No. Smithfield, Burrillville officials ignore loud, pervasive gunfire

No. Smithfield, Burrillville officials ignore loud, pervasive gunfire

* Shooting is destroying the quality of life and degrading property values in North Smithfield and Burrillville.

* Every day of the week gunfire can be heard, with emphasis on every day; it comes from all directions; it comes from back yards and shooting ranges.

* Hunters are not a problem.

* Eight "dreams homes" built circa 2002 in North Smithfield are within "ear shot" of some shooting ranges. Two of the homes are currently on the market and two have been sold. Why have half of these "dream homes" been put on the market? The likely reason is that people can no longer tolerate the shooting. Are the buyers ever in for a surprise!

* I've lived in North Smithfield for 14 years and rarely was there much shooting until 2010; then something changed.

* Sometimes there are shooting events where the shooting begins early in morning and lasts until late in the afternoon where thousands and thousands of shots are heard. Who can stand it?

* A few shots can be tolerated, but not hundreds, not thousands, and not every day.

* There really is such a thing as noiseless ammunition. Would people bother shooting guns if they didn't go bang or boom?

* Both North Smithfield and Burrillville's "Noise Ordinances" state that excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health, safety and welfare, and the quality of life.

* But officials do nothing to limit the excessive noise from the shooting that's destroying the quality of life in these towns.

* R.I. General Laws § 11-47-62 permits shooting ranges to operate in excess of noise laws or ordinances. Now that's an example of the power the NRA exerts in crafting legislation.

* R.I. law prohibits shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy a small .22 caliber rifle's bullet can travel 1,400 feet.

* The sound of gunfire can be heard at least three miles away; a diameter of six miles.

* reports that the decibel level of a shotgun blast is equivalent to that of a jet plane.

* A single shooter can literally destroy the quality of life of an entire community.

* reports that the NRA estimates that 60 to 65 million Americans collectively own more than 230 million guns.

* Shooting ranges should be required to have sound proofing.

* I would bet that shooters wear ear protection so they don't have to listen.

* When are Burrillville and North Smithfield officials going to halt the destruction of the quality of life, and the degradation of property values in these towns? Are they reluctant to confront the NRA?

* Gun laws and ordinances are written for the shooters not homeowners or businesses.

* Example: Noise ordinances provide an exception for shooting and allow it from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, but one can only use a power lawn mower from 8 a.m. to sunset. Construction equipment is prohibited from operating on Sunday, but you can shoot!

* Can anyone see a target at 10 p.m.?

* If your neighbor blasts his radio it violates the noise ordinance. Maybe he blasted it so he didn't have to listen to the gunfire.

* For the last hour, as I write this, I've been listening to automatic weapons fire (not semi). Don't these people work? It's 11 a.m. on a weekday. Are they collecting unemployment? Is the taxpayer paying for their ammunition?

* When are Burrilliville and North Smithfield officials going to step in and halt the declining property values caused by repetitious and pervasive gunfire?

* Consider this: You're selling your home, and you have a motivated buyer, then the gunfire starts, and suddenly you have no buyer.

* Maybe we don't need more gun laws; maybe we need zoning changes with no grandfathering. Can a town acquire a shooting range by eminent domain because it would improve the quality of life for its residents?

* Last night at 7 p.m. I listened to gunfire. It's now 10 a.m. in the morning and I'm again listening to gun fire.

* I don't think I'm the only one disturbed by all the shooting. If you have an issue with it, email and maybe we can collectively do something about it.

* So few, do so much shooting, that affects the quality of life of so many, and our officials do nothing about it. It just isn't right.

Robert L. Keenan

North Smithfield