Journal of the San Juan Islands


Under siege from folly of local firearms rules | Letters

May 30, 2014 · Updated 3:08 PM

This is an open letter to the San Juan County Sheriff’s office, the County Council and the citizens on San Juan County.

I grew up in the post World War II era with the Korean War under way and the cold war heating up. My father’s generation saw the slaughter in Europe and the South Pacific.

We were taught that firearms were to be treated with the greatest respect because of the incredible damage they could cause. We hunted for the sole purpose of putting meat on the table.

While hunting, we saw a lot of what we called “California Hunters” (no offense to folks from California, but we saw many California plates) who were also known as “road hunters;” Hunters too lazy to get out of the-always-new and-fancy trucks and actually hunt.

They would go back to their Airstream to kill way over their limit of beer-can in the sport of target practice. Any game in that area would be gone.

To find game, we would seek very remote areas that required the use of old but reliable four-wheel drive trucks.

I relate this story because I hope the County Council will change regulations regarding target practice on the islands. I think it fair to acknowledge that the islands are becoming more residential and less rural in nature.

Blasting away at targets (I suspect that beer cans still top the list) without regard for neighbors is not only dangerous, but rude. I respect a farmer’s right to shoot dogs that are killing or damaging their live stock.

Kent Gale, San Juan Island


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