RALEIGH, N.C. - Elizabeth Edwards says she is scared of the "rabid, rabid Republican" who owns property across the street from her Orange County home - and she doesn't want her kids going near the gun-toting neighbor.
Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, particularly recalls the time neighbor Monty Johnson brought out a gun while chasing workers investigating a right of way off his property. The Edwards family has yet to meet Johnson in person.
"I wouldn't be nice to him anyway," Edwards said in an interview. "I don't want my kids anywhere near some guy who when he doesn't like somebody, the first thing he does is pull a gun out. It scares the business out of me."
But Johnson defended the occasion he brandished a gun, saying those on his land didn't have the proper approval.
"I use the gun for protection, and I considered that an appropriate time," Johnson said. "Sometimes you have to take drastic measures."
Edwards views Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres.