I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Bullets over Bellview
First and foremost--I have been an NRA supporter for years, I am a conservative, 2nd Amendment supporter. I also own guns.
Secondly--I strongly support law enforcement, and I always have (despite how some folks lately want to inaccurately portray me.... Just read this editorial I wrote two and a half years ago and you will see where I stood on law enforcement then and where I still am today)
With this out of the way--my number one concern is safety. Number one. That's why I have been trying to find out who has been firing live ammunition in an abandoned borrow pit near Longleaf Drive.
I have had a rash of phone calls from concerned residents in the Bellview area, particularly the residents that live off of Wymart Road, complaining of bullets raining down on their property.
One resident called just yesterday and said last Saturday there was so much firing she called 911 because bullets were whizzing through her trees in her front yard. "I'm afraid to let my kids out of the house!" she exclaimed. She says she has called 911 about the problem and nothing is being done. This past Saturday, she claims the responding officer said "Nothing can be done about this--the swat team is down there practicing"
Another resident has found a bullet hole in his car, another resident had a bullet lodged in the side of his house, and another resident has fished 3 bullets out of his backyard pool. Channel 3 did a feature story on this yesterday.
So with the revelation that in addition to airsoft and paintball guns being fired in the pit-- 9MM pistols and AR15s are also being fired down there--I am concerned. I have also confirmed with the owner of the pit that he and some Sheriff's Office personnel are using this location for shooting
practice as well.
I know the county owns a facility out near the landfill that the ECSO utilizes as a range--so why are they using this area for shooting ?
I'm concerned that a student at nearby West Florida High School--or one of the citizens that lives in this area, might actually get hit.
Some folks are saying that the gunfire that is resulting in bullets landing in the property of nearby residents is not coming from the pit.....
I don't know, who is to say, who knows for sure?
I know that at least 4 bullets have been recovered by ECSO personnel in these homes recently-so I wonder what was learned about the bullets that were recovered--were they analyzed? I know the residents seem to believe the bullets hitting their property are being fired from that pit--- and that the rounds are 9MM, .223 and 5.56. One way or another ---someone needs to get to the bottom of this.
This is not about stifling someone's right to use their property to fire their own weapons--that is a right property owners enjoy.
This is not an attack on responsible gun owners (I am one).
This is a safety issue for the residents that I hope we can quickly solve so residents can again feel safe in their own front yards.