Bullet went between me and neighbor!


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Owen Sparks
July 23, 2011, 09:25 PM
Every evening for the last few days someone near where I live has been shooting at least 100 rounds about an hour before dark. From experience I can tell by the sound that it is an AR-15. I pulled up in my neighbor’s driveway to ask what was going on, thinking that they might have built a back yard range. His wife was out working in the yard and told me that it was the guy who lives behind them who was shooting. We started talking and visiting as we are about the same age and she used to live next door to my cousins. I was sitting in my truck with the window down and she was about six to eight feet away sitting on a riding lawn mower when suddenly a bullet whizzed right between us and struck the foliage several feet away causing the leaves to move.

The woman’s immediate reaction was to pull out the cell phone and call the sheriff but I persuaded her to wait. I drove up the length of the driveway, got out and could hear two male voices perhaps 100 yards away through the woods that separated the property. I shouted “HEY, A BULLET JUST WHIZZED PAST MY HEAD!” I heard nothing in response though the shooting has stopped.

Be careful! The woods are no substitute for a proper back stop.

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Yo Mama
July 23, 2011, 09:37 PM
OP, only thing I would change is I would have the police there stat, forget finding the individuals and talking about it, they needed to be in cuffs.

WyoShooter1
July 23, 2011, 09:38 PM
Why did you stop her from calling the sheriff?:confused:

WyoShooter1

MightyTygart
July 23, 2011, 09:47 PM
He stopped her from calling the sheriff because it wasn't needed. While I agree with the OP that he could handle the situation he did so only partly. I won't comment on what he should have done, rather what I would do. I probably would have approached them (face to face, with a handshake) and told them what was going on. If they declined my advice or resumed their careless shooting then I may be prompted to involve the authorities. I understand why some may want to call the police, come on though. Keep the fuzz out of it when neighbors can potentially handle a hostile situation in a neighborly manner.

Yo Mama
July 23, 2011, 09:56 PM
If they declined my advice or resumed their careless shooting then I may be prompted to involve the authorities.


Or your dead. It's not smart to confront someone shooting at you if you can avoid it. That's what the police get paid for.

Chuck Dye
July 23, 2011, 10:00 PM
He stopped her from calling the sheriff because it wasn't needed.

I disagree. Harking back to experience with a university police department, I would have called, asked the responding officer if an FI, field interview, could be conducted and filed. Incoming rifle fire is different from unwanted pet poop on the lawn. Getting it on official record will help, especially if the next victim is not Mr. Owens or his neighbor.

Impureclient
July 23, 2011, 10:11 PM
Getting it on official record will help, especially if the next victim is not Mr. Owens or his neighbor. ^This.

The police always want calls so they have a history of what happened leading up til the "incident".

Ignition Override
July 23, 2011, 10:24 PM
Well, just outside Putney, VT it did no good to call the Sheriff's Dept.

My brother-in-law and his wife have walked on the bottom road downhill from their house, and heard bullets hitting trees or branches more than once over their heads.
They called the Dept. at least once and the bullets kept hitting not too far above their heads.

This is not far from their house, on the northeast edge of town. The bullets come from behind a house which is opposite some flat farm land.

J. and his wife are true liberals, and are surprisingly open-minded about guns, and realize that the shooter is the problem, not the guns.
It's a wonder that they are not somewhat anti-gun by now.

Tape
July 23, 2011, 10:27 PM
I would not have called the LE either, only because I like shooting and I love that privilege of being able to shoot at home without complaints, also hell'ava LOT cheaper then joining a gun club or renting a shooting lane. I would have walked over and politely told them what happened instead of yelling and I am sure everything would have ended well and no ill feelings toward your neighbors.

Owen Sparks
July 23, 2011, 10:35 PM
I don't like involving the government in gun related problems if it can be solved any other way. The shooting ended and that solved the problem, at least for now. We have had one member of the county board of supervisors propose making it illegal to shoot in the county already and I did not want to give them more "ammunition".

JohnKSa
July 23, 2011, 10:41 PM
The woods are no substitute for a proper back stop. Correct.

bearcreek
July 23, 2011, 10:44 PM
I agree. If you've got to live near someone, calling the cops about something that was probably done out of simple ignorance and without ill intent is not a good way to have a good relationship with your neighbors.

FreddyKruger
July 23, 2011, 10:45 PM
Or your dead. It's not smart to confront someone shooting at you if you can avoid it. That's what the police get paid for. It wasnt exactly deliberate...

Impureclient
July 23, 2011, 10:48 PM
I am very impressed/horrified with the degree to what people are willing to allow in the name of helping a fellow shooter. If my neighbor shot a rifle round(which is a one shot, one kill) a couple feet away from me,
I'd really not be concerned with whether that neighbor has the privilege to be able to shoot on his own property. That is somebody who shouldn't be shooting outside or any where for that matter. This
would be a different story if the neighbor was shooting at a backstop and some how a bullet got past/through. It sounds like two doofuses shooting at trees in the woods to me. Luckily we are hearing from
Owen here in person and not about him in some article on the two doofuses that shot some guy by accident. One more shot in the same manner and instead it could have been "HEY, A BULLET JUST WHIZZED
PAST MY".....POW...headshot!....man down :( . I love the ability to shoot outside at a whim but I do so in a manner that in no way can harm anybody due to my fun time out there. Kids shooting bb guns can be
dealt with by yelling at them to scare them or confronting them to teach them to be responsible but not dangerous adults with guns pointed at you from inside a wooded area. As was said above, cops get paid to be shot at.

joeq
July 23, 2011, 10:55 PM
I would not have called the LE either, only because I like shooting and I love that privilege of being able to shoot at home without complaints, also hell'ava LOT cheaper then joining a gun club or renting a shooting lane. I would have walked over and politely told them what happened instead of yelling and I am sure everything would have ended well and no ill feelings toward your neighbors.

Yes, but I'm sure you take proper safety precautions. If I have a neighbor sending bullets over my head I'm calling the cops. It's fantastic to be able to shoot on your property but you have to do it safely. People could have been killed because these guy's are stupid. I don't like walking through the woods to confront some well armed guys that I don't know. I believe that's a job for the local law enforcement.

Yo Mama
July 23, 2011, 10:57 PM
It wasnt exactly deliberate...

It's not the point. We need to learn from our mistakes.

Owen Sparks
July 23, 2011, 11:23 PM
Anyone who has shot a lot of tracer rounds knows that a small twig is enough to send a bullet nearly 90 degrees off course. I think that is what happened here. These people were just shooting into the woods and probably skipped one off a tree. The whizzing sound was indicative of a bullet that was tumbling as it passed between us.

