Wednesday, February 04, 2015

What could POSSIBLY go wrong AGAIN, THIS time?

From the full-to-the-point-of-overflowing "Responsible gun ownership means nothing can go wrong until it eventually does" file, Joseph Carannate, a man in nearby St. Petersburg, has built hisself a genuine, home-made, All-American, shoot-'em-up range...right in the front yard of his home...smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The reason is because he apparently can't afford to pay the fees to take his guns to some fancy downtown certified, professionally owned and operated gun range. And as we know, here in 2015 America, you're entitled to believe that your desire to do something you want, regardless of how it might impact others or even if you can afford to do it, is the same thing as your right to do it, and goddamn it, he wants to shoot his guns.

Hoo boy. Off the cuff, this seems like it might be kind of a bad idea to me.

At the risk of pigeonholing myself, in any debate between people, especially children, whose agenda boils down to "living longer through not getting shot" and hobby enthusiasts, I'm going to be on the unarmed folks side pretty much every single time.

Before you jump down my throat and attack me as "Another mouthy liberal freaking about anything having to do with guns just because of an irrational fear of guns and a hatred of personal freedom", take a look at the "range" for yourself...
Why yes, he IS wearing a t-shirt with the word "responsibility" on it!
Yep. That's it. Obviously, he followed this recipe in constructing it...

  • Pile of sand
  • Shipping pallets
  • Piece of plywood
Pile ingredients in front of some bushes and trees and shit (you know, for extra good safety). Aim. Fire.

That there is a genuine, home-made, All-American front yard shoot-'em-up range.
Oh come on, you Another mouthy liberal freaking about anything having to do with guns just because of an irrational fear of guns and a hatred of personal freedom. How exactly are you defining "middle of a residential district"?
Well, pretty much this...
Look, maybe I am just Another mouthy liberal freaking about anything having to do with guns just because of an irrational fear of guns and a hatred of personal freedom. That is entirely possible. I have never said I have all the answers or even any of the correct ones.
Ultimately, I guess the truth is we have no way of knowing that anything could possibly go wrong with this situation.
Except a woman's house in nearby Lithia got all shot up just about a week ago by a couple of guys shooting guns in somebody's yard, so you know, precedent. Whatever.
But here's the beautiful, and by "beautiful", I mean "horrifyingly troubling" part: the whole thing is completely legal...
* "There's no restriction on the type of firearms or ammunition that can be used in a backyard shooting range.
* There's no restriction on the time of day or night your neighbors can use their gun range.
* And there's no restriction on gun ranges near a public school, day-care center or neighborhood playground." - Florida Sun Sentinel

And (you weren't anticipating an "and" there, were you?) it's protected to the point that it can't even be made illegal!
"The law allowing home gun ranges has been on the books for 27 years. However, as local governments began passing ordinances that banned them, the National Rifle Association convinced state lawmakers in 2011 to fight back. Now, local leaders who create restrictive ordinances face fines of $5,000 per offense. They can even be removed from office and forced to pay their own legal fees if sued over a gun ordinance." - Florida Sun Sentinel
In other words, public servants can be unceremoniously fired simply for pissing off the wrong hobbyist because the NRA doesn't give a shit about you and your stupid votes.
Again, Hoo boy.
Okay, so it's his legal right to construct what he considers a gun range in his yard in exactly the same way it's my right to fart as loudly and powerfully (you know what I mean by that) as I want in the middle of a nice restaurant. Of course, I don't do that because I'm not an asshole, but it is my right.
I guess there's nothing to do but wait for something horrible to happen. Again.

EPILOGUE: The preceding situation was rectified early this morning (Wednesday, February 4th) thanks to Mike Calta of the "The Mike Calta Show" on 102.5 WHPT-FM by arranging a membership for Carannate at an actual, certified, professionally operated gun range. Of course, legally he can still use his home-made range too, so again, we'll see.

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