Semi-Annual Warning: Don't Shoot Up Into The Sky

It’s absolutely stupid that we have to say this, but it comes up about twice a year.

You see, some people like to make noise for two particular holidays. One is New Year’s. The other is Independence Day.

I get it. I mean, Independence day fireworks represent the weapons used to win us our freedom. We ended our oppression and created the greatest nation the world has ever seen. I mean, people don’t risk life and limb floating across the ocean in a raft to get to Venezuela, now do they?

However, it’s time once again to remind people to not do one particular thing in their enthusiasm to celebrate their freedom.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — July 4th celebrations are likely going to be self-initiated this year.

That means backyard fireworks and unfortunately, some people firing guns as a form of celebration.

While North Carolinians still remain under the Safer at Home Order, some of those dangers have already begun.

Now, not everyone is under such an order, but that’s not really relevant.

What is, though, are the problems that come from celebratory gunfire.

On a warm June evening, Todd Gibbs and his wife decided to spend some time outdoors.

“We were just sitting out here on the patio watching TV and relaxing,” Gibbs said. “Then we heard something ricocheting. It sounded like it hit the table.”

The couple jumped up and ran inside of their home.

Minutes later, they came outside to see what had happened.

“My wife noticed a bullet which happened to be right here,” Gibbs said, pointing to where the bullet was.

The bullet landed inches away from where he was sitting.

On the first of the year, I routinely see a number of stories all about how someone has died because of a stray bullet. Every year, some nimrod fires up into the air and thinks all is well, only for some kid to catch the bullet miles away.

Look, I’m going to spell it out for you. If you fire your gun in a perfect 90 degrees from the earth, the bullet will eventually run out of steam and return to Earth never going faster than terminal velocity, which isn’t fatal.

However, you’re basically incapable of firing at a precise 90 degrees. At 89 degrees or lower, the round doesn’t stop and return to Earth at a safe speed. No, what happens is that you create an arc that allows the round to maintain power but to travel miles away. Do you know precisely what is in a given spot five miles away from your house? Can you be sure there’s not anyone there?

No, you can’t, so knock it the hell off.

If fireworks are legal where you’re at, use those. There are ways to use them safely and to have fun. If you somehow just have to fire your gun, please aim it down at a patch of ground you know to be free of rocks and fire there. It’s still idiotic, but it tends to be safer.

Regardless, you’re responsible for where your round goes. That means any blood spilled, even by mistake, is on your hands, so knock it off.