Saturday, February 18, 2012

The People's Right to Live Quietly

The Orlando Sentinal reports on what we've been saying for a long time around here.

Sudden shotgun blasts recently shattered the quiet of the homes that line West Crooked Lake in Eustis.

Boom! Boom! Madelaine Lock was visiting with her neighbor, and together they ran toward the lake. Boom! Doors flew open, and residents streamed outside. Five of them dialed 911 to summon police.

They needn't have bothered.

Out on West Crooked Lake, three happy hunters displayed the carcasses of five dead ducks. Eustis officers snagged the hunters and began to remonstrate with them. They needn't have bothered, either.

Remember the ordinances cities typically enacted that prevented people living close to one another from pulling out their weapons and firing willy-nilly?

Gone, thanks to the Legislature. That's what happens when big boys with guns want more room to play and the very powerful National Rifle Association pushes relentlessly.

Here's one of the best ways I've heard to highlight the absurdity of what the NRA is doing.

"It is OK to hunt ducks on a lake surrounded by residential homes, but it is against the law for these same residents to use fireworks?" asked Eustis police Chief Fred Cobb, whose officers were powerless to restore peace to the West Crooked Lake neighborhood. "If the Legislature is concerned about public safety, I don't understand their logic."
What's your opinion? Don't you think they've gone way too far in Florida? Did you see the NRA person's justification, that it's about "the constitutional right to keep and bear arms for the protection of yourself and your family." Do these people think before they speak? Are they repeating the same old nonsense so often that it's lost all meaning and context?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.


  1. There's more to this story than was reported, as has been discussed on gun friendly blogs. It's legal in Florida to hunt with birdshot, so long as it's being done out over the lake, which fact Ms. Lock apparently was unaware of. This was happening in a rural area, something that suggests that the story is more a case of some city dweller moving out to the country and then complaining that life there isn't like the city.

    1. While I disagree about the gun issue, I find myself in agreement with Greg about city folks moving to the country without quite knowing what to expect. A neighbor on our road decided she objected to the farm fence of her next door neighbor, so she simply took it down, in spite of it not being HER fence. The fence was part of an area used to pasture sheep.

      It took the involvement of the lawyers of both parties before the fence was replace - and the owner of the fence is still trying to recover damages and the cost of the replacement fencing from the city slicker neighbor.

      There is some other kinds of acculturaton necessary for the urban getting used to more rural life styles, including the traffic speeds of farm equipment, particularly during certain seasons like planting and harvesting where time is more of the essence, and there is work going on until late into the night, and beginning very early.

  2. I forget. Which of the Bill of Rights is the "Right to Live Quietly" again?

    1. It's a property based right - you do recognize that property rights are covered under the constitution, right?

      It's the right to enjoy your property without reasonable enjoyment being impinged on by others.

      It's similar to why it is illegal for someone to pollute the water table on their property when it also poisons yours.......

      So unless you can contain that disruptive sound to your own property, like pollution of ground water or water tables, your right to inflict it on others has reasonable limits.

      Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the damage that noise can do?

    2. so the train that passes by at 3am, with horn blaring, is infringing on my rights as a property owner? Great, I'll be calling 911 in the morning.

    3. Do you know what the inverse square law is?

    4. "It's the right to enjoy your property without reasonable enjoyment being impinged on by others."

      True. But it also works the other way too. You only get to decide what happens on your property. So, if you don't like what the neighbors do on their property, your option is to either buy them out and put more distance between you and your next neighbor or shut up about it and wish you had more land.

    5. I decided to sight in a rifle at 7 am on a beautiful Sunday morning and the woman next door came out on her deck screaming and throwing a tantrum about the noise. I told my sister to shut the hell up and get back in her trailer.

      That one was a joke, BTW.

    6. About "rights," let's see. The 2A protects the individual's right to own a gun IN ORDER TO participate in the militia, a concept which has no meaning in modern society.

      The "right" to live a quiet life, is related to privacy and the "pursuit of happiness," both widely accepted idea which are applicable today.

  3. I agree with the officer - it is ridiculous to prohibit the use of fireworks in a city.

  4. Of course, you lot are ignorant of the common law principle of nuisance, which the founders would have known very well.

    There are two classes of nuisance under the American law: a nuisance in fact, or "nuisance per accidens", and a nuisance per se. A nuisance per se is "an activity, or an act, structure, instrument, or occupation which is a nuisance at all times and under any circumstances, regardless of location or surroundings." Liability for a nuisance per se is absolute, and injury to the public is presumed; if its existence is alleged and established by proof, it is also established as a matter of law.

