To the Editor:
Thank you for your investigation Mr. Barzetti. [“An Improbably Shot On Split Rock Road,” Letter Hive, 5/15/13] I want to re-state what happened on that day in January. A person, who was working on the roof of our neighbors’ home, was hit with a stray bullet from a nearby shooting range. Luckily, he was not injured.
The police report is currently accurate in stating a person (not a ball as originally stated in the report) was hit with the bullet. Honest mistake by the policeman, I would hope. A police report is only adjusted through a specific interview process by the police department to validate what was reported. The report was adjusted, it is fact. I also want to make something clear. I do not think a bullet hitting a ball in anyone’s yard where children could be playing is acceptable in any way, I hope you agree.
We did exchange numbers with our neighbor at the time and have not heard from him until recently to discuss how he is adjusting his range. He was just as upset about the incident especially after meeting our children who were deathly afraid of what had happened, and being only three weeks after 12/14. Maybe our neighbor (who is not the owner of the property), did not know the number of kids that lived around him.
The range you visited was a second range on the same property. The range being used in this case was only about 20 feet high and backstopped by natural rock and rock walls. If you were to stand on top of the supposed “backstop” you would clearly see the house that was affected and in the winter it is amazingly clear of obstructions. Why did he show you the other range? Honest mistake, I hope.
Shooting in at a private shooting range is inherently dangerous. David Barzetti spoke of his children watching from his window inside his house when he target shoots. This becomes more dangerous when the activity goes on for hours on end with weapons that can shoot dozens of bullets one after the next. Put four or five people together for one session and the chances of injury increase exponentially if the range is not safe.
If safety seems to be repeated here it is because that what this issue is about. I have heard one person after the other agree about the criticality for safety from those who shoot seriously, including many hunters, target shooters and even the President of the Newtown Fish and Game Club.
Our group is asking our council to ensure there are safety regulations for shooting ranges which Newtown citizens can abide by. Not an unfathomable request, I would hope. I understand most in this town do take safety very seriously, and I highly doubt any of the new laws would impact them. But for those that do not engage in safe shooting, there must be laws in place that allow for the police to take action when something happens and right now they can take no action.
23 Split Rock Road, Newtown May 21, 2013