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Opening Arguments

Loose rounds

So you don't like the fussy city laws about shooting guns in the air, so you move to the country, where you can fire off as many rounds as you want to. But, guess what? When the city moves its lines, it wants to bring all the rules with it:

Indianapolis - A city county councilor wants to expand the city's gun law. She says it's about keeping residents safe, but opponents see it as an infringement on rights.

Under the proposed changes, people could still shoot at authorized firing ranges and they could still shoot in self-defense.

What they couldn't do is shoot guns into the air, as some do New Year's Eve, or hunt or target practice in areas close to neighborhoods.

It's a law already on the books for the old city limits, that Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield wants expanded countywide, to cover areas now well-developed like hers.

This is a lot more reasonable than a lot of gun-control efforts. I don't want people I don't even trust with fireworks getting drunk and unleashing a barrage of small-arms fire. As a gun-store owner in the story says, the guns today are a lot more powerful, and what goes up must come down.

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Bob G.
Tue, 04/10/2007 - 4:52am

Nice to know that gun store owner was AWAKE in PHYSICS class...LOL!

And when were people NOT allowed to fire guns off in city neighborhoods?

I know our city ORDINANCE says we can't (and shouldn't), but down in the "badlands" aka the south side, people do it all the damn time with no provocation.

SO much for being able to enforce the law...but let's spread this law further outbound...makes good sense (to someone).

BTW, doesn't discharging a firearm in a public place come under the new NO SMOKING ban?
Where is Doc Crawford?



Tue, 04/10/2007 - 3:41pm

his campaign HQ is in the Helmke law office building. And Helmke is the leader of the Brady center for gun confiscators.

what goes up? I watched an episode of MYTHBUSTERS on discovery channel, wherein they conducted a science experiment on just that very topic. It seems that bullets fired vertically, reach an altitude where they lose velocity, and become momentarily suspended in air, as their vertical velocity becomes 0, and they begin their downward descent. As they fall, due to gravity, they tumble, and reach a nominal terminal velocity- enough to possibly cause non-fatal injury, but not enough to penetrate either a car roof, or home roof.
The probability of being struck by a falling bullet is minimal- you have a better chance of being struck by lightening. So common sense dictates dont go out in a lightening storm, and dont go outside when people are most likely to be shooting guns into the air.

The second part of the MYTHBUSTERS EXPERIMENT, however, also determined that the less degrees from vertical a projectile was fired , the greater its likelyhood that it would still maintain some of its ballistic spin, and still be dangerous, if not lethal- meaning of course- you shoot a firearm in a horizontal, to near vertical position, the greater the likely hood that it will maintain its velocity, ballistic spin, and as such , its danger.
again- dont go outside when people are shooting guns in the air unsafely, and report dangerous or illegal misuse of firearms to the proper authorities. Guns are not toys, and should be treated as such

the previous post about "smoking guns in public" is funny. call DOC HOLLIDAY instead. OK?

Steve Towsley
Wed, 04/11/2007 - 2:01pm

As a Life NRA member, I'd say that even the staunchest Second Amendment defender does not defend irresponsibility.

We who handle guns safely and competently do not discharge guns into the air, toward populated areas, or in a direction where we cannot see far enough to know with certainty the safe end point of the spent bullet.

With exceptions for self-defense and outdoor shooting ranges, a regulation to prevent people from shooting wildly -- IF and only if it contains no stealthy, unwelcome surprises like tacked-on rights-infringing or gun-or-ammo-banning language -- should not be a problem for the Second Amendment.

The founders felt strongly that they were simply affirming the pre-existing and fundamental right of GOOD citizens to keep and bear arms. No shooter should be firing in any place or in any direction where the round can accidentally or negligently reach someone else's person, property or structures, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Even the most avid of shooters never wants to have to worry that a child playing outside has any chance of being struck by a stray round. We don't even want to hear gunfire near enough to the property to have to wonder which direction the strangers might be shooting.

If all shooters were competent and safety-aware, maybe we would be more tempted to rely on everyone's common sense, but not in this universe. It is possible to have a nation of complete freedom of our constitutional gun rights and still forbid and penalize outlandish stunts by the minority of people who fail to engage their brains and endanger themselves and others -- with all kinds of behavior, usually, but in this case with negligent misuse of firearms. In fact, it's important to weed out the drunks and the immature so as not to give the impression that the vast majority of us gun enthusiasts are of similar ilk.