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Idaho gun enthusiasts target Natl. Guard tanks

Old 04-05-07, 11:09 AM
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Idaho gun enthusiasts target Natl. Guard tanks

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17964382/


BOISE, Idaho - For years, ATV-riding, gun-toting sport shooters have flouted gun laws in part of Idaho’s high desert by taking pot shots at ground squirrels and other animals.

Now, officials say, they’re also setting their sights on National Guard tanks that train in the area.

Rifles and pistols have been banned in a 68,000-acre area of the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area since 1996.
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But the federal Bureau of Land Management is considering expanding the gun-restricted area by 41,000 acres to try to limit shootings at Idaho Army National Guard troops who report slugs bouncing off their tanks on a regular basis

“There’s a segment of the shooting community that will shoot at anything that moves,” said John Sullivan, the area’s manager.

National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Stephanie Dowling said she thinks the proposed expansion would help alleviate the problem.

“What’s happened over time, as the population has grown, we get more and more people out there,” said Dowling. “Not everybody uses good safety precautions.”

Idaho is the third-fastest growing state, after only Nevada and Arizona.

Rancher Tom Nicholson sees changes in the range as more people move to Boise 25 miles away, then drive out into this mostly open country looking for fun.

The region is part of a 490,000-acre federal preserve where prairie falcons and eagles soar above, hunting ground squirrels that pop their heads by the thousands above the warming earth.

With just two agents to patrol 4 million acres of desert near Boise, gun enthusiasts regularly defy the ban by shooting squirrels, protected birds and even grazing cattle, park officials say.

Little chance of arrest
Because money is already stretched thin, land management agents generally only cite illegal shooters they catch in the act. A photographer recently captured what looked to be a squirrel gunner in a restricted part of the conservation area, but even in that case, chances of prosecution are slim.

“If that was a photo of sufficient clarity that we could identify him, we would seek to prosecute,” Sullivan said.

Fewer than 10 people per year are ticketed for illegal shooting in the area of the park, said Sullivan. A citation carries a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison.

Mark Fuller, director of the Rapter Research Center at Boise State University, estimates that dozens of protected birds are shot annually in the park, including in the restricted area.

Birds, livestock in cross hairs, too
He said the long-term negative effects on the park’s 24 bird species populations haven’t yet been documented.

Nicholson, who owns thousands of cattle that graze in the park, said shooters kill several each year.

He’s remarkably forgiving, especially for someone who is out more than $1,000 every time a cow dies.

“It’s public land,” Nicholson said. “They have as much right to be on the range as we do.”

Shotguns, which have a shorter range, are still allowed in the area.

The situation was even worse before the rifle-and-pistol ban in 1996, Sullivan said.

Soldiers training for missions in Iraq or other war zones are only looking for simulated battles, he said — not real bullets whizzing their way.

“It was like World War III on the weekends,” he said.
Just another story of responsible gun owners.



How about you gun nuts police your own?
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Old 04-05-07, 11:12 AM
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How about the military shoots back, and then we'll see how often slugs are bouncing off the tanks.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:15 AM
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Yeah, I say let the tanks return fire.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:43 AM
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Third for the ROE "Return fire when fired upon."

A couple of asshats turned into grease spots by some HEAT may tone it down real fast.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:45 AM
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While returning fire would be the obvious (and enjoyable) solution, I think that there would be a ton of bad PR for the military. It wouldn't be deserved, but when has that ever mattered?
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Old 04-05-07, 11:51 AM
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BTW...

<------Not a gun nut, rather, a responsible gun owner. Thanks for the rank generalization.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:18 PM
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how fucking stupid do you have to be to shoot at a fucking TANK?
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Old 04-05-07, 12:20 PM
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i believe these are some of the suspected violators:

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Old 04-05-07, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
Third for the ROE "Return fire when fired upon."

A couple of asshats turned into grease spots by some HEAT may tone it down real fast.
I generally don't believe in the Death Penalty. I think I am overly concerned about life and saving lives, all lives, of almost all people.

