Monday, May 21, 2012


Johnston County, North Carolina, is one of the fastest-growing counties in America. County commissioners thought it was getting a wee bit too crowded for unrestricted use of firearms, so they crafted an ordinance that limited how and when firearms could be discharged.

They didn't count on James Whitlock III:

...Since they first complained to the county board in March, residents of Oak Ridge subdivision ... say James Whitlock III's shooting habits haven't changed. The neighbors have started counting shots, with 3,000 logged in the past 60 days and nearly 200 on a recent Monday alone.

... Commissioners promised in March to look for a solution. Sheriff Steve Bizzell sent deputies to Whitlock’s home on numerous occasions. But they found his shooting was legal under the county's ordinance, which bans shooting after dark, under the influence or alcohol or "carelessly and heedlessly" with bullets crossing onto a neighbor's property.

Several neighbors have said they've found evidence of gunfire on cars and on a backyard trampoline. But sheriff's deputies say the evidence is not enough to issue a citation to Whitlock....

An article from March tells us more:

... Oak Ridge residents said they were concerned about stray bullets, and one said he had found bird shot on his car. "Our grandchildren are telling us that they're scared to come over," Joe Heil said.

They said the shooting is taking place at 121 Oak Ridge Drive, a 1.1-acre property owned by James S. Whitlock III.... shooting isn't allowed between two hours after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Neighbors said Whitlock is firing up until 11 p.m. and leaving traces on nearby vehicles....

It's amazing that any ordinance was passed at all, given opponents like this blogger:

Tonight, the second meeting of the "Good Neighbor Firearms Ordinance" (how Orwellian of them) working group is scheduled to take place at 6:00pm...

I got the impression that a goodly portion of the calls the Sheriff's office was getting were from new residents of the county who came from anti-gun bastions like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California, who were uncomfortable with the sound of guns. I told Carver that, to be frank, whenever I hear the phrase "let freedom ring" it is near impossible for me to not think of the sound of guns. The sound of gunfire is the sound of freedom....

Mr. Whitlock, it will not surprise you to learn, is threatening to take the county to court if he's denied his God-given right to shoot off an average of 50 rounds a day and as many as 200, all day and well into the evening. And while I can't find much about him, I suspect he wouldn't live up to any dumb-hick stereotypes you might have: his wife seems like a fairly sharp-witted lawyer:

Mr. Whitlock is just a modern right-winger, who thinks Jesus and the Framers wanted him to have everything he's ever wanted -- and believed you're the totalitarian if he's not allowed to have it all.


Improbable Joe said...

Is there a difference worth mentioning between right-wingers and small spoiled children, besides age? The attitudes and the behaviors are virtually identical: "I want to do what I want when I want, no one is the boss of me, waaaahhhh mommy give me stuff!"

Ten Bears said...

This not-liberal has a solution... shoot the bastard.

One percent. There is a one percent chance this asshole is a danger to me, my children, and my grandchildren.

We are not going to win this, folks, until we turn this shit back into their faces. I'm not a "liberal", I am VietNam Veteran and a Pistol Packing Pissed Off Progressive. I have the right to protect my family.

One percent. There is a one percent chance this asshole is a danger to me, my children, and my grandchildren.

Victor said...

When I lived in NC, I didn't live too far from Johnston, and I drove through it, on I-40 and I-95, very often.
Let me just say that this inconsiderate (and potentially dangerous) knucklehead, ain't alone.
That them there's some serious "Good Old Boy" country.

And one of the things that pisses them GOB's off the most, is that they're losing.
More and more of us Northern and Western Coastal Elites are moving in there, due to the counties proximity to Raleigh, and RTP. And also, more and more Hispanic people are moving in - someone has to work cheap for Smithfield. Though there are many LEGAL Hispanics moving there because the cost of housing is still fairly low, and it's one of the few areas in America that job opportunities are still growing.
Also, foreigners of every stripe are coming - for the housing, and jobs in RTP.

So, the Bubba's are pissed. And scared. And firing off their guns lets them blow off some steam, as they're about to be steamrolled by changing demographics.

And this assholes just another petulant child who thinks his shit doesn't stink, and he should get whatever he wants whenever he wants it. I believe the term for that is "Sociopath."
One day, he'll shoot someone by accident, and be hauled off to jail, so his arsenal will be taken away from him. One day too late for the person shot, of course. And, in prison, this Bubba can hang out with the other Bubba's. But, they won't rule the roost there anymore either, I suspect - prison demographics are changing, too.
As parting gifts before they're hauled off to prison, someone needs to buy the Bubba's some 'soap-on-a-rope.'
No me. Let them pay for it themselves.

Victor said...

Also too - maybe if he paid more taxes, he'd have less money for guns, or at least for the dozens to hundreds of bullets he fires off every feckin' day.

Can you imagine a Native American, centuries ago, firing off irretrievable arrows?
He, or his 'wife' had to MAKE the feckin' things!
And then, what would they have left to fire at the interloping Christian white imperialists who wanted to kill them and take their lands.

Ditto, imagine one of his frontier hero's, firing off round after round as he and his family headed west.
If the "Injun's" attacked, how would his profligate use of a valuable defense resource be looked upon by others in the party?

Most probably, if they survived the attack, he'd be told by the others to take his Libertarian ass, and his families Libertarian asses, and go off to find their own Libertarian future homestead - ALONE!!!
And NO MORE bullets - they were now "reapportioned" and "socialized" for those in the party who hadn't already exceeded their limit.
Let the "invisible hand of the free markets" provide him with bullets. Or, in true Libertarian fashion, find the resources and make his own bullets.


Erik A. Prince said...

This sort of thing has little to do with pro or anti gun views. It's about being considerate of others around you. Without knowing more about the neighborhood I couldn't speculate too much, but personally, I don't think anyone should be using firearms in a residential area unless they have an approved firing range. And they certainly shouldn't be firing them after 9pm! Some people, no doubt, have to get up early and shouldn't have to arrange their bed time to coincide with this idiot's cease fire schedule.

This is a good example of taking the 'individual freedom' thing to it's stupid extreme. It's fine if you live miles from any other person, but if you are going to live near others you have to show some consideration.

Seems like the solution is a noise ordinance so it's not about guns but disturbing your neighbors, just as if it were loud music.


Ten Bears said...

Good point Vic, one need only read two or three Louis L'Amour "Westerns" to gather an appreciation for the disdain our fore-fathers had for wasting ammunition. A "cultural trait", if you will, that trickled down even unto my upbringing (out here in the hinterlands), where my grand-father would count bullets and woe be unto the bastard grand-child with less to show than ammunition expended.

BH said...

It's that old thing: your freedom stops where mine begins. When you're popping off rounds in large numbers at all hours, and you live in proximity to other people, your freedom to do so has bumped right into my freedom to live in my residence without unreasonable risk and noise.

Steve M. said...

Get out of here with your Kenyan socialist talk of "reasonableness"! FREEDOM! FREEEEEEDOM!!!!! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!