Parents Call for Safe Gun Handling on New Year’s Eve

Most people have New Year’s Eve traditions. They might host a party or just sit on the couch and watch TV from Time’s Square. Either way, they have things they do every year.

Unfortunately, one of my traditions is writing about how people shouldn’t be complete idiots with their guns that night. I do it every year and will continue to do it for as long as I’m writing here.

This year, though, I’m going to let parents of a child killed due to people being idiots with their guns hit the high points.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s been almost a year since the death of 11-year-old Amethyst Silva, a young girl who was killed in front of her home on Jan. 1 by two men who were celebrating the New Year by shooting firearms.
After almost a year of grieving the loss of their daughter, Amethyst’s parents said they now know a new type of pain, a pain that they say a child’s family should never have to endure.
Amethyst’s death is a reminder of just how dangerous shooting firearms to celebrate the New Year can be.
“What goes up must come down and we don’t know where that bullet will end up. It could harm someone; it can hurt someone seriously.  It could kill someone, and it can also cause some property damage,” said Senior Corpus Christi Police Department officer Antonio Contreras.
For parents Melinda Cruz and Robert Silva,
losing a loved one to gun violence became their reality when their daughter was struck by a bullet.
“Please. Please. Please… on New Year’s Eve, do not shoot in the city limits because no other family should have to go through this,” Cruz said.

First, Officer Contreras is absolutely right. What goes up most definitely comes down. While the TV show Mythbusters showed a perfectly 90-degree angle might be more safe than anything else–the bullet returns to Earth at terminal velocity which isn’t lethal–it’s also impossible for any human being to line it up perfectly 90 degrees. It’s just not going to happen.

And when a bullet comes back to Earth at anything other than terminal velocity, it’s lethal. You don’t know where it’ll land and, more importantly, who might be there.

Look, if you’ve just got to shoot a gun at midnight, why not talk your local range into doing a night shoot? People point their firearms down range and at midnight, everyone mag dumps into the targets standing in front of a nice, safe backstop. Throw in some tracer rounds and I’d imagine it would be absolutely glorious.

Even without tracers, though–because a lot of ranges won’t allow them due to fire risks–it would still be fun and pretty safe, too, so long as everyone acts like they normally would on a gun range.

Unfortunately, I also know I’ll spend my first day back at work after New Year’s Eve writing about someone, somewhere being shot by “celebratory gun fire.”

New Year’s Eve should be a hopeful time, an opportunity to look forward to the new, unspoiled year with anticipation. It shouldn’t be a time when people’s new year is cut short because someone else thought the laws of physics didn’t apply to them.

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