Target Shooters Couldn't Have Started The Forest Fires - And Response

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Associated press sent two successive articles to their local outlet (Chattanooga Times Free Press) quoting un-named "authorities" who, they say, blame many of the fires raging out west on "target shooters." This is wildly improbable; I suspect it is this liberal "news" company's hope to demonize guns and shooters.

I have considerable experience with firearms, as a once-licensed gunsmith and ammunition reloader. I have fired many thousands of small arms rounds, and have worked at the target end of a military high-power rifle range. That is where military bullets pass a few feet overhead and strike the earth several  yards away. Those were military bullets, which may include the burning material used in "tracer" bullets. No civilian ammunition contains such "tracer" material, none.

Furthermore, all bullets loaded in civilian small arms ammunition are made of brass, copper, and lead, never of ferrous (iron) material, which would quickly damage the firearm through which it was fired.

Try, yourself, to strike sparks with copper, brass, or lead; you will find it impossible. In fact, these are the materials used to make the spark-proof tools used in places containing flammable vapors. The popular television program "Mythbusters" tried very hard to ignite gasoline by firing high power bullets through an automobile gas tank, but they failed totally to trigger a fire. So how did a few target shooters manage to trigger, not just one, but several of those forest fires? I can't use the description I'd like to use in this family publication, so I will use one of my granny's polite terms for this kind of "reporting" -- fiddlesticks.

This leads me to believe that the "authorities" quoted by the Associated Press are incompetent, ignorant . . . or entirely mythical. Based on that news media company's obvious hatred of shooters and our guns, the latter seems more than likely.

Bill Laudeman

Chattanooga 

* * *

Dear Mr. Laudeman, 
You will be pleased to learn that no liberal anti-second-amendment conspiracy exists here. According too CNN's "Utah Fire believed to have started in shooting range" published this past Sunday. The incompetent, ignorant and completely non-mythical skeet shooters apparently spent a a fun day at the range shooting at explosive targets which happened to start the wildfire. 

Yes, indeed you can apparently buy targets that trigger explosions when shot.  These are
apparently sold under names such as Tannerite, Sure Shot, and Red Target. You can even go on YouTube and find "Sure Shot Exploding Targets" infomercial.  

I personally prefer amateur produced yet equally informing "two pounds of Tannerite vs tree" video. I would place orders now though, I suspect a 6,000-acre fire in Utah is going to lead to many new restrictions on these fine products. 

Bryan Barkley
North Shore


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