New Years reminder not to shoot up into the air

Happy New Year 2018" by davidyuweb is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED.

No one enjoys repeating themselves, but every year I write a similar piece here at Bearing Arms. I do it in hopes that it will finally start to sink in.

You see, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, marking the end of 2022 and the start of something new for all of us.


Yet every year, some start the new year off without that kind of optimism. That’s because they end up being injured or killed because some people are just plain stupid.

The Baton Rouge Police Department is urging people to be cautious and responsible ahead of New Year’s Eve this weekend.

Sgt. L’Jean McKneely says celebratory gunfire is a common, but dangerous activity around the holidays and the department is asking for people to stop before someone gets hurt.

“It’s illegal number one. Number two, it can kill somebody,” McKneely said.

McKneely says people shooting their firearms into the air has led to property damage, and multiple people getting hurt in recent years.

Celebratory gunfire is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing out there.

I get wanting to make noise, but get some fireworks. At least then, the person most likely to be injured is yourself. I’m much more OK with self-inflicted stupidity-based injuries than those that happen to people who did nothing wrong.

And yet, next week I suspect I’ll be writing a post about someone doing just that and hurting someone.

It happens every year.

Look, I understand the science of firing straight up into the air. In theory, doing so would send a round up until it basically stopped for a nanosecond, then would fall to Earth reaching terminal velocity, which isn’t enough to cause serious injury most of the time.

But I also understand that it’s virtually impossible to make sure you’re firing at exactly 90 degrees to the planet. At any other angle, the round doesn’t go straight up. It arcs and continues on at a high velocity, more than enough to injure or kill someone. Only, because of the angle, it lands miles upon miles away.


Any safety precautions you think you’ve taken won’t do much if you’re basically shooting over them.

Plus, frankly, ammo’s not exactly cheap these days. Why waste it in celebration when you could use it to actually go to the range? You’ll probably enjoy it more, plus you’ll get something out of it besides the momentary thrill of shooting a gun.

Then you don’t have to worry about the shooting ruining someone else’s new year.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is the year I won’t find anyone getting shot by celebratory gunfire. Maybe this will be the year that people actually get it and we stop seeing stupid stuff like that.

Unfortunately, I’m not that optimistic. I can be an idealist in a lot of ways, but I also understand that human nature means some people always think they can get away with something without anything bad happening, no matter how much you try to show them otherwise.

Just don’t do it.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member