Neighbors say faster and higher-powered guns have contributed to a war zone-like atmosphere above Castle Rock State Park.
A war zone-like atmosphere? The range has been continually operating there since 1955. Have guns recently become faster and higher-powered? Because nobody ever upgraded my guns to the new standard, and I feel a little bit cheated.
It is an idyllic setting, but for one thing: a loud, messy and gun-happy neighbor that many local residents want gone.
“We’ve all been irritated by it over the years. And it has gotten worse and worse and worse,” Weiss said.
Weiss and Villa live near the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club, located over the Summit from its namesake city but nestled since 1955 at a pretty apex of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It offers a series of shooting ranges where, for $15 a pop, you can squeeze off a few rounds of whatever gun you bring – just about anything legal in the state of California.
And now the club is looking to expand, proposing a 3,200-square-foot clubhouse that seems to be turning up the heat on a simmering truce between the mountain residents, the gun club and Castle Rock visitors. The clubhouse is also raising an important question: if the club was there long before its neighbors, does it have any obligation to accommodate them?
“It does. It’s change and it’s progress. As cities build up, the rules change for different areas,” Weiss said, adding that the caliber and frequency of the gunfire at the club has changed, too. “If they were firing as much as they were in 1955, we probably would not be as upset.”
Neighbor Lois Manning believes the shooting has picked up as well.
“At first, it sounded like someone hammering on wood,” she wrote in a letter to the county protesting the project. “Now it sounds like a battlefield.”
It’s sad to see how soft Americans have become. These residents willingly moved into a home near a shooting range, and now they want to regulate their neighbor out of existence.
“The noise is certainly the most troublesome,” said Miles Standish, an ex-Castle Rock park ranger. “It’s incompatible with the park’s purpose.”
Hmmmm. The gun range opened in 1955. The park opened in 1968. And did Niles Standish really work as a Castle Rock park ranger?
Fortunately, there is some sanity represented,
“I find it difficult to sympathize with those who knowingly make their home next to an existing airport, refinery or in this case a gun range, and then complain that the noise created on these properties is later found to be objectionable,” said Charles Schoppe, who lives in Indian Rock Ranch, a development north of the club.
My favorite quote is this guy,
Manoharan said he understands people need a place to shoot. But he added there are relatively inexpensive ways to muffle the sounds – including some recommended by the National Rifle Association – which have gotten loud enough to force people inside.
My response: Mr. Manoharan, call your congresscritter. Tell them sound suppressors aid in reducing muzzle signatures and should be easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain (this will directly reduce the amount of report that is bothering you). As far as knowingly moving into a home near a gun range (admit it- you did it because the home prices were lower), and then complaining about it later, it’s hard to have much sympathy.