Gun Club deserves better treatment

In reference to the stink over the Durango Gun Club requiring members to support the NRA (even though the city leases the Florida Road indoor shooting facility to the club): The prevailing argument is local residents should not have to issue de facto support for a political stance.

Is it not hypocritical, then, for the city to try and steamroll a private entity, the Durango Gun Club, when no one with a straight face would deny that publicly funded school districts in Colorado and virtually every locality are forced to “de facto” (using the same logic) support the Democratic Party through the National Education Association and its dues? Is it not hypocritical also then for the city to allow assembly of citizens with political agendas in public parks, or say, on Main Avenue, when doing so might indicate tacit approval from every citizen?

Is the city attorney planning to evict local public servants from publicly built and funded institutions unless they cease and desist from engaging in any political advocacy? Is the city attorney prepared to somehow prohibit everyone else’s right to voice opinions on any publicly held properties?

I would submit we all know the answers to those questions.

To be clear, the average property owner in La Plata County pays hundreds of dollars annually to support our outstanding 9-R School District and hundreds more to maintain our public parks and roads. In contrast, we don’t pay a dime to support the Gun Club or its facility. As a long-standing fixture in the community with a lengthy record of service to locals, the club deserves far better treatment from the powers that be than petty political strong-arming.

Something stinks in local politics all right – and it’s not the Durango Gun Club.

Carl Smith


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