Good news, according to last night’s Town of Barnstable Conservation Committee meeting, the reopening of the shooting range is supported by all town bureaucracies (and there are many…), bureaucrats from the town manager on down to the individual that will now have to be employed to babysit shooters.
Yes, I said babysit. The town, the people, and the community as a whole have been told by potential insurance carriers that range safety officers will now be required.
I’m currently throwing my hands up in the air while trying to type at the same time. I don’t like babysitters.
I grew up going to that range… without babysitters. I’m nearly half a century old. I have never ever seen anyone get hurt or being reckless there, never.
Why? The reason is because the people who use the range are some of our very best citizens. They have been trained and checked out by law enforcement agencies from the FBI, State Police and finally the Barnstable Police. They in general are not the types of people who tend to be reckless or unsafe. In short, they take firearm safety very seriously. In fact, they take firearm safety more seriously than many citizens take driver safety.
I myself have served as a police officer where I witnessed and covered many traffic accidents. Operating Hyannis News, I have seen and covered many more. In fact, traffic accidents and injuries are a daily part of life on Cape Cod. Not once have I ever heard of any accident at the town’s shooting range aside from last night when someone made the point that in all of the years of the range being open there has only been one injury that he knew about, and even that incident was not life threatening.
Yet insurance companies are not saying we should have ‘driving safety officers’ in every vehicle traveling on public roads. No, the insurance companies usually play the statistics, assess risks, adjusting premiums based on the driver’s record.
In terms of the Town of Barnstable shooting range, our safety record has been excellent. A more powerful word to describe our safe shooting range record escapes me right now… so I’ll try this: WE HAVE BEEN BEYOND EXCELLENT!
I understand that the insurance companies are private businesses and they basically can do as they please. I get that.
I also understand that we live in a litigious society where insurance companies are unfortunately a necessary ‘evil.’ I get that too.
But what I don’t get is why the insurance companies have suddenly stopped playing the odds. In this case, there are very favorable odds that the good citizens that use the Barnstable shooting range are extremely NOT likely to injure themselves or others.
Compared to the daily amounts of blood spilled on our public roadways, you would think that insurance companies would NOT want to change a single thing about our existing public range. It is one of the safest places in town!
But they said we now need babysitters or forget about the whole thing. And who are we to question that logic? It’s their ball, and if we don’t play by their rules, they won’t play, taking their ball back home with them.
The insurance companies know that ‘guns’ in America are under fire. They know they can shake us down on gun points (it feels like ‘at gun point…’). They know they can call the shots.
And they know the people want their range back open.
And I know the quaint shooting range I’ve grown up attending… the one that has successfully served future cops, FBI agents, state troopers, hunters, moms, single women, sons, daughters, mechanics, dentists and special forces war heroes… I know, like so many other good things, that part of our proud history will never be the same.
It’s babysitters or nothing.
by Robert Bastille, Hyannis News Editor