The reason that I chose not to involve the government is that I shoot at home (with a proper back stop) and don't want legislation passed to restrict me. The government's answer to problems like this are always based in collectivism. If some people are too stupid to shoot a firearm safely, then EVERYBODY is held to the standard of the lowest common denominator and forbidden to shoot, even on their own property because of what some idiot might do.

JohnKSa
July 23, 2011, 11:37 PM
A smart thing to do would be for all the neighbors who shoot to get together and set up a range with a real backstop that everyone can share. Then everyone's happy and everyone's safe.

joeq
July 23, 2011, 11:53 PM
A smart thing to do would be for all the neighbors who shoot to get together and set up a range with a real backstop that everyone can share. Then everyone's happy and everyone's safe.

In a perfect world that would be great. Sadly, there are some unsavory people that enjoy shooting also.

Tape
July 24, 2011, 12:07 AM
Yes, but I'm sure you take proper safety precautions. If I have a neighbor sending bullets over my head I'm calling the cops. It's fantastic to be able to shoot on your property but you have to do it safely. People could have been killed because these guy's are stupid. I don't like walking through the woods to confront some well armed guys that I don't know. I believe that's a job for the local law enforcement.
and the cops will probably ask you if you talked to your neighbor, then he is going to give them a speech on safety as I would as well without involving LE. I do not believe you are such a big shooter or I think you would handle it differently, JMO. The OP may have been exaggerating, maybe not.

NavyLCDR
July 24, 2011, 12:27 AM
Better to call the Sheriff than for an ambulance.

toivo
July 24, 2011, 12:48 AM
That's a tough call. On the one hand, I wouldn't want to do anything that could lead to a ban on shooting on your own property. On the other hand, I don't consider the situation to be an "honest mistake." It was dangerously stupid, and somebody could have just as easily ended up dead. Using the woods as a backstop is not OK.

IMO, the person responsible for it shouldn't pick up a gun again until he can find some cure for his ignorance. If it takes a call to the sheriff to cure him, then that might be the way to go.

moonpie
July 24, 2011, 12:54 AM
I vote with owen on this. he assessed the situation and saw that the police weren't needed. if more people handled their own lives maybe the cops wouldn't get stressed out like the Ohio OFFICER . dead on about trees not being a backstop , that's the reason i stay in town during deer season

Flopsweat
July 24, 2011, 01:31 AM
At this point we don't know if it was a "doofus" or a responsible person who had a "brain fart". Why involve a third party that may ruin things for everyone? I would try to follow up and make sure that the people who were shooting are aware and are changing thier behavior.

Sunray
July 24, 2011, 01:31 AM
"...I heard nothing in response..." That's when you make the call. Mind you, it wouldn't have hurt to go politely talk to the boneheads.
Idiots shooting unsafely is why there's a local issue about it. An invitation to shoot with you would likely make the whole thing go away.
"...It was dangerously stupid..." And that's being polite.

paramedic70002
July 24, 2011, 01:44 AM
Once I was shooting in an old dirt pit. This was a place that a lot of people went to shoot. My rounds were going into the dirt a good ten feet below the horizon. A truck pulls up and the driver tells us that they are hunting and are getting rounds near their location. In my opinion there was no way in heck they were getting rounds, but we stopped and left the area.

I'm not sure what the best solution to the problem is.

gibson_es
July 24, 2011, 01:58 AM
I really suggest actuslky talking to them, i bet you can grt abfeel for them in the proccess, as to wether there down to esrth good ol boys that made a mistake, or a bunch of idiots. The latter most likely will not care what you have to say. This "evaluation" can help you decide to call the cops or not. If ther the lster, i would tell LE of the event. Even though you may get reprocussions, and inform them you tried to talk to them and didnt feelvyou got through to them.

This is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions and... Erm... An area of your backside...

Tape
July 24, 2011, 02:03 AM
Once I was shooting in an old dirt pit. This was a place that a lot of people went to shoot. My rounds were going into the dirt a good ten feet below the horizon. A truck pulls up and the driver tells us that they are hunting and are getting rounds near their location. In my opinion there was no way in heck they were getting rounds, but we stopped and left the area.

I'm not sure what the best solution to the problem is.
I bet the hunters said that because they were concerned about your noise scaring off game.

Sunray
July 24, 2011, 02:11 AM
"...but we stopped and left the area..." Well done. Even though the guy was daft and most likely thinking your gun shots would scare whatever he was hunting.
The solution is hunters and shooters knowing and respecting each other via club membership. You did good.

Dazen
July 24, 2011, 04:31 AM
I would have done the same Owen. No need getting the cops involved over someones ignorance. Now after talking with them and it happens again I would then call up the Sheriff.

TCU
July 24, 2011, 05:38 AM
If that was the case, i would have shot back, just kidding. I like the idea of setting up a good backstop and having all the neighbors shoot on that, mostly because it would be convienent and free.

Ole Coot
July 24, 2011, 09:02 AM
Things aren't like they were years ago. I don't blame you about getting the law involved. If you know the people I would try and tell them. If not or they get their back up and continue then I would talk to a local warden or officer and get him to give them a casual warning. If that don't work, guess you need a formal complaint.

buck460XVR
July 24, 2011, 09:53 AM
Tough call. Without more info, I guess I would have done what Owen did, except I would have talked to them in person. Face to face and non-confrontational. Yelling at them from a distance may have shut down the shooting for now, but odds are, it will start up again. It may be adults that realize that more caution is needed or it may be kids thinking grumpy old neighbors are just making noise again. IMHO, Telling the shooter in person just how close they came to injuring someone would make more impact than bellowing across the fence. Seeing where they are shooting, and whether or not they are taking any precautions at all, may decide whether other actions are needed. Instead of yelling “HEY, A BULLET JUST WHIZZED PAST MY HEAD!” , I may have hollered something like, "Can you stop shooting for a moment, I need to talk to you!". It also would have been a good way to meet your new neighbors and introduce yourself as a fellow shooter.

Bud Tugly
July 24, 2011, 09:53 AM
Shooting off 100 rounds with nothing but woods as a backstop near a residential area is irresponsible behavior. Even if it was their private property, kids from the neighborhood could be playing nearby and a horrible tragedy could easily happen.

If it was public land that makes it far worse, since hikers or birdwatchers could easily wander unknowingly into the line of fire. This is a clear violation of one of the most basic rules of gun safety and unless you know the shooters well enough to be able to be able to talk to them yourself, I would definitely have reported it.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 10:07 AM
Posted by Owen Sparks: I don't like involving the government in gun related problems if it can be solved any other way.It seems to me that more and more people believe that their forst course of action on anything is to call the police. Why, I do not know.

I agree that bullets coming across the property present a concern, but wouldn't it be a lot better to simply speak to the shooters if you know who they are?

