Letter to editor: Make decisions on facts, not implications

Published 11:40 am Thursday, September 10, 2020

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To the editor:

With reference to the Davie Enterprise Record for the first week of September: The full page advertisement about the Recoil Management Academy and some statements that were obviously meant to sway public opinion against approval of the RMA facility are misleading. The one that really tripped my trigger was the one that claims that someone living close to the RMA “May have heard explosions and heavy artillery fire” emanating from the RMA facility. This implies that there were actually explosions and heavy artillery fire that one “may” have heard.

I have no doubt that explosions have been heard and felt by many in Davie County. I have lived here over 20 years and live at the northern end of the county. Soon after, my wife and I were introduced to the “Dave Way” as our house was shaken by an explosion of unknown origin. No earthquakes were reported. This has happened off and on over the years but, we are a rural area and that sort of thing can be expected with stumps and large rocks needing removal. Soon after, we were startled by gunfire, including what sounded like automatic fire coming from a neighbor’s land. A check with other neighbors told us that the area held a private pistol rage and that the Davie sheriff deputies used it for training. This was never verified but the high volume of gunfire continued over the years until that neighbor moved. Even now gunfire often rattles through the area as residents, including me, maintain proficiency with our firearms, get rid of old ammunition or just shoot for the fun of it.

I Goggled the range of military artillery with the following results. The standard 155mm M777 howitzer has a range of 25 miles and the 155mm M109A7 has a range of around 19 miles. This begs the question. Where are those shells landing? To my knowledge none have impacted in Davie County or either of the surrounding counties. Surely someone would have heard and reported the detonation of that size.

Whether the RMA facility becomes a reality or not, let’s make our decisions on honest, factual statements from both sides of the question and not implications of guilt before the fact.

John Smoot