Guns and airplanes make folks nervous, so news that Shiloh might be considering allowing a shooting range 2.5 miles from Scott Air Force Base should be sounding some alarms.
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said there is a need for a facility that allows local police, military police and active duty military folks to train with their weapons. He said they are looking at an indoor facility, but they won’t rule out an outdoor shooting range.
He also said Scott Air Force Base has been in on the planning of what might be a joint venture between the base, his village and O’Fallon. Yet just because someone at the base may know about the range proposal does not mean the right person at the base knows about it.
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When the Caseyville Rifle and Pistol Club moved to Mascoutah, it set off a firestorm and years of litigation that eventually cost St. Clair County taxpayers $556,000. Mascoutah city leaders approved the club but it turned out the shooting range was in the flight path of Scott. Safety enhancements, paid with public dollars, kept the club from being a threat that could have sent a stray bullet into a pilot and counted against Scott in a base closing scenario.
The property now under consideration in Shiloh is about three-quarters of a mile north of the Belleville Walmart and 2.5 miles west of Scott. Venier said the proposed site is not in the flight path of the base, but we sure hope the military engineers know about the club and are the ones who make that call.
The right hand too often doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.