Monday, January 11, 2016

Shots Fired

With New Year's Eve recently upon us, I was reminded of all the "shots fired" calls I've taken on 4th of July and New Year's Eve.

Where I worked, it was pretty unusual to deal with actual "shots fired". However, on those holidays on which fireworks are commonly in use, "shots fired" calls skyrocketed (no pun intended). For whatever reason, people were convinced that what they were hearing couldn't possibly be fireworks - it was "shots fired".

I can't tell you the number of times I was confronted by someone who gave me his whole life history with respect to firearms handling, and told me that he could differentiate without fail a gunshot from a firecracker. Of course, producing expended fireworks from where the caller said "shots" were being "fired" did nothing to dissuade the caller of his expertise.

Now, I understand there is the occasional loony that cranks off a round in his backyard at midnight on New Year's Eve. I was even present one time when this happened. But there is no way the frequency of such idiotic acts matches the frequency of the "shots fired" calls. If it did, there'd be wounded lying all over town from the projectiles raining out of the sky.

So, if you hear a bang at midnight on December 31st, or a boom on the evening of July 4th, don't panic. It probably isn't "shots fired".


Anonymous said...

Where I live, this also includes transformers blowing...though, if you are close enough, that sounds like a friggin' bomb going off.

sp77 said...

This reminds me of the time that my drunk neighbor got impatient and decided to shoot off all of his illegal fireworks at 2 pm on July 3rd. I think of this neighbor every time I drive past a fireworks store that has HUGE signs cautioning customers that they must be 50' away from the building before setting off their newly-purchased fireworks.

My other neighbor had Alzheimer's. He thought it was gunfire, so he ran outside and started blasting his shotgun. Across my pasture. Which was inhabited by horses that freaked out, crashed through a fence, and ran away. For the record, I lock the animals in the barn on July 4th just to avoid fireworks-related freak outs/escapes. And also for the record, Alzheimer's guy's wife was running errands. Not only did he have access to a firearm, he was babysitting his 5 year old grandkid. Who really wan't sure how to convince grandpa that we hadn't suddenly gone to war with New Hampshire.