Loud music, late-night carousing, barking dogs, and loudly revving motorcycles can be irritating, and yes, there are usually laws that can be enforced, but when I was younger, there was a better way to address such things. Burning poison ivy can be more than irritating, but should the first remedy be to call the police?

Last year, someone was shooting a .50 BMG rifle on the 500 yard range at my rifle club. He had the sight adjusted wrong, and his first rounds went into the dirt partway down range. They did not stop there: I had not been aware of this, but a spitzer rifle bullet can go into the ground at an angle and come back up. A farmer on a tractor some distance away heard the singing of big projectiles flying over his head.

He knew the source, so he called the club.

Call the police? Whatever happened to common sense?

Posted by bearcreek: If you've got to live near someone, calling the cops about something that was probably done out of simple ignorance and without ill intent is not a good way to have a good relationship with your neighbors.Nor is it the way a good neighbor would go about resolving an issue.

csa77
July 24, 2011, 10:25 AM
I agree with the OP getting the government involved is a last resort. you never know what the mental state of the officer they would have sent over would be.
an overzealous officer with an itchy trigger finger could make a situation that involves a gun into a situation that involves a body bag.

Overkilll0084
July 24, 2011, 11:00 AM
It very well could have involved a body bag without calling the law. It's extremely lucky no one was injured or killed. It needs to be addressed ASAP. If it can be kept on the down low, fine. If it requires getting a LEO involved, oh well. I'm actually quite surprised at the tolerance for this sort of behavior that I'm seeing here. If someone had been hit, I wonder, would the tolerance would still be there? Dead due to incompetance or dead due to malicious intent, still dead either way. The motivation really only matters to the survivors and the court sytem.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 11:20 AM
Posted by Overkilll0084: It's extremely lucky no one was injured or killed. It needs to be addressed ASAP.That's a fact.

I'm actually quite surprised at the tolerance for this sort of behavior that I'm seeing here.Perhaps you could help us by pointing out just where anyone is expressing "tolerance."

Sam1911
July 24, 2011, 11:24 AM
This is obviously a critically dangerous situation. It needs to be addressed and completely ceased immediately!

However, the chances that the shooter was doing this deliberately are insanely small. And the chances that the shooter would keep doing it if they knew what was happening are also very, very small. Most shooters would be horrified -- nearly to the point of losing bowel control -- if they thought they'd just accidentally shot into someone's yard, near their house ... very near to killing someone!

A very brief, very polite word spoken personally to that shooter is all that should be required.

If you drove to their house, knocked on their door (or otherwise safely got their attention) and said, "I noticed you shooting a moment ago. That's great -- I'm a big shooter myself. But I need to let you know that bullets are escaping your range and hitting things in our yards over there...," they'll probably be apologizing profusely in a heartbeat and spending the evening thanking g*d they didn't hurt someone by mistake!

If they don't respond well, or EVER do it again, THEN I'd call the authorities, as your lives may be at serious risk from such negligence.

toivo
July 24, 2011, 11:39 AM
It seems to me that more and more people believe that their forst course of action on anything is to call the police.

I'm not about to call the police about just anything, but when somebody endangers my life, that ups the ante a bit.

This is the kind of thing that gives all shooters a bad name. It's not just an honest mistake that anybody could make. Whoever fired those shots needs a serious reality check.

Overkilll0084
July 24, 2011, 11:43 AM
Perhaps you could help us by pointing out just where anyone is expressing "tolerance."
Maybe tolerance isn't the right word. How about "Reticence" with regard to involving the authorities? 1. that's what we pay them for. 2. Do we only call when a stray bullet actually hits someone? Incompetance can and does elevate to a criminal level all the time.
Seems to me, if my yard is your backstop, I'm no longer obligated to handle things in a polite and neighborly manner.

NYer
July 24, 2011, 11:50 AM
I recently found a spent 223 round in a spare upstairs bathroom. The round had gone through the wall, through the tile on the inside wall and lay spent in the bath tub. We live in the country with one mile by one mile blocks. The shooter was more than 3/4 of a mile from my house. While shooting is common in the "neighbor" high powered rifles are not (if you consider 223 high powered) and I had recently heard rifle fire from the area behind the house. I waited until they were shooting again and drove over to see them. When I got there there were three men using shotguns shooting into a berm made of stacked rail road ties backed by broken up concrete. When I approached the three stopped shooting and came over to me. We shook hands. I told him where I lived, and handed him the spent round. He protested that they only shoot shotguns here but I recounted to him that I had head rifle fire coming from his direction in the last few weeks. I asked him to either stop using rifles or fix his berm to make it safe. He of course admitted to nothing but no further rifle fire was heard from his direction. No one got angry and no police were involved but he is on notice.

Flynt
July 24, 2011, 11:53 AM
The reason that I chose not to involve the government is that I shoot at home (with a proper back stop) and don't want legislation passed to restrict me. The government's answer to problems like this are always based in collectivism. If some people are too stupid to shoot a firearm safely, then EVERYBODY is held to the standard of the lowest common denominator and forbidden to shoot, even on their own property because of what some idiot might do.

All of the above is true.

I wouldn't presume to second guess the OP, because I wasn't there. I'd also ask that we consider the impact of a wound or fatality. It it were appropriate to call the law, the cops would probably handle the situation without it becoming front page news. A wound or fatality would definitely end up on P.1, with a lot the attendant fallout that we'd all like to avoid.

Remo223
July 24, 2011, 12:00 PM
normal people do not call the cops on each other at the drop of a hat.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 12:16 PM
Posted by Overkilll0084: Maybe tolerance isn't the right word. How about "Reticence" with regard to involving the authorities? 1. that's what we pay them for.

Yes, more and more people believe that one should involve the authorities every time a dangerous or irritating situation arises.

It never occurs to them that here may be a better and possibly quicker way to solve the problem.

It never occurs to them that their actions may consume the time of officers who may have higher priority duties to perform.

Seems to me, if my yard is your backstop, I'm no longer obligated to handle things in a polite and neighborly manner.

Seems to me that if there is another way to address a problem with a neighbor effectively but amicably, calling the police is overkill.

But there is a lot of that going around these days.

Generally speaking, one can catch more flies with honey.

If one is in a jurisdiction in which discharging a firearm is unlawful, calling the police is certainly the appropriate thing to do. But if not, calling to report that "a bullet went between me and my neighbor" seems kind of silly unless other means to prevent recurrence have been tried and have failed.

Kliegl
July 24, 2011, 12:25 PM
A big reason why I am reticent to call the police is if I am doing something that is legal, but not PC or liked by them, they will try to stop it. Way too many police exceed their authority on a daily basis, unless it is absolutely critical to get them involved, one shouldn't.

