Every year, I write about not shooting your guns up into the air on New Year’s Eve. Most of the time, I find a story or two about someone getting hurt from celebratory gunfire.
This year, I had enough to write about that I didn’t even look, though I suspect I’d find examples easily enough.
Yet I found something even worse.
It seems a man in Dallas took exception to his neighbors firing up into the air. Voicing that, however, cost him his life.
Donald Reeves told the station the last time he saw his son, Dylan Reeves, was on New Year’s Eve.
The elder Reeves told KDFW his son told him he was planning to stay at his home off Mar Vista Trail in Oak Cliff with his longtime girlfriend and their three children — a 12-year-old son, a 5-year-old daughter, and a 3-year-old son.
But Dylan Reeves was concerned about people down the street who were shooting guns into the air to celebrate and worried that bullets might drop into his family’s home, the station said.
“He said, ‘I’ve got to stop it somehow. My kids are going to get hurt, you know?'” Donald Reeves recalled to KDFW. “I said, ‘Well, son, you be sure to call the police first.’”
Donald Reeves told the station his son went after midnight to tell a group at a party to stop shooting their guns — and that’s when Dylan Reeves was shot.
Reeves was upset by something that, frankly, should have upset him.
Where things went sideways is that he went to confront the shooters rather than just notifying the police. Maybe he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble and just wanted to stop them.
That’s not how it went down, though. Now, Reeves is dead and the alleged 18-year-old shooter is apparently on the run.
Of course, we don’t know precisely what went down during the confrontation. It’s entirely possible Reeves started something he couldn’t finish. However, as Reeves’ father noted, if this had been self-defense, why is the shooter running?
That’s not what I wanted to talk about, though. I don’t know what happened and I’m going to leave it up to the courts to decide.
What I do know, however, is that if you have people shooting up into the air in your neighborhood, call the cops. If they’re friends, maybe you can mention the dangers to them, but otherwise, I wouldn’t confront them at all. Further, if you do and they’re unreceptive, leave.
Look, these are armed people who have their guns out and available. Even if you’re carrying yourself, they’ve still got the advantage and the risks are too severe. While I get the concern, the truth is that you have a family to protect, but you can’t do that if you’re dead.
I’m not blaming Reeves here, mind you. The truth is that he shouldn’t have had to worry.
Yet we live in a world with bad people. Those shooting up into the air are already making it clear they don’t care about your safety. Assuming they won’t cross the line into outright criminal actions isn’t a winning strategy.