When Celebration Turns Into Tragedy "A Hidden Truth About Celebratory Gunfire".

A 4 year old boy sat in a Dekalb county, Georgia church with his parents at a New Year’s Eve service in 2010. Little did they know, this would be the last moment that they would see him alive. That night a sad but sobering signal was sent through the minds and hearts not only of the people of Dekalb County but the entire world. By New Years day 2011, it was revealed that 4 year old Marquel Peters was the latest victim of Celebratory Gunfire.  As sad as the death of this child was, this incident did not stop the dangerous and intrusive practice of Celebratory Gunfire. Throughout the years Georgia started to hear of more instances of how people were killed or injured due to this activity yearly.

Despite outrage from community leaders and public safety campaigns to bring awareness to the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire around the world, it was revealed that this activity was not just isolated to Georgia but all over the United States. If the deaths and injuries of innocent children and adults were not enough for people to stop engaging in this activity then what is? When will we put the safety of others before our own selfish entertainment?

For the last couple of years the “Shotspotter” technology has assisted law enforcement in tracking and providing real-time data with a proven track record of a more accurate assessment of this activity. Unfortunately every law enforcement agency does not have the tools to fight this epidemic effectively. With that said, there may not be an easy answer of how to address this activity effectively. With the knowledge of how a falling bullet or a bullet fired in a Celebratory fashion is able to penetrate a structure and severely injure or even kill innocent individuals, that alone should be enough to make people think twice before firing a gun into the air but it doesn’t.  Many people try to attach this issue to gun control. I honestly don’t believe that this has anything to do with gun control. A responsible gun owner would never put other people lives in danger through reckless and intrusive activity such as Celebratory Gunfire. I think one of the missing pieces in fighting this issue is educating the public on the dangers of this activity. What do you think? Imagine being a Murderer and not even know it. Someone fired the bullet that killed this child and countless others. How can we make this stop?


There are many groups that educate the public on the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire. Some of the groups are listed below. Like always, please call 911 and report any Celebratory Gunfire in your neighborhood this New Year’s Eve.

Citizens Against Celebratory Gunfire https://www.facebook.com/groups/senselessgunfire/

Bullet Free Sky https://www.facebook.com/BulletFreeSky

Move On Petition to End Celebratory Gunfire in Georgia http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/end-celebratory-gunfire

ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection  http://www.shotspotter.com/

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Shaundraey Carmichael December 31, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I reside in the Atlanta are between Campbelton a Cascades Road. Earlier today around 5:00 PM someone fired their gun while children were playing in the neighborhood. No one was hurt but what if a child or some one was injured? Please take a stand and sign the petition to stop celebratory gun fire.
Henry Louis Adams December 31, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Thank You for commenting. This is unfortunate. This kind of activity must stop. Everyone deserves a place to live that is safe. Be careful out there and have a Happy New Year.
Mary Nic Johnson December 31, 2013 at 09:07 PM
I'm not sure if you guys have heard, but there was a little boy killed by a stray bullet someone shot in the air in the Brandermill area of Chesterfield, Va. I live in Goochland, Va and just this evening I was grazed by a neighbor shooting into a makeshift target as I was walking into my home. It is not illegal to shoot where I live, however it should be. No one knows where a bullet will land when it is recklessly discharged. And you should never assume no one is in a wooded area.
Shannay Vaughn December 31, 2013 at 09:11 PM
I heard 4 Gunshots in the Past 30mins in Dekalb County at Kensington Station Apartments off Memorial and Kensington Dr. I also posted to https://www.facebook.com/Deka​lbCountyPoliceCenterPrecinct
Henry Louis Adams December 31, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I really hate that we are having all of these Celebratory Gunfire experiences tonight. Make sure that you report them to 911 and stay safe. It doesn't make any sense at all when you see the people that have lost their lives due to this. Even still, people are still shooting. That is sad.
Gee Bee December 31, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Thank you so much for doing this [page]. These shoot up in the air fools here in south Atlanta counties started today about 5pm, on both Christmas eve and now New Years eve. It was rampant on the 4th of July, as it was last New Years eve. It's nearly impossible to enforce, and the software to locate these fools is a low priority in law enforcement circles. Tonight I'm hearing 10-15 gunshots/min, and they are increasing as it becomes closer to midnight. They're definitely guns, as one methodically shoots exactly 6 times, pauses for 90 seconds/reloads, and does it again. Same with a 15 round semi. One is the sound of a shotgun, and yet another one is extremely loud report of a rifle that empties his 20 round magazine in about 20 seconds, which happens about once every 10 mins or so. He reloads with both ammo and liquor, then does it all again. They listen in on police frequencies and stop firing when a patrol unit is nearby. The whole county is lit up, as is Clayton, Fayette and Henry I'm hearing from friends. A call to 911 indicates they are swamped with calls and complaints. As a pro shooter, I know what guns vs firecrackers sound like, and we have a vibrant distain for these drunken jerks with firearms. Unfortunately when they DO catch these punks, they are slapped with warnings and/or misdemeanors and they do it all again next holiday. But catching them is a rarity around here. All I can suggest is CALL 911 and hope for the best - yes they're busy but they certainly need to know IMHO. Imagine what our LEOs have to go through just to find them, and worse approach them when this happens. This is NOT FAIR to the cops who have to police this, and is certainly not fair to my kids, dogs and wife who are huddled in the basement until roughly 1AM (they pass out and stop the shooting)
Henry Louis Adams January 01, 2014 at 02:07 AM
I hate that you experienced that. Hopefully we will have a solid solution to combat this issue soon. My Stone Mountain neighborhood sounded like a war zone. I was really shocked because this is the worst that it has been in years.


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