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Nurturing our city's image

Ranger Rich


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Today we'll discuss a group of people from our own village who like to get all liquored up and head for the hills with AK-47 assault rifles, sawed-off shotguns and roaring handguns, which they use to shoot trees and lay waste to Pike National Forest as they stumble around with beer cans and check out each other's misspelled tattoos such as "Born Too Raise Hel" and "I Love Mom Even Though She Was a Crack Hore."

These people shoot up our forests because it is their "right under the Second Amendment" and firearm ownership is "guaranteed by the Constitution" and because the men who use guns like that have "very small penises" and did not "do so good in school."

Here you might be wondering if this is a good idea, making fun of heavily armed and lightly educated people. I say it's OK because hardly any of these folks can, to use the formal term, "read."

Also, the small percentage who can sound out a few words do not regularly read the Independent newspaper but prefer the Gazette, which is written at their level. Except the business section, which is not written at any level at all.

You might also wonder when I will stop "using quotation marks" so freely and I say it will be soon "but not right now."

Anyway, the news about these gun-packing Dirt Roads Scholars came to light in a recent Gazette story by Dave Philipps.

"It looks like a battlefield," Philipps wrote. "Trees splintered by thousands of bullets, the dead trunks and toppled limbs sprawled on a bed of shattered glass, scattered trash and piles of shotgun shells."

And that was just the scene on Tejon Street when the 4,672 bars closed last Friday night.

No, seriously, Philipps was writing about a common sight in our national forests. "About two acres of trees had been cleared by bullets," he wrote about an area west of Monument. "The war-torn meadow is covered in shell casings, beer bottles, cups and ammo boxes."

Accompanying photos showed bullet-riddled signs and hundreds of trees mowed down by men who were, according to a recent Harvard study that I have just made up, breast-fed by the woman in the trailer next door because their own mothers were out "hunting down another handful of meth" or were "naked and throwing up in the kitchen again."

"Three times last year," the story said, "the Forest Service had to put out wildfires started by local people illegally shooting at propane canisters."

And I think we can agree that nothing says Colorado Springs quite like yanking the propane tank out of your own grill and shooting the highly pressurized container of flammable gas with an assault rifle. Unless it's taking up three parking spaces at Wal-Mart so you don't get any scratches on your 1978 Chevrolet Vega with the homemade sunroof.

U.S. Forest Service ranger Frank Landis told Philipps that an estimated 500 big trees are killed each year by bullets and shotgun blasts in the forests north and west of our village. Indeed, it's worth noting that the Independent's own J. Adrian Stanley has reported on pretty much the same theme as far back as September 2007, in a cover story under the headline "De-ranged." So the problem didn't just start yesterday.

To see the damage, take a hike or bike ride on Mount Herman Road to our north, or Rampart Range Road and Gold Camp Road to the west.

No, I'm just kidding. Don't go to those places. You will be struck by errant bullets and fall face-down onto broken glass and ruptured propane tanks. Although that would still be better than sitting through an entire City Council meeting. (Personal note: I went to a recent meeting and new "strong mayor" Steve Bach showed up with a pair of dumbbells: Doug Bruce and Ed Bircham.)

Anyway, let's go back to the Gazette story one last time. Here, we find that "El Paso County has the second-highest gun ownership rate in Colorado; 37.5 percent of all households have a gun."

This is due in part to the relentless call to arms by the Gazette, whose editorials have preached nonstop that the way to solve gun crime is by having more guns.

Then they have a staff picnic. It's BYOPT. Bring Your Own Propane Tank.


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