Tuesday, March 4, 2014

OnTarget responds regarding Zinke event/booze

Yesterday I wrote about the Zinke campaign event scheduled at OnTarget in Crystal Lake. Why did I wonder about the possibility of alcoholic beverages at a campaign event? Because people like to drink at campaign events, and they like to drink alcohol when eating barbecue.

And because some sheriff's deputies are no strangers to drinking and driving. Mr. Strom may not be familiar with the drinking parties at the Red Mill Inn (under prior ownership) or at the Washington Street Station or the old Elks Lodge on the Woodstock Square.

Although the email from OnTarget included "OnTarget Range is pleased to host a fundraiser for McHenry County Sheriff Candidate - Andy Zinke!" [emphasis in the original email], Mr. Strom's message states that OnTarget (the business) does not official endorse candidate Zinke.

I received two replies from Bo Strom, President, Manager and CEO of OnTarget. In his first message, Mr. Strom wrote, 

"The Zinke campaign is using one of our classrooms for an event that supporters are paying for.  We have made three shooting lanes available for use by any attendee that may want to shoot.  They will have to provide their own eye and ear protection, ammunition, firearms or they can rent and purchase same from us.  There is no official endorsement by On Target as an organization and any support is done on an individual basis by employees and partners in the range.

"There have been other organizations that have used our training room for a variety of events and we have sponsored charitable activities to raise money for causes that touched our hearts. In December, we held a fundraiser for Peyton Felde, a young girl struggling with a serious disease.  We raised $2,500 for the Felde family under our “On Target Cares” program which is in it’s [sic] second year."

Mr. Strom's second message was:

"After I sent a response to your email asking for clarification about the Zinke event at our range, I took the time to look at your post.  We take great offense at the title of the blog in that it implies we think combining guns and booze is a good idea. You further imply that the Zinke event has applied for a liquor license and that the Crystal Lake Police will need to be available for DUI checks. Really? We can’t imagine that many people would perceive these remarks to have any merit in fact. I quote below, straight from our Safety Rules and Regulations:

Anyone with alcohol on their breath or who appears to be impaired in any way (including impairment from prescription or over-the-counter drugs) will not be permitted in the range. The decision as to whether a shooter is impaired will be made at the Range Officer’s SOLE DISCRETION and may not be challenged.”

"We take great pride in running a clean and safe range and would never allow anyone on the range if we suspected alcohol use. We have, on several occasions, refused use of the range to someone we suspected to be under the influence. We strive to provide a family friendly environment where not only men, but women and children, can feel safe while enjoying the joy of shooting sports.

"As our philosophy statement indicates: “On Target is staffed with friendly and patriotic souls who strive to offer the finest customer service and the most practical firearms training to be found in the industry. The goal of On Target is to deliver an enjoyable and satisfying experience at all levels of our operation. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned firearms enthusiast, all are welcome at On Target…your resource for shooting excellence.”

"Rather than conjure up the most negative spin you can put on one of many political events occurring around the state right now, I would urge you to go to our website and read through some of our Safety Rules and Regulations.  At www.ontargetsite.com you will learn about our true philosophy and the importance we place on safety. Given your tendency toward negative spin, we are guessing that nothing stated herein will see the light of day on your blog. If you have the courage to print this response in full, you will have earned back a little respect from us."

OnTarget takes the right approach to mixing guns and booze; i.e., you don't. Hopefully, staff will keep an eye on their parking lot for anyone who might step outside for a little "nip". Is his "range" the entire building and parking lot? If so, the Zinke campaign event will be alcohol-free.

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