Rethink decision on shooting range

In 2007 Snohomish County put forward its Comprehensive Parks &Recreation Plan, partly based on a telephone survey of county residents, who reported that their top priorities were building trails, conservation, swimming pools, ball fields, improved water and beach access, and equestrian trails. Only one half of 1 percent (that is only three interviewees out of more than 600!) said that a new shooting range was a top priority. Astoundingly, with tight budgets resulting from a lousy economy blocking significant investment toward any of the top priorities identified in the comprehensive plan, a few weeks ago the Snohomish County Council voted to spend $200,000 for planning a new shooting range, which will have an estimated total cost of several million dollars.

The recent shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., puts the County Council decision in an entirely new light. Do we really want to spend several million dollars of our precious tax money to hone the shooting skills of the next generation of mass murderers?

Of course, I expect that this letter will bring a strong response from members of the NRA and their friends. I welcome the discussion.

Dr. Mark Bothwell