Društvo| Satira

The Guns at Midnight

Chris Farmer RSS / 01.01.2010. u 19:04

We can be pleased to know that Serbia's Top Cop thinks New Year's Eve 2009 went without a hitch. This does not mean that no accidents happened - we will find out about that soon enough - but "there were no injuries by firearms."

Fireworks? No, firearms.

The use of guns in holiday festivities, although it seems to be waning in the Serbian capital, is still a source of trepidation for most of us mild mannereds and law abiders. I still remember stories of a poor soul who hid behind closed shutters in his New Belgrade apartment only to be shot and killed anyway by a stray bullet which was shot in the air under the bacchanal frenzy of welcoming the New Year. Or the story of the lady who, many blocks away from any action, was beaned by a descending bullet finding its way back to earth, and went less-than-gently into the good night. These stories may be Belgrade apocrypha, or just urban myth, but when you see guns pointed at the air from windows, it makes you wonder what could happen.

When I was a boy, in rural Iowa, we were all banned from touching fireworks. My father or my grandfather handled the bottle rockets, firecrackers, and roman candles. We were warned of the dangers of putting out eyes and blowing off fingers. But no one told me that people were actually taking up real weapons in a shootout against the New Year...

And yet, the Los Angeles Times ran an article last month where the police warned citizens that it was a felony to shoot guns at midnight, while the Miami Herald quoted a police major saying shooting guns was "ridiculous and stupid."

So it is not only here...

Shooting at midnight, although I have never indulged (much less ever handled a gun at all), must give a huge sense of power. It must feel wildly uncivilized and free. To be able to cause a huge noise from an instrument whose intended purpose is to kill or injure living beings must bring an unfettered sense of Man's Dominion over the World. It is a declaration of "Imperium in Imperio."

That is until someone gets killed.

In the meantime, the main source of New Year's tragedy comes from road accidents. The deathtoll at holidays is always higher than usual and one town in the US state of Georgia brought a grim solution. A funeral parlor was offering free funerals to anyone who stated that they would be drinking and driving on New Year's Eve.*

What does it all mean? Does it mean that we need danger and the threat of death to really enjoy ourselves? Do we need to appease the gods of the new year with ritual sacrifice? It seems we squeezed into 2010 without major incident, which should be good news. But perhaps the news only means that we are in for trouble this year.

Not to worry. We still have Serbian New Year ahead to tip the balance.

Happy New Year, everyone.
(Don't shoot anybody.)

* http://web.orange.co.uk/article/quirkies/free_funerals_for_drink_drivers


Komentari (7)

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Vlasta92 Vlasta92 19:56 01.01.2010

There is nothing to worry about!

korchagin korchagin 21:13 01.01.2010

Re: There is nothing to worry about!

i am choosing her
Domazet Domazet 04:03 02.01.2010

Either that or...

.....must bring an unfettered sense of Man's Dominion over the World.
...some kind of silly local custom. The later would make you culturally very insensitive...
gorran2 gorran2 04:31 02.01.2010

clear case of self-defence

people were actually taking up real weapons in a shootout against the New Year...
She shot first, I swear!

(We battered her hard back in nineties, but she keeps coming for more...)
drfaz011 drfaz011 14:57 02.01.2010


just wait,for serbian new year
blue rider blue rider 10:05 04.01.2010

Iowa might not be the safest choice

In the United States, firearm deaths are almost as frequent as motor vehicle deaths. Firearm unintentional and suicide death rates are raised in rural areas. This study (2009) examines firearm prevalence and storage practices in three different types of rural households.

Adults from a stratified random sample of 983 households in a rural Iowa county were interviewed

Nearly 67% of respondents reported firearms in their households. Nearly 7% of households had a loaded, unlocked gun.

Gun sales ‘booming’ in North Iowa. “Handgun sales are through the roof.” March 2009.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported gun sales shot up 42 percent

“Everybody’s stockpiling in case they pass legislation banning gun sales,” Maiers said. “People are afraid they might lose their right to buy anything that has a clip (a small dispenser used to hold rounds of ammunition).”

Gun dealer Nick Parcher of Midwest Firearm and Taxidermy in Rudd said people are afraid they may not be able to buy certain types of guns for long, “so they’re buying things they might not normally buy.”

Assault weapons, semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity hand guns are examples, Parcher said.

Chris Farmer Chris Farmer 11:21 04.01.2010

Re: Iowa might not be the safest choice

Verbum sat sapienti...

There's no place like home. And home is like no place I know.

Having been out of Iowa for nearly 75% of my mortal existence, this does not entice me to return (at least not without appropriate body armor!).



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