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From: Robert Campbell
Received: Aug. 29
I moved to the country about two years ago. I used to live in the city for a long time.
I found what I thought would be a quiet place with a few acres with woods and gardens to tend to. For over a year, I have had a neighbor target shoot across the road. The time varies when he does so, but during the warm months when people have their windows open and are enjoying their decks and backyards, he does it usually about every week or so.
The target shooting goes on for about an hour with hundreds of rounds being fired. I try to keep up the count but cannot. He also shoots off a cannon from time to time.
This is perfectly legal in Bartholomew County. About a year ago, I called the sheriff’s office to complain one Friday evening. I was trying to enjoy dinner on my deck after working all day. A deputy arrived about dark and said that he talked to the person involved, but he said he had every right to shoot a gun in his backyard as long as he had a “safe backdrop.”
I asked the deputy what that meant, but he was unsure how to define it. I asked does that mean a person can shoot a gun any time of the day or night as long as he wants and the deputy said yes. The issue has continued for more than a year.
It would be great if people would have serious consideration for their neighbors as to when they create large amounts of noise, but often this is not the case. The shooting off of an automatic or semi-automatic weapon is far different from the guns of yesterday.
Hundreds of rounds can be fired within minutes or an hour. Fifty years ago that was not possible. Another thing that has seriously changed the past 50 years or so is the number of communities and associations of residents that have developed. The population of Bartholomew County has doubled in the last 50 years. Most people who live in the county do not live on 50 or 100 acres. It is more like one or two. Each of us easily can adversely affect our neighbor because we live so close.
Noise is measured in decibels. A firecracker is about 140 to 150 decibels. An ambulance siren is about 120. A chainsaw or rock concert is about 110. Guns vary from 150 to 170 in decibels. A decibel is a unit of measurement. It is measured as a logarithmic scale.
What that means is that a 10 decibel increase actually doubles the loudness level. Other than a rocket going off, guns have the highest decibel range. A horn has 120 decibels. Think how annoying it would be to listen to a horn go off for an hour.
Today’s target practicing should be done at licensed target ranges for those who want to shoot guns multiple times, not in the country where neighbors are just a stone’s throw away from you. No one individual is going to create or change an ordinance. It is up to the public residents who reside in the county to affirm this change by supporting the county officials who have the power to make the noise ordinance cover target shooting.
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