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'Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns' amazed at reaction

Posted August 18, 2009

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— A group of Durham residents taking aim at speeders with the threat of a paintball gun said Tuesday that they are "amazed and gratified at the reaction."

The group, Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns, posted signs at strategic locations throughout the city, warning motorists to slow down or risk being shot at with a paintball gun.

'Paintball' group wants speeding to stop 'Paintball' group wants speeding to stop

The group does not say if the signs are meant to serve only as an attention-grabber or if it plans to shoot paintballs at vehicles.

"We received top story coverage on local television news, more than half a dozen requests for interviews from local media outlets, and generated hundreds of comments on blogs, media Web sites and Facebook," according to an e-mail from a group member, who declined to release his or her name. "We received numerous requests from individuals who wish to receive their own copies of our sign. We inspired the creation of a Facebook group. We clearly touched a nerve in the city of Durham."

The group says it is disappointed that the city has stopped funding its PACE Car program, which was designed to help prevent speeding. Kammie Michael, a Durham police spokeswoman, said budget and staffing constraints forced the dissolution of the program.

"It is very disheartening to read that the city has neither the time nor the money to continue this program. Over 1,500 citizens signed up to participate in the 18 months the program was operational. Bring it back. Tell us how much money you need. We'll raise it," the group member wrote in Tuesday's e-mail.

The police department has increased patrols in the area recently, Michael said and residents have complimented the police department on its response.

"The Durham Police Department enforces traffic laws, and we plan to continue to be responsive to traffic concerns from residents throughout the city," she said.

Michael said it is a crime to shoot a paintball at a vehicle and that the signs could be a distraction for some drivers and make the problem worse.

164 Comments

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  • joehuser Aug 19, 2009

    Hi Folks,
    *
    I am not from your neck of the woods, I'm from Cincinnati, OH
    *
    I have been playing the sport of Paintball since 1987. This is a sport that I enjoy very much.
    *
    The use of paintball markers in the manner described in this story is unsatisfactory and is dangerous. We as players take great pains to ensure that our sport is fun and safe. The misuse of paintball markers outside of the controlled playing fields without proper eye protection dangerous and is an invitation for law suits and gives a bad name to our sport. * Regards, Joe Huser AKA The Pump Geezer

  • Realamerican71 Aug 19, 2009

    I can understand the frustration of the home owners. Believe me... I can. My neighborhood has a major problem with speeders. Yes we have addressed the city council, yes we have called the Police to come out and run radar, yes we circulated a petition for speed bumps and a reduced speed limit. Lets see, what else have we tried? Well, I bought a radar gun off of Ebay and we used it in a video to show the speed of cars in our neighborhood. And, unfortunately, what good did all of this do? Absolutely nothing! I do wish this group of homeowners the best though. It is an uphill battle with city hall to make a positive change in a residential area. Now, if you wish to build a strip mall and need to knock down some trees and widen some neighborhood streets? Well, of course have at it! However safety and quality of life issues take a back seat to progress.

  • familyfour Aug 19, 2009

    Well...if they can't get the job done, the citizens are at the very least geting noticed. It takes all of us to make this work...not us all expecting others to do it for us....

    We look out for ourselves, we look out for each other, and when we see wrong, we call attention to it, if it doesn't get fixed, we fix it ourselves. What's the problem, again?

  • LocalYokel Aug 19, 2009

    speed bumps slow down traffic below a faster but safe speed and speed bumps cause mechanical wear to vehicles. Speed cameras to issue tickets will work much better.

  • greg7 Aug 19, 2009

    The Group will not say that they are bluffing about using paintguns. Firing even a paint pellet at a car would likely get you charges for reckless endangerment, shooting into an occupied vehicle, aggravated battery/assault and certainly open you to lawsuit for damages that WOULD NOT BE COVERED by your homeowners policy. Criminal vandalism are not covered under your liability policy.

    This is certainly not to mention the high likelihood of return fire from legally armed drivers.

  • dwntwnboy Aug 18, 2009

    Why don't they just do like almost every neighborhood in Cary has done, put in speed bumps every 5th house. It works.

  • Milkman Aug 18, 2009

    Ok, anyone looking for a chance to blast some ammo?? Meet up and zoom though that neighborhood, when the paintball shots ring out, answer back with 45 and 357. Speeding is illegal and dangerous, so it's ok to shoot paintballs at cars, which is also illegal and dangerous, so open season!

    I'm starting to think that a very small minority of people's mothers taught them that 2 wrongs don't make a right.

  • shortcake53 Aug 18, 2009

    Dear Tired, i told him that i would probably get a ticket for watering my lawn on the wrong day!

  • lb27608 Aug 18, 2009

    To all of you people who think that the people who put up this sign are actually serious about shooting at cars with paintballs, all I can say is... really? I guess you have to be familiar with this particular neighborhood to understand what's going on here. I live about five blocks south of the traffic circle where this sign was put up, and that circle usually has some sort of art or decoration to get peoples' attention.

    There definitely IS a speeding problem in some of the city neighborhoods in Durham (mine included), but nobody is ACTUALLY going to get paintballed. It's just an attention-grabber to get drivers to think about what they're doing. Most of the people that live in the neighborhood right around the circle are professionals and academics (many with children), and I doubt these people would be keen on going to jail for shooting paintballs at a car.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Aug 18, 2009

    shortcake: put up a lawn sprinkler activated by a motion sensor, so kids will get wet if they cut through your lawn.
    commonsensical

    Love it!

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