The clubs in and around Mesquite have been influential in where this city is today. Not all of them have had a smooth ride, however, such as the issues related to the Mesquite Shooters Club and Women’s Defense Weaponry
Mesquite Shooters Pistol Club, led by Ovid Pinckert, began in October 2010 servicing all those interested in the Virgin Valley and outlying areas. As interest grew, so did the membership.
Women’s Defense Weaponry began seeking members in November 2013 after some interest had peaked about having an all-women’s group to learn how to protect themselves. Led by Peggy Pope and her sister-in-law Becky Hoff, they have grown as well in their short time of existence.
So how could two seemingly vital clubs be in conflict with each other? Would you believe it all began with a misprint in an online newspaper article?
When one of the writers for the MLN did a story on the Senior Games for the 2014 Pistol Shooting Competition in the April 17, 2014 edition, her initial story indicated the new WDW group met at the same shooting range as MSPC. That story had been posted on the website, in its entirety without further edits. The printed edition, however, had been trimmed down due to space issues that week and the small error was omitted from the printed article. The online article has since been removed as the MLN had switched to a different website platform and archives were unavailable to be replaced.
Most people would think the buck would stop there, that everyone could keep a calm head and shake hands at the end of the day and move on. Not so in this case, and the sphere on which this situation sits is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
In the year since that article came out, actions from the MSPC have caused some feathers to get ruffled. So much so, that two of the highly skilled shooters up for contention in the Mesquite Senior Games were not only banned this year, but were forced to leave the premises. Both Pope and Hoff were asked to leave the site last Saturday as the rest of their team competing in the pistol shoot prepared to begin.
In materials obtained by the MLN, Pinckert and his group have banned anyone who is affiliated with the WDW, including their staff and safety officers. However, the MSPC allowed some WDW members to participate this past weekend.
In a letter Pinckert sent to Pope’s attorney in July 2014, he stated that anyone affiliated with the WDW needed to resign from the MSPC immediately, and that those people will not be involved with or engage in any activity that is sponsored by the MSPC nor would they be allowed to be on that property.
The shooting competition as part of the Mesquite Senior Games is not an official function of the MSPC, but the event is held at the MSPC shooting range.
Both Pope and Hoff had submitted their registration and fees to the Mesquite Senior Games for this year’s Pistol Shoot Competition back in March. Initially, their fees and papers were returned to them. Later, after Pope’s attorney received an email from Terri Rylander, the president of the Mesquite Senior Games, they were told by the attorney that they should resubmit their registration, so they sent in their papers and fee payments once more.
To their surprise, the materials were once again returned, while four other WDW members, who were supposedly banned from even stepping on MSPC property, were allowed to register, pay and compete. Their shooting coach, Lance Barr, who is a paid instructor with the WDW, was also allowed to stay on the property and watch the four women compete.
Ron Kirchen, organizer for the Mesquite Senior Games pistol shoot competition, said on Wednesday morning that his understanding of the WDW ban was that it was only intended for officers. This was the reason the other club members were allowed to participate.
“When I first read that (the documents), I thought, at first, it included all members of the club. That was my first-blush impression,” he said. “But it was really intended only to affect the officers of the club. “When asked why Barr was allowed to remain, Kirchen stated he didn’t realize he was there.
Attempted calls to Pinckert Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.