|Anti-aircraft or celebratory?|
Given recent events in Libya, no doubt you’ve watched endless and often-repeated footage of individuals firing all manner of weapons in the air in celebration.
This usually happens in the Middle East, but it is not confined to that part of the world, and has been observed in South America, the Philippines and the Balkans.
There are reports of it happening in the USA.
Apparently, Kentucky is the home of celebratory gunfire in the USA. It’s in the Onion, so must be true.
I’ve often wondered what happens to all those rounds fired skywards. I had the experience of accidentally firing a 7.62 round through a double-skinned tent once, so understand very well that damage can be done both on the way up as well as the way down. I was lucky, as the leak created was on the other side of the tent from where I slept.
But that’s another story entirely.
Apparently there are many recorded fatalities, and in some places, a great deal of damage has been done to roofing and eaves. Given the frequent spectacle of ute-mounted ZU-23 heavy machine guns (“technicals”) blazing away in celebration recently in Libya, it’s understandable that NATO aircraft generally fly higher than their effective range. The 23mm explosive projectile would make a sieve out of an aircraft.
Perhaps they’ve not heard of blanks?
Thinking about it, blanks in a real conflict would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I remember that we had blank firing attachments on our SLRs in training in Australia, but they never saw the light of day in SVN for obvious reasons.
Celebratory gunfire in SVN would have been called “unauthorised discharge” and would have earned nasty regimental penalties.