This week we were able to get in a late afternoon trip to the range for some shooting fun. Most of my recent practice time at the range has been solo, so it was good to have Colleen and a friend along. A steady rain had been falling for much of the day, but we're seldom dissuaded by inclement weather. By the time the car was loaded and we arrived at the range, the rain was reduced to a light mist.
Upon pulling in, we saw right away that the driveways into both pistol ranges were blocked by orange cones. Uh oh, that's not good I thought. Upon closer examination, we saw signs that read, "Pistol range is closed until the trash cans are empty. We are all volunteers." Petty? Perhaps. I've never been a fan of group punishment for the transgressions of a few. (Perhaps that's why I so despise the anti-gun crowd.) The organization does have a rule that you are supposed to take your cardboard trash with you, but a small, lazier crowd ignores that rule. So we emptied the trash can and filled two large bags of trash, mostly cardboard target refuse. The trash can was now empty so we figured we were free to shoot. We did jokingly remark, that according to the posted sign, there was no requirement to actually haul the trash away.
Sanitation engineer duties complete, we finally got set up to shoot. I put up a couple of USPSA targets for myself. Colleen and Checkered Flag set up a couple of the colorful Rob Pincus targets discussed here. I expended about 50 rounds doing my thing, but I kept looking over at the other targets. "Gee, those targets are fun," I remembered. Soon I replaced my target with one of those and we all started doing various fun drills; like calling colors and shooting on the move at the small shapes. I did get in some strong hand and weak hand only shooting too, which is something I hadn't done in quite a while.
Eventually, we all had gone through the ammo we had brought along. Just in time too, as the heavy rain was approaching again. We policed our brass, along with brass left on the ground by previous shooters. That other shooters often leave their brass behind, also in violation of the rules, is irritating but does mean more for me to trade in! We stuffed our own target trash into the bags and loaded the bags into the car. A quick detour to the nearby "convenience center" completed our range trip.
It was fun couple of hours, despite the unexpected chore. I do worry that if members keep ignoring requests to haul out their trash, the club leadership is going to take more drastic, and punitive, action that will affect even those innocent of violations.
Our range afternoon ended as all good range trips should; musing about the day over some good craft beer and a delicious meal prepared by Colleen.