efforts won’t make anyone safer except the criminals.

Then again, it’s Ypsilanti. They’re generally not particularly sane when it comes to anything the least bit political, and in their minds, anything that allows a law-abiding citizen to obtain or learn how to use a gun properly is an evil that cannot be tolerated.

The truth is that a range isn’t a bad thing and won’t hurt anyone in the community. Neither will a retail space associated with the range. None of the people quoting are able to give a valid reason why it shouldn’t be allowed. They’re running off of emotion and little else.

If they weren’t, they’d see reality.