Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Party on the Range

King County Republicans are so confident that Dave Reichert is going to be reelected this November, they're holding a Shootin' for Victory! party for him:
Wendnesday, October 4th, 6:00PM
At Wades Eastside Gun Range
13570 Bel-Red Rd. Bellevue, WA 98005

Join DAVE REICHERT at SHOOTIN FOR VICTORY! The Best Darn Event of 2006! The most fun youll have with your boots on! Wades Eastside Gun Range Wed. Oct. 4th. Join a posse of fun-minded Republicans & other folks for an evening of Shootin, BBQ, & Good Times! Instructors available for beginners.

Admission is $100.00, reservations are required. Contact the KCGOP at 425-990-0404
What's really interesting about this event, though, is where it's being held. Some interesting incidents have happened at Wade's Eastside Gun Range. Take this episode from 2000:
A woman rented a handgun at a gun range, exchanged it for a smaller weapon, then used it to shoot herself in the head -- the second fatal shooting at Wade's Gun Shop in six days.


Last week, a 49-year-old Issaquah man shot himself in the chest in the restroom after practicing on the range. Police have determined the two shooting deaths are not connected.
Then there was this in 1997:
He strolled in, rented gun in hand, took his position at a firing range, then began shooting. He loaded and unloaded. After firing dozens of rounds, the 27-year-old Seattle man fired a shot that hit his head and left him clinging to life....The man, whose name was not released, was found about 2:30 p.m. Another customer at Wade's Gun Shop discovered the body and summoned the staff, who called an ambulance and police.


Wade Gaughran, the owner of the firing range, refused to comment...In April, Michael Chumney, 24, was fatally wounded at the gun range, at 13570 N.E. Bellevue-Redmond Road, after a Kirkland woman lost control of the gun she was firing.

The .44-caliber revolver recoiled, and the next round struck Chumney, who was standing behind her.

Video cameras, however, failed to record that incident. Police said the shooting was accidental.

Earlier this year, another woman was shot in the thigh at the gun range during a gun-safety class.
Then, before that:
Bellevue Police are investigating the shooting of Michael Chumney at Wade's Eastside Gun Shop, 13570 N.E. Bellevue-Redmond Road, as an accident.

The shooter, a 30-year-old Kirkland woman, told police Chumney, a 24-year-old Redmond man, had lent her the powerful revolver he had rented at the range and then stood behind her as she tried it.

Police said the woman from Chumney's church group lost control of the revolver as it recoiled after her second shot. Chumney was hit in the neck at close range when the gun fired a third time.
And there was this lengthy article too (same shooting):
A Bellevue firing range where a man was shot and killed Monday was investigated last year for allegedly lax safety procedures, but police discovered no government agency had jurisdiction over the facility.

But last April, a customer was so upset with safety procedures that he contacted Bellevue Police. Mark Owen, who owns several guns and took safety courses as a child in Montana, said he went to Wade's because he was looking for a place to teach his own children.
Nothing against responsible gun ownership, but this doesn't sound like an establishment where responsibility and safety are Priority #1.

Draw your own conclusions from all of this. I'm just wondering who thought it was a good idea to hold a big political fundraiser at a gun range that has become somewhat notorious for unfortunate shooting accidents. Is this really the ideal venue for a Dave Reichert party?

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