"Living in fear is what it feels like. Scared all the time, afraid to go out into your yard and do anything. Don't know what bullet has your name on it."
No, those are not the comments of a person who has been receiving death threats or someone who got on the bad side of the mafia. Those are the words of Kenneth Caldwell, a homeowner in Carroll County, Ga., who lives with his wife, Carol. Their home is literally riddled with holes because of stray bullets from the nearby Advanced Bullets Gun Range.
"I actually got to know the sounds of which bullet was going to hit," said Carol Caldwell. "Every day I came home, I was scared to walk up the walkway, scared a bullet was going to hit me."
The Caldwells claim that they spoke to the gun range workers many times and warned them that shooters kept missing targets and sending bullets into their home. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. The Caldwells counted 27 bullet holes in their home, including four holes in their bedroom and two in their living room.
When asking politely failed, the Caldwells fell back on a time-honored classic: a good ol’-fashioned lawsuit. The couple sued the gun range for making no attempts to protect them and their property from shooters’ bullets.
A Carroll County jury awarded the couple $175,000 in damages and the judge ordered the gun range to be shut down until the National Rifle Association could come and perform a complete safety review.
The Caldwells reported they felt safe for the first time in years and were finally willing to invite their grandchildren to swim in their above-ground pool. The grandchildren should enjoy it while it lasts, though, because the Caldwells will probably hit the road.
"I'm going to take some of the money, and we're going to pay off this place," Carol said. "The rest of the money? We're getting out of here."
Finding a new home will the be easy part. Selling the old, bullet-riddled home — not so much.