On the other hand, I DID call the cops a month or so back for illegal entry into a neighboring vacant building. I did stash my concealed piece before talking to them though.

toivo
July 24, 2011, 12:30 PM
normal people do not call the cops on each other at the drop of a hat.

With all due respect, bullets crossing your property isn't exactly "the drop of a hat."

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 12:34 PM
I have never. Not once called the police about an issue with a neighbor.

Now, of course I am not saying you should ignore this incident and just let it slide, but when people are pointing out that calling the cops for what very likely was simply an accident will sour the relations between neighbors they are right.

Is it a dangerous situation? Yes. But here's my question: When you're armed, and someone almost runs you over, because they didn't see you, do you draw on them? Or do you talk to them? Or do you throw some choice gestures?

There are ways to solve conflicts with rational and more importantly respectful conversation in this case. Going to the gravest extreme really isn't always what's needed.

It's the same line of thinking as the people calling for someone to be booted from "their" range if they violate *any* rules. Or condone yelling at each other with guns drawn for a muzzle sweep.
Maybe among all the quickdraws, controlled pairs, bill drills, el presidentes and the like we should polish up our people skills sometimes? I swear, the world isn't out to get us. It's just filled with people who are less than perfect.
The first recourse among rational people should be to talk to each other. And just because someone does something potentially dangerous, disagrees with us, or even worse, doesn't like what we do ... doesn't bar them fro being rational people.

So my advice in this situation is probably to just ... talk to them, tell them how you really thought that was kinda unsafe, and to tell them you'd appreciate them shooting into a berm next time.
Alternatively, call the police, get them a bad rep, sour relations among you and the people you're living with and more importantly, put out more information about how irresponsible these shooters in the woods are. We should just ban them all, and call the cops each time we hear a gun shot, because they might be doing that again, right?

george29
July 24, 2011, 12:38 PM
Carelessness is a by-product of the Me Generation.

Owen Sparks
July 24, 2011, 12:40 PM
Let's wait and see if the shooting starts back up this evening.

If it does the neighbor who was almost winged probably will call law enforcement who will go warn whoever is shooting to be careful. It is not illegal to shoot in the county just so long as the bullets do not land on someone elses property.

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 12:42 PM
Carelessness is a by-product of the Me Generation.

Cause we all know nobody back in the days of your choice was ever careless, right? What's next? Git-off-mah-innernetz?

rocky branch
July 24, 2011, 01:23 PM
You did the appropriate thing.

Stopped it before somebody got hurt.
I'd sure try and talk to them about a solution.

Can't believe some of the lynch mob responses.

gym
July 24, 2011, 01:25 PM
Are you kidding me, the guys wife or either of you could be dead now. You need to get it on file immediatlly. This will happen again, you didn't fix anything. The guy probablly will go on doing exactlly what he was doing, figuring "i just need to shoot a little lower, or put another piece of wood on the backstop. You can't let this go, imagine if a kid or someone walking by gets hit or killed. You have to live with that.
The police will take care of the prosecutorial end, so if that's what's stopping you don't worry about it.

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 01:30 PM
I am really slow to use the "think of the kids" argument.

Along the same lines of that argument we need to not shoot in the woods because a kid may walk by. Or worse! A kid with a dog and three little kittens!

Again. I am not condoning doing nothing. All I am saying is flies ... Honey. Besides we do not KNOW this will happen again. Franky, gym ... Your reply sounds rather hysterical in tone.
Let's not kneejerk this one ... Let's engage ze grey little cells as Poirot would say.

Owen Sparks
July 24, 2011, 02:08 PM
There was a case about ten years back where another neighbor’s adult son was shooting his AR into a lake. I was out on my deck a good 150 yards away and could hear some of the bullets rattling off the trees behind the lake as they skipped off the water. Even though this man’s father owned the lake and several acres of woods beyond it, there was a public road and several new houses behind that. I walked over and told the guy what was happening. We sort of knew each other from the gym so it was not confrontational but I spoke in a serious tone. He acted like he did not believe me at first because he could not hear the ricochets with ear muffs on. I finally convinced the guy that you can skip a bullet off water just like you can skip a stone. His response was “We have always shot into the lake.” My reply was “But there have not always been houses back there. It is not all woods anymore” I said: “Look, you can do anything you like on your own property, but some of your bullets are flying off your property and every single one carries a potential manslaughter charge with it and you are responsible for each and every one. I shoot as home too, but I have a small dirt berm that catches every single bullet and none of them ever leave my property.” I think he got the point as he quit shooting into the lake and we remained on friendly terms at the gym.

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 02:12 PM
Owen Sparks just demonstrated perfectly how civility and a good talk can solve a lot of things.

toivo
July 24, 2011, 02:19 PM
Owen Sparks just demonstrated perfectly how civility and a good talk can solve a lot of things.

I agree totally. I wish it could always be like that.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 02:59 PM
Posted by gym: Are you kidding me, the guys wife or either of you could be dead now.Yep.

You need to get it on file immediatlly.On file? I'm not sure what you think that will accomplish. Probably absolutely nothing, depending upon the jurisdiction.

This will happen again, you didn't fix anything.Likely so. No one is suggesting that course of action.

The guy probablly will go on doing exactlly what he was doing, figuring "i just need to shoot a little lower, or put another piece of wood on the backstop. Could be, but whether calling the police would yield a different result will depend upon the laws in the jurisdiction, and more.

You can't let this go, imagine if a kid or someone walking by gets hit or killed. You have to live with that.Good thinking!

The police will take care of the prosecutorial end, so if that's what's stopping you don't worry about it.One more time, if one is in a jurisdiction in which discharging a firearm is unlawful, calling the police is certainly the appropriate thing to do. The OP has pointed out that that is not the case here.

If the shooter was not discharging the firearm unlawfully, I 'm not at all sure just what it is that people who would call the police think that that would do that they could not accomplish more effectively by themselves.

Let's look at two courses of action:

Scenario One: One calls the police:


The caller explains the situation to the police dispatcher;
the dispatcher takes the call and assigns a priority;
a unit is dispatched to the scene when one becomes available;
the unit makes its way to the neighbor's property and makes contact with the neighbor;
the officer tells the neighbor about the complaint and advises the neighbor to make sure that his bullets do not endanger anyone again.


Scenario Two: One contacts the neighbor:


The caller explains the situation to the neighbor;
the caller makes the neighbor aware that he cannot accept further risk.


Does anyone not see that the second approach will address the problem far more quickly?

Is it not likely that if the caller were to go the extra mile and offer assistance in changing the set-up, the resultant "fix" would most likely yield more effective risk reduction?

Does anyone really objectively believe that calling the police is the better alternative?

If so, why?

Posted by Nushif: Owen Sparks just demonstrated perfectly how civility and a good talk can solve a lot of things.Most assuredly.

