Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Thank you Founding Fathers.  It’s interesting how the right to bear arms is the second most important right in the eyes of the framers of the Constitution. Just to be clear, the right to bear arms is not so law abiding citizens can hunt, nor is it for personal protection.  The 2nd Amendment is part of the checks and balance system established by our Founding Fathers because, quite simply, an armed populous is difficult to dictate.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

As a firm believer in the check and balance system, you’d think that government spending relating to our 2nd Amendment Right would be something that I favor.  And normally that would be the case.

But in this case, I have 15,680,000 reasons not to like this venture…..

*not the actual dirt pile referenced in this article.  Enlarged to show texture.

In 2010, the Clark County Shooting Range opened 25 miles north of Las Vegas, NV.  The initial construction cost $15.68 million.  That’s right.  Almost $16 million for dirt mounds for people to use as range backstops.

True, there are some structures.  Like pictured below:




You get the drift. Pretty heavy construction.  For the bulldozer guy.  Well maybe it was the cost of the land being near Las Vegas.  You tell me….

Can’t be the land…  No clue why it cost so much….  Regardless, it gets even worse.

Even when you factor out the cost to develop and construct, the shooting range expenses totaled $1.4 million per year and only takes in around $400,000 per year.  Simple math that even a Bulldawg can do leaves the taxpayers on the hook for a cool million per year to just to keep the doors open.

Let me be clear…  I like shooting ranges.  I like them a lot.  It’s a ton of fun to get out there and blow up some things.  I particularly like to go Office Space on malfunctioning office equipment.

I just don’t understand why the government feels responsible to engage in opening a shooting range.  That should be the responsibility of private citizens who recognize a need and pool resources to bring the business to market.  If the range is financially viable, then it can grow as revenue and patronage demands.

For those of you who have not been to an outdoor shooting range let me describe them to you.

Open field.

Dirt berm on one end. Maybe 20′ tall.

Tables at the other end on which to set your firearms.  Like this:

Someone to raise the “Range Hot” flag, declare when firing can commence, and when to cease firing. Of course anyone on the range can shout cease fire, but you still need a certified range officer.

And that’s it…. You don’t have to spend $15.68 million and $1.4 million per year to keep one open.

You see, here is the stark difference between government and private industry.  Government spends money as if it is an endless supply. Private industry spends money as it makes sense. If I owned that range, I would open up a few shooting areas since it’s dirt and tables.  As my business grew, I may open a small store with ammo and cold drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks.  Then maybe a shotgun range.  But only as it made sense with the business.  The government on the other hand thinks of everything that they could possible spend money on, and buys two of everything.

The real world is not the Field of Dreams.  Just because it’s been built doesn’t mean people will come.  Ask the umpteen investors in Underground Atlanta.  I think it made a profit for a week, once 12 years ago.

In Other News of the Ironic, the Clark County Parks and Recreation Department had to close some swimming pools in densely populate areas due to budget shortfalls of roughly $1 million. Fortunately it doesn’t get that hot in Las Vegas during the summer.  Only 100-107 degrees. But it’s a dry heat.

What would you do with $15.68 million?