When celebratory gunfire goes wrong

Midnight New Year’s Eve in Oak Cliff comes close to the Fourth of July for intensity.

Illegal fireworks are one thing. But there’s a log of gunfire too.

An Oak Cliff woman told CBS DFW that a bullet came through the ceiling of her bathroom. In Uptown, a stray bullet hit a man in the leg while he was sleeping around 4 a.m.

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The stray-bullet story making national news comes from the Texas Rio Grande Valley. State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez was hit in the back of the head by a stray bullet while attending a ranch party in Hidalgo County Saturday night. Martinez was taken to the hospital and was well enough to speak to a reporter Sunday. The nearby Edinburg Police Department had warned Dec. 29 that celebratory gunfire increases every year.

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It’s simple physics — what goes up must come down. Bullets fired into the air often are found embedded into roof shingles, windows and other property. Eventually someone will be hurt.

In Dallas, there were more than 900 calls to 911  reporting celebratory gunfire between 8 p.m. and Midnight Dec. 31, 2015.

The Dallas Police Department released a video, below, warning that being caught shooting into the air could result in a fine and jail time. Injuring or killing someone with “happy bullets” could result in more serious charges.

From my couch, it sounded like that message wasn’t received.

Do you have any ideas to curb celebratory gunfire in Oak Cliff? One neighbor suggested emailing Mayor Mike Rawlings if so.

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  • Eric Nystrom

    Agreed. Outreach via tv, radio, and public schools. Research shows that effective dissemination of information happens when children bring information on social behavior home from school to their parents.

    Found a bullet hole in my apartment window in N. Oak Cliff the day after Memorial Day. Luckily nobody hurt. Not a roulette wheel we want to keep spinning though. It’s a thoughtless and selfish action.

  • Pamela Dougherty

    How about, say around late June, a massive flyer distribution (maybe with Advocate magazine but DEFINITELY something from the city to every single residence/apt in 75208, 75211, 75224, + etc. IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH, that outlines the dangers (to children, to the shooters themselves, their friends and families), the legal implications (fines, imprisonments, etc), AND, even if it takes some sort of City Council resolution, plan to assign MORE police to our neighborhoods in the days surrounding July 4 and New Years. I mean massive and intensive enough to make people think twice.

    Not enough police? Well as it happens, I spent NYE in Northwest Dallas near the intersection of Forest and Webb Chapel, a fairly diverse area. Didn’t hear a thing. It seems to me that the police could figure out WHERE this is happening the most and DO something about it, without unduly neglecting other parts of the city.

  • lakewoodhobo

    Not even a Spanish subtitled version? Give me a break.