The Times West Virginian

Community News Network

August 1, 2013

Machine guns, cannons and drones at Arizona's Big Sandy Shoot

(Continued)

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. —

West of Nothing we pass a biker bar, a barbecue joint, a trailer park and a log furniture store, which pretty much sums up the commercial center of downtown Wikieup, population 133. We're well into Mohave County now, and it feels like militia country. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh hung out with his friend and terrorism accomplice Michael Fortier in Mohave County. Jason Bush, the border vigilante condemned to die for slaughtering a 9-year-old girl and her father during a bloody home invasion, was arrested in Mohave County. About 202,000 people live in the county, which sprawls over 13,470 square miles. It's a good place be a hermit or play war games.

We veer right onto Trout Creek Road, follow the arrow on the white poster board sign that reads "Big Sandy Shoot." Five miles of dusty, up-down, windy dirt road later, we descend into a valley where spectators are allowed to camp and have tailgate parties.

We register at a folding table, then drive a rutted road leading up a steep, rocky bluff to the fabled Big Sandy Range. Camouflage nets separate dozens of shooting stations. Most are equipped with folding tables and chairs, tools, ice chests, metal ammo cans, wooden ammo boxes, and machine guns on tripods.

The machine guns face the target area, a wide, dry wash. Dozens of white barrels — the targets — line the wash. The target area is "backstopped" first by its own eroded bank, and then a cratered hill, and then a mountain. The layers keep rogue rounds from escaping and killing a cow or coyote. Yellow police tape flaps in the wind, marking the boundary between the target area and shooting stations. The shooters have set up campsites a few feet behind their machine guns. Some will sleep in RVs, others in large trucks and tents.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads