The community needs some place to sight-in and plink with our firearms. We need an open, free area, and fortunately the area on East Camino Cielo, known as the “Glass Factory,” has been opened again recently for community use.
The popular spot is closed seasonally during very dry weather, but now that we have had a little rain and overall humidity is higher, it has been reopened. Now people can again go plink away and develop gun-handling and shooting skills with friends and family or by themselves.
At Guns of Santa Barbara (4010 Calle Real, between upper State Street and Highway 154), people come in quite often to ask if the Glass Factory is open. The gun store is conveniently located near Highway 154, on the way up to the Glass Factory, so it becomes an information networking hub.
The shooting spot is near and dear to the local shooting community because people can work and play in groups at their own pace and people learn from each other. People learn to shoot close or far, at whatever they bring along or find there.
It is one of those rare community resources that is shared by all, and in general things go smoothly. Naturally, there are issues that arise, but they are usually resolved or parties go their separate ways.
One thing that always intrigued me about the place is how some people couldn’t care less about how much junk they leave, while others take extra precautions to clean up not only anything they bring but haul away stuff from others. It all seems to work out reasonably well in an unsupervised environment.
Local government sometimes looks at the Glass Factory and thinks about how to manage it or eliminate it, but they are reminded about how many people find it useful and beneficial. So the spot remains and serves a great many shooters. I’ve used it a number of times to site in a hunting rifle, get the hang of a new gun or gain a feel for how a different bullet will shoot in my gun.
We are also blessed to have Winchester Canyon Gun Club on West Camino Cielo, and it serves the needs of a great many shooters who want an organized and managed place to practice shooting and to enjoy fellowship with fellow shooters. It serves a different need than the one served by an open, free area available to everyone.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.