“Joy Bullets”

…and death from above:

NATO military advisors in Libya noted a lot of problems that had to be addressed with the ragtag rebel army. But one of the most obvious ones, the habit of firing weapons into the air at the least provocation, is also the hardest one to stop. This, despite the fact that it is a major waste of ammo (which is in short supply) and a major source of casualties. All those bullets eventually return to earth, and people do get hurt. For example, in Iraq, after any major news event, that results in many people firing off rifles and pistols into the air, the hospitals in places like Baghdad will see up to a hundred casualties, including several dead, from the bullets falling down and hitting people. This is all about the Arab custom of firing weapons into the air on happy occasions (they are called “joy bullets” in Arabic), often with deadly consequences. When someone is killed or injured by the bullets that, inevitably come back to earth, the injury is shrugged off, or blamed on a handy enemy. Palestinians blame Israelis, some Iraqis blame any armed foreigners in the vicinity, or nearby Iraqis they don’t get along with. In Libya, it’s got to be someone working for Kaddafi. Otherwise it’s just “God’s Will.”

This reminds me of an old Onion piece.

6 thoughts on ““Joy Bullets”

  1. MfK

    The Onion link would have been funnier if there had been some truth behind it. American people who have and use firearms don’t shoot them into the air, unless they are recent immigrants from a country where people don’t know any better. Had it been set in East LA, the story would have had that ring of truth to make it funny…but that would have been “racist.”

  2. Fletcher Christian

    Rand, they are members of the same ethnic group and related to some degree.

    In any case, I fail to see that enemies killing each other is any sort of problem. I would LIKE to see Cairo turn into a bloodbath, for example.

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