No More Stray Bullets” resonated the proactive message to promote holiday safety, as Opa-locka Mayor “Lady” Myra L Taylor stood with Rev. Jerome Starling, Rickia Isaac Foundation, Mayor Tomas P. Regalado, Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, City of Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa and other community leaders for the bi-annual gun safety press conference held at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 1843 NW 2nd Court, Miami, FL.
According to Mayor Taylor, “Many Fourth of July and New Year Eve casualties are unintentional, but it is no accident that ‘What goes up, must come down,’ …THAT’S the Law of Gravity.” According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), bullets shot into the air can climb two miles and then fall at a rate of 300 to 700 feet per second. “Since we can’t predict where these bullets will land or who they will strike as they descend during these celebrations, then we need not discharge these weapons at all. Just turn them in, before somebody gets hurt,” the Mayor added.
Twice a year, several groups will plea to their respective communities and to all of South Florida through local churches, the media, flyers, and on the streets by word of mouth for residents NOT to discharge firearms, as some traditionally do, during the holiday celebration.
Due to past accidental shootings, several broadcast network affiliates readily cooperate in covering the press conference, to assist in getting the word into the community. “I truly believe that the television stations covering this conference, see the importance of being proactive and would rather report on the positive outcome of the holiday as oppose to telling a story, the day after, of another mother losing her child or another family in ruins, due to the tragedy of an unintentional fatality resulting in a firearm being discharged,” Taylor said. “My thanks to the channels and the newspapers, for caring enough about the community to work with Rev. Starling and all of us who tirelessly reach out to the young, the mature and gun owners of all categories.” The Mayor said she wants to also remind the community that the City of Opa-locka Police Department has a bi-annual Gun Buy Back where individuals can earn money by anonymously (without question) submitting weapons. Opa-locka Police Chief Cheryl Cason also sent out a message, utilizing the City’s Code Red phone alert system, to remind residents of the importance of gun safety during the Fourth of July holiday. Chief Cason stated that there can never be too much community effort with regard to sharing information on the consequences of discharging firearms. She affirmed, “The City of Opalocka will do what it takes to further the cause of keeping our neighborhoods safe and aware!”