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The first time I saw Rampart Range Road shooting area, the question running through my mind was: Why?

Why would anyone leave this much trash in the forest?

Why would people come here just to shoot at a hill of dirt?

Why, for God's sake, was nobody stopping people from firing willy-nilly into the woods where people (such as me) were trying to hike?

Across town a few years later, while reporting this "De-ranged" cover-story package, I found myself holding a 12-gauge shotgun.

My first shot sent me reeling backward.

After I stopped being terrified, I was exhilarated. I finally understood why people might care to shoot guns at hills.

But that didn't change my feelings about Rampart. In fact, Rampart only looked worse when compared to the area's well-managed shooting ranges.

A lot of people are looking at Rampart now and thinking the same thing. They see the need for a shooting area on the west side of town, but they think it should be clean and safe.

As it turns out, the real question when it comes to Rampart isn't why, but how.

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