Every New Year’s Eve, I hear gunshots. I’m not sure if it’s just a Southern thing or universal, but some people like to take their guns out and pop off a few rounds at midnight. And no, they’re gunshots, not fireworks which I also hear.

This year, the Shreveport, LA Police Department is asking folks to not shoot their guns up in the air.

“With New Year’s Eve just around the corner,” the department said in a press release on Thursday, “the Shreveport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone NOT to fire guns into the air in celebration of the New Year.”

It’s a fair request.

“Please remember that what goes up must come down,” the department notes. “and that certainly applies to bullets shot into the air. While some may think they magically disappear, this is not the case, and people can be hurt or killed by falling projectiles.”

After all, it’s a matter of physics. While something falling straight down will eventually reach terminal velocity, which is too slow for a round to kill, that only happens if you fire at a perfect 90 degrees to the ground. At 89 degrees or 91 degrees, things are different. Then, things get ugly.

At that angle, the bullet simply arcs on its path, giving it significant range. Guns fired like this have been known to kill people miles away.

Remember that you’re responsible for every single round you fire. Shooting into the air sounds like great fun, but the consequences can be dire.

No one who shoots their guns into the air means to hurt anyone. They’re just trying to celebrate something. However, every time you do something like that, you’re letting an irrational genie out of the bottle who doesn’t give a damn about your intentions.

If you’re somewhere rural enough where shooting a gun in the middle of the night isn’t dangerous all on its own, then maybe you should consider shooting into a backstop or even the ground. Hell, if you’re that rural, you may have your own range. A celebratory night fire with tracers, people firing responsibly at a gun range, could be a whole lot of fun. I’d be down with that one.

If you can’t do that, and they’re legal in your state and city, then go with fireworks. No, they’re not as cool as guns as a general thing, but legal fireworks are also fairly safe if used responsibly.

However, none of this is required to celebrate the coming of 2018. None at all. It may be tradition, but if you can’t do it safely, then it’s time to shelve that tradition.

2018 will come with its own challenges. Among them will be gun control zealots attempting to usurp our God-given right to keep and bear arms because it makes them feel a little safer. They don’t care that they’re doing more harm than good.

The last thing anyone needs to do is give them a rallying cry by being stupid, so don’t.

Be responsible gun owners and don’t shoot up into the air like a moron.

 

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