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Posted: 2/14/2006 3:53:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 3:54:29 AM EDT by VTHOKIESHOOTER]
www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/wb/xp-52523
Another anti-gun article From the Roanoke Times
Defer to local control for OK of firing ranges

Local officials know particular hazards for their neighbors better than the state.


The Roanoke Times

Members of the House of Delegates seem to think there is nothing more American -- well, at least Virginian -- than the sweet sound of gunfire echoing through neighborhoods, and they are willing to drag that tired, old dog called "local control" behind the woodshed to make the point.

Bang!

Delegates are rushing a bill to the Senate that would force counties to permit shooting ranges wherever hunting is legal. If it is safe to hunt somewhere, supporters argue, then it ought to be safe to shoot at clay pigeons and targets.

The difference is that Virginians a few years ago amended their constitution with a right to "hunt, fish, and harvest game," not a right to shoot anything anywhere. Localities have a tough time restricting hunting but not popping inanimate objects.

Bang!

Gun advocates, however, sought to twist the plain meaning of the language. When Nelson County denied a conditional-use permit for a shooting range, firearms enthusiasts went hunting for a little judicial activism, trying to draw an absurd equivalence between hunting and target practice.

A state circuit court had better sense, ruling that a fundamental right to hunt does not imply a right to shoot. The constitution might constrain hunting laws, but it does not prohibit local zoning from limiting shooting ranges.

The constitution also does not prohibit the General Assembly from taking that local authority away from counties, which is now the delegates' plan.

Bang!

They willfully ignore the fact that local officials are in a much better position to determine whether a site is appropriate for a shooting range. Local authorities can judge whether neighbors will hear incessant gunfire or whether stray shots will threaten nearby residents, their animals and their property. All the state can do is create a blanket provision that ignores conditions on the ground.

Senators should be less willing to target local control. Some places are right for shooting; some are not. Local zoning exists to set those boundaries.

Bang!
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:50:25 AM EDT
first of all that was an editorial as opposed to an article by a staff writer. secondly i am a bit confused as to the position of the writer. at first it sounds like they think local control of ranges is bad. then at the end it is as if it is a much better idea. so i am not sure as to what is going on with this whole thing to be honest with you.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:58:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By aaronrb204:
first of all that was an editorial as opposed to an article by a staff writer.



Well yeah


secondly i am a bit confused as to the position of the writer. at first it sounds like they think local control of ranges is bad. then at the end it is as if it is a much better idea. so i am not sure as to what is going on with this whole thing to be honest with you.

They are just advocating that local governments can on a whim close down shooting ranges because of the "danger" that gun ranges present.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:18:42 AM EDT
sorry to state the obvious on the editorial part but based on the original post i took it to mean that they wrote it as opposed to got it in the mail.

and after reading it again i think that is not what they are advocating. they are saying that zoning etc laws are best made by the localities--county/city govt--than at the state level.
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