It's That Time of Year: Don't Shoot Your Gun Into the Air New Year's Eve, Dummy

This is your annual reminder to not shoot your gun in the air on New Year's Eve.
This is your annual reminder to not shoot your gun in the air on New Year's Eve. Photo by Chris Yarzab / Flickr
click to enlarge This is your annual reminder to not shoot your gun in the air on New Year's Eve. - PHOTO BY CHRIS YARZAB / FLICKR
This is your annual reminder to not shoot your gun in the air on New Year's Eve.
Gilberto Santa Rosa's salsa classic "La Agarro Bajando" is as much a love song as it is a physics lesson. The Puerto Rican crooner and caballero de la salsa will catch you while you fall into the depths of love and also remind you that everything that goes up must come down. Todo lo que sube tiene que caer.

Remember that tidbit when you're thinking of firing bullets into the air after your midnight kiss this New Year's Eve.

We know, we know. We've been over this before. But here we are again, because apparently in 2019, law enforcement and elected officials are still imploring people to stop celebrating the new year by firing their guns into the air. For the 22nd year in a row, local leaders lined up for the "One Bullet Kills the Party" news conference yesterday morning to urge Miami-Dade residents to celebrate 2020 in a safer, legal way. If you watch the whole news conference, everyone looks fucking tired of having to remind people that gravity is a thing and firing their guns toward the sky is a bad idea. Our civil servants do this every year, twice a year (before the Fourth of July too). So do them the favor of locking your guns away.
"Every bullet that goes up must come down, and it can come down in a very violent way," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said during the news conference.

If you want to know just how violent, a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that falling bullets can reach speeds of 600 feet per second. It takes only about one-third of that speed for a traveling bullet to penetrate a skull and less than that for a bullet to pierce skin. Someone will most certainly get hurt if they're in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The reminder to keep guns out of holiday celebrations is a necessary one. In December 2018, a 40-year-old man was killed during a Christmas party in a Kendall backyard. People saw him holding his chest but didn't know what had happened to him at first. The man, Yemil Arguelles, had a wife and young children, police said.

In 2016, someone got extra-stupid and fired a gun outside Bayside Marketplace, sending people running and yelling not long after the fireworks show ended. (To whoever did that: My mother goes home by 8 p.m. and stays away from the windows every New Year's Eve because of people like you.)

An 11-year-old boy playing hide-and-seek in Opa-locka on New Year's Eve in 2008 was killed by celebratory gunfire. The man who fired the shots was charged with manslaughter. A jury found him guilty, and the man was sentenced to ten years in prison.

New Year's Eve gunfire also killed a father of five in West Little River in 2007.

"It pains me to know that most of us will be enjoying the holiday time with family and friends when other families are mourning the loss of loved ones," Miami-Dade County Commission Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson says.

So, we've said it before, and we'll say it again. New Year's Eve in Miami is already full of traditions. We clean the house from top to bottom to welcome a new year with all-fresh everything. We toss a bucket of water onto the front lawn to ward away evil. We eat 12 grapes after midnight and sip apple cider. And for the cuffed among us, there's the kiss. It's ridiculous that reminding people to have common sense about firearms is part of our holiday season. At the risk of sounding supercorny: Shoot your shot, not your guns, in 2020.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alexi C. Cardona is a staff writer at Miami New Times. A Hialeah native, she's happy to be back home writing about Miami's craziness after four years working for Naples Daily News.
Contact: Alexi C. Cardona