Late last night, I was standing in my front yard. In the distance behind me, I heard a gunshot. I didn't immediately think much about it, because gunfire isn't exactly a rare occurence in southeast Houston.
About twenty seconds later, however, I heard sharp cracking sound in the street in front of my neighbor's house, and then the "clink-clink-clink" of some metallic object bouncing down the street in front of my house. Thanks to my yard's proximity to a street light, I was able to see the object come to rest, and walked down my driveway to find a rifle slug, perhaps a .270 or .277 caliber, its tip badly deformed by its impact with the pavement.
I can only assume that this projectile was associated with the gunshot I heard behind me about twenty seconds earlier. It sounded like the shot came from several blocks away; if I had to guess, it probably came from Braes Bayou, where people have been known to discharge firearms from its grassy embankments that are out of view of the surrounding streets.
I don't know why some moron decided to fire his gun into the air that evening. Maybe somebody had recently acquired a new hunting rifle and wanted to test it. Maybe somebody was firing a shot as a Memorial Day commemoration. It doesn't really matter. What I do know is that if the bullet had landed just forty or fifty feet closer, I could have been seriously injured or worse.
Don't these people who randomly fire their guns into air understand that, in accordance with the law of gravity, that bullet is going to have to come down somewhere? It's no wonder that people get hurt or even killed during New Years Eve, when people "celebrate" the beginning of the new year by firing their weapons into the air. Houston is one of several cities trying to crack down on this practice, but, as last night's incident evidenced, the random firing of guns into the air isn't limited to New Year's celebrations.
I'm not "anti-gun" by any means. But I do wish that people who own firearms would understand that there are proper ways to use them, and that firing them into the air in a crowded urban area is not one of them.