First of all, if you live in a 'Drive By' neighborhood.... MOVE!
That's like living behind the backstop of a gun range and complaining about the noise!
Stopping bullets can be covered in one word...
Common red brick will defeat all pistol rounds and most rifle rounds up to and beyond .30 Cal.
Common bricks will shatter most bullets on contact, and they can be replaced as they are damaged.
(not real easy, but it can be done by any number of professional masons.... If you can get them to come to a drive by neighborhood!)
If a bullet strikes a brick head on, it will shatter the brick the same time it shatters and displaces the bullet's energy.
If a bullet strikes a brick at a sharp angle (very possible with a "Drive By" scenario) it will yaw the bullet and the bullet's energy will destroy it's self, sometimes with out even breaking the brick.
A 12" thick sand bag will stop most all .30 Cal. rifle rounds, including AP (Armor Piercing) rounds.
18" to 24" will stop a .50 BMG round.
Bricks & Rocks will shatter the bullets into light weight fragments so even the light weight plywood sheeting and drywall on most homes will stop the fragments.
Even a brick veneer home will stop most rounds, and will stop all small arms rounds.
(.50 BMG is a Medium sized weapon, not a 'Small Arm')
Since traditional 'Drive By' weapons are low velocity,
Pistol caliber rounds, shotguns and AK-SKS velocity, a brick veneer will stop all that in it's tracks.
And since 'Drive By' indicates no marksmanship abilities what so ever, it's highly unlikely the same brick will be hit more than once, so that should do fine for stopping any 'Drive By' rounds.
Doors and windows will still be vulnerable to small arms fire...
In Africa and Israel where heavy weapons and rockets are often used on private homes,
Walls are often poured concrete, with air gaps or sand filler between inside and outside walls to defeat shape charges of RPG's and rockets.
There is often a free standing concrete wall spaced out away from the home where entry doors are as round stoppers,
Windows will be high up on the walls, or they use skylights to detour firing directly into the home.
Some private homes in Africa and South America are built with concrete walls on tracks that can be rolled along as cover between the house and the garage/barns as protection from heavy weapons and rockets...
Fenced yards often have poured concrete or masonry walls inside of the decorative outer 'Fence', for the same reasons.
I hope you don't live in a drive by neighborhood! But there is always the chance! Definitlely move and until then, sleep as far away from the wall closest to the road. That's just scary! I would think that the steel bars that go over your doors and windows would help the chance of a bullet coming through your window while you're eating dinner with the family.
I've been in a drive by. It was at a motel in Detroit at about 4 am. There was a fight in the parking lot. It got so loud that it woke me up. Just as I was about to look out the window to see what was going on I heard the slide pull back on a gun. I dropped to the floor. Then Brrrrrrrrrrrrp!
Screaming and screeching car tires. It was all over in about four seconds. My dad slept through it in the other room. I woke him up and we checked out five minutes later. As soon as we crossed the border back into Canada I felt a million times safer.
I'd say the safest bet is to move. But brick and concrete works well. You can also put a special film on your windows for added protection. If you can't. Sleep on the floor.
An old friend of mine is a retired USAF MSGT, now a DoD Civilian investigator for a 3-letter agency. Back when he was still on active duty he lived with his family on Bolling AFB in Washington, DC. This quarters were across the Anacostia river from Southeast and they would frequently be awakened at night by gunfire from the gang bangers. Rounds had hit the house more than once.
He requested authorization to live off base in Virginia, which was denied. So then in his best evidence tech fashion, he photographed the bullet holes in walls of his daughter's bedroom, removed, bagged, and tagged the projectiles and back-tracked the likely trajectories and plotted them. He prepared a file and went back to his division officer.
"Sir, I want a second opinion on this evidence with respect to force protection. Our asset either wants his quarters relocated to a more secure location or authorization to return fire next time he takes rounds." (His unit had recently lost two field agents in overseas deployment which had been targeted by terrorists).
"What's this guy bitching about a little small arms fire? What did he think he signed up for? ("Tell him to shoot back and not bother me.")
"Fine Sir, would you call the armory and tell them I want an M240 and 1000 rounds?" (His request to move off-base was approved.)
One friend of mine who lived near one of the "projects" in our city used to be scared of shootings as a kid. He used to sleep in their old cast iron bath tub so if a bullet came through the walls it would bounce off the iron tub. Probably the safest place in a single floor wooden house.
The area I live in has a gang problem.
Drive by shootings are an every week occurrence in town.
I live out of town so haven't had a drive by there yet.
A teenage girl was in bed last Friday night and was hit twice.
She is not a gang banger but her brothers are.
Several people have been shot this year but most are gang bangers so no loss if they are killed.
Other than armor plating or thick solid walls and no windows it will be tough to stop the bullets.
If you have a fence they at least couldn't see what they were shooting at.
Even if you were armor plated you have to go outside and you can get shot there easier than inside.
The best advice so far was move now.
If you have a family you need to think about their safety.