Colorado senator taking another shot at government-funded gun ranges | Colorado Springs Gazette, News:
Is it the nanny state if the government is building gun ranges? Does it matter if bureaucrats are doling out tax dollars from purchases of guns and ammo? Does it change the equation if liberals are behind the government push to get gun owners to practice? Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a Clintonite from Denver, is among a bipartisan quartet of senators behind legislation to use federal tax dollars to pay 90 percent of the cost for five years for states to build and run shooting ranges.Anything that encourages firearms owners to practice is A Good Thing.
This is the kind of program which could be expanded:
. Perhaps more firearms and ammunition sales would provide funding to teach Firearms Safety classes state-wide?
. Encourage (or fund, or subsidize) "Eddie Eagle" type programs?
Is there a down-side?Well ... maybe:
Here's one problem. If the government gets in the gun-range business, that's not going to be welcome news to the 120 licensed private and law enforcement-run gun ranges across the state listed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.For every problem, there is a possible solution.
In this case? Vouchers!
Why can't the government pay our training fees? Isn't it to their advantage to ensure that firearms owners are well trained and experienced?
Vouchers!Rather than to impose the costs and fees of establishing state-run training programs, qualified firearms instructor courses could be subsidized by vouchers, which would pay for much (most? all?) of the 'student' costs of taking these courses.
The advantage would be that the state would (a) not need to establish ranges (b) not need to train and pay qualified instructors to perform the same training opportunities which are now available ... but they would allow the same students to enroll in the same quality programs.
The state would, instead, subsidize established quality programs to the benefit of experienced trainers and 'students' at the same time.
There remains the difficulty of vetting trainers, gun-clubs, and training programs which now have no oversight. Yes, it imposes governmental regulations on these facilities ... but if you are like me you know that there exist trainers who are not truly qualified to teach the courses which may cost hundreds of dollars to 'students' who are insufficiently experienced to judge the quality of the instruction which they may (or may not, actually) receive.
I hate to suggest that governmental oversight would necessarily be "A Good Thing", and there would doubtless be situations where students wouldn't receive the training they really need. But that's the situation now, when there are no standards and no vetting of the qualification of "trainers".
... I think there are possibilities for a "Win/Win" solution. And at least, if the Feds don't get carried away with their "oversight" standards, we will end up with a situation which is no worse than the current "catch-as-catch-can" situation where we rely on the reputation of an instructor to train us.
I'm not "Wildly Enthusiastic" about this, but ...
Any situation which puts the government in control of ... any normal daily activity by law-abiding citizens .. is vulnerable to frauds and charlatans.
But it's worth a try. And there is the "Free Market" option.
Any vendor/instructor/course which proves itself to be inadequate/incompetent/detrimental to the skills-training which firearms owners seek, would soon find itself without students. And there would be an oversight process where disappointed students have recourse to recovering their investment.
I encourage comments, both negative and positive, on this subject. SHOULD states encourage sponsorship of gun ranges ... and instructors ... and trainers? Or any of these entities?
And yes ... while I'm all for the Government to pay for training, I would rather the Feds not impose restrictions and qualifications on private trainers. It's up to the trainers to establish their credentials ... not the government. This makes it even more complicated. I refer back to the "Free Market" concept previously cited. Unrealistic expectations? Maybe.
If a firearms trainer is competent and vouchers are available, that allows more students to select that trainer.
If a firearms trainer is NOT competent, and vouchers are available ... that allows more students to select the BEST trainer available. Why waste your voucher on an incompetent trainer?