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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Shooting behind Tech

The subject of shooting behind Montana Tech has come up again according to KXLF.

About 18 years ago, the Council of Commissioners appointed a committee to evaluate shooting behind Montana Tech, consider areas where shooters could enjoy their recreational activity, and walkers and bike riders theirs. Members were Art Laramie, Bill Melvin, Joe Griffin, Brian Holland, Sheriff John McPherson, me, and others.

The committee delineated areas where each recreational activity could occur; a map exists that shows these. The committee met several times, took a field trip to look over the areas, compromised a lot, and the Council of Commissioners approved its recommendations. By their action, the Council of Commissioners recognized that shooting behind Tech was a valid recreational activity.

So how, then, does JP Gallagher have the authority to prohibit shooting behind Tech — a Council of Commissioners approved activity — and build a fence using recreational funding to implement it.

I contend he does not have that authority.

Instead of making more walking trails and fencing off public areas, why not bulldoze a few trenches into the hillside with berms to prevent stray rounds from going downrange? A place like that would pretty much solve problems of shooting the wrong way. You could also get volunteers to clean it up periodically.

However, a specter of fear arose in the news story:

According to J.P. Gallagher, “It’s not a matter of if something will happen, it’s, kind of the way things are going, it’s when something bad will happen, so we’re not going to sit back and wait for something bad to happen.”

Is the Parks and Recreation Director an experienced insurance actuary? A fortune teller? Risk assessment requires the consideration of both the probability and consequences of an event.

JP Gallagher’s statement implies consequences but ignores probability. No one has been shot behind Tech.

JP Gallagher suggests recreational shooters should pay at the Butte Gun Club for their activity. Should walkers and bike riders have to pay fees for their trail usage? Shooting behind Tech is a valid recreational activity. JP Gallagher does not have the authority to prohibit it.

— Steve Kujawa, Butte

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