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.