Today is Independence Day, commonly referred to as the Fourth of July. It commemorates the creation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Most Americans celebrate Independence Day by attending fireworks celebrations, parades, picnics, or barbecues. Some of us however, like to fire off a few rounds from our personal arsenals to celebrate our telling the Kingdom of Great Britain to hit the road. If you choose to celebrate by shooting, remember a few simple common sense rules.
Falling Bullets Kill
Never, and I mean never, fire a gun into the air. The resulting impact from even a pistol cartridge can kill a person, or do serious property damage. One of our own Cheaper Than Dirt employees had a rear car window shattered by a falling bullet last year, barely missing him and his wife. The problem with falling bullets is that some people don’t know how far these things travel. A .22 LR can travel 1.14 miles while a .30-06 can reach out to a whopping 3.22 miles. The weight of the projectile, combined with the impact velocity, can go right through a person’s body and possibly kill them. Anti-gun lobbyists capitalize on accidents like this to aid in passing ridiculous laws that infringe on our Second Amendment rights.
Don’t Fan the Flames
In a recent news story, a bachelor party went south when five males in their mid 20s fired a flaming shotgun round at a soda box. Despite the warning label on the box, the young men fired the shells in a dry, grassy area and started an incredibly large 18,000-acre wildfire that workers have not contained as of July 2012. The combination of alcohol, fire, and guns is never a smart idea and anti-gun groups jumped all over this story to further their cause. Don’t be surprised if flaming shotgun rounds are the next thing on the chopping block.
A 17-year-old South Texas boy died on June 12, 2012 when he fired a pistol at a butane tank. The bullet ricocheted off the tank and hit him in the head. The boy was reportedly drinking alcohol with his father and girlfriend when they decided to get out the pistol and start shooting. His father says he was urging his girlfriend to shoot the .380-caliber, semiautomatic handgun in his family’s backyard, but she refused. He withdrew the gun’s magazine and fired once at the tank, killing him.
Celebrate with Class
We as shooters need to be smart. There are scores of individuals whose sole purpose in life is to ban firearms in the entire United States. These goals come from an attitude of fear and ignorance. While we know that a firearm in a responsible person’s hand is a powerful force for good, a foolish person can very easily ruin it for the rest of us. Following firearms safety rules and using common sense will give the anti-gun crowd less leverage on the legal front. This Independence Day, remember to fire guns in a safe and legal manner. It never hurts to bolster our rights from those who would take them away.
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