NEIGHBORS AND GUNFIRE
In a rural environment like Floyd County, occasional gunfire is part of our culture. For various and sundry reasons, people fire guns from time to time. Unfortunately, some people object to that and relations between neighbors can go south over such activity.
I recently had a situation with my neighbor that should be the text book example of how to handle a problem with gunfire. His method of approaching me and my response to his concerns resulted in us finding a solvent to the problem that worked out well for all parties concerned.
To start with, he approached me rather than calling the Sheriff’s Office first. And he was polite and gentlemanly in how he did. He had recently adopted an abandoned dog and when I fired a few rounds on my place from a high powered rifle, the dog went ballistic and ran off. He didn’t return until the next morning.
My neighbor came over and we talked for a few minutes about the dog being scared to death of gunfire. I asked him what he thought we could do to solve the problem. He asked if I would be willing to give him a call a few minutes before I planned to shoot so he could put the dog in the house. I told him “Sure, no problem.”
Not only has my neighbor done some things to help me out, I figured the right thing for me to do was to work with him. What would I accomplish by telling him to buzz off? Drive a wedge between me and my neighbor, that’s about it. And how much trouble is it to pull my cell phone out of my pocket and give him a quick ring?
This past winter, my neighbor showed up with a Caterpillar when we had 30 inches of snow on our road. He didn’t even call to ask me if I needed my road pushed out, he knew it was needed. So, he suited up and spent two hours in sub freezing temperatures and his money for fuel opening my road.
What goes around comes around. Rather than act like a fool and tell him I don’t need to call anybody, I’ll shoot when I’m ready, I decided to work with him rather than against him. If we get snowed in again, I know he’ll be right there to help me again.
Rather than complain about my shooting or demanding that I stop, he understands who I am and what I’m about. He knows shooting is a major part of my life. And in return, I tried to recognize his needs and concerns as well. That’s how neighbors are supposed to work together. At least, that’s what my father told me and demonstrated to me.
If you have an issue with your neighbor or vice versus about gunfire, you might discover that working together to find and implement a solvent produces much better results that being obnoxious and stubborn. My advice is simply based on my own experience. It works for me!