Letter: ‘Get rid of the current shooting range’

June 30, 2022

The Ashland Gun Club has had a hold on this town for years.

The gun club rents the space for the gun club range outside of town for only a few dollars a year from the city of Ashland. They pollute a beautiful space (with a history related to the famous Lithia waters) with the sound of their gunshots disturbing neighbors and wildlife. They pollute the land with lead from spent ammunition left on the grounds. And they aren’t held responsible for cleaning it up the last I heard. (Editor’s note: According to Ashland city records, the lease with the Ashland Gun and Archery Club calls for $1 per year in rental payments and requires that the club “minimize and manage lead contamination.” The club says it recycles lead shot found on the property.)

These are issues that my late husband spent many hours working on trying to make a change for the better in this regard for this little town.

This was back around 2010 when he was on the Ashland Historic Commission. He was an archaeologist and it broke his heart that this shooting range land was being used and violated in this way. But guns, and those who love them, won again.

He wondered why a shooting range couldn’t be moved to an indoor space. Who makes the decision to rent for a few dollars a year? This is basically an historic site being violated in many ways. He still had many questions when he realized he couldn’t get heard when those in power liked things the way they were, so he moved on to other things.

That the Ashland Police Department would agree with the Gun Club in thinking that giving away a free assault rifle (is OK) boggles my mind. (Editor’s note: APD was not involved with the raffle.) Even thinking for a moment that it was a good idea is beyond absurd. It is good that (the club) stopped the giveaway — but what is going on? Are they beholden to the gun club as they use the range?

Get rid of the current shooting range. Move it to an inside one somewhere soundproof for those who have to shoot. Ashland should be above this. Clean that land of their pollution and misuse.  Make it a park. It belongs to Ashland. Maybe no one cares — why are they allowed to just ruin it?

Americans appear to love guns more than people or anything else. And those in power from Washington to Ashland —  those who make the decisions for us all — have a love affair with guns and power and money. This proposed giveaway just was too much.

Thank you for listening on behalf of my husband’s memory and myself.

Annette Baker


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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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