It wouldn't be a Fourth of July in South Florida without some idiot shooting his gun into the air.
This year wasn't much different.
A Lauderhill woman was celebrating Independence Day at a friend's party when she was struck by a bullet. She had been standing outside and it appeared to have fallen from the sky. No doubt the result of some trigger-happy reveler.
Perhaps that's because it is easier to buy a gun down here than it is to buy fireworks. After all, you don't need a permit to buy a gun down here. Only to carry one concealed.
Too bad you don't need a permit to commit random acts of idiocy.
Luckily, the 54-year-old woman survived.
The idiocy is not just limited to South Florida. Below are a few notable incidents of celebratory gunfire compiled by Wikipedia.
- December 1859: An autopsy showed that a native servant in India, who suddenly fell dead for no apparent reason, was mortally wounded from a bullet fired from a distance too far for the shot to be heard. The falling bullet had sufficient energy to pass through the victim's shoulder, a rib, a lung, his heart and his diaphragm.
- December 31, 1994: A tourist from Boston was killed by a falling bullet from celebratory firing while walking on the Moonwalk in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Police Department there has been striving to educate the public on the danger since then, frequently making arrests for firing into the air.
- July 22, 2003: More than 20 people were reported killed in Iraq from celebratory gunfire following the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay in 2003.
- December 31, 2004: A 75-year-old man in Orlando, Florida, was mortally wounded in the heart from a falling bullet just before midnight. Police later traced the fatal bullet to a gun confiscated from a man firing into the air more than a mile away. The shooter was charged with manslaughter.
- January 1, 2005: A stray bullet hit a young girl during New Year celebrations in the central square of downtown Skopje, Macedonia. She died two days later. This incident led to the 2006 IANSA awareness campaign in that country.
- December 28, 2005: A 23-year-old U.S. Army private on leave after basic training fired a 9 mm pistol into the air in celebration with friends, according to police, and one of the bullets came through a fifth-floor apartment window in the New York City borough of Queens, striking a 28-year-old mother of two in the eye. Her husband found her lifeless body moments later. The shooter had been drinking the night before and turned himself in to police the next morning when he heard the news. He was charged with second-degree manslaughter and weapons-related crimes, and was later found guilty and sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.
- February 25, 2007: Five people were killed by stray bullets fired at a kite festival in Lahore, Pakistan, including a 6-year-old schoolboy who was struck in the head near his home in the city's Mazang area.
- July 29, 2007: At least four people were reported killed and 17 others wounded by celebratory gunfire in the capital city of Baghdad, Iraq, following the victory of the national football team in the AFC Asian Cup, Celebratory gunfire occurred despite warnings issued by Iraqi security forces and the country's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who forbade the gunfire with a religious fatwā.