This is not a “back yard” gun range. It’s an amateur and reckless set-up in which a man has to stand in his front yard and fire toward his house (and therefore at the house behind him), at a pile of sand held together with an old wooden palette.The pile of sand is 8′ from a neighbor’s property where small children live and about 20′ feet from the children’s bedroom windows.
The owner of this house has arrests for DUI, cocaine and hydrocodone, and has had 2 domestic violence cases filed against him. His son has announced he is coming to the house with a “variety of guns,” including an assault rifle.
Shocked yet? Oh, it gets better still. This is Florida.
That’s right. Florida law allows people to build and maintain shooting ranges in their backyards. And unless an owner becomes negligent or reckless, there’s nothing a neighbor can do.For example:
* There’s no restriction on the type of firearms or ammunition that can be used in a backyard shooting range.
* There’s no restriction on the time of day or night your neighbors can use their gun range.
* And there’s no restriction on gun ranges near a public school, day-care center or neighborhood playground. Talk about the need for duck-and-cover lessons.
Above: 2 of my kids and 2 of my neighbor’s kids looking at the “gun range” from their backyard fence.
So Florida law is cool with this. The cops are not cool with this, but tell me there’s nothing they can do. The city attorney says he can do nothing. The NRA threatens any town that dares try to pass an ordinance against this. And best yet, crazy governor Scott made certain in 2011 that any public official trying to pass a local ordinance or otherwise prevent this would be removed, fined $5,000 and barred from using public resources to defend him/herself.But nothing says we can’t flood to the Governor’s email, the Mayor’s email. Nothing says we cannot shame this city, this state, this nation gone insane.
Sometimes I’m so shocked by our irrationality I’m at a loss for words. Tonight is such a night. Tonight our little community, my son, my neighbors — we need your help. Please. Call. Email. Tweet. Share. Raise hell, because hell has visited upon our quiet little neighborhood, our city, our state, our nation.