To the editor:
In response to Gopal Rao’s letter regarding the Clark County Shooting Complex (“Shooting range welfare for gun lovers,” Tuesday Review-Journal), the gentleman seems to be sadly misinformed. He cites “violence caused by these gun lovers.” The vast majority of lawful firearm owners take the responsibility that comes with the awesome power inherent in firearms very seriously. Safety is the first priority of most lawful firearms owners.
According to the federal government’s own research, most crimes committed with firearms are done with illegally purchased or possessed guns. Many people go to the desert to shoot, which can cause a host of problems, not the least of which is the risk to the participants not knowing who or what might be over the next ridge, exposing all parties involved to a very real danger of accidentally being shot.
The Clark County Shooting Complex provides a controlled environment for experienced shooters and recreational shooting enthusiasts to safely and economically practice with their weapons of choice. There are not many ranges in the country that can boast as much variety in their offerings as the beautiful facility right here in Las Vegas. Each year, the deficits from the facility in question are reduced as more and more responsible outdoor enthusiasts discover the benefits offered there.
It should also be noted that outdoor and shooting sports enthusiasts contribute more to wildlife and habitat conservation than any other group in this great nation, through taxes levied upon firearms and ammunition, hunting and fishing licenses and tags, and direct donation.
I implore anyone who would blindly accuse law-abiding citizens of violence simply because they own and practice with firearms to examine the facts, instead of making an emotional conclusion not grounded in reality.
DEMETRI A. NIKOLAKAKIS
Complex has its place
To the editor:
Shooting range welfare? Not hardly. Regarding Gopal Rao’s Tuesday letter, the Clark County Shooting Complex has had some shortfall in meeting obligations due to the down economy and shortages of ammunition. However, people should realize that the shooting facility does serve Clark County youth, teaching them marksmanship and firearms safety. The range is available to more than 100,000 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H members, and those under 18 shoot free as an effort to promote youth gun safety.
Some of these young enthusiasts will become members of our military forces.
It should also be noted that $5,000 was recovered from the salvage of used brass casings. Tons of other trash was kept out of the desert. The desert was protected from damage from more than 150,000 vehicles whose occupants would have been looking for a place to shoot. And, yes, even tweety birds and Mojave Max have been protected by responsible shooting at the complex, one of the finest of our local environmental protection projects.
NORTH LAS VEGAS
To the editor:
Tuesday’s article in the Review-Journal’s excellent Nevada sesquicentennial series was interesting and informative (“How Clark County took root, blossomed, prospered”). There was, however, an unfortunate omission in your paragraph on recreational opportunities here.
Gold Butte, just across the Overton arm of Lake Mead from the Valley of Fire, has all the geology and cultural history of that fine state park and much more besides. It has mountains, hunting and more than 500 miles of jeep and ATV roads and trails.
Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Steven Horsford have introduced companion bills in Congress to designate Gold Butte as a national conservation area. This is the best way to ensure that those roads and trails are kept open, and that access to the many great recreational opportunities there is maintained and preserved for ourselves and future generations.
Respect national anthem
To the editor:
As a military veteran and retired serviceman, I am compelled to address recent trends regarding the rendering of our national anthem at sporting events. I am not questioning anyone’s loyalty to or support of our country, our flag or our national anthem, but I am disturbed by the actions of some of our citizens during the national anthem at public events.
First and foremost, singers afforded the honor of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at public events need to return to the tradition of rendering our national anthem without embellishment. “The Star-Spangled Banner” should be sung in a straightforward manner, rather than performed to showcase the vocal talents and interpretations of the singer. If one needs an example of how the anthem should be sung, I recommend watching how any of the military services’ choirs sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a simple, crisp and unadulterated fashion.
Maybe less-stylized renditions of our national anthem would reduce or hopefully eliminate the second trend of fans, primarily students (yes, UNLV students, this includes you), who insist on howling some sort of celebratory approval of the singer’s ability to hit (or worse, elevate) the highest notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the anthem is completed. Show the proper respect for our national anthem: stand up, remove your hats, cover your heart, direct your attention to our national flag, sing along if so inclined, but otherwise remain silent until the rendering of the national anthem is completed.
Let’s show support for our country, flag and national anthem appropriately and refrain from selfish performances and silly outbursts.