DEAR ABBY: Our family had a very unpleasant experience last Fourth of July. In the early afternoon, my 20-year-old daughter was gardening in the front yard of her home near the university she attends when she was struck by a bullet.
Not realizing the nature of her injury, my daughter thought she had broken a bone or pulled something in her leg. In the hospital emergency room, the admitting nurse recognized the wound for what it was and called the police. The bullet had entered the back of her leg above the knee, traveled down, and lodged between the bones above her ankle. The doctors decided to leave the bullet where it is.
According to the police, the gun could have been discharged blocks away, and it was probably fired by someone celebrating the holiday. Don't people realize that bullets come down with almost as much force as they go up? Here in Portland, it is against the law to discharge a firearm within city limits.
My precious daughter could have been hit in the head or chest with far more serious consequences.
Abby, please remind your readers about the dangers of discharging firearms into the air. Those bullets have to fall somewhere. -- RICHARD DANIELS, PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR RICHARD: Your daughter was lucky not to have been killed. Although I have warned readers in the past about firing weapons into the air, I have not had such a graphic example of what can result!
Readers, please celebrate safely this Fourth of July. And if you see someone behaving irresponsibly with a weapon, please report it to the police immediately. You could save a life.