Growing up, my family could always count on a particular event occurring on New Year’s Eve. When the clock struck midnight, the neighbor to the back of my parents’ house would emerge into his backyard, straighten his arm to the sky, and shoot the rifle he was holding about a handful of times.
Although I thought it was kind of cool, my dad had a different take.
“Doesn’t that guy (he used a different word) know those bullets have to land somewhere?,” my dad would ask in an angry and rhetorical manner.
No, I guess the sky doesn’t swallow up stray bullets.
Nowadays, whenever NYE comes around, I still think about the neighbor and my dad’s reaction. It happened so consistently during my childhood and my dad was so displeased about the boneheadedness of such an act that it is hard to wipe off my mind when December 31 comes around.
However, this particular memory came to the surface for me a little earlier than usual this year. On Friday night, two women were injured while watching a Chicago White Sox game in Guaranteed Rate Field. They were seated in the outfield bleachers when a bullet grazed the abdomen of one of the women and struck the leg of the other. As confusion ensued, the Chicago Police Department allowed the game to continue. As you can imagine, the CPD and Chicago White Sox organization are currently taking a lot of heat for that decision.
At this time, a couple of facts have been established: There was no altercation that took place during the game and there was never an active shooter in the stadium. The top theory about how the women were shot was that the bullet(s) came from outside the ballpark.
For all the other reasons we have to be scared about guns, add the possibility about sitting in a stadium and having a bullet randomly strike you from outside the confines. It is the NYE neighbor scenario that my dad always warned about.
I am following the investigation closely and will update my readers in a Thursday Rundown when more information becomes available. As for the neighbor behind my parents, the tradition ceased many years ago. Don’t Blink.