Letters to the Editor

Gun club ‘apology’ not accepted | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

The Record published a letter to the editor from my neighbor and friend Michael McInerney. Michael is on vacation now but sadly I cannot wait until he returns to discuss this subject with the community.

I do not accept Michael’s “apology” for the increased noise at the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club over the last couple of weeks. The idea that this club invited the Coast Guard to practice firing their weapons at this private recreational gun club is beyond my comprehension.

The excuse that the public was not told ahead of time for “security reasons” is laughable to me. The reason we were not told ahead of time was to prevent the public from reacting to the idea. I know I would have immediately protested. That I would have considered a court order to stop them would have not been out of the question.

It is not just the noise, it’s also the precedent it sets coupled with the gun club’s insensitivity to the community.

The noise was indescribable , several times louder than normal club gunfire and sustained for more than two hours on Friday afternoon, Feb. 26. It was so loud that I drove across the street to see what was going on. I saw close to 40 men in black uniforms firing without any sense of order or purpose down range, basically all at the same time.

I will not detail my discussions with the members who approached me. What I remember is their continuous smirks as they said they were sorry (many times, broken record like). Laughingly, what they said several times was that it was the “sound of freedom.” I doubt anyone who is not a member of the club would believe that. I know my dog and horse (who tolerate the normal noise of the club well ) thought it was the “sound of terror.” I was also told by a member to “[expletive deleted]!”

I know Michael said it was a one-time event. I want it to be a one-time event. I want to assure that is the case. By “apologizing” after the fact I think the club is acting like the child who says “Lets see what I can get away with.” I need to ask what will keep the club from doing it again ? Regulation is necessary. Military riflemen with automatic weapons should not be allowed to shoot at this neighborhood club.

I also have to question the good neighbor concept presented. This club shoots Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. There are explosions that come from the club that are louder than any hand-held weapon I know. The gunfire is sustained for periods of time that change it from organized target shooting to war zone.

I grow weary of the excuse that the club was here first. In case the members of the club haven’t noticed its not the 1940s anymore. The world, the nation and this community have changed. I look forward to Holmes Harbor Gun Club working on their “good neighbor” concept.

Copies of this letter will be sent to the Island County Board of Commissioners, state of Washington, Department of Ecology and to Rear Admiral Gary T. Blor, Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.

Did you read they were from the East Coast? Apparently the East Coast doesn’t like their noise either.

Norman Hayes


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