Letter: Gun sports at Biltmore should stop

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was reminded yesterday of one of the reasons I let my membership to the Biltmore Estate lapse. I sat along the French Broad River, hoping to snag a speck of peace while grabbing a quick lunch. Unfortunately, my bubble of sweet lull was burst by the very unsettling blasts from gunfire. Good ol’ Biltmore Estate, still catering to people who enjoy shooting guns. Skeet-shooting, I suppose.

I think under the circumstances of our very sick nation and the heightened awareness we all share regarding guns, this public pleasure revolving around firearms should be discontinued. Granted, back when I was a member and spoke to as many people I could, I was informed that the estate also provides an outdoor target range for law officials. That at least is more occasional and a necessary evil.

I think there needs to be greater commitment to keeping the peace and providing free space in nature where individuals and families can enjoy moments. Gunfire for guest enjoyment needs to stop. The way sound carries on a river, who knows how far that noise travels and how many schoolchildren, veterans or just lollygagging river floaters have to hear it. There are other activities visitors to the estate can involve themselves with.

Maybe if enough people shout out against this, the estate will agree to discontinue its relationship with gun sports and maybe even send a message accordingly.

— Terri Lu

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Biltmore with the letter writer’s points and received the following response from spokesperson LeeAnn Donnelly: “We appreciate the reader sharing these concerns. Feedback from our guests is a critical component of our decision-making process. While we do not have any immediate plans to eliminate sporting clays from our offerings, we do pay close attention to the views of our guests in deciding what experiences we provide. These comments have been shared with our leadership team and again, we appreciate hearing them.”


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Gun sports at Biltmore should stop

  1. Patrick

    Actually, sport shooting instills great respect for firearms, firearm handling, and storage. It’s not a trailer park shootout, it’s a carefully managed sporting event with many rules and regulations regarding firearm safety.
    Also Asheville is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery everywhere. Literally go 1 mile down the river and you won’t hear the guns. (Also you just sound like a whiny baby).

  2. Skip Brewet

    Another example of how utterly ridiculous a citizen can be if another citizens form of enjoyment doesn’t conform to theirs . Frankly, if one dies not like the sound of, or in Ms. Lu’s case, the sound or thought of a firearm, then move somewhere that embraces your view. You can live in our world, although, sadly, we cannot live in yours. The sporting clays range @ Biltmore is a carefully controlled and supervised venue for the safety and, yes, enjoyment of its members and guests. While it may be objectionable to Ms. Lu to think that sporting clays is enjoyable because it involves the use of a firearm and the resultant sound, we use earplugs. I use earplugs so I am not distracted by the drum circle when I attempt to enjoy a restaurant in downtown Ashevile, which is less and less over the last 40 years in Asheville. So I go to downtown Hendersonville where there is an environment which I find more to my liking. Perhaps you should remove yourself from the equation and find somewhere else that is more conducive to your views. That’s why we have a free society in America. And by the way…..a law abiding gun owner has nothing to fear from the same.

  3. Shultz!

    For anyone that grew up in Appalachia, the sound of shotguns in the hills so very normal – hunting is a way of life & practice/showing proficiency (with clay pigeons) is part of it. Being from Fairview, I’m surprised the reader hasn’t heard the same at night accompanied by coonhounds baying at the chase. It can take some time to get used to, but honestly, it’s part of the culture here and just another way people use our SHARED land. Please don’t lump hunters & sport shooters in with the assault rifle nutters. That’s gun-ism ;-)

    Skeet shooting is actually really enjoyable – the writer should give it a try!

  4. MV

    Noise from Salvage Station on certain nights when the bass is too intense, neighbors’ barking dogs, and trucks and cars without proper mufflers bother me just as much as the sound of gunshots. Salvage Station, in fact, bothers far more locals far more often and for many more hours than sports shooting at Biltmore.

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