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There is now a Petition on "We The People" to Ban Celebratory Gun Fire.  

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

The Petition was created after  Aaliyah Boyer, a 10 year old girl living in Cecil County Maryland was killed by celebratory gun fire.  

According to The Baltimore Sun,

Crystal Blackburn, the mother of Aaliyah Boyer, who was killed when Cecil County Sheriff's officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head, is calling on the public to sign a petition at aaliyahboyer.com.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

http://aaliyahboyer.com

in many metropolitan areas, shooting a gun into the air, while prohibited, only results in a misdemeanor upon conviction. . . .
In more rural areas, including where Aaliyah was killed, there is no prohibition at all. Boyer was struck while watching fireworks just after midnight outside her grandparents' home, which is near Elkton, a town about an hour northeast of Baltimore.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/...
Such incidents of "celebratory gunfire" causing injury or death are not uncommon in the United States, according to Joseph Vince, director of Mount St. Mary's University's criminal justice program and a former chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' crime gun analysis branch. . . .
"This is a plague in the United States, especially on New Year's Eve," Vince said. "There are so many people who are shot or killed because people fire their firearms into the air. If you fire a projectile into the air, it's going to come down."
http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

I see no reason why this type of activity should be legal.  There is absolutely no reason why a 10 year old girl's life should have been cut short.  Please sign the White House Petition:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

More than 99,000 signatures are needed to trigger a response from the White House.  

Originally posted to night cat on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Maryland Kos, Shut Down the NRA, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip'd, rec'd...and signed. (9+ / 0-)

    WTHeck is wrong with people..??


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:31:27 PM PST

  •  This happens in the U.S.??? (6+ / 0-)

    I've seen countless videoclips of this colossally stupid behavior -- usually coming from 3rd World countries. I've never heard of it happening in the USA....much less my Maryland.

    That's f'ed up.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:36:03 PM PST

  •  I had wanted to post a picture of the little girl (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, cosette, Glen The Plumber

    killed in the diary but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

    What a waste for her life to be taken away by this.  

  •  Just so everyone knows, (6+ / 0-)

    this is already illegal.

    Both firing the guns in the first place, as well as any harm to persons or property that results.

    And the Federal government probably lacks the power to pass a law against it... there's a reason murder isn't a Federal crime. The Federal government doesn't have plenary police powers.

    All that said, I hope they catch the fucker, and make him (almost certainly a him) go away for a long, long time.

    Stupidity should only be fatal to the stupid... if only we lived in that world.

    --Shannon

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:50:15 PM PST

  •  What would you want a federal law to say? (0+ / 0-)

    What would it prohibit, and what would be the penalty for violation? Under what authority would it be passed?

    Of course it's a terrible tragedy, but it's already being treated as a homicide. What more would the requested action do, or do better?

    •  Looks like the idea is to switch from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber

      prosecuting someone after the fact for killing someone else to preventing the situation that resulted in the death before it happens.

      Rather like requiring seatbelts in cars rather than merely allowing lawsuits against manufacturers after the fact in cars without them.

      Because, of course, people being killed in cars lacking seatbelts was 'a terrible tragedy'.

      Will people still break the law?  Sure.  There are always people who feel their desires are more important than 'silly laws'.  But chances are fewer of them will do so.  And just maybe, a few less 'terrible tragedies' will take place.

      •  How would a federal law prevent this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Villanova Rhodes

        As another commenter has noted, it's already illegal just about everywhere to fire a gun into the air. That's clearly not stopping people from doing it.

        How would a federal law stop them if existing state and local laws aren't already stopping them—and how would federal action be justified for a state and local jurisdictional issue?

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 05:29:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  'just about everywhere' is not 'everywhere'. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          And increased penalties do actually stop some people.  For instance, even though a lot of people speed, fewer do where the penalties are far stricter, and most only speed 'a little' so as to fall into the cheapest penalty category, and are unwilling to pop it up fast enough to hit the next higher penalty range up.  I can guarantee, for instance, that if the fine for speeding even a little jumped from $100 to $1000, I would be driving solidly a few miles below the limit, simply to never take the chance I spike a few miles up and get a $1000 ticket.

          •  So, again, how is this a federal issue? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Villanova Rhodes

            Murder and manslaughter on non-federal land are handled at the state and local level; even if increasing the penalty would decrease the number of incidents, what makes this an issue for the federal government rather than state or local governments?

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 06:29:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Does that mean you're conceding on the other (0+ / 0-)

              parts of the issue, and that you'd be perfectly fine with state and local laws being enacted for this purpose?

              Well sure, I'd be happy if all states and localities enacted such laws too.  Are they going to?  If the problem is nationwide, why do people who live in specific responsible states and localities deserve protection, and those who live in states and localities politically controlled by idiots deserve no such protection?  Are you suggesting that people only die from such instances in specific states or localities?

