Brady Campaign: Help Stop Celebratory Gunfire this New Years


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Harry Tuttle
December 24, 2004, 09:04 AM
Bullets Come Down: Help Stop Celebratory Gunfire this New Years
12/23/2004
http://www.jointogether.org/gv/news/alerts/reader/0,2061,575484,00.html

Action Alert
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
United with the Million Mom March
1225 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
www.bradycampaign.org

Brady/MMM is joining with America's police departments to urge Americans not to engage in what police call "celebratory gunfire" -- the indiscriminate firing of weapons into the air. On New Years Eve, scores of people will place others at risk of injury or death because of celebratory gunfire. When a bullet is fired into the air, the bullet has to come down somewhere.

This holiday season, help spread the word about the dangers of "celebratory gunfire" - the practice of firing a gun indiscriminately into the air to celebrate the beginning of the New Year.

For activists and chapters looking for a project over the holiday week, we suggest contacting your local police and asking them if you can help spread the word about an annual firearm threat that more-and-more cities are facing.

Brady/MMM will be issuing a press release on Tuesday, December 28, urging Americans not to engage in celebratory gunfire. The body of the press release is below.

Your local police department would probably appreciate help from the Moms in spreading the word about this problem. It is not just about convincing potential shooters to think again - public attention on the problem can also increase peer pressure from the potential shooter's friends and relatives. Your efforts could lead to someone urging a spouse or friend to "put the gun away."

Here's an early draft of next Tuesday's press release:

Washington, D.C. - In dozens of American communities this New Years Eve, overexcited individuals will welcome in 2005 with an act of stupidity that may kill an innocent person in the bargain.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March is joining with America's police departments to urge Americans not to engage in what police call "celebratory gunfire" - the indiscriminate unloading of weapons into the air. On New Years Eve and Independence Day each year, scores of people place others at risk of injury or death as a result of celebratory gunfire. When a bullet is fired into the air, the bullet has to come down somewhere.

The practice of celebratory gunfire has been a problem in cities like Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix and Los Angeles and in towns along the U.S. and Mexico border. Last year, it became such a problem in Puerto Rico that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were called in for advice.

"Every police group in America supports national and local efforts to educate citizens on the dangers of celebratory gunfire," said John Shanks, Law Enforcement Relations Director for Brady/MMM. "Every police officer in America would urge people not to do something as reckless as this."

"The danger inherent in this activity ought to be obvious," continued Shanks. "It makes no sense whatsoever to fire a weapon into the air, not knowing where the bullet may fall. This is probably the most unsafe, crazy practice people engage in on New Years Eve."

Four years ago, Phoenix, Arizona enacted Shannon's law, in memory of 14 year-old Shannon Smith, killed by a stray bullet in June 1999 while talking on her phone in her back yard. The law makes it a felony to fire a gun into the air within the city limits. Yet in 2003, there were still 95 cases of random gunfire successfully prosecuted in the city of Phoenix.

How dangerous can it get? Consider one of the risks facing America's service men and women in Iraq. Last November, celebratory gunfire in Baghdad following the death of Saddam Hussein's two sons cost 31 Iraqis their lives, including two young children. Seventy-six others were wounded.

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Preacherman
December 24, 2004, 09:08 AM
Well, whaddaya know? For once, a Brady campaign I agree with and can support!

:what:

Sergeant Bob
December 24, 2004, 09:12 AM
If the Brady's were really concerned they'd be handing out kevlar umbrellas. :D

El Tejon
December 24, 2004, 10:08 AM
Direct your prayers to heaven and your gunfire to earth. :D

Norton
December 24, 2004, 10:15 AM
So, finally the Brady Bunch finds something useful to do related to gun SAFETY and not gun prohibition.

I think the threat is dramatically overstated (what else, coming from them) but it's good to spread the word about the stupidity of firing guns in the air.

io333
December 24, 2004, 10:29 AM
Going outside or standing by a window in New Orleans on NYE is very dangerous. I don't know what is posessing these folks.


Wouldn't it be nice if Brady/HandgunControl continued to morph into an organization genuinely trying to teach safe firearms handling and use. Maybe they could get together with the NRA and help them make Eddie Eagle videos for adults. Use some hot chick instead of the birdman though.

