Every Man and Woman a Rifleman

Embracing Our Revolutionary Heritage

There are still many good shooting ranges and clubs in King County and all over Western Washington. It is difficult, however, to find a range where you can shoot rifles from distances of 600 yards. Nevertheless, the Cascade Rifle and Pistol Club in Ravensdale provides a 600 yard range for members and for competitions.

Paul Bunyan Shooting Club in Puyallup has a 600 yard range which is only available during competitions and certain practice times. Like other outdoor ranges, Paul Bunyan and Cascade also have pistol and shot gun ranges but the next closest range that comes close to 600 yards (outside of Fort Lewis) may be Eatonville. Fort Lewis has a few ranges open to the public. There is some red tape, however, that may discourage all but the most determined.

A convenient alternative for busy urbanites is to go to an indoor pistol range like Champion Arms Indoor Shooting in Kent. Such ranges are also utilized by law enforcement for various activities and competitive pistol matches. IPSIC and IDPA matches have become very popular. Racing through a maze of targets develops accuracy along with the ability to function and perform critical tasks (such as reloading and clearing jams) while adrenaline pumps into your system.

Urbanization has put pressure on some clubs to give way to development. We need to remind our elected officials of President Theodore Roosevelt who believed strongly that marksmanship was the key to military preparedness- so strongly that he created a government department (now the nonprofit Civilian Marksmanship Program) to encourage civilian marksmanship.

I am scheduled to attend an Appleseed Shoot in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho later this month and will be reporting back after the two day event. The goal of the Appleseed Project is to make every American a rifleman that hits targets at 500 or more yards and to increase appreciation for America’s Revolutionary era heritage.

There are still many avid shooters in King County, including “liberal” Seattle. In fact, despite preconceived notions that liberals are anti-gun, gun politics are the true third rail of American politics. The conventional wisdom that a pro-gun stance will alienate swing voters and soccer moms is dubious and needs to be tested. We talk to many South King County moms and grandmothers that are obtaining their Concealed Pistol Licenses for the first time.

Tell your elected representatives that we need more ranges with more space and not to lean on the ones that we have. There are now many successful Democrats and Republicans in the Evergreen State that whole heartedly support armed citizens’ rights.

Rep. Skip Priest, for example, has a solid rating from the NRA and attracts a good cross-section of voters in our area- an area that epitomizes suburban patterns of swing voting. Tell your candidate of choice that gun rights are a bipartisan matter. Then get out to the range and meet your neighbors. Embracing America’s Revolutionary War heritage may be a welcome antidote to all the bad news about the economy.

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