It's perfectly obvious that you should never pull the trigger unless you're crystal clear about what sits in your crosshairs. The tricky part is identifying what lies beyond your target.
Those who use the rifle and handgun range at the North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club certainly know what's beyond their targets — the Cutter Park subdivision.
And despite stringent safety precautions, it turns out a dozen or more bullets have strayed beyond the boundaries of the gun club, hitting houses and, in one case, a person.
While the shotgun range remains open, the rifle range at the gun club has been closed since the Sept. 29, 2011, incident in which a Grand Valley State University police officer, participating in a training exercise, carelessly fired a shot that resulted in a construction worker being struck by a bullet.
Representatives from the National Rifle Association inspected the club late last month. It's unknown when their findings will be released, and what safety improvements, if any, they will recommend.
We urge all involved to move forward with haste while still being thorough and diligent in making sure all safety precautions are taken.
Safety is the No. 1 priority. But at some point, the gun club needs to be allowed to move on. If further safety precautions are needed, then let the club get to work in taking the steps that would allow the rifle range to reopen.
If it's ruled that the range can't possibly open while guaranteeing the safety of those who live beyond its borders, then another solution — or perhaps another location — will have to be considered.
It has been more than seven months since the unfortunate and avoidable incident that resulted in bullets raining down on the Cutter Park subdivision. Let's come up with a sensible and safe solution so responsible shooters have the opportunity to dust off their rifles and head back out to the range.