Despite Laws, Londonderry Council Postures Against LFGC - Granite Grok

Despite Laws, Londonderry Council Postures Against LFGC

“”My door is always open-bring me your problems.” This is guaranteed to turn on every whiner, lackey and neurotic on the property.” —Robert F. Six

Demagoguery. Town officials told the Derry News that Town officials, police officials, Fish and Game Club members, and the public will be invited to a demonstration at the shooting range, to determine the effects that gunfire has on residents and golfers.

That has to be about the dumbest thing I have ever read. The obvious target are two ranges in question: The Londonderry Police Range, constructed in 2008; and the Londonderry Fish & Game Club Ranges, in existence for over 40 years.

All of this hullabaloo over range noise and never once has the ongoing conversation taken into account the miles of power line corridors frequently used for all sorts of activities such as OHRV use, Hiking, Hunting and yes, target shooting. Moreover, the 900-acre parcel also known as the Musquash Conservation Land, is frequented by those desiring to shoot.

An ongoing problem with the Musquash land has been shooting. When people use areas of public land for shooting, pollution and garbage nearly always follows. The problem is so significant that last year, the Town council spent considerable time seeking support for the construction of a public shooting facility. As recently as June there was a Range Analysis to explore the option of building a public range at taxpayer expense.  On June 1, 2012 Town Manager David Caron asked the GIS staff to review possible sites where a public range could be constructed.  Why? Because so many people are shooting in the Musquash, often times in locations too close to homes.

During this past summer there were numerous complaints about trash, garbage and an old trailer, riddled with bullet holes that needed removing, presumably at town expense. There have been numerous attempts to indiscriminately restrict and control shooting on public land in the Musquash Conservation Area.

Because of this sudden attention on LFGC, I have taken a few hikes along several power line corridors. I recently found bullet-riddled cans, trees, and empty shotgun and shell cases strewn about on the ground.

I’ve made a quick review of the published police logs regarding gunfire complaints. the several that I looked at are considerable distance from the Londonderry Fish & Game Club and often at hours when shooting at our club has concluded by club policy mandates.

“Some area residents also have complained about the sound of gunfire on West Road and Sara Beth Lane, and their complaints have been logged by police.” —Thomas Kimball, Whiner-in-Chief

So says, Tom Kimball. But what Tom does not tell you is that his golf course has a power line corridor running right along the western cusp of his golf course…near a sand pit…near a switch yard. He neither whines nor complains about the ATV’s charging up and down in that area, nor has he considered that people are shooting in those areas.

Londonderry has a problem controlling shooting on its public lands and people like Kimball are all to willing to make clubs like ours the scapegoat for their frustration.

If Londonderry Fish and Game Club were to cease shooting, Kimball’s problem would not change.  Nor would any of the other belly-aching residents find any remedy.

“I was on the soccer field Sunday and there was loud banging,” Town Councilor Joseph Green said. “It was like a cowboy shootout Sunday.”

That statement is gratuitous and provides no context to the problem. If we presume Mr. Green is referring to Continental Park on West Road, There is no way anybody there is going to hear shooting coming from our club because our club is over 2 miles away as the crow flies.

Given the buffer of considerable forestation between our real estate and the soccer field, Mr. Green, despite his part in the ongoing discussion about shooting in town, panders to the anti-range crowd with his remark to more than one publication.

Despite all the caterwauling over gunfire, my best guess is that the Council will ask for some concession from us. LFGC will likely decline that concession. First, our ranges are supervised, managed and kept clean; Second, we currently co-exist with neighbors in Litchfield considerably closer than Kimball to us and they have accepted the fact we are here. It was disclosed in their deeds, anyway. Third, LFGC’s range hours are reasonable and we do not allow any night shooting. Finally, We co-exist with another golf course that is much closer than Londonderry Country Club.

When we examine all the facts in their totality, it does not seem such a stretch to conclude that Kimball is anti-range and that is all this is…aided and abetted by the Town Council.