Club officials did the right and responsible thing by shutting down the range in
September 2011, and have worked hard over the past year and a half in developing a plan to include increased safety measures.
The club brought in NRA experts to evaluate the range, but no recommendations have yet been received, despite the fact that several months have passed since the evaluation.
That left gun club officials to take matters into their own hands. Instead of waiting around for a solution to drop out of the sky, they instead formed a committee to visit several gun clubs across the state. Those proactive efforts have led to several planned safety improvements at the club, which will be implemented this spring.
Then comes the issue of opening the outdoor range.
Some feel that, because of a nearly spotless safety record prior to the incident back in September 2011, the rifle and handgun range should be allowed to open without delay. Others feel that, without the endorsement of outside experts, the club should not be allowed to reopen the range.
We commend the gun club and its leaders for taking a proactive approach to enhancing the safety of the range. At the same time, we feel strongly that an outside safety group must first sign off on the safety improvements made to the range.
The North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club is a valuable community resource. It provides a safe place for area residents to enjoy the shooting sports, while at the same time strengthening the future of shooting sports by introducing youngsters to gun safety.
We’re happy to see the majority of the club’s weekly activities have continued despite the closure of the outdoor range. We eagerly await the opening of the range, but only if we’re certain that every necessary step has been taken to make it as safe as possible.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.