Close the Basalt shooting range for good

Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed to Basalt Town Council.

I am writing you to express mine and my family’s outlook regarding the future of the Basalt State Wildlife Area shooting range, especially in the light of the ongoing wildfire it has created. While I do understand there is the right to bear arms, I do not feel because you can bear arms, it allows for towns and families to be threatened by the activities of guns users.

The shooting range has now created two different wildfires. After the first, tColorado Parks and Wildlife assured it was being maintained and run properly and it was the act of carelessness that caused the fire. They also added a berm that was supposed to protect and keep wildfires from happening. Well, guess what — another careless shooter caused one of the worst fires in our little town’s history, 11,000-plus acres. It was a miracle and the brave acts of the firefighters that prevented more destruction to homes and lives lost. As I write this, the fire still rages on and will be months, they say, before it is completely out.

The point of this letter is we do not believe that the shooting range should be allowed to continue to operate in its current location. Not only has it threatened to burn our little town down twice, the complete disregard of the noise everyone in Basalt has to endure all day right into the evening affects the mental health of all residents. Some days it sounds like an active war zone and I know it makes my heart rate go up dramatically. This is not about gun rights; it is about life safety and mental health. This is just not the right place for a gun range next to a large population. CPW has a lot of property that is not close to town that they could relocate the gun range to that does not threaten and disrupt the health and welfare of citizens.

We have all endured enough and now is the right time to do the right thing and shut it down for good. A wise man once said: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”

Thank you for looking out for everyone’s life and safety.

Tripp Adams