Don’t get loaded and load and fire


It’s no secret that many people like to ring in the New Year with alcoholic beverages.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

In fact, I did partake in some celebratory beer on Monday night. I’m not much of a champagne drinker.

It has always been baffling and disturbing that some people choose to drink alcohol excessively and then proceed to drive afterward, making New Year’s Eve one of the most dangerous nights of the entire year to be on the road.

But there is another New Year’s tradition that I was happily ignorant of until this week.

Seeing as how I’ve made it to midnight just a handful of times since having kids, it’s easy to see how I might have missed this one.

Apparently, people shoot guns when the clock strikes 12.

On Monday night, or Tuesday morning rather, Callie and I were sitting there debating over whether we were hearing fireworks or gunfire.

“Those are fireworks,” I said, with my only argument being, “no one in their right mind would be shooting guns in the city limits after dark.”

“No, that’s gunfire,” Callie snapped back.

Come to find out, it was likely a healthy mixture of both.

I was also shocked to discover that 50 miles up the road, my dad’s vehicle was shot while it was sitting in his driveway.

When did this become a thing?

I went to a lot of New Year’s Eve parties in college, and I don’t remember folks unholstering and firing off a few rounds like they were in the Long Branch.

This may not be new, but it’s new to me.

Or perhaps I never noticed it before I had kids.

I’m 110 percent behind the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but I’m not sure this is what Jefferson had in mind.

I can only imagine what is going through what I hope is the inebriated minds of those who practice this “tradition.”

“Well honey, since I can’t drink and drive tonight, I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll pull out my pistol and fire a few rounds into a densely populated area.”

I would still have a problem with folks taking their firearms out to a rural and more secluded place to shoot after midnight, but at least it would be more of an out of sight, out of mind thing for me. 

The only issue there is that you would need someone sober to drive you out to this desolate place, and you would probably not find a sober person who’s willing to stand there while drunk people shoot into the darkness.

There’s really no scenario where this turns into a good idea.

Authorities across the state have done their best to curb DUIs and drunk driving related deaths through special holiday enforcement periods, but it appears they’re going to have to look more closely at SUIs in the future.

That’s Shooting Under the Influence.

There are a lot of lawyers – you know, the kind that advertise on television – who offer to give taxi rides to those who have had a little too much to drink.

I think they should add another layer to this service next year.

“If you’ve had too much to drink, and you have a gun, I’ll hold your bullets til morning. One call, that’s all.”

Firing guns after dark, inside the city limits, only complicates an already complicated night for law enforcement officials who are tasked with keeping the public safe from drunk drivers.

Isn’t it enough that we have to spend extra money and resources telling people “don’t drink and drive” that now we have to add new slogans like “don’t get loaded, load and shoot?”

Or on top of “buckle up,” we now have to add “holster up.”

Responsible gun owners know there is a long list of good reasons to own and shoot firearms, and celebration is nowhere on that list. 



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