Recently a pleasant Saturday afternoon was suddenly ripped apart by a very loud explosive noise. It did not really sound like gunfire, and it seemed too concise a noise to be a house blowing up. It made me jump, and my windows rattled much worse than they used to do when we heard sonic booms overhead. Later I was grateful that I had not been driving in the area at the time; the jerk-reaction could have put my car in someone else’s grille, or someone else in mine ... or into a deep culvert or through a fence. It was a very sudden, loud and startling noise.
I immediately called 911 to report it, only to learn that Mountain Bible Church, a block away, was firing a cannon during some event.
Really? A cannon? In a mostly residential area?
If the people at the church can take the time to inform the police, and it is legal (again, really?) can’t they also take time to put a note on the door of all the homes within a three- or four-block radius and warn them that there will be this tremendously loud boom at an approximate time on this day? Can’t they put a sign out on the street to warn drivers there will be this noise, like construction crews put out on highways when they are blasting?
As I hung up from the helpful 911 operator, I saw neighbors coming out to see what had happened. When I went to tell them what I learned, I saw another pair of neighbors further down the block heading in the direction of the church, no doubt to see what the noise was.
Another neighbor’s dogs, which are frightened around loud noises, were not in their front yard as they usually are. When I investigated, I discovered the dogs had retreated to a safe haven the neighbors provide in case of thunder. It took a bit for the nervous animals to come out. I am sure that if those neighbors had known of the firing of the cannon, they would have adjusted their own plans or made arrangements for the dogs.
We should not want to be micro-managed and controlled by every trivial law possible. It is important for us to learn to use common sense and consider our neighbors and fellow citizens as we go about our daily lives.
The cannon people could have done several things to avoid frightening and/or upsetting neighbors in the vicinity: alerting people ahead of time would help immensely; using a smaller amount of the explosive charge or some step (I am no cannon expert) to reduce the noise and effect of the blast (remember the rattling windows) seems prudent; finding some less noisy and violent way to celebrate or taking it out into an unoccupied area of the desert seems considerate.
Just because we can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should do something.
I hope the church will decide to love their neighbors and give more thought and consideration to the activities that occur at their property.