As a Bourne resident, I am urging Bourne’s leadership team, the select board, to take a formal vote and publish a position letter addressed to the Massachusetts National Guard opposing the development of this new machine gun range.
The process used to develop this new range proposal is a classic example of “mission creep.” The lack of formal communication with abutting neighboring town boards can best be described as an “end run.”
This base expansion adds no economic value for Bourne. Past history reminds everyone of the fact that Bourne residents near the base have borne the burden of water contamination.
When lead bullets were banned and target shooting was shut down, tungsten bullets were introduced as a safe environmental alternative. Environmental review of tungsten bullets revealed a negative impact and this material was also banned.
With the de-escalation of US troop activity in the Middle East, this Vietnam army veteran feels the need for expanded weapons training seems unjustified. If this new range is built, residents have no assurances that crew-served weapons training will not be expanded to include other larger-caliber military weapons. Residents also have no guarantees that training will not be escalated to include out-of-state Guard units (such as from Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut) and civilian law enforcement organizations.
Richard W. Conron