Zonamo
December 24, 2004, 11:24 AM
I remain suspicious of the Brady Campaign's motives and agenda in latching on to this issue.

For a bit of perspective on Shannon's Law, some analyis from Alan Korwin, author of the Arizona Gun Owner's Guide:

Korwin on Shannon's Law (http://www.gunlaws.com/ShannonsLaw.htm#republic%20correction)

rick_reno
December 24, 2004, 12:53 PM
"This is probably the most unsafe, crazy practice people engage in on New Years Eve."

This might be a bit overstated - I'd argue that driving while intoxicated is the most unsafe, crazy practice people engage in on New Years Eve. I'm sure there are more injuries and deaths from DUI driving than bullets falling from the sky.

beerslurpy
December 24, 2004, 02:15 PM
I dont think that there is anything wrong with firing blanks. I would hate to be prosecuted for firing off blanks.

If you see tracers, there is obviously naughtyness transpiring (cough chinatown).

Most dangerous? What about the consumption of alcohol and the operation of dangerous things like guns and cars? If anything, they should warn people not to drink heavily so they dont engage in stupid lapses of judgment like firing guns into the air or driving to the store.

El Rojo
December 24, 2004, 02:23 PM
I see them do it in arabic countries all of the time. What is the big deal? :evil:

Valkman
December 24, 2004, 02:24 PM
I'm more worried about the hordes of drunk drivers just in this town. The chances of getting hit by a bullet are miniscule but the chance of getting hit by a drunk are much bigger. Add that to the fact there's snipers on the Strip and no thanks, I'll stay home. :cool:

RealGun
December 24, 2004, 02:46 PM
Try as one might, considering the source, there is nothing to disagree with here.

LAR-15
December 24, 2004, 02:59 PM
They should worry more about drunk drivers.

TimRB
December 24, 2004, 03:37 PM
"Try as one might, considering the source, there is nothing to disagree with here."

Don't be misled. We all agree that shooting rifles and pistols into the air in celebration is a stupid idea, but that's not the point. The Brady Bunch is simply using this as an opportunity to say something negative about firearms; they do it every year. They want the public-at-large to think of firearms owners as nothing more than a bunch of thoughtless, drunken knuckle-draggers.

Tim

why_me
December 24, 2004, 03:51 PM
Firing bullets into the air is just plain stupid.
Every year MADD tries to portay all drinkers as knuckle dragging chimps.
I think they are actually trying to do something good on this. Hey its a free public service message

dinosaur
December 24, 2004, 04:14 PM
In the big city housing projects they're just testing their new Xmas toys. :rolleyes:

Phil Ca
December 24, 2004, 04:50 PM
We lived for 25 years on a mountain overlooking Napa Valley. It was a rural area and we were part of a small village of maybe 3000 people.

When our kids were in their teens and still at home I would take a .38 revolver and an AR15 out on the back porch about midnight. first I would call the sheriffs non-emergency dispatcher and give them my name and PD call sign and inform them we would be firing blanks for a few minutes at midnight. We never had a problem and no deputy would show up to see what was going on. Each of the two kids was allowed to fire a cylider of blanks and several blanks from the AR. They enjoyed celebrating NYE that way.

Some years later other people that had moved on the hill would fire shotguns and rifles on NYE and we decided it was unsafe to be outside during NYE.

There are some areas of California where a gun shot will trigger a locating device that locates the location by a triangulation method. East Palo Alto is one I know of for sure. There has been problems in that area for years.

Every year someone kids killed or injured when some idiot discharges a firearm in the air on NYE. Now we live in an area where even a blank would cause a major commotion. I kind of miss the "Mad Minute" at midnight on NYE of 1965 in Vietnam!

Standing Wolf
December 24, 2004, 08:32 PM
This might be a bit overstated - I'd argue that driving while intoxicated is the most unsafe, crazy practice people engage in on New Years Eve.

Overstated by a factor of thousands to one, I'm sure.

SnWnMe
December 24, 2004, 10:38 PM
The NRA should try to beat them to the punch on things like this.

Derby FALs
December 24, 2004, 10:43 PM
Shotguns are still OK. :neener:

71Commander
December 25, 2004, 06:56 AM
Try as one might, considering the source, there is nothing to disagree with here.

