Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Building a Safer World

Building codes all across the country prohibit people from doing things on their properties that endanger people on nearby properties. For example, you can't run a golf driving range unless you put up a net to keep balls from going through neighbors' windows. If you drain your swimming pool, you can't let the water flood your neighbor's house. If you have a vicious dog, you have to fence your yard or restrain the animal. You can't let it attack people as they walk by on the sidewalk. You can't play music so loudly that it disturbs neighbors, and you can't shine searchlights into your next door neighbors' windows.

You also can't operate an outdoor shooting range unless you bank up the earth so that bullets that miss their targets don't hit people who live in houses located behind the range. If you run an indoor range, it must be constructed so that bullets don't fly through the walls into neighboring houses. These laws are all constitutional and generally accepted.

Why, then, not require people who have guns in their houses to make sure their bullets don't hit their neighbors?

It would be reasonable to require gun owners to bank up the earth or erect walls around their properties to contain errant bullets. That way, people would be able to keep guns at home to protect themselves but would not create an unreasonable danger to the families in their neighborhood.

There would be some expense involved in erecting safety barriers, but lots of laws impose financial burdens on people who want to use their properties in ways that present hazards. In many places, if you have a swimming pool, you have to erect a fence around it to keep neighborhood kids from drowning. If a pool owner has to pay to minimize the risk that a kid will drown, surely a gun owner should have to pay to minimize the risk that a kid will be shot.

It only makes sense that the people who create a risk of injury or death to the public by keeping guns should bear the cost of minimizing the risk. That's what the law says about driving automobiles. We don't expect motorists to intentionally crash their cars and injure their passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians, but we know that accidents can happen. We let people drive cars even though there is an inherent risk, but the law mandates safety features on cars to minimize the likelihood that accidents will happen and to minimize the consequences of those accidents. The cost of those safety features is included in the cost of the cars. The cost of preventing the accidental shooting of one's neighbor should similarly be paid by the people who want to have guns.

Some people might not want their properties to be walled in. They could be given the option of installing bullet-proof windows that could not be opened, provided that they understood that they could not take their guns out of their houses into their yards. Of course, their houses would have to be built of brick, stone, or some other material that would be impenetrable by bullets, because some of today's ammunition is capable of shooting right through aluminum siding and drywall. There have already been plenty of incidents where people were shot by bullets that came through their walls from outside their houses.

Requiring people to erect safety barriers on their property might seem like a drastic measure, but similar requirements have been imposed by law on commercial properties for years. Companies that handle flammable materials, for example, are required to construct their buildings to minimize the risk that an accidental explosion will endanger their neighbors. Nuclear power plants have to enclose their reactors in massive containment buildings for the same reason.

We live in a world of rights and corresponding responsibilities. The gun lobby has been telling us that people should have the right to keep guns in their homes so that they can take personal responsibility for the safety of their families. If they really believe in personal responsibility, they shouldn't have any objection to erecting barriers on their properties to assure that their activities don't endanger their neighbors. That would be real responsible gun ownership.


  1. Wow, did you forget to take your meds again?

    1. WOW!!!
      He needs a SHRINK!!!!!!!!

  2. You are the one who is paranoid, build a berm around your property.

  3. Hi, I'm Earth. Have we met?

  4. Would you provide some links to news stories where this has actually been a problem? a home owner defending their home from burglars and stray bullets hitting their neighbours?
    A brief google search mainly dug up stories about people defending their neighbours houses.

    My understanding of people who have been shot while inside their house was stray bullets from gang members shooting at eachother, or at random victims.
    I'm glad all other crime problems have been solved that you can now spend time solving problems that don't actually exist :) although I suspect you're just trying to invent new ways to make gun ownership harder/more expensive/less socially acceptable.

  5. Lee, people don't commonly shoot their guns inside their homes.
    I'm curious though, is your whole anti gun t6hing rooted in your having a fear that you may have to defend yourself or your family and that you wouldn't be able to?

  6. If I didn't already know how silly this man is, I would have assumed that this was a satiric post to point out how stupid some of these ideas are. And it actually would have been pretty clever.

  7. I think Mr. Goodman should be required to wear pickle jars on his hands so he can't type on a keyboard and post things like this on the internet. Really, it's for the good of everyone. Think of the children!

  8. Have you ever fired a gun?

  9. Yep he is off his meds. Because of people like him we have all this shootings
    Take care of the crazy people first, before you go after my rights.
    How about your 1st amendment? How about we take that away because you need help?

  10. I think he needs to have a mental evaluation and be put away into a mental health hospital. This man is who we need guns to protect our families from, the mentally ill able to write post like this on the internet!

  11. Clearly you're lost. How can wee help you?

  12. Wow, you are a special kind of stupid aren't you.

  13. You can use a 410 round in a Judge pistol or commonly available shot shell loads in any caliber and you will be able to keep rounds in your home.

    Do we need to build barriers on our properties to keep drivers from oh say driving their car through the back of their garage or say neighbors house ?

    What shall we do to prevent the chicken from crossing the road and causing any harm ?

  14. How about making it a requirement to wear gloves when reading a book to avoid papercuts.

  15. If I pelt yoir hoise with bullets or golf balls (or eggs, rocks or fish fillets) I am subject to prosecution and or penalties.
    The difference being;
    1) Golf balls are not mentioned in the bill of rights.


  16. Im glad you have that much time on your hands. Wow!!!!

  17. Terrible logic......

  18. Give it up Lee. You guys are losing this battle. For more than a decade now America is waking up and restoring our civil rights that have been trampled on for too many years now. I think you are starting to have a complete nervous breakdown. The good news for you is now that the other half of America's eyes are opening, we are finally starting to have a common sense discussion about how to really solve this problem. How you ask? Prosecuting violent thugs, looking at common sense solution to America's obsession with violent media, and mental health issues. That latter is of most important to you. Maybe now you can get some of the treatment you need.

    I pray you seek the help you need before your complete mental collapse when concealed carry comes our way this year.

    Oh, and by the way, thank you to the National Rifle Association and Mr. Lapierre for bringing the issues of mental health, media violence, and the need to enforce our current laws to the foreground. It is a breath of fresh air to hear real discussion and real common sense solutions instead of the usual ad naseum emotional diatribe from the civil rights biggots.

  19. To the OP: By your logic, you should build a concrete barrier around your garage (and never let your car leave it) to make sure you don't accidentally run down a pedestrian.

  20. Wow you are really an insane person. You realize nobody reads your blogs (look at your shares). We are all just directed to your stupidity from sites who make fun of you. Your poor family. They have to be totally ashamed.

  21. Lee, I completely agree!!!


  22. This is the type of mental health problem that should prevent him from ever owning a gun!

  23. Using the same thought process, we should require all vehicle owners to make thier vehicles 100% theft proof, and unable to be driven by anyone with an emotional issue, drugs or alcohol (at any level) or mental instability an effort to prevent traffic accidents or traffic fatalities. You know.. Just in case. I mean, seriously, the number of vehicle induced injuries and deaths as well as cash value of damages caused by vehicles eclipses the number of deaths, injuries and cash value of damages inflicted by firearms in the US. And the right to drive is NOT a constitutionally guaranteed right.