Deltaboy
July 24, 2011, 03:10 PM
WOW Brother Owen ! That is too close for comfort. PTL you and that lady didn't get hit and your comments made the shooting stop.

gym
July 24, 2011, 03:13 PM
When ever you encounter a situation that can escalate, you document it, reason being that its the first thing you will be asked when you go to court, assuming the person who fired the weapon does so again. This is not hysterical it's practical. It's not the psysic hotline, you don't know what will happen only what did happen. I am with Owen a hundred percent, but there are those wo will say anything when confronted, go back in the house, and resent the interference and go about doing it again. Unless you feel that you are somehow equipped to decide who is rational and who is not, it's always best to document such things with local authorities, who will probablly just do the same as Owen mentioned. But I don't have to remind you about that saying when good men do nothing do I? If I knew for sure the guy was never going to do it again, I would do nothing, I don't know him. Practical and hysterical are two different things. Bulletts flying by my head is far from the normal day to day event. So far

luigi
July 24, 2011, 03:14 PM
Or your dead. It's not smart to confront someone shooting at you if you can avoid it. That's what the police get paid for.

Quite a differenc ebetween someone shooting at you and someone shooting at an improper backstop not realizing you're even there

EmGeeGeorge
July 24, 2011, 03:18 PM
I don't see a big difference in negligently shooting a gun and drinking too much and then getting behind the wheel of a car.

If you are such an idiot that you don't know the the rounds from your rifle/shotgun/pistol can carry on and potentially injure or kill someone, stick to bb guns, and even then make sure whats behind the tin cans.

If I knew my neighbor, and rounds landed on my property/whizzed past, I would go talk to him/her and sort it out, without need to call police.

If I didn't know who was in the woods shooting negligently(or at me?) I would call out the sheriff and let them make contact.

Was the shooter a neighbor, or was he a local doper with a freshly stolen sks/ak/ar trying it out in the woods since going to a range would be hazardous to his freedom?

I would hardly call it a Lynch Mob Mentality to suggest that someone call the authorities... remember, lynch mobs would go stringing up people from trees for actual, suspected, or imagined slights against law and/or social conventions for that time and place... a bit different from calling the cops 'cause you don't want to catch a stray bullet in the head from some mouth-breathers rifle.

Owen Sparks
July 24, 2011, 03:26 PM
This was not an intentional act. A bullet probably clipped a limb and veered off at an angle. As far as having a "record" there are two witnesses (Me and the neighbor) and she also called her husband right after it happened. I live in nearby and don't want to make an official complaint about anyone shooting in the area unless I have to because whatever measures are taken will ultimately be applied to me. I moved out of the city to get away from all the rules and restrictions and don’t want a “No Shooting” ordinance imposed here and that is exactly what enough complaints will do.

plunge
July 24, 2011, 03:44 PM
i wouldn't have called the police either. could have very well been a ricochet. i would have just gone and talked to them. bullets can ricochet and do crazy things.

dirtyjim
July 24, 2011, 03:48 PM
calling the police before talking to your neighbors would have more than likely made you an instant enemy with them.
about 10 years ago i had a neighbor who called the cops every time i shot and after the first couple of times it got real old for me and the cops.

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 04:13 PM
Does anyone not see that the second approach will address the problem far more quickly?

Is it not likely that if the caller were to go the extra mile and offer assistance in changing the set-up, the resultant "fix" would most likely yield more effective risk reduction?

Does anyone really objectively believe that calling the police is the better alternative?

If so, why?

I have shot informally outdoors in the country, on farms, peoples property etc.... we always ensure safety of range before firing a single shot. Anyone who does not is an idiot and I am sorry but deserves to be called out for their mistake. We do not lose our gun rights because people report these types of events we loose our gun rights because these types of things happen far too often and go uncorrected increasing the chances of a more tragic result.

I am not saying that I would call the police but you are making huge assumptions which IMHO you cannot back up. You are ASSUMING that the shooter will be a reasonable person who shares your concept of safe shooting. IMHO the individual has already demonstrated that he does not. Why are you now assuming he does? A reasonable person is not shooting a .223 round in the proximity of other peoples homes without a proper backstop. PERIOD!

I have seen people at public ranges doing things that endanger other shooters. I have seen people correct them or correct them myself and I have experienced positive and negative reactions to these necessary corrections. I personally have left both public and private ranges because some idiot refused to adhere to proper safety rules after correction.

I think you are applying a false sense of THR. Sorry but too many people in the world do not conduct themselves in a civil manner. In your strawman argument you are assuming you are dealing with a civil and reasonable individual. I think people act irresponsibly with guns should not be protected in the name of protecting gun rights. IMHO every single time we do this we do ourselves a disservice.

Again I am not saying I would call the police in this instance but if I got any push back from the individual I would have no issue calling the police. This person endangered the lives of others and is lucky it did not result in someones death. Why are so many people giving him a pass?

plunge
July 24, 2011, 04:27 PM
how do you know they were shooting without a proper backstop?

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 04:31 PM
how do you know they were shooting without a proper backstop?


Bullet went where it shouldn't have with enough velocity to wizzzz past the OP. Empirical evidence tells me he does not have a proper backstop.

plunge
July 24, 2011, 04:43 PM
even the op said he thought it was probably a ricochet, so maybe they weren't even firing in their direction. there's a lot of speculatiing going on and the only way to know for sure is go over and talk to them. calling the police is dumb. they either aren't going to do anything or they will possibly overreact to it. the easiest thing is to just talk to them and deal with it like adults. if they dont listen or act like jerks then they obviously dont care and the police should be called.

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 04:44 PM
even the op said he thought it was probably a ricochet, so maybe they weren't even firing in their direction. there's a lot of speculatiing going on and the only way to know for sure is go over and talk to them. calling the police is dumb. they either aren't going to do anything or they will possibly overreact to it. the easiest thing is to just talk to them and deal with it like adults. if they dont listen or act like jerks then they obviously dont care and the police should be called

Again if you are shooting .223 in proximity of peoples homes and a ricochet can go across someones driveway you do not have a proper backstop and or enough room.... PERIOD. You are 100% right S happens and if you are going to shoot in a residential area you as a responsible gun owner need to account for that. IMHO

So exactly what part of my post are you disagreeing with? :banghead:

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 04:47 PM
Posted by rellascout: I am not saying that I would call the police...Good.

... but you are making huge assumptions which IMHO you cannot back up.I am making no assumptions.

You are ASSUMING that the shooter will be a reasonable person who shares your concept of safe shooting.No, I am not.

I think it would be reasonable, however, to assume that one's neighbor will be reasonable and will share one's objectives of safe shooting. I have no idea whether he will understand the concept of safe shooting if it has never been explaind to him. And I would be willing to do that, for my benefit and his.

