Firing guns into the air to celebrate the new year is probably as old as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles itself. After all, we're about as wild and west as it gets.
And still, you would think that in contemporary Los Angeles, home of the world's best university, Hollywood and the superstar plastic surgeon, we'd be smart enough to know that pop-popping at midnight could kill your innocent neighbor:
Unfortunately, each year local law enforcers have to remind you of this:
What goes up, must come down. Your yay! bullet could hit some poor kid in the head and kill him. Not yay.
In fact, just that sad thing happened on new year's eve 1999 when 9-year-old Brian Perez was fatally struck by a stray bullet in L.A.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials say that, with new technology, they can track you down and arrest you.
The gunfire-tracing tech is called Shotspotter. Sheriff Lee Baca:
This is beneficial because it can tell the Deputies where the suspect is located and the data allows them to develop violence suppression strategies and tactical plans. This has been extremely successful in our crime fighting initiative and one of many tools that help decrease crime in the County …
So instead of kicking off 2013 with a long stint behind bars, put the guns away and try celebrating with champagne or a kiss.
Just an idea.