I disagree. It is not their responsibility to inform the public on police issues. They are a national gun ban org. and should stick to that operation.

They (Brady bunch) started out as a handgun ban group. When that issue lost favor with the American public, HCI morphed into Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, merging with the MMM'ers. Assault weapons became the focus of their wrath. Now that assault weapons are not viewed as a threat by the GENERAL public at large, they need a new direction in order to justify their existance. They should not morph into an advisory group on firearms safety.

IMO, they should just fade into the sunset and never heard of again.

Lone_Gunman
December 25, 2004, 08:27 AM
Sheesh, if the Brady Organization issued a statement saying the Holocaust was bad, I think there are people here who would try to claim it wasn't, just to disagree with them.

RealGun
December 25, 2004, 08:38 AM
They want the public-at-large to think of firearms owners as nothing more than a bunch of thoughtless, drunken knuckle-draggers.

Some of them are indeed.


Now that assault weapons are not viewed as a threat by the GENERAL public at large, they need a new direction in order to justify their existance.

Wrong on that one, partner. Expiration of the AWB doesn't change public opinion or mean you have heard the last of it.

308win
December 25, 2004, 09:38 AM
The NRA should try to beat them to the punch on things like this.

The NRA is run by a group of boot lickers who are more concerned about keeping the dues rolling in so they can hobnob with their politican/lobbiest friends. These boot lickers just happened to obtain employment with a 'gun rights' group; could just as easily been a pro life or pro choice (pick your own pro*) group.

Creativity is a foreign concept that would require them to set down their CC Manhattans long enough to do something innovative.

Kingcreek
December 25, 2004, 09:58 AM
The NRA should try to beat them to the punch on things like this.
My first thought also. The NRA should make this announcment Monday or maybe even join the Brady Bunch and Law Enforcement, steal a little of their thunder.

71Commander
December 25, 2004, 10:19 AM
Sheesh, if the Brady Organization issued a statement saying the Holocaust was bad, I think there are people here who would try to claim it wasn't, just to disagree with them.

I'm not saying they are right or wrong, just that it's not their responsibility to make statements concerning the issue.

Wrong on that one, partner. Expiration of the AWB doesn't change public opinion or mean you have heard the last of it.

I am aware that the issue is not dead and will be brought up again. The general public is IMO pretty apathetic about guns in general. It's not until they are put on the spot by pollers or anti's they they make any statement.
ie: (MMM'er to John/Jane Doe) "Do you think that automatic AK-47's and Uzi's should be owned by private citizens?"

John/Jane Doe "Uh, er, No they should not".

Now the Doe's are going to walk away without giving guns, for the most part, another thought. Their poll response is going to be used by national organizations in a propaganda campaign.

Lone_Gunman
December 25, 2004, 11:58 AM
TennTucker...

The Brady organization's responsibility is whatever they want it to be. They are a private American organization, and can say or promote whatever agenda they want.

beerslurpy
December 25, 2004, 12:21 PM
Yeah TennTucker, you are absolutely correct but I would remind you of this comforting fact- those same people who dont care also dont vote on the issue. That hasnt been forgotten by our representatives, especially those that we fired after the 94 ban.

Honestly, besides maybe half a dozen idiologues on either side, most politicians are neither pro-gun nor anti-gun. They are overwhelmingly "pro-getting-elected-again." Our job is to continue reminding these fence-sitters that we represent an enormous and dedicated voting block that will cost them elections if they make trouble. They dont have to propose gun law repeals, they just have to vote the right way when the opportunity arises.

RealGun
December 25, 2004, 01:42 PM
I wonder if you might find that NRA already has a position on this issue. I don't quite follow why this has to be a negative or cynical debate.

goblue
December 25, 2004, 01:56 PM
I am visiting my family in Los Angeles (suburb) over XMas. Dad's old shotgun was not feeding properly. Stripped it, made a couple of tweaks and then it was off to the sporting goods store to buy some shells before heading to the range.

But wait... No ammo sales in LA 2 weeks before New Years. It's the law, apparently. Guess the city council does not trust law abiding citizens. Of course, discharge of a firearm in city limits is already illegal.

