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Guns Are for Self-Defense, Not Celebration

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Let’s start with the good news: A 6-year-old girl is in stable condition. The bad news: A 6-year-old girl ended up with a bullet in her head to begin with!

The child was at a New Year’s Eve party with family on the 9600 block of Thermal Street in Oakland when the clock struck midnight and people cheered and hugged like people do on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, somebody in the neighborhood also celebrated the end of 2018 by shooting a gun up into the air – the stray bullet hitting the little girl in the head during all the commotion and fireworks. Her father assumed she had tripped and fallen when he saw her on the ground.

When the family realized what had happened, the girl was rushed to the local hospital and later transferred to Oakland UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital where she was thankfully, and miraculously, stabilized. Every news source that reported the story referred to the gunfire as “celebratory” – even Oakland’s Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said the girl’s injury was caused by an apparent “celebratory” gunshot, although she also called it “foolishness” during a press conference held Tuesday.

Other words come to mind to describe the incident and the concept of “celebratory” gunfire in general; words like asinine, irresponsible, careless and deadly seem a little more appropriate given the consequences.  And in case we all need a refresher on the laws of gravity: What goes up must come down. Got it?

Unless you need to fire a weapon to save yourself or someone you love, it’s best to leave the gun locked up. Bullets kill, on purpose – that’s what they’re primarily made for, not for celebration. New Year’s Eve really is a lot better when young children aren’t accidentally shot in the head, so maybe next time…reach for the damn firecrackers and leave the piece behind. Just a suggestion.

The girl is recovering as best as possible while authorities try to identify the shooter. An up to $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest, courtesy of Oakland Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland. If you have any helpful information, or you are the shooter, do the right thing and call Oakland Police Department’s Felony Assault Unit at (510) 238-3426.

And next year, how about we just don’t do that again? In a rare alliance, we here at Broke-Ass Stuart join the Oakland police chief’s plea to “put the guns down.” Deal? Thanks, good talk.

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.