Do you really think tat a policeman would take the time to explain what constitutes safe shooting and a safe backstop and what does not?

I don't. Not in the general case, not for a minute.

A reasonable person is not shooting a .223 round in the proximity of other peoples homes without a proper backstop. PERIOD! I think you are confusing two things. One can conduct oneself in a risky manner through ignorance and still be quite reasonable. Not everyone knows what a proper backstop is. That does not make anyone unreasonable. It just makes him or her ignorant.

For example, I've been shooting firearms for more than a half a century, and I did not know until last year that a bullet fired down into soft earth or sand might well come back out and endanger someone behind the backstop. But now I know that. Has to do with the angle of entry and the equation of the ogive.

Others may not know how much a twig can deflect a bullet--until they are told.

I have seen very reasonable but ignorant people firing in a manner that I thought was dangerous.

In your strawman argument you are assuming you are dealing with a civil and reasonable individual.I have not put forth a strawman argument at all; I have simply suggested the best way to deal with an issue involving a neighbor.

And I did contrast that way with calling the police.

alsaqr
July 24, 2011, 04:56 PM
What rellascout said.

No one knows for sure how many other bullets have landed in that area. The guy was negligent. If the bullet had hit someone he would have been criminally negligent.

If you do not own property that extends to the full range of the gun in question then a backstop becomes very, very important; especially when folks live, hunt and/or play in the area downrange. In a situation where folks live downrange a few scoops of dirt will not do the job.

In the US Army backstops don't count for anything when it comes to determining surface danger zones.

If the guy was any good he would have come to the location the bullet landed and apologized for his actions. The fact that he did not speaks volumes. Be prepared for more shenanigans from this guy.

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 04:58 PM
Kleanbore re-read your post. You are ASSUMING that you are going to get a positive result from both of your approaches. You ASSUME that your neighbor is reasonable. Furthermore you assume that the shooter wants your help. As I pointed out I have seen people "offering" exactly the same type of help that you are suggesting at public ranges and they are told to go pound sand.

I have not put forth a strawman argument at all; I have simply suggested the best way to deal with an issue involving a neighbor.

And I did contrast that way with calling the police.

You should look up the definition of a strawman because you clearly do not know what it means. Nevermind I will post it for you.

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

Person A has position X.
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
Person B attacks position Y.
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.

You have misrepresented the argument of the opposing view. You have reacted a either or scenario which does not fully reflect reality or the actual events in order to attempt to prove that your course of action is the correct one. Sorry but that is by definition a strawman. You have committed one whether you admit it or not. If you are going to attempt to prove your point using syllogism you should avoid classic logical fallacies. IMHO

I also find this statement IRONIC.

If the shooter was not discharging the firearm unlawfully, I 'm not at all sure just what it is that people who would call the police think that that would do that they could not accomplish more effectively by themselves.


The OP stated it is not illegal to fire a gun in his county as long as the bullet does not leave the property. He stated the following:

It is not illegal to shoot in the county just so long as the bullets do not land on someone elses property.

I ask you in this case has the bullet left his property? If you do then did he break the law and if so shouldn't he be reported for the same reasons someone discharging a firearm in a county where it is prohibited?

Either way this guy needs correction sooner vs later.

Owen Sparks
July 24, 2011, 06:05 PM
I have only had one other close call like the one I made in the OP and it was at a sanctioned shooting match. I finished early and was walking back to the parking area with my buddy when a bullet whizzed over our heads and hit the trunk of a tree about 15feet high. Evidemtly it had glanced off a target stand. Rumor has it that a car had its windshield broken at the same range another time and the owner quit using that bay.

Impureclient
July 24, 2011, 06:05 PM
Hmmm many people in here willing to endanger the life of others in order to not disturb their back yard fun time, interesting.
Now I'm beginning to see why the public outdoor ranges are so few and far between. With that lax attitude, I now see why people become anti-gun range so easily.
"Oh look I almost died, I better go talk to those silly neighbors again." This attitude is why people are afraid of us shooting our guns. If I had to give up shooting
in my backyard so a hundred yards away there wasn't some idiot shooting at me, then so be it.
I think the phrase "a couple bad apples can ruin the bunch" applies here. Good luck to Owen and his family's lives, they need it with neighbors like that.

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 06:16 PM
I think there is a significant difference between being willing to endanger peoples lives and not calling the police for your neighbor breaking every law on the book that you can get your hands on.
Nobody here is downplaying that it has to stop. But a few of us here are saying that it is unwise to throw rocks at yor neighbor for their imperfection.

Harley Quinn
July 24, 2011, 06:28 PM
This thread is why many just don't care for gun folks:what:

When you pull the trigger, you are responsible :confused:

Regards

Remo223
July 24, 2011, 06:33 PM
This thread is why many just don't care for neighbors. It seems pretty obvious to me the individuals advocating "CALL THE COPS NOW" are not looking for a solution. They are looking for revenge. I can not stand people like that. You've shown your colors here and I will remember.

Impureclient
July 24, 2011, 06:46 PM
What color is representative for "I don't like dying"? :neener: I need to start wearing that around to ward off the reckless people who endanger the lives of others in the name of their leisure activities.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 06:47 PM
Posted by rellascout: You are ASSUMING that you are going to get a positive result from both of your approaches.No, I am not; I simply stated that I hink that it is the best way to start out. If it does not work, you have to do something different.

You ASSUME that your neighbor is reasonable.I said that is reasonable to start out by assuming that one's neighbor is reasonable. He may prove not to be, and that will require a different approach.

Furthermore you assume that the shooter wants your help.No, I do not. I said that it would be good idea to offer it. I also said that the it was highly unlikely that the police would offer it.

You have misrepresented the argument of the opposing view.Well, I cannot really tell what your argument is ("we always ensure safety of range before firing a single shot"--I agree with that idea; "anyone who does not is an idiot and I am sorry but deserves to be called out for their mistake"--he may not be an idiot, but I agree with your conclusion; "we do not lose our gun rights because people report these types of events we loose our gun rights because these types of things happen far too often and go uncorrected increasing the chances of a more tragic result"--I agree; "I am not saying that I would call the police..." OK then, what would you do?; "why are so many people giving him a pass?--who is?

I have, however, suggested that there is a better way to try to address the problem than calling the police.

And I have explained why that approach, if it proves successful, could solve the problem more quickly, more effectively, and with less fall out than by calling the police.

If I thought for a moment that dealing directly with the neighbor had little chance of working before I had tried it, I would not go that way. If I thought that calling the police would accomplish anything positive, I might consider that. heck, it may prove necessary, as a last resort.

I have lived in the city and in the country; in the city, I have been faced with analogous situations three times (air rifle practice, archery practice, and a stray bullet from somewhere.

