New Year's Eve 'Celebratory Gunfire' Ends Poorly Across The Nation, Shockingly Enough
There are LOTS of ways to celebrate New Year's Eve. Some people enjoy just having a quiet dinner at home with loved ones, some like to go to raucous parties and clubs, some like avoiding other humans altogether and watching the Twilight Zone marathon, some like to stand outside all day wearing Depends in order to watch the ball drop in Times Square.
Some, however, like to ring in the New Year a little more, um, violently, I guess would be the word -- with "celebratory gunfire." Like, instead of kissing someone at midnight, they shoot a gun into the air like they're Yosemite Sam or something.
It is apparently a very popular thing to do in the South -- Dallas police reported that they had more than 1000 emergency calls about celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, both before and after the ball drop.
The problem with this way of celebrating, as opposed to the others -- other than the fact that it is actually illegal pretty much everywhere and thus not actually a constitutional right -- is that this way sometimes kills or maims people, or simply scares the crap out of them for no apparent reason.
In Alabama, over the weekend, 34-year-old Fidel Rodriguez Canchola decided to ring in the New Year by shooting his gun into the ground a few times. Unfortunately, a 5-year-old girl got in the way of that, and she is now dead, and he is now in jail on a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Two parents lost their young child, because this asshole wanted his New Year's celebration to be extra festive.
“Firearms are not fireworks. They should never be used when alcohol is consumed and all proper safety precautions must be taken,” Limestone County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Stephen Young said. RIP Steve's Twitter mentions for the next week once the gun people catch wind of that one.
In Texas, State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) is in the hospital after being injured by the bullet of a gun shot into the air for celebratory purposes. Rep. Martinez was just celebrating with his family, minding his own business, hugging his wife, when the stray bullet came down and got him in the back of the head. Luckily it just cracked his skull and didn't hurt his brain, but one would have to imagine it's still a pretty poor experience.
The charming commentariat at Breitbart, naturally, was chock full of glee over the fact that Martinez is a Democrat.
In Tampa, Florida, two people were injured as a result of celebratory gunfire, and police are still looking for the people responsible.
In Georgia, one woman's home was showered with bullets from celebratory gunfire. Luckily, none of the four people who live there were struck by the bullets, but had they been standing near her china cabinet, it could have been a different story.
In Kansas City, several families were shaken up by having their houses hit by stray bullets from celebratory gunfire.
When Stephanie Swanson’s husband went to look, he found a bullet hole in their sliding door. The two began to panic as their three young children were sleeping soundly upstairs.
“There was a moment there of 15 minutes, where we weren't exactly sure how to keep them safe,” Swanson said.
Police believe someone sent a celebratory shot into the air 5 blocks away from their Hyde Park home.
“I'm so thankful that it went through this window and not the bedroom window on the second floor. It easily could've been in my son's bed.”
Across Kansas City, another metro mom knows the feeling. Jamie Moore came home to find a bullet hole in her ceiling and a bullet fallen right next to her 4-year-old daughter’s favorite spot to play.
You see, there is this thing called "gravity." And sure, like many other scientific theories, it is totally possible that it is a lie perpetrated by mean liberals who want to ruin all your fun and take all of your freedoms. However, generally speaking, "what comes up must come down," so when you shoot a gun into the air, in order to ring in the New Year in style, odds are that said bullet is not going to just disappear into the ether, but rather will come down and possibly hurt someone or scare the shit out of them. Also, if you shoot a gun into the ground, the bullet could bounce back up and hit and kill a child.
Look, gun people -- I get it. You don't want no one telling you what to do with your guns. You don't want anyone saying "Hey, how about you don't leave your guns where toddlers can find them?" or "Hey, how about we make sure that people are not violent criminals or wife-beaters before selling them guns?" or "Hey, given all the mass shootings we seem to keep having, perhaps it would be a good idea not to sell guns that make it super easy to take out 40 people in a matter of a minute or so?" or "Um, isn't there also something about a well-regulated militia in the Second Amendment somewhere?" or "Hey, do you really need to walk into Starbucks armed to the teeth, or have a gun with you while you drink in a bar?"
But would it kill you to find another way to mark the calendar change that won't accidentally kill or maim anyone else? Like, I don't know, counting, drinking champagne, yelling "woo" a lot or popping one of those little plastic bottles with the confetti in it? Normal things that don't involve firearms? Is that a lot to ask?
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse