Editorial: The right thing

Kingston Times Editor Dan Barton. (Photo: Keith Ferris/keithferrisphoto.com)

Kingston Times Editor Dan Barton. (Photo: Keith Ferris/keithferrisphoto.com)

It took a law imported all the way from Rochester to do it, but the proposal to turn a Midtown ex-doctor’s office into an indoor shooting range pretty much looks like it’s not going to happen.

That’s a good thing. This project never seemed to have much support from the people who would be most directly affected by it — the people who live in Midtown. I would not say that every new thing that wants to come to a neighborhood must have the approval of that neighborhood’s incumbent inhabitants. But in the case of a use so polarizing, and one that would bring a significant additional number of death-dealing instruments into the neighborhood on a daily basis, I think the neighborhood should have veto power over it. The one thing that struck me at the public hearing at the end of last year was the breakdown of who was for it and who wasn’t. For it were a lot of people who didn’t live in Kingston. Against it were a lot of people who not only did live in Kingston, but lived in that neighborhood. That’s all I needed to hear, really.

Still, and I know I made this point in a previous editorial, we need shooting ranges. If people are going to have guns, and they are, now and for the foreseeable future, it’s important that they learn to use them safely and properly. So, where might a shooting range be placed, if not in the City of Kingston?


Well, if you turn a few pages back to the economy column (or click here) you’ll read about the Hudson Valley Mall’s woes and that of retail in the Town of Ulster in general. Could not some of that copious space be refitted into a shooting range, and a far more elaborate one than was possible on Prince Street? Would not the accessibility of Ulster Avenue be a boon to those coming from out of town to hone their skills? Of course, the residents of the Town of Ulster should also have veto power over any such proposal, should it actually materialize. Maybe one will.

There are 8 comments

  1. Derek

    “This project never seemed to have much support from the people who would be most directly affected by it — the people who live in Midtown.”

    Please describe the “effects” this would have on the people who live in Midtown.

    Because other than the minuscule increase in vehicular traffic, which any other use of the building would incur, I’ve yet to hear of any actual impact other than ‘gunz no my feelz!!!”

      1. Derek

        Nothing in that article actually has any fact-based reason to prohibit the range.


        – nonsensical arguments about ‘homicide and suicide rates’, which have no ties to the availability or not of a gun range.

        – Vague appeals to “err on the side of safety” without any sort of evidence that forbidding that use provides any sort of safety.

        – A claim that it “does not” “make Kingston a safer place”, without any evidence to back it up.

        – Rhetoric that somehow a shooting range will transform Kingston into the Wild West (strange that no other shooting range anywhere else has turned a town into Deadwood).

        – Not in favor of a “private armory” being in her city. Reality check – that already happens with lots of gun owners who have their own private armories in their homes.

        – Fear of who might come to use a shooting range (because, after all, licensed gun owners are people to be feared).

        I stand by my original assessment: No demonstrable negative effect was ever put forward by opponents.

        And they chased away a property owner (who is now selling the property) who will now have his business, and its tax revenue, elsewhere.

          1. Derek

            That’s an adept diversion from the reality that my initial argument was accurate: There was no fact-based objection. It was all fear and muh-feelz. Your pointing at the previous article was smoke and mirrors since there were no fact-based objections in that article.

            As for myself: I’m getting out of this area as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Which is kind of sad, since I was born and raised here. But it’s become far too authoritarian around here for my liking. The fourth estate has basically become an eager accomplice in that, rather than a road-block like they are supposed to be.

    1. Aphrodite

      The more important thought is this one (emphasis mine) – maybe you missed it:

      “FOR IT were a lot of people WHO DIDN’T LIVE IN KINGSTON. AGAINST IT were a lot of people who not only DID live in Kingston, BUT LIVED IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD.”

      Regardless of what any impacts MIGHT have been – the neighborhood simply did not want it. And our representatives listened and did what was asked.

      Case closed.

      1. Derek

        In a free society, one person is not able to tell another person how to use their own property unless there is demonstrable harm caused by such use.

        That is not what happened here.

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