Column: Bill allows shooting range by sacred site in Arizona

"Arizona’s Mohave County has very little in common with Washington, D.C., which, oddly enough, is exactly why I’m sticking them together in the same sentence.

Both jurisdictions — one is home to the Grand Canyon, the other isn’t (I’ll let you figure out which is which) — were on the agenda Tuesday morning during a hearing of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands.

Which gets us back to Arizona and another piece of business before the subcommittee on Tuesday: the “Mohave Valley Land Conveyance Act of 2011.”

About 10 years ago, some people in northwest Arizona decided that it was getting harder and harder to find a place to shoot their guns. The problem is that with development on the increase it’s getting crowded out there. Go out “plunking” and there was a chance your bullet might end up somewhere you didn’t want it to. What was needed was a shooting range.

Where to put it? It was decided to transfer to the state of Arizona land currently overseen by the federal Bureau of Land Management. But that particular parcel just happens to be near land that is sacred to members of the Fort Mojave Indians and the Hualapai Indians, who, understandably, don’t want the sound of gunfire when they’re going about their business. (Of course, the reason given for needing the shooting range — “encroaching development” — pretty much describes our country’s treatment of Indians.)"

Get the Story:
John Kelly: On the Hill, D.C. gets the short end of a double standard (The Washington Post 1/25)

Committee Notice:
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands Legislative Hearing on H.R. 919, H.R. 938, H.R. 1278, H.R. 2240, H.R. 2489, H.R. 3411 and H.R. 3440 (January 24, 2012)

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