    Given that one of the examples of negligence used in law school is to shoot a firearm into a house, Shooting firearms in an inhabited area is very much a nusiance per se.

    As I have said before, if the NRA were truly a sportsman's organisation, it would have worked to limited development so that this sort of incident would not be as common. However, given that there is development and civilisation encroaching upon your fantasy world, you will have to start living with reality.

  5. Let's see, which would be more disruptive, more of a nuisance, 5 shotgun blasts going off in broad daylight or hundreds of firecrackers, Roman Candles and M80s exploding in the night.
    God forbid they allow motor boats, skiing, and jet skis on their lake.
    orlin sellers

  6. Laci - seems to me you are unaware of the law in this case as the officer plainly explained that this was legal behavior by the hunters. Now if the hunters were to shoot a person or hit a house with their weapons then they would be liable for any injuries or damages caused whether they intended to cause them or not. Being liable for damages caused does not make the legal act of hunting illegal - it just means there are some risks associated with it. Kind of like driving down the road - you are participating in a legal event, but are responsible if your actions cause an injury or damage to someone's property.

    As to your noise issue, can people sue the operators of a train track if they build a house next to the tracks and then complain about the noise coming from the train property behind them? What about airports? Are they liable for the noise generated if a new neighborhood is built at the end of their runways?

    Hell even in a regular neighboorhood.... say I work a night job and intend to sleep during the day. Am I allowed to call the police and complain that my neighbor is cutting his grass at 11:00 in the morning and the noise is keeping me awake?


      I suggest you do your own homework instead of relying on Laci to provide your education.

      Most communities have some standards as to what noise levels are allowed and during what hours. This can apply to the volume at which you play your media, or how loud and late your parties are, as two examples, or how late a dog can be allowed to bark.

      There may not be any limitation at 11 a.m. for your neighbor mowing their lawn; it is a scheduling that attempts to be considerate of the most possible number of neighbors.

      But there is quite possibly a limitation on how LOUD the law mower could be, under nuisance laws.

      As to your driving analogy, it is more akin to being expected by law in most states to conform not only to the posted or statutory limits for speed, but also to road conditions. With hunting, the person with the firearm is expected to conform to safe firearm practices. It is reasonable for hunters to err on the side of caution, and it is poor practice to simply hope you can recover damages later if someone screws up. There are too many instances where money is poor compensation and does not, as the law attempts to do, make one whole after their loss. It is also one of the problems I have with only holding people accountable after they do something wrong instead of reasonable and responsible proactive approach to gun laws, given the number of instances of gun violence.

    2. According to the police, there was no violation here, so we may presume that no one was put into danger.

      As I said before, perhaps city people ought to stay in the cities.

    3. Or we can assume that the law hasn't caught up to the level of development and these were just another example of gun loons behaving stupidly and without proper regard for safety.

      While the cops were unable to arrest them, they clearly have something less than approval for the practice.

      City people don't need to stay in the city; but they do need to adapt when they leave that environment, just as rural people have to adapt when THEY move into the city to how life works there. Or do you think those country kids should stay on the farm and not enroll in your community college?

      Mobility is fundamental to our society, and to our freedom.

      And so is adaptability.

      I grew up a city slicker, well, suburban;

    4. A good dose of country values would do the whole nation a lot of good.

  7. DG said: "But there is quite possibly a limitation on how LOUD the law mower could be, under nuisance laws.",

    Generally, the noise level, to be a nuisance, is about 100db. There is no way a shotgun would be that loud.

  8. This link:

    says shotgunz are sortaloud.

    1. Yes, especially if measured right at the muzzle. Were the people that were complaining in this story right next to the muzzle? I must have missed that part.

  9. democulo, that is the most ridiculous db list I have ever seen. Impossible.
    170 dB shotgun
    75 - 85 dB flush toilet
    Loudest band in the Guiness Book of World Records

    Deep Purple held the record and were recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the "globe's loudest band" when in a concert at the London Rainbow Theatre their sound reached 117 dB. Three of their audience members were rendered unconscious."

    I've noticed that most of the 'research' presented here falls in the same category as Michael Bellisles - debunked and intellectually dishonest.
    orlin sellers.

  10. there's an easy fix for this..make suppressors easier obtain and promote their use. They're not illegal federally although some states have made them so.

  11. Father Frog, one of my favorite bloggers on the subject of guns, says that a shotgun generates a peak of 173 decibels. Yes, they're loud. But as I pointed out to Dog Gone, the inverse square law tells us that the noise level drops off rapidly with distance.