I called the police about the bullet, and they didn't even write down what I said. The took the bullet but did not package or identify it. I dealt with the other issues by speaking to the neighbors, and that worked in both situations.

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 07:11 PM
And I have explained why that approach, if it proves successful, could solve the problem more quickly, more effectively, and with less fall out than by calling the police.

That is not how you presented it. Read your own words again..... You are making assumptions over simplifying the scenario and then making declarative statements by begging the question. You determined your conclusion and then warped the premises to fit.... poor logic does not convience intelligent people to agree with you IMHO.

Let's look at two courses of action:

Scenario One: One calls the police:

The caller explains the situation to the police dispatcher;
the dispatcher takes the call and assigns a priority;
a unit is dispatched to the scene when one becomes available;
the unit makes its way to the neighbor's property and makes contact with the neighbor;
the officer tells the neighbor about the complaint and advises the neighbor to make sure that his bullets do not endanger anyone again.


Scenario Two: One contacts the neighbor:

The caller explains the situation to the neighbor;
the caller makes the neighbor aware that he cannot accept further risk.


Does anyone not see that the second approach will address the problem far more quickly?

Is it not likely that if the caller were to go the extra mile and offer assistance in changing the set-up, the resultant "fix" would most likely yield more effective risk reduction?

Does anyone really objectively believe that calling the police is the better alternative?

You did not make an open ended statement. You made a declarative statement and then challenged anyone and everyone to counter. I countered and you have done nothing but ducked, dodged a weaved. Your argument is circular. It is your opinion but sorry unless I already agreed with you have not convinced me or anyone else IMHO to think differently which sadly was your intention. Was it not?

Well, I cannot really tell what your argument is ("we always ensure safety of range before firing a single shot"--I agree with that idea; "anyone who does not is an idiot and I am sorry but deserves to be called out for their mistake"--he may not be an idiot, but I agree with your conclusion; "we do not lose our gun rights because people report these types of events we loose our gun rights because these types of things happen far too often and go uncorrected increasing the chances of a more tragic result"--I agree; "I am not saying that I would call the police..." OK then, what would you do?; "why are so many people giving him a pass?--who is?

You missed the point. When I stated "you have misrepresented the argument of the opposing view" it has nothing to do with what I have said. It is addressing your words not mine.

As to your direct question:

If I know the individual I would go over and speak with them. I would inform them and correct them and make it clear that if there are any indications that they are not shooting in a safe manner the police will be called. I would then call the police and tell them what happened and that I had a conversation with the neighbor and if it went well state that I believe it will not happen again but they should be aware of the activity.

If I did not know the neighbor the waters get murky. I certainly would not have talked the other party who heard and saw the shot from calling the police if that was their choice. IMHO by doing so the OP has put themselves in a position of liability. They have assumed ownership of the situation. If the other neighbor continues to shoot in an irresponsible way and shoots someone the rest of the story will come out. If someone deems you could have helped prevent an accidental shooting and did not I personally would not want to be you.

No, I do not. I said that it would be good idea to offer it. I also said that the it was highly unlikely that the police would offer it.

No you again made a declarative statement. based on an aseumption:

Did you or did you not state: Is it not likely that if the caller were to go the extra mile and offer assistance in changing the set-up, the resultant "fix" would most likely yield more effective risk reduction?

Again back to my original objection that you are assuming that the person cares...

I love this one....Oh the ironies of all ironies...you called the police in the identical situation. LOL Was it the last resort?

I called the police about the bullet, and they didn't even write down what I said. The took the bullet but did not package or identify it. I dealt with the other issues by speaking to the neighbors, that worked in both situations.

"why are so many people giving him a pass?--who is?


Look at how many people are saying its was a ricochet. He probably did not know. It was a mistake..... blah blah blah. Read the thread there are more than a few giving this reckless action a pass. Those who want to hold this person accountable are being told they are wrong overbearing neighbors and that they are not taking an effective course of action. :(

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 07:19 PM
This thread is why many just don't care for neighbors. It seems pretty obvious to me the individuals advocating "CALL THE COPS NOW" are not looking for a solution. They are looking for revenge. I can not stand people like that. You've shown your colors here and I will remember.

I cannot stand people who are unwilling to hold other people accountable for their actions. The cost of freedom is risk and RESPONSIBILITY IMHO those you are criticizing this reckless shooter are simply looking to minimize their risk and are calling/asking for the shooter to act responsibly and take responsibility for their actions.

Would it change your opinion if the OP had been hit by the round?

mdauben
July 24, 2011, 08:01 PM
Owen Sparks just demonstrated perfectly how civility and a good talk can solve a lot of things.
Er... just how did he demonstrate that? By his own account, there is no guarantee that the shooter even heard him, let alone that the activity will not be repeated.

If the shooter was not discharging the firearm unlawfully, I 'm not at all sure just what it is that people who would call the police think that that would do that they could not accomplish more effectively by themselves.
Even if "discharging a firearm" is not illegal in and of itself, at the very least I would think what the shooters were doing arguably constituted "reckless endangerment" in most juristictions. So yes, the shooter probably did in fact commit a crime that the police could and should act on.

I'm sorry, but if my neighbor is engaging in an activity that threatens the life of me and my family, whether deliberately or through stupidity, I refuse to take chances on it happening again. I'd rather live with a disgruntled neighbor than not live at all. :uhoh:

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 08:45 PM
Rellacout, I'm going to ingore the rest of your argumentative post and address just this:

In response to "why are so many people giving him a pass?--who is?": Look at how many people are saying its was a ricochet. He probably did not know. It was a mistake.....It seems to me that unless there is some indication that the shooter was deliberately shooting into the OP's property, he probably did not know, and it was a mistake.

It may have been a very stupid mistake.

It may have been a ricochet; that would result from a mistake also, but depending upon the circumstances, it may have been a much more understandable one.

It was a mistake that one cannot afford to have repeated.

But saying that is not "giving the guy a pass."

It is identifying possible causes of the stray bullet.

Those who want to hold this person accountable are being told they are wrong overbearing neighbors...I have no idea what you mean by "hold him accountable".

Is your objective to punish him somehow? Do you think that that would ever happen? Are you under the impression that the officers might take the guns away?

In a rural setting, with only a complaint to work with and depending upon the local ordinances, it is likely that the most that the police will do is inform the neighbor of the complaint and perhaps issue a citation. If you think that the latter would comprise "holding him accountable", so be it, but it really would not address the OP's problem very well.

I should think that the real objective is to stop further rounds from going astray as quickly as possible. That's what I would want.

...and that they are not taking an effective course of action.There are two aspects to this.

