Annual reminder not to be stupid on New Year's Eve

MikeGunner / Pixabay

New Year’s Eve is a happy time of year. We mark the end of a year and look forward to the hope the next one brings. However, since the typical New Year’s celebration involves large quantities of alcohol, it also means the holiday brings plenty of opportunities to do something very, very stupid.

Typically, that means drunk driving. Plenty of people get hammered, then figure they’re good to make it home, only to not be fine and end up killing someone.

But that’s not the only stupid thing people do on New Year’s Eve, and authorities are starting their annual push to remind people not to do it.

With just over a week left until New Year’s Eve, the Philadelphia Police Department urged residents not to fire guns into the air in celebration when the clock strikes midnight.

Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales described the problem as “ongoing” and something Philadelphia experiences “practically every New Year’s Eve.”

“Taking part in this highly dangerous and illegal activity is far from harmless and never a good idea,” Dale said. “Remember: What goes up, must come down.”

Exactly.

While the hit show Mythbusters showed that if you fired a gun at a 90-degree angle to the Earth, the bullet will go up, stop for a fraction of a second, then fall back without ever exceeding terminal velocity (not enough to do any real damage), they also showed that if it was even slightly off from that 90-degree angle, that didn’t happen.

Instead, the round continues in an arc and comes back to Earth at a very high velocity. That will be enough to injure or kill someone.

Every year, we encounter stories of people being hurt because of celebratory gunfire. Folks having a good time and not thinking of the consequences, probably because they won’t have to deal with those consequences.

However, firing into the air is stupid, dangerous, and illegal in many places. Simply don’t do it.

There are all kinds of other ways you can celebrate if you must make a great deal of noise. Look into one of those. Usually, if it’s something you can do something stupid with, you’re the one who feels the consequences, which is much better than some innocent kid trying to sleep getting struck with 124 grains fired by some numbnut who thinks this is how you party.

Just don’t do it.

If you’re going to shoot, do it at a range (even if that range is in your backyard) and leave the alcohol at home. Follow the typical gun safety rules and any applicable laws. If you’re doing that, then more power to you.

If you can’t, then maybe you really don’t need to waste ammunition by shooting at absolutely nothing.

This year, let’s skip the stupid and go a year without someone getting hurt by a gunshot fired miles away. You know, just as a way to shake things up?

Plus, I’m going to ask you, dear reader, to do something I normally don’t do. I’m going to ask you to share this all over social media. This is a public service announcement, after all, and maybe one year, we can stop people from getting hurt because of people not thinking.