RealGun
December 25, 2004, 05:19 PM
No ammo sales in LA 2 weeks before New Years.

What about mail order, not that it would be timely for you?

71Commander
December 25, 2004, 05:26 PM
But wait... No ammo sales in LA 2 weeks before New Years. It's the law, apparently. Guess the city council does not trust law abiding citizens. Of course, discharge of a firearm in city limits is already illegal.

How asinine. Don't they know that people who will shoot on NY eve will buy it 15 days before?

goblue
December 25, 2004, 05:49 PM
I don't think most mail order place will ship to CA

Orthonym
December 25, 2004, 06:59 PM
for one of my earliest posts, right after I joined up (I don't) he will find that I complained about blank cartridges being against the law in FL.

Now, I would never do such a thing, but I imagine that if one were to go out in the yard and empty the cylinder of his revolver, DOWNWARDS, into an eighteen-inch-high stack of wet, soggy newspapers, right about at the midnight change of the year, no harm would be done, except to the acuity of hearing of such a heinous criminal. I, for one, would never do such a thing, and blush with shame for even thinking about it and writing about it. Crimethink is so bad. Will y'all forgive me my evil thoughts, it being Christmas and all?

Merry Christmas, and refrain from actual crimes. When it comes to thoughtcrime, well, knock yerselves out!

jpIII
December 25, 2004, 08:31 PM
Does anyone have any good information on the terminal velocity that a bullet can achieve from simply falling from the sky?

I did some googling, and found some conflicting reports.

One said the following
For further insight, we turn to Hatcher's Notebook (1962) by Major General Julian S. Hatcher, a U.S. Army ordnance expert. Hatcher described military tests with, among other things, a .30 caliber bullet weighing .021 pounds. Using a special rig, the testers shot the bullet straight into the air. It came down bottom (not point) first at what was later computed to be about 300 feet per second. "With the [.021 pound] bullet, this corresponds to an energy of 30 foot pounds," Hatcher wrote. "Previously, the army had decided that on the average an energy of 60 foot pounds is required to produce a disabling wound. Thus, service bullets returning from extreme heights cannot be considered lethal by this standard."

I know this is in no way difinitive, but I feel that the danger presented from falling bullets may be a bit overstated. I look forward to hearing from anyone with more first hand information.

Thanks,
JP

Lone_Gunman
December 25, 2004, 09:02 PM
I know this is in no way difinitive, but I feel that the danger presented from falling bullets may be a bit overstated.

That takes into account a bullet fired straight up. If it is fired at less than a 90 degree angle to the ground, then there will also be at least some forward velocity as well.

Also, the data only discussed "disabling" injuries... so if a bullet hit you on the head and tore a big hole out of your scalp, you wouldn't be disabled, but do you really want to sustain that wound because some drunkard had to celebrate New Years in and unsafe manner.

There is no way you can defend discharging a firearm under those circumstances.

XLMiguel
December 26, 2004, 11:32 AM
While we all understand BB's agenda, one can't disagree with the message, and given that most people only remember 30% of what they hear, I figure the mosre they hear it, regardless of source, the higher the chance it might sink in.

Although I don't see this as a big threat in far out Falls Church, I've been an NM & AZ on NYE, and hard cover overhead ain't a bad idea. Physical threat aside, the Spirit of the Holiday is somewhat deminished by having to fix a hole in the roof or replace a window due to some neighboring buttmunch's lack of muzzle discipline.

benEzra
December 27, 2004, 09:33 AM
jpIII, that was indeed for bullets fired straight up.

But if a drunken NYE idiot fires a gun at a 45-degree angle instead of straight up...

Also, 300 fps may not be enough to cause a disabling flesh wound COM, but if it hits you squarely on the top of the head, it might fracture your skull, and I don't think I'd want to get hit in the neck with a 158-grain bullet at 300 fps.

HiWayMan
December 27, 2004, 11:40 AM
This thread reminded me to clean my gun for NYE. Thanks. I live in the country and have always enjoyed the gunfire that accompanies NYE and July 4th. Nothing says freedom and community like a neighborhood discharging firearms together.

Gewehr98
December 27, 2004, 12:08 PM
Yawn.


Myself, I'm too busy loading up blanks for New Year's Eve. ;)

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