Tonight is New Year’s Eve, which means that unfortunately, some of the lesser learned among us need a reminder that the laws of physics remain constant tonight. That’s right, we’re talking about celebratory gunfire.
For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, it is most popular in two places in the world — The Middle East, and The American South. It involves shooting a loaded gun into the air as a form of celebration and having a poor understanding of gravity.
As a reminder of what you should have learned in elementary school, a bullet fired into the air must, and will, come down, potentially causing severe injury or even death. We have known this since Isaac Newton, so it should not be knew or hidden knowledge.
Last year in Atlanta, a 17-year-old boy was shot near Underground Atlanta due to celebratory gunfire. Another man was injured in the same area due to the same thing, and a third man was injured when he was accidentally shot during a New Year’s Eve celebration. In that case, no one wanted to tell police officers who fired the shot.
Statewide, numerous law enforcement agencies are emphasizing the importance of avoiding celebratory gunfire. Police are reminding residents that this act is not only perilous but also illegal.
Under Georgia law, reckless firearm discharge and shooting within 50 yards of a public street or highway are prohibited. Despite popular belief, a bullet ascends only to descend at high velocity, posing a significant risk to public safety.
On New Year’s Eve, law enforcement officers across the state will be particularly vigilant. They will monitor for reckless behavior involving firearms and fireworks, as well as impaired driving. The message is clear: celebrate responsibly and stay within the bounds of the law to ensure a safe and joyous start to the new year.
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