But if you are firing on the military, you deserve to be fired on in return. Someone could get hurt accidently when they are firing on the tank.

I say, one warning shot, then they get blasted!

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 04-05-07 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 04-05-07, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
BTW...

<------Not a gun nut, rather, a responsible gun owner. Thanks for the rank generalization.
I'm a gun owner as well, but every stupid, irresponsible asshole I know owns a gun. Which isn't to say that every gun owner I know is a stupid, irresponsible asshole. Just a lot of them.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
I'm a gun owner as well, but every stupid, irresponsible asshole I know owns a gun. Which isn't to say that every gun owner I know is a stupid, irresponsible asshole. Just a lot of them.
Well, the irresponsible ones that one guns are probably more dangerous. Just once I'd like to see the tank fire back close to those people. Like Paul Hogan did to the Kangaroo hunters in Crocodile Dundee.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:37 PM
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I doubt very seriously that the guys in the tank know who is firing on them.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:56 PM
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Let 'em have their fun.

Have you noticed that people who were actually in combat don't seem to 'play at combat' once they're no longer in the real thing?

It's kind of like camping out - I had to do it for real. It wasn't enjoyable then. Why should it be enjoyable now? It's like I've always said - camping out is for the birds.
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Old 04-05-07, 04:19 PM
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Hunting and stupidity seems to go together.
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Old 04-05-07, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
I'm a gun owner as well, but every stupid, irresponsible asshole I know owns a gun. Which isn't to say that every gun owner I know is a stupid, irresponsible asshole. Just a lot of them.
I was responding to this statement:

Originally Posted by Lord Rick
How about you gun nuts police your own?
Sort of like me going into the thread about the Seattle demonstration where they burnt an American soldier in effigy and said "How about you liberals policing your own."

One statement would get a spanking,
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Old 04-05-07, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
I was responding to this statement:



Sort of like me going into the thread about the Seattle demonstration where they burnt an American soldier in effigy and said "How about you liberals policing your own."

One statement would get a spanking,
Big difference is that burning an american soldier, while something I consider to be reprehensible, is protected free speech.

Shooting at tanks, and killing endangered wildlife, is highly illegal.

Both do make their respective groups look bad, I'll give you that.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:40 PM
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I'd have to say both are using a constitutional right to act like asshats.

And yes they do.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
Big difference is that burning an american soldier, while something I consider to be reprehensible, is protected free speech.

Shooting at tanks, and killing endangered wildlife, is highly illegal.

Both do make their respective groups look bad, I'll give you that.
I don't think your argument works. You're saying one group of people should police their own and another should not. That doesn't make sense. Even though one group is committing serious crimes and the other does not, is not a reason to say that particular group should police their own. How could you possibly expect this to happen.
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Old 04-05-07, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I don't think your argument works. You're saying one group of people should police their own and another should not. That doesn't make sense. Even though one group is committing serious crimes and the other does not, is not a reason to say that particular group should police their own. How could you possibly expect this to happen.
I won't try to stop anyone from exercising their right to free speech, no matter how stupid it is.
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Old 04-05-07, 09:28 PM
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I will agree though, BOTH groups should practice a little containment of their peers.
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Old 04-06-07, 01:11 AM
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Burning an effigy of a soldier is inflammatory and counter-productive.

However, actually firing at gun at someone is a criminal act.

And responsible gun owners do try to police our own. You never discharge a firearm without knowing exactly what you're shooting at. You never discharge a firearm in the direction where a person is or might be (such is in or near a vehicle or dwelling). You never discharge a firearm in the direction of private or government property where it might be damaged. And if anyone does any of these things in my presence, I will kick their ass.
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Old 04-06-07, 08:26 AM
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reminds me of a story i heard in the army about some kid from the backwoods who joined the army and his experience in Basic Rifle Marksmanship. Only the quote is important.

"But them was birds Drill Seargent"
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