Monday, January 02, 2017

"Celebratory Gunfire"...Really?

I found it jarring when I was in my hometown of Columbus last week to see a billboard imploring people not to engage in "celebratory gunfire"!

Celebratory gunfire? That's a thing in the United States?

I remember seeing video of Saddam Hussein and his cronies firing off "celebratory gunfire" several times. But I didn't imagine that anyone would be so stupid as to fire off guns to celebrate in this country. Especially in city or suburban areas, where the chances of harming a child are so great.

I'm told that there have been incidents of "celebratory gunfire" in Columbus.

One of my sisters also told me that she saw an interview with a fellow who lives in Ross County, to the south of Columbus, who said that he didn't see the problem with celebrating the new year by firing off a few rounds. When a reporter reminded him that it was illegal to discharge a weapon in such a way within city limits, the fellow said that he didn't think it was so bad if people did it once a year.

He meant, I suppose that when you're happy (and possibly a bit inebriated) on New Year's, it's OK to shoot bullets into the air. Whatever makes you happy, right?

Except, of course, bullets have a way of hitting innocent bystanders and what results is something other than celebratory for them and their families.

Frankly, I think it's nuts that people would even think to fire off a gun to "celebrate."

And the fact that we have to be told that "celebratory gunfire" isn't a good thing is even more nuts!

[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

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