Real dangers of 'celebratory' gunfire into the air

July 14, 2012 

This immutable law of physics should be posted wherever people buy ammunition: What goes up must come down. Bullets shot into the air will plunge back to Earth, what with gravity.

One would think gun ownership would instill responsibility, like maintaining the security of a firearm so children cannot reach for one and pull the trigger in an innocent act of playfulness.

Yet some adults exhibit a "festive" act of stupidity by shooting off weapons into the air to celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July, endangering the lives of the innocent when their bullets fall to earth.

This scenario played out twice in the Tampa Bay region this Fourth -- twice in one place. A mother watching fireworks in Temple Terrace was hit in the leg while seated, blood splattering her husband's face. Only after X-rays did they discover the bullet.

A senior gazing up to enjoy Safety Harbor fireworks was struck in the nose and lower lip with the bullet exiting through his chin and dropping to the ground. The Pinellas sheriff's office is analyzing the slug.

Before the Fourth, Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube told this Editorial Board that "celebratory" gunfire was his No. 1 concern on the holiday. Thank goodness there were no casaulties here.

Even staunch supporters of the Second Amendment, of which we are one, must condemn such recklessness and disregard for life.

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