Monday, December 17, 2012


Earlier this year, I did a post about Johnston County, North Carolina, where some residents hoped local officials could balance shooters' rights against the right not to get a bullet in your car, or the side of your house -- or worse -- while pursuing daily life on your own property. But it was impossible to impose reasonable restrictions on gun use of this kind:
... 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 was impossible to stop Whitlock because pressure from gun-rights fundamentalists ensured that the laws were weak, so this was perfectly legal:
...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....

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....
Now we learn that there have been similar tensions in, of all places, Newtown, Connecticut, site of last week's school massacre. I assume you can guess who's winning this fight:
... in the last couple of years, residents began noticing loud, repeated gunfire, and even explosions, coming from new places. Near a trailer park. By a boat launch. Next to well-appointed houses. At 2:20 p.m. on one Wednesday last spring, multiple shots were reported in a wooded area on Cold Spring Road near South Main Street, right across the road from an elementary school.

Yet recent efforts by the police chief and other town leaders to gain some control over the shooting and the weaponry turned into a tumultuous civic fight, with traditional hunters and discreet gun owners opposed by assault weapon enthusiasts, and a modest tolerance for bearing arms competing with the staunch views of a gun industry trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which has made Newtown its home.

... The town had a 20-year-old ordinance aimed at hunters that included a ban on shooting within 500 feet of occupied dwellings, but the chief complained that the way the law was written had left him powerless to enforce the rules or otherwise crack down on the riskiest shooting.
Spoiler alert: nothing's been done in Newtown, because freedom!
The proposed ordinance was shelved, and Ms. Jacob said the committee was in the midst of researching a more limited rule, perhaps one restricted to making the existing ban on firing weapons within 500 feet of an occupied building more enforceable.

"Five hundred feet!" Mr. Flaxon said in an interview. "A BB gun can go that far."
Of course, we know that we have to treat gun use as a form of religious worship, because it's all about keeping yourself and your family safe, and keeping America free from tyranny, and passing the sacred ritual of hunting down from one generation to the next.

So pay no attention to the fact that many of these folks are overgrown children who just like to blow stuff up:
Gun enthusiasts here, as elsewhere in the country, have taken to loading their targets with an explosive called Tannerite, which detonates when bullets strike it, sending shock waves afield. A mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, Tannerite is legal in Connecticut....

"I've hunted for many years, but the police department was getting complaints of shooting in the morning, in the evening, and of people shooting at propane gas tanks just to see them explode," Faxon said.
Just as the Founding Fathers intended.

What gets me is the mixture of sanctimony and infantilism. This isn't about hunting, or self-preservation, and it sure as hell isn't about "a well-regulated militia" and "the security of a free state" -- it's about having stupid fun. So spare me the self-righteousness.

Oh, but of course we get this:
A second committee gathering in September drew such a large crowd that the meeting was moved into a high school cafeteria, where the opposition grew fierce. "This is a freedom that should never be taken away," one woman said. Added another, "Teach kids to hunt, you will never have to hunt your kids."
Yeah, Nancy Lanza taught young Adam to shoot, and look how well that turned out.

And no, I'm not blaming her. She fell for the sanctimonious propaganda, too.


Victor said...

Guns don't kill people.

People with, or who know oh too well, people with small, pale, impotent pecker's, kill people.

Oh, for REAL penis enhancement!!!

Bulworth said...

"I've hunted for many years, but the police department was getting complaints of shooting in the morning, in the evening, and of people shooting at propane gas tanks just to see them explode," Faxon said."

Shooting at propane gas tanks. What could go wrong?

Kathy said...

Surely shooting at propane tanks would be considered reckless endangerment - but I guess we have to wait till someone burns to death to do anything about it.

Lex Alexander said...

Shooting propane tanks to watch them explode?? FFS, in years of cops reporting, much of which involves people doing stupid things with guns, I never ran across anything CLOSE to that stupid.

On the bright side, Darwin's Law. On the other hand, innocent bystanders, at least some of them presumably young and sober.