Shooting range should have been closed | AspenTimes.com

Shooting range should have been closed

We are currently in southwest Michigan (where there is overabundant rainfall, ironically) and are following with shock and horror the progress of the Lake Christine fire. We were struck, however, by comments from Colorado Parks and Wildlife's J.T. Romatzke in the July 4 Aspen Times story about the decision not to close the firing range. Saying that it was an "unfortunate thing" about the incident touching off the fire (allegedly, illegal tracer shots) is, at best, an unfortunate characterization.

What the two shooters did was highly irresponsible and careless, as was the decision not to close the firing range sooner. Romatzke's claim that it is a "very safe range" seems disingenuous when one looks at the photograph in the article and sees the charred hillside just above where users were shooting. Since this is the second fire started at a shooting range in some two weeks (the first by legal ammo fired out of the range area), it appears that responsibility (or, perhaps, enough oversight) is lacking at these ranges.

I am a very responsible user of my charcoal grill, but if conditions warrant that I not use it, I don't. Given the extremely dangerous conditions throughout the region, the prudent act would have been to close that and the other ranges before a tragic incident happened. By not doing so (and in his comments), Mr. Romatzke again demonstrated the apparent unwillingness of the gun community to take responsibility for their actions. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this and the other fires burning in Colorado.

Ken and Bonnie Pletcher

Carbondale