The first is the timeliness in which the problem can be solved. If you really think that calling and talking to a dispatcher, having the call prioritized, waiting for the next available unit, sending a unit out to find the neighbor, and having the officer tell the neighbor about your call would be quicker than making the call yourself, I cannot understand why.

The second has to do with how effectively the problem is solved.

Having a policeman inform the neighbor that there had been a report that a bullet had left his property and advise him to exercise due care may lead to a viable solution--or not. And the OP may feel comfortable after the police had visited the neighbor--or not.

Personally, as a very safety minded person who knows quite a bit about guns and gun safety, I would prefer to (1) get the solution started without waiting for a car to get to the neighbor's house; (2) at least try to ascertain for myself how the neighbor intended to minimize the risk of recurrence, offering my help if he were inclined to accept it; and (3) try to confirm that the problem had been solved.

If I were to call the neighbor and also call the police, and if the police were duty bound to investigate, (2) and (3) would cease to be available to me.

EmGeeGeorge
July 24, 2011, 08:46 PM
"you have shown your colors here and I will remember"

What?

rellascout
July 24, 2011, 09:02 PM
Kleanbore,

I will consider your post a ricochet and leave it at that. Sorry but the shooter was negligent and irresponsible. He committed a crime. Without a doubt he broke the law. You want to give him a pass because he is a neighbor, fellow shooter etc....

People are convicted of manslaughter all the time even thought it is an accident. People are held accountable everyday for the possible outcomes fo their reckless behavior for example "reckless driving" even if their actions did not result in actual harm.

Make excuses... post more and more reasons why this individual is not held to the same standard. Give him a pass because he shares your hobby but next time the other side talks about the irrationality of gun owners, their refusal to be accountable etc... remember they are talking about you and the other people like you on this board who are circling the wagons instead of holding people accountable.

Again would you be saying the same thing if the OP was attending the funeral of his neighbor? IMHO the nature of the crime and the level of stupidity would not have changed. Sorry but intentions do not dictate the moral and real life consequences of our actions.

Sam1911
July 24, 2011, 10:13 PM
Sorry but the shooter was negligent and irresponsible. He committed a crime. Without a doubt he broke the law. You want to give him a pass because he is a neighbor, fellow shooter etc.... Seems to me we don't want to give him a pass, we want to convince him to STOP what he's doing. No harm, no foul -- YET -- so getting him to stop is the appropriate resolution.

If he won't stop what he's doing, then getting the authorities involved is the next logical, and immediate step.

People are convicted of manslaughter all the time even thought it is an accident. Er...but not if they didn't actually kill anyone.

People are held accountable everyday for the possible outcomes fo their reckless behavior for example "reckless driving" even if their actions did not result in actual harm. Sure. But I've had incidents where a vehicle was operated in a distracted or otherwise unsafe manner and nearly impacted mine. Both drivers stopped, made sure all were ok, no harm was done, driver "at fault" apologized profusely and left the scene contrite and visibly chastened by the near calamity he'd almost caused.

No one needed to call the cops and report that there had almost been an accident. :rolleyes: While some vehicular codes probably had been broken, my concern in the matter was that no one was hurt, and the "at fault" driver understood his mistake and gave some indication that he was less likely to make that mistake again. (Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't. Not much I can do about "maybe.")

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes -- more often than we'd like those mistakes may technically break some law. (It is neigh impossible to live life without inadvertently breaking some laws along the way.) Through a great deal of grace, most of our mistakes are not fatal or even cause harm. Through even more grace, we are not forced to pay a debt to society for every one we make. Through a combination of grace, wisdom, and the counsel of friends and others, we may even learn from our mistakes and be better for it.

Again would you be saying the same thing if the OP was attending the funeral of his neighbor? No, obviously not. Have some sense of proportion. You are leaping from causing an potential hazard to involuntary manslaughter. The severity of the outcome (a few tree leaves disturbed --vs.-- death) may be up to the whims of chance, but the difference is absolutely real.

IMHO the nature of the crime and the level of stupidity would not have changed. Sorry but intentions do not dictate the moral and real life consequences of our actions.Again, there were no consequences of his actions. No one was hurt. A mistake was made and could be rectified --potentially faster and with a better resolution -- as simply as through a polite conversation.

Art Eatman
July 24, 2011, 10:21 PM
Reading through this thread in response to a reported post, I gotta say that all in all, Owen Sparks is doing a lot better for realistic thinking than a lot of posters.

I would add that if the whizzing bullet had come past me, I would go over to the shooter's house and politely inform him as to what had happened. I would likely have him believe that I thought that it was accidental, and that I thought he'd like to know so he could figure out a better backstop.

When you smooth-tongue somebody who's done an unintentional wrong, you keep them from working up that artificial mad that some folks do when they're in the wrong. The old "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" deal.

That way you can avoid having a hostile neighbor. Better to have a neighbor who might be at least mildly grateful that his messup didn't cause any major hassle...

Owen and the lady--as well as the shooter--were lucky. The deal is to try and make that luck permanent.

No guarantees, of course, but I can tell you that my way has been working for over a half a century. :)

Owen Sparks
July 24, 2011, 10:34 PM
I am the original poster and I am convinced that it was a ricochet as we were roughly at a 45 degree angle to the ravine behind the neighbor’s property where he was shooting. The sound of the passing bullet was a distinctive whiz that only comes from a tumbling bullet. It probably skipped off a twig or branch like a bank shot in pool. There has not been one shot fired this evening so evidently he got the message and has reconsidered the safety of firing into the woods.

Sam1911
July 24, 2011, 11:11 PM
Well, let's hope so. (And lets let us stop arguing over it as the situation seems at least temporarily resolved.)

Owen, if you don't mind, perhaps keep us posted of developments that occur. It would be very good to know what transpires when you do speak to the owner/shooter man-to-man, and whether you do decide that the local Sheriff or PD need to be involved.

Kleanbore
July 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
Posted by rellascoutSorry but the shooter was negligent and irresponsible.He may have been negligent--or not. The fact of a stray bullet does not prove that. Do you have an objective basis for the assertion?

Negligence has a legal meaning.

He committed a crime. Without a doubt he broke the law. Which law? How?

People are convicted of manslaughter all the time even thought it is an accident.No, NO, NO! Where did you get that erroneous idea? There is a very distinct difference between accidental homicide and manslaughter.

Not that it is relevant here. The bullet did not hit anyone. And that is a very important fact.

Again would you be saying the same thing if the OP was attending the funeral of his neighbor?No.

IMHO the nature of the crime and the level of stupidity would not have changed. Your opinion notwithstanding, the nature of (and the fact of) the crime would have changed a great deal.

Sorry but intentions do not dictate the moral and real life consequences of our actions.I'm not sure what you mean by that, but except in the case of some Federal laws, intentions are the crux of criminal legal judgements.

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