The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

McManigcal: City-run range would be misfire


I love libraries, parks and zoos. However, I'm not selfish enough to believe other people should subsidize things I enjoy. For me to force someone to hand over their hard-earned money to pay for something they don't want and won't use would be wrong. Every dollar I take is a dollar someone can't use for things such as food, the electric bill, toys for their child, or medicine. My wishes don't change theft into something moral.

To have government do the taking on my behalf, through taxation, doesn't magically change wrong into good.

Government should never do anything which could be done privately and funded voluntarily. I believe this covers everything which should be done at all. If something isn't popular enough to be funded voluntarily it should go away. If people miss it, they can bring it back and pay for it.

I mention this because there's apparently still talk of establishing a city-run shooting range. While I love to shoot, it would be a mistake to let the city use tax money this way, and to let the city be in charge of such a facility. Government employees and guns are a bad mix.

Noise is also a problem. If you move near a shooting range, you have no right to expect them to stop shooting just because the noise bothers you. However, if someone starts a new shooting range near your house, they are responsible for accommodating you. If they go ahead with their plans, they owe restitution for the harm they cause you by their presence.

Unfortunately, when the offender is government, the offender makes and interprets the rules, employs those who enforce the rules, and choose winners and losers. When government is the bad guy, innocent people are usually out of luck. Even if restitution is paid to the victim, it doesn't cost the offender, but is stolen from the injured party and his neighbors through the fraud of taxation. The bad guys can't lose.

Of course, I've been around long enough to know once some government gets a notion, the idea never truly dies. Not even when you believe it's defeated. Government ideas are real-life zombies. Kill one and It keeps crawling from the grave again and again, with the knowledge that eventually no one will be paying attention and the program can be imposed on the reluctant population. They do it because they get away with it, and it works.

You have the power to foil their schemes. Use it.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:


Reader Comments

Steve Gershon writes:

Kent, you know this is especially true here in Clovis and Curry county. The way the county commissioners spend our tax (hard earned) dollars. mostly talking about the jail, voted down three times by tax payers and guess what, they are now spending that money anyway (millions) doing just what the voters turn down. Amazing how our money makes them rich enough to spend like a kid in a candy store with mom's open purse.


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