I’m hearing complaints from people regarding possible limits on shooting in open areas because some fires may have been started by those shooting off ranges. Chairman of the Utah Sports Shooting Council Clark Aposhian said that perhaps 5 percent of the wildfires in the state have been caused by target shooters this year, and “I don’t know how much of a problem it really is.”
1. Yes, this has happened:
"A Mesa man is facing six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for his role in starting the Sunflower Fire which charred nearly 18,000 acres of Arizona land.
Authorities said Steven Craig Shiflet, 23, from Mesa, and four of his friends were in the Sycamore Creek area for a campout and bachelor party on May 11, 2012.
The group had been shooting at targets when Shiflet loaded a shell into his shotgun and fired it. Shortly after Shiflet fired the shot, smoke appeared in the brush just behind where the shot was fired. The men told police, despite their best attempts, they were unable to extinguish the fire.”
Also, this happened:
"Among the recent fires, target shooters on June 21 ignited a blaze south of Salt Lake City that forced the evacuation of about 2,300 before it was contained."
2. Your right to bear arms ends where my property rights and personal safety begin. Find an outdoor shooting range instead of the brush. No one is telling you that you can’t have guns. We’re saying you can’t use those guns in certain areas, at certain times, for the safety of other people. Are these target shooters really so selfish that they cannot limit themselves out of personal responsibility? I thought the right to bear arms was about protecting one’s self and others, not about risking burning down their homes because gun rights mean getting to shoot whenever and wherever.
Take some personal responsibility and shoot in designated areas, and obey fire restrictions — basically, quit bitching restrictions infringe on Second Amendment rights. They don’t. It’s a temporary restriction while the West is a tinderbox waiting to explode.
But only five percent of fires! But boomsticks!
Ask the people who lost homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire about that. Though that fire’s cause is still unknown, a point of origin was found and a reward is being offered for information. It can take one fire sparked by one person shooting one round.
Would shooting into a crowd be justified if a person was hit only five percent of the time?
No, of course not. Because THAT would be ridiculous, amirite?!