Whidbey News-Times


Address gun laws before injury occurs | Letters

December 19, 2012 · Updated 3:08 PM

I am one of 191 citizens of the neighborhood in the vicinity of Fort Nugent and West Beach Road that signed petitions asking the Board of Island County Commissioners to designate our neighborhood a “no shooting area.” More than 95 percent of the residents approached signed this petition: active/retired military, active/retired LEOs, NRA members, local gun club members, etc.

This issue was first presented to the board in March 2012. Then and now there continues to be plenty of misinformation via the Internet and media labeling us a “special interest group” or “the anti-gun contingent” who are for the abolishment of Second Amendment rights, closing of local gun clubs and bans on hunting in the county.

Information being fed to the National Rifle Association and other organizations like this is not only false, but malicious and irresponsible. The people representing our communities have never had conversations like that with anyone.

Our concern now and always has been the recreational discharging of firearms in a densely populated area and the inherent dangers associated with such activity.

These are not 10 acre lots adjoining 10 acre lots. Our neighborhood is 182 single-family homes in a .65 square mile area.

Weapons are being discharged and bullets impacting 70-160 feet from our property lines and homes. Common sense should dictate that we are simply too close and densely populated to allow activities like this in a neighborhood.

There are parents who don’t let their children out in their own yards or that pack up their families and pets and leave their homes when this activity starts. Is that how people should be living in their homes where they expect to enjoy the peace, comfort and repose of their property?

I belong to the NRA and believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right to defend your family, self and property.

I also believe most reasonable people would agree that shooting within 160 feet or less of a neighbor’s fence, backyard or house is simply too close for the safety and wellbeing of adjoining property owners, families and domestic animals.

Do we need to wait until someone is injured or property is damaged as in the case of Deer Lagoon before action is taken? If so, that is certainly not providing for the “long term health and safety of the people” as stated in the Island County Commissioners’ guiding principles.

Jack A. Lyons
Oak Harbor


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