You are alone, yet you are not, a couple cars in the lot as folks put away the last of their equipment, the last person out making sure the clubhouse is locked, the gate secure. That will likely be you. You always seem to be the last one to leave any scene.
This late, there will be mosquitoes, so you will smell like a mixture of bug repellent and Hoppes No. 9, an odor as familiar as bacon and Tinks come October.
The backboards had been hauled from the clubhouse in the back of the truck, placed across the backstop, a target of a man's head and upper torso placed upon them, like some Easter Island Tactical statue, waiting for a piece of lead to cleave the virgin air and introduce itself for the first time.
You appreciate you live in such a place. It's a recognition of a right that was born by the first men to walk these lands, the boisterous and the brave, the quiet and composed, some dressed in rough cloth, some dressed in the forest softened deer skins of their freedom. It's an affirmation as much as a right, not a measure of the weapon but a measure of the God given right to fight to defend yourself from harm.
As the range empties, the echo of the last shot hangs in the air as smoke. The red taillight of the last club member winks its goodbye as it hits that bump coming out of the dusty parking lot. It's time for you to go as well.
That night, you all worked until every last bit of light left the sky. Outside of this place you may not be friends, as different as night in day in your work and your lives. But here in this place, you are brothers and sisters in arms, gaining that staid peace that is achieved through the recognition of work and its rewards, and the will and strength to endure to protect it.
For if you were confronted out here and alone, you would not run, not as the letter of the law, but simply with that knowledge that given your physical form and years, you could not run far from the bragging and evil shadows that prey at the edges of the light. Pretending the shadows do not exist doesn't help any more than the running, for there exists that kind of darkness throughout all the earth, not just when you are young but when you are too old and tired to flee, but not too old and tired to fight.
For it is a sound that cleaves the air, the sharp dry report, the abrupt wild thunder of untamed horses, the whispering smoke. Is it something that they think should be best regulated from the law abiding, a stain of noisy violence upon this land? Or do they view it as you do, something that is a natural part of the peace and dignity of this place, one of the many tools that tamed this wild landscape that you all claim as home?
From the woods come the sound of the crickets. You climb into your truck and head home, into the wild dust of that starlit road, the dense richness of smoke still lingering in your hair, the pale ribbon of road unfurling underneath the running boards.
It's just another night at the range, then home to dignity and peace.