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/