You’d think this wouldn’t be necessary, but it is.
After being hit in the head with a bullet shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, state Rep. Armando Martinez plans to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings.
“If my legislation could help save a life, you know, then definitely that’s what we’re gonna be looking at doing,” the Weslaco Democrat said Monday in a phone interview from the Valley Baptist Medical Center shortly before he was released.
What exactly that legislation will look like is unclear, but it would possibly work to regulate or prevent celebratory gunfire, he said. The next legislative session starts on Jan. 10.
“Something dealing with celebratory gunfire, definitely,” Martinez said. “But I need to talk to our sheriff’s department and maybe our (district attorney) and see exactly what type of ideas they have as well, so that way we can get an idea of how we’re going to do it and propose it.”
Martinez said that there were a lot of people in the area celebrating the start of the new year by firing guns in the air before he was hit.
“I think that’s something that definitely needs to change.” Martinez said. “Growing up, we grew up around guns. You know, I have a (concealed handgun license). I’m a hunter. But everybody knows better than to get a gun and fire it up in the air because what goes up must come down.”
See here for the background. As Rep. Martinez says, he’s a lucky man – a little bit one way or the other, and his family might be planning his funeral. We don’t know exactly what this bill will look like till he writes it, and for sure a bill like this could end up being too broad, or too vague, or too punitive, and if that happens people will oppose it for various rational reasons. But as a base proposition, I would hope that we can all agree that it should be illegal to randomly shoot a gun into the air, for the same reason it is illegal to randomly shoot a gun in your backyard or on the street: It’s dangerous. You could injure or kill someone, possibly without being aware of it. There’s no legitimate purpose being served by firing a gun into the air, whether as a “celebration” or for some other reason. I say all this because I will be very interested to see if someone decides to oppose this on some kind of Second Amendment justification. I have no idea what that might be – even the most rabid gun hoarders tend to pay lip service to “responsible” gun owners and ownership – but in the year 2017 all I can say is that I won’t be too surprised if it happens. Along similar lines, you may recall in my post about Mayor Turner’s priorities for the Lege that the city’s official legislative priorities includes on page 18 the item “Prohibiting the Sale of Pipe Bombs at Gun Shows”. I can’t wait to see who the pro-pipe bomb faction is. Anyway, I’m glad Rep. Martinez is recovering, and I’ll add his bill to my watch list.