image via @OrangeCoSheriff
The Orange County Sheriff's Office has embarked on a public information exercise requesting residents not shoot their guns in the air this weekend. "Remember no #celebratorygunfire means celebrating safely. #4thofJuly," tweeted @OrangeCoSheriff this morning.
The graphic points out a very simple principle of basic physics: "What goes up, must come down," which is a super polite way of saying "Hey dumbasses, where do you think that live ammo ends up after you blast it at the sky? Hint: not the moon."
Unfortunately these warnings are necessary: In 2016, a 9-year-old girl was shot in the arm near an Orlando church, possibly the result of celebratory gunfire, Orlando police said.
Last year the Tampa Police Department issued a PSA video that included some relevant statistics: "A single bullet fired into the air can come back at speeds up to 300 feet per second." (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a bullet traveling that fast can penetrate the human skull.) That bullet can cause "injury or even death anywhere within a 2-mile radius of the shot."
It's bad enough that our idea of celebrating independence from the British entails an audio re-creation of an artillery battle, and worse that there's a fool on every block terrorizing pets with backyard pyrotechnics for the whole weekend. Let's try to not actually kill people with our victorious jubilation, eh?
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