not letting the bus turnaround be a pleasant place to shoot
Friday, May 22 2020
Over the course of the pandemic, the amount of gunfire at the bus turnaround (about a quarter mile to the southeast) has only increased. It's at the point where there are multiple shooters down there shooting simultaneously, creating a disturbing racket that is only intensified by Englishman's Creek gorge. The other day our neighbor Trish (wife of Tommy the Mountainbiker) reached out to Gretchen about it on Facebook, and the two got to communicating about how much they both hate it. At some point Trish went to the bus turnaround to take pictures, showing numerous spent shell casings and broken bottles, testament to how the commons are always degraded (particularly by the sort of people who are drawn to selfish political movements like libertarianism and gun rights). On Fridays Gretchen likes to have poetry writing Zoom session with fellow poets who have been to the Blue Mountain Center, and the constant gunfire was causing such a disturbance that she couldn't focus. So I got into the Nissan Leaf and drove down past the bus turnaround, turned around, and took some photos from the road as I slowly drove past. I made a point of driving so slowly that a few of them looked up and saw me. At the time there were four cars at the bus turnaround (including one Audi and one BMW) and four men with guns. One of them erupted in gunfire while I was there, and I saw foot-long flames shooting out of its muzzle. By then I was stopped in the road, and when I looked up there was a car driven by a nervous-looking older woman approaching from the direction I was going. That gunfire was clearly not something she expected. But I kept snapping pictures, because that was the point.
Back at the house, Gretchen said she'd called the sheriff. In the past we've called them to complain and they've said there wasn't much they could do, since the shooting is happening on land belonging to Catskill State Park. But now there's a noise ordinance, so perhaps something could be done. If nothing else, the arrival of authorities would make target practicers nervous about the illegal activities that they normally think they can get away with, such shooting wildlife, breaking bottles, and using weapons that have modifications that violate state law.
After the sheriff's visit, there was a period of quiet. But when the shooting began again, I grabbed my battery-powered bullhorn (not to be confused with the Disturbatron, which has its own bullhorn) and went up the Chamomile Headwaters trail to the escarpment several terraces above the bus turnaround and began berating the shooters with an amplified voice. I told them their license plates had been photographed and that their identities were being turned over to authorities. I added that their identities would be placed on the internet for all to see. I repeated this in various permutations, being sure to use the word "authorities," "database," and "internet" multiple time. There's something inherently terrifying about hearing the word "authorities" through a megaphone, and soon the shooting stopped. Feeling victorious, I returned home (using a mountain bike for the Farm Road part of the trip).
When the shooting began again, I walked to a nearby escarpment near the north end of the Stick Trail and continued my berating-from-a-distance there. Later I even did some from across Dug Hill Road at the edge of the gorge. The shooting continued, but I did what I could to make it as unpleasant as possible. The point, as I later put it to Gretchen and Powerful, was that we'd been letting these assholes come here and shoot simply by not complaining about it. If we made it a bit more unpleasant here, perhaps they'd find somewhere else to go. Even complete assholes would rather not be stressed out about irate neighbors as they indulge their ammosexuality.
Meanwhile Gretchen and Powerful had cooked yet another meal, this one a pesto & pasta dish with a large side-salad.
vehicles belonging to the asshole gun nuts parked at the bus turnaround today
This is the only picture where you can see the actual assholes.
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