True or False: Shooting your gun into the air on New Years Eve is perfectly OK.

saddam.jpgThat’s actually one of the questions on the California Handgun Safety test. Which you have to pass before buying a gun in California. Leagally anyway, I’m not sure if the kids down the street selling guns out of their appartment have the same requirements. Anyway, the answer is false, which you’d think was pretty damn obvious, but apparently it isn’t because Mayor Villaraigosa, Chief Bratton, Sheriff Lee Baca and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo are about to step up on Lynwood and beg people not to do it this year. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of the fantastic billboards that were all over the place last year. Maybe it’s different approach time. Funny enough BoingBoing is linking to this piece explaining just why it’s a bad idea.

“…a lot of people think that retired army General JS Hatcherís book, called Hatcherís Notebook is probably the most complete treatment of gun facts ever written. Hatcher describes several studies conducted to figure out just how dangerous this practice is. Bottom line of these studies, says he, is that the terminal velocity of your typical bullet coming back down varies a lot but is normally more than 200 feet per second.

And, other writers on the subject (there have been quite a few) say that tests on cadavers show that skin is punctured and underlying organs messed up (my words, not theirs) at bullet velocities that exceed 180 feet per second. And, since falling bullets typically strike people in the head or shoulders, this appears to me to be a very dangerous practice.”

8 Replies to “True or False: Shooting your gun into the air on New Years Eve is perfectly OK.”

  1. Dammit, Sean–I have GOT to get a Treo!

    I saw a billboard in Spanish recently while tooling around and cursed the gods (and my own cheap ass) at my lack of available image capturing technology.

    Can’t remember where it was; I’m gonna shoot an email off to my co-pilot to see if he does.

  2. At first I had to laugh at the Boing Boing piece. “Shooting in the air is bad, mmmmkay?” I don’t know a lot about physics, but it seems like one of the most obvious thoughts; what goes up, must come down…possibly on someone’s head. As a conscientious gun owner, I would never dream of firing my gun unless I had a specific target in my sights. It is an important message that some people don’t seem to get, though.

    My question is this…how much cross-over do you suppose there is between the people who would actually fire their guns into the air and those who actually listen when admonished not to do so?

  3. Every year, the billboards that warn against shooting in the air go up in my neighborhood. I shall go out billboard-hunting later today.

    Unfortunately, people areound here don’t seem to heed the warnings – there are usually a number of gunshots at midnight on New Year’s eve. Scares the bloody hell out of my cat.

  4. There’s a Spanish-language billboard on Sunset, somewhere between Vine and Normandie, that popped up early this week.

  5. I’ll agree this is a problem though. You’d be surprised at how many people think there is no harm in shooting guns off into the sky.

  6. I’ve seen several of the billboards on the side of MTA buses, in both Spanish and English. I can never get enough of the red slash over the pic of a hand waving a gun in the air.

  7. I used to spend the holidays in California, San Diego or LA usually, and as a Canadian kid it always amazed me when the local news channels would do a yearly feature report on why it wasn’t a good idea to shoot your guns off into the air on New Year’s.

    Why,was always my question.

    Not why was it dangerous to do this, but why anyone would think it was a good idea in the first place.

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