              My own thought would be that the places in which such incidents happen most frequently are specifically those places in which such legislation would be least likely to be enacted at the state or local level, which means that 'leaving it to states and localities' is akin to simply doing nothing, which is, of course, the preferred result of all 'pro-gun rights' organizations.

              •  Of course I would. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Villanova Rhodes
                you'd be perfectly fine with state and local laws being enacted for this purpose?
                Absolutely. Seems pretty common-sense to me.
                If the problem is nationwide, why do people who live in specific responsible states and localities deserve protection, and those who live in states and localities politically controlled by idiots deserve no such protection?
                Why wouldn't the same logic hold for just about any law that covers state and local issues? Do only people who live in specific responsible states and localities deserve better protections for renters, or more well-funded schools, or better mass-transit systems? If disparity between states or localities is, in and of itself, a justification for federalizing a given issue, then why even have local or state jurisdiction?

                I'm just not seeing this problem as significant or widespread enough to justify federal action, when states and localities are generally handling the crimes related to it like murder or manslaughter.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:50:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  So, no response to "under what authority"? (0+ / 0-)

        It's a sincere question -- I haven't spent the time to dream up a federal nexus, but it certainly isn't in the petition, and your argument doesn't provide one either. You don't have to be a states' rights wacko to ask "Illegal discharge wholly within state lines can be prohibited by what enumerated power of the federal gov't?" I'm beginning to think the brief fling the RW had with insisting that all legislation should have to state the constitutional authority for it wasn't such a bad idea, though they promptly ignored their own rule.

        This isn't requiring seatbelts in cars; it's requiring people to wear seatbelts. You know who does that? States.

        The diarist obviously objects to misdemeanor treatment so the proposal must be for making illegal discharge a felony. Do you favor at least a year in prison for anyone who discharges a weapon without a permit but causes no harm? (Obviously, if harm is caused, there are multiple other remedies and penalties.) How much time and money should the FBI devote to enforcing this? I know you're smarter than to make the "if it will just save one life" argument. These policy decisions are zero-sum deals.

        And yes, I'd be delighted if all states or local authorities prohibited it. I'd rather there were far fewer guns in the first place, particularly in the hands of idiots who do this.

        •  I actually just posted something to that effect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes

          elsewhere - that sometimes the things I feel are 'wrong' are still 'legal'.  This would obviously be one of the situations in which I feel our current governmental frame is lacking.  I don't worship the Founders or feel the Constitution is perfect.  I'll thank you for the 'I know you're smarter' line, and try and back it up by agreeing that any substantive changes are not going to happen barring the unlikely existence of a new Constitutional Convention.

          So it's just one more of my 'pipe dreams'.

          •  Fair enough. I don't favor a Constitutional (0+ / 0-)

            Convention, but if it occurred, there'd be a boatload of stuff I'd change. Federalism can be a blessing and a curse. And we agree that this particular thing should be illegal, though I think misdemeanor is sufficient. I just find the petition foolish, but that's true of most of the petitions that have been flacked here for the WH website. Clamoring for the president to pardon Troy Davis, for example, was not "calling attention" to something that would otherwise have escaped notice; it was making us look like we never took a civics class. Just my pet peeve, I guess.

            The "smarter" line was completely sincere, but on reflection looks snarky. If it seemed so to you, I apologize.

  •  It's illegal almost everywhere (4+ / 0-)

    I see no reason why this type of activity should be legal.

    As far as I know, it isn't. In fact, if you discharge a firearm across the road, you're usually committing a felony. And no matter what, if your bullet hits someone, you're criminally and civilly liable. There is, of course, an exception for clear-cut self defense, but then it's on you to prove it.

    That doesn't stop people from doing this crazy-ass stupid shit.

    Let me suggest that perhaps what we really need is a PSA campaign to tell people not to engage in celebratory gunfire, letting them know what the penalties are. I bet you'll see it drop somewhat.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:49:46 PM PST

  •  Aaliyah should not die w/o us noting her passing. (3+ / 0-)

    Only 10 years old...
    Our future is dying.
    Please sign the White House Petition.

  •  What would the federal government do about it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villanova Rhodes

    In what way is this not an issue for state ordinances, like most crimes (including murder) that don't cross state lines?

    Unless it's taking place on federally-administered land, I'm not seeing what the federal government is supposed to do about this.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 05:23:26 AM PST

  •  I agree that asking for a federal law is not the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    way to go, but will sign the petition just as an attention getter.  

    If we make the 100,000 signature cut and get a response, hopefully it will get some media mention and not only ignite discussion in many localities/states, but get the attention of those who take up such causes for psa's.

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:32:06 AM PST

    •  Also posted to facebook, with this note: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      A federal law is not feasible for this type of activity, but won't you please sign this petition so perhaps the issue can get national attention? Every state should have severe penalties for when all those 'safety first' gun owners who fire bullets in the air, not knowing where they may land, end up injuring or killing people - including children.

      "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

      by MRA NY on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:37:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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