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Ranger Rich

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I love shooting my 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Crack-crack-crack. Fast as you pull the trigger. Sometimes I turn it sideways like the gang-bangers. Love shootin' the 12, too. The shotgun. Big honkin' 12-gauge. Buckshot. Take a chunk out of a tree. Semi, too, like the handgun. Ka-BOOM. Ka-BOOM. Shooting makes my thingys feel bigger.

So I'm up the other night, about 3 in the morning because I don't sleep so good. Spent four years in Boy Scouts and then got discharged. Said I didn't play well with others. @#%& them. So I'm up and pacing around and think, let's get the guns out and go shoot. I mean, that's legal, right? That Obama bastard hasn't taken that away yet, right?

I got some favorite places. Parks mostly. Garden of the Gods is nice. Pound some rounds into them red rocks. Crack-crack-crack. Ka-BOOM. Should see them jogger people run then. Kinda' pick up the pace, if you know what I mean.

I'm prior-service Boy Scouts, as I might have mentioned. Highly trained with BB guns and bows and arrows and tying knots and hatchet-throwing and stuff, I apply the same training out there, shooting at a rock 150 meters away with my nine and my shotgun so I wasn't hitting anything. Honest, I just think it's OK to shoot guns once you get out into the open areas. But apparently it's not.

Because I unload a few hundred rounds and all these lights are coming on in the houses nearby at this Garden of the Gods place because it's early and they must be getting ready for work, I figure, and then the cops get there and, I can't believe it, I get a ticket. A TICKET!!! Reckless something or other. Just for shooting a gun.

Someone said it would have been worse if I hadn't been in the Boy Scouts and how the Boy Scouts sorta run this town and everyone's afraid to say anything bad about the Boy Scouts even if a few thousand of us go downtown at night to drink soda pop and sing camp songs and show off our Boy Scout knives and stab each other just foolin' around, you know?

So I figured I better find someplace else to shoot, so I went to that America the Beautiful Park down by those big dirty smokestacks. That's got to be a safe place. There's never anyone there. Could have cannon practice in that park.

The other day, musta been 3 or 4 in the morning, I'm laying down some serious fire across America the Beautiful, trying to keep the rounds inside this huge round metal target or sculpture thing down there, and I see homeless guys running. Heading for the creek. Put a few rounds over their heads, just for a joke. Can't be any law against that.

I like another park, too, Arcadia or Acorn or Acacia or something like that. Convenient. Right downtown. Some of the same guys I saw in America the Beautiful Park were there. They ran before I even got started. Musta recognized me.

So there I am, having some good, clean, harmless fun, crack-crack-crack ... ka-BOOM, and then the cops show up again and I'm thinking I'm gonna get another ticket but the cops said to make sure I was being safe and to sort of wrap it up by 6 a.m. when people start showing up for coffee and bagels.

There was even a guy on a horse in the middle of the intersection, just watchin' me walk around shootin' with my nine and my shotgun. Some guy hiding behind a metal trash can said the guy on the giant horse was some General Palmer guy, but I'm not from around here and never heard of him. He was wearing a uniform, just like in Boy Scouts. He musta been a troop leader.

Anyway, that's about it. I love this town. Walkin' around, shootin' my nine and my 12 in the nice parks at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I just hope I don't tick off any of them gun nuts they say live around here.

Rich Tosches (rangerrich@csindy.com), who also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post, would like to note that this weekend, our village will learn — no kidding — whether it's an "All-America City." That prestigious designation is apparently based on civic excellence, driving skills, a hot dog eating contest, and creative sculptures made by our children from spent bullet cartridges they've found in our parks and playgrounds.

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