In the Summer of 2013, I was cleaning my air-conditioner filter out, and a shiny object caught my eye.
Turns out it was a bullet (see picture, right) .40 cal, hollow-point.
Upon further investigation, the bullet had pierced the aluminum covering of the attic fan, knicked one of the blades of the attic fan, and impacted on a plywood board laying in the attic.
Had the bullet not caught the ceiling fan blade, it would have crashed through the ceiling in the kitchen and struck whoever happened to be making dinner.
Had the bullet come down a few feet to the left and it would have struck my step-son in his bed.
This bullet came from one of my neighbors – one of those 2-bit nimrods that think they are a cowboy just because they live in Texas….
… apparently he thought it would be a really good idea to celebrate the 4th of July by shooting a .40 caliber pistol into the air.
Guns Have No Place in New Year or 4th of July Celebrations.
Bullets kill people. This should come as no surprise.
But many people forget this on holidays like New Years’ Eve and 4th of July.
Irresponsible gun owners decide to do their best impersonation of Yosemite Sam having a ‘rooting, ‘tooting good time, and fire off a few rounds into the sky.
One of the Top 3 rules of Gun Safety is to “know your backstop”. It’s taught in every gun safety course. Every hunters education course.
If you don’t know what your bullet is going to strike – or what it will strike if it goes through the target – then you do not have a good backstop.
The “sky” is not a good backstop.
Don’t shoot guns into the sky.
What goes up WILL come down.
Celebratory Gunfire Kills People.
Doctors at King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles did a study, and found that:
“From 1985 through 1992, 118 people were treated at King/Drew for [celebratory gunfire] injuries on those holidays and 38 of them died, Dr. Gary J. Ordog and his colleagues reported recently in the Journal of Trauma. A full 75% of the survivors suffered severe long-term disabilities, the doctors reported, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, seizures and chronic pain.”
Here are some more recent examples:
Or this story of this 7 year old in Virginia killed by a bullet falling from the sky.
Or this story of a 14 year old kid in Arizona who was killed because of your celebratory gun-fire.
Shooting a gun in the air to celebrate New Years – or the 4th of July – is just stupid.
What goes up, comes down.
And if it’s a bullet that comes down, the bullet will likely kill another person. They come down with the same velocity that sent them up.
For those of you thinking that you are the exception to the rule, and that you alone can safely shoot your pistol into the air without fear of it hitting someone, please take these 2 steps:
1) Have your name and address engraved on the bullet
2) Call the police and let them know where you will be standing when you shoot your gun into the air. That way they know where to start looking when someone in your neighborhood or town is killed.
Better yet, post your name and address here so your neighbors will know that they have an irresponsible gun-owner living among them.
What to do About Celebratory Gunfire this New Years’ Eve or July 4th.
Listen, I got nothing against guns.
I have spent my life around firearms – to this day, I use them (as a hunter), collect them (retired police issue revolvers), and until this past November, dealt them (historical military curios and relics).
I believe that the single greatest threat to gun ownership rights comes not from politicians, or anti-gun activists….but from irresponsible gun-owners.
We have got to be responsible about our firearms.
If you own guns, be responsible: refuse to allow anyone – including yourself – to shoot off celebratory gun-fire.
Lock ’em up…there’s no need for guns to be out at New Years’ Eve celebrations.
* If you hear celebratory gun-fire, make note of the location and call “911” immediately.
If you witness celebratory gunfire, call the police immediately.
(Scared to call the police on a friend of yours who won’t stop shooting his/her gun or rifle in the air? You have a strange way of picking your friends if you allow them to engage in behavior like this).
Ask the police to arrest the offender and not just write a ticket.
Whether the bullet strikes someone or not, this could be considered an “assault” in most jurisdictions in the United States.
Arresting people who are reckless with guns may well save the life of a child in your neighborhood.
At the very least, it takes an irresponsible gun-owner off the streets.
* This post is republished every July 4 and December 31st…and by the way, just because I like the trigger-locks mentioned in this article doesn’t mean they are right for you. So do your own homework, choose the gunlock that is right for you and your situation…but whatever you do, keep your guns locked when not in use.
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