Retro has its limitations.
Look, I think steampunk callbacks to the Gilded Age and before are just kewler than heck.
But if you are home with your children in your frame house, and surmise that you've just had a drive-by (fellow going to his night-shift job) shooting (neighbor kids setting off some leftover firecrackers) out front, and your response is to:
Text your spouse about what you saw and heard, and
Ask what to do, and
Ruminate on his suggestion (via text!) to call the cops, and
Commiserate with your neighbor via phone, before finally
Calling the cops, then
I question whether you're fit to actually be taking care of those children at all.
When you're calling in an Emergency, don't just be a bear; be a grizzly.
While it's true that this person was wrong about her suppositions, I'm fine with that part. Heck, put a couple of walls between me and five evenly-spaced firecrackers, and I'd be hard-pressed to guarantee that it's not small caliber pistol-fire. Those who swear that they can tell the difference, without knowing the exact surface construction of the area of the discharge or what acoustic interference may lie between them and the source, are simply blowing smoke.
By all means, call the cops. But don't turn your whiz-bang, more-processing-power-and-better-communications-than-the-Apollo-astronauts-had-cell-phone into an 1850's telegraph key to do it. Excuse me-- to discuss doing it. You are empowered. There's a 9 key. There's a 1 key. There's a Send key. Make a cop come.