My Apartment Building is a Police Station.

When the weather’s nice, my apartment complex is always crawling with police officers. This is mostly due to domestic disputes; my street seems to be a magnet for them. Anyway, yesterday morning, or so I’ve heard, it happened again: my neighbor beat his wife up, and the police took him away. I slept through all this, which should be an indication of how often it happens.

Fast forward about six hours. I’m awake, playing some video games after winding down after a run (2 miles…I need to get back to the 4 I was running before my knees started bothering me), when I hear “KABOOM!!!”

The people upstairs are moving, I think. That was not a gun…it was a sofa falling.

Ten minutes later, and the police are back. Concerned, I listen through my door (This is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR!!! If there is a shootout in my building, I have the right to know!). It turns out, the “Kaboom!” was the sound of the neighbor’s 12-guage falling and discharging into the wall of their neighbors’ apartment. No one was hurt, but my neighbors 2 doors down from me are still pulling pellets out of their furniture.

So, here’s my dilemma, and it’s a completely philosophical one. The 2nd amandment protects the right to bear arms. I’m OK with that. Also, my neighbor had the gun there because she feared for her life. She has the right to protect herself. However, her right to protect herself has now endangered my life. What if the gun had fallen the other direction? It would have discharged at my living room, where I was sitting. I could be dead right now because she had a firearm in an unsafe place. Should she still have the right to have that gun? What about my right to not be shot at?


16 Responses to “My Apartment Building is a Police Station.”

  1. Jeez… at best, she shouldn’t keep it loaded. And a 12-gauge is a little extreme for home safety, don’t you think?


    …And I know it’s just that easy, too!

  3. Ryan-Yeah. The thing is, her door points towards mine, which means that if her husband tries anything and she shoots him at the door…well, I doubt that his body will stop a point blank blast from a twelve guage.

  4. First off…I think she has the right to own a firearm if she chooses.

    That being said- a woman needing protection doesn’t require a 12 gauge shotgun. AND who in their right mind would think that it would be acceptable or anywhere near legal to shoot-to-kill over the domestic dispute?

    But since she has proven that she is indeed a moron, I think that her gun license and shotgun should be taken away. I don’t even know if that’s the procedure. I don’t have a shotgun, so I’m not in that particular loop. πŸ™‚

  5. Sara-Shoot to kill would be acceptable (to me, at least) if her life were in danger. I don’t know how bad this situation is…to be honest, I’ve never heard them fight, and I was teh one who called 911 on the last neighbor to beat his girlfriend. this is why, I guess, I believe that people should be allowed to have firearms, but there need to be laws regulating the storage of them, like trigger locks. I realize this makes it harder to use in a hurry, but if you are really that scared, you need to go seomwhere to get help. I know that after it happened, she had about 4 friends over, and they were all getting trashed. I find it hard to believe that none of them could have stayed with her if the situation were that bad.

    Again, I support the right to have a firearm, and for her to protect herself. That doesn’t really make me any safer, though.

  6. Jayson, I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say on this.

  7. My thoughts, in no specific order… Guns going off when the fall over isn’t something that actually happens much, mechanically speaking it could, but its more of a thing that happens in the movies or with really old guns. If it’s an old gun she shouldn’t have had a round chambered. It’s not her right to bear arms that’s endangering you, it’s her room temperature IQ.

    If you have a gun for personal defense in the home, trigger locks basically turn it into a bludgeon. If you’re having one for that purpose, it’d be in condition one, loaded, round in chamber, cocked, safety on. Sounds like she had it in condition zero, which is the same, but safety off. If its a pump action shotgun, it should be in condition two, since it takes no time at all to chamber a round.

    A shotgun is pretty reasonable for home defense, there seems to be a body of evidence about intruders being scared off by the sound of a round being chambered. However, its pretty much overkill for an apartment. Overpenetration is something I’ve thought about myself, I keep a 9mm for home defense in apartment living loaded with target grade ammo.

    I don’t know about taking her gun away because she’s dumb, that’s not our society as it is to date. If you get a DUI they give you a yellow license plate, they don’t take your car, your booze and tattoo a barcode on you stating you can never again purchase or own alcohol or an automobile. I think you’re feeling the ‘oh fuck’ factor pretty bad and justifiably so.

    I think Kari has the best answer. I don’t know if there is anything that’s in your price range that you could relocate to, but if you can, it may be time to move out of the ghetto.

  8. Well, although she has the *right* to own the gun, she doesn’t need to own it, nor should she. The “protect herself” argument doesn’t really stand up for me because my feeling is, if she fears for her life, then she needs to break up/move out/get a restraining order. After all, the idea of self-protection with a gun only makes sense if we assume the owner is protecting herself against someone breaking into her house or something, not someone she lives with.

    How can someone deal with the cognitive dissonance produced by the decision to 1) stay living with someone who abuses you while at the same time 2) owning a gun to protect yourself against the person you live with?

    I totally acknowledge that it’s difficult to break up with and move away from an abusive partner. I don’t mean to suggest that’s easy. But if it comes to the point that you decide you should own a gun for self-protection against your partner, then it’s time to get the police involved. Owning a cheap gun and brandishing it around is not the answer. Shooting your partner when he threatens you is not a good solution. Having your cheap gun go off and endanger your innocent neighbors is not a good solution.

  9. Kurt is completely correct. My analysis still says this is a feature of the ghetto apartment complex.

  10. It’s not all that ghetto of a place to live. I planted flowers there once. Maybe I’ll do that again once the weather warms up. I’m sure flowers will discourage the gunfire.
    Peace. πŸ™‚

  11. I didn’t want to be the one to say it but Kelly said it for me. The place isn’t ghetto. You get nuts no matter where you live, domestic violence happens in high class places just as much. Jason just seems to draw the crazy people to him, LOL!

  12. quicksilverthor Says:

    That is what a safety is for. For myself I keep a sword. I don’t want to go all Jedi but it is less clumsy. I mean if someone gets hit from it I almost certainly will have wanted it to happen.

  13. Shotguns are a good defense in smaller apartments. With the right ammo. You can get rubber slugs, rock salt, tiny buckshot that hurts but is unlikely to kill.

    Here is a good website about why people choose shotguns:

    from the above site
    “Most people typically choose a shotgun for home defense for one of three general reasons: 1) to minimize wall penetration to reduce the danger to innocent third parties in case of a missed shot, 2) to maximize wound trauma to stop a vicious assailant as quickly as possible, or 3) because a shotgun does not require as much skill as a handgun to put lead on target.”

    She may have had the first in mind when purchasing but without the proper ammo, as she found out, the weapon can be deadly.

    Shotguns are usually cheaper as is the ammo.

    She should really take a shotgun defense course.

    I’m not here to promote shotguns in anyway but your neighbor does have a right to own one. She also has the responsibility to make sure accidents like this don’t happen.

  14. Damn. She’s a tool. Why keep a round in the chamber? It takes about half-a-second to rack a pump-action or semi-auto shotgun.

    In Canada I had guns. I lived on a farm and they were needed. In China I have a big-ass rolling pin. When I drop it, it sound much like a shotgun being fired.

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