Celebratory gunfire ... a never-ending risk

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Saudi Gazette report

ALTHOUGH dangerous and could sometimes go wrong causing fatal consequences, celebratory fire at weddings is still practiced in some parts of the Kingdom, especially during the summer vacation when weddings take place all over the country. Unfortunately, some people still do not view this negative practice as dangerous, Al-Riyadh daily reported. Usually, guests and relatives of the bridegroom shoot at random celebratory gunfire when the latter arrives to the wedding place. Moreover, no deterrent punishment has been imposed for this negative practice.

Laws

Yousef Al-Rumaih, a criminology professor at Al-Qaseem University, called upon the general public who engage in this negative practice to adopt other ways to express their joy during joyful events such as weddings.

“Celebratory gunfire can go fatally wrong and result in big catastrophes. The only reason we still see this negative practice in society is because some segments of society continue to take it lightly. It indicates a dangerous disregard for laws, which prohibit this practice. I believe that anyone who gets involved in celebratory gunfire should be punished severely and the guns should be confiscated,” he said.

Al-Rumaih also called upon wedding place owners to report such incidents to authorities and coordinate in advance with the authorities when a wedding is going to take place. Several innocent people have lost their lives because of this negative practice. Any owner who allows such practice or turns a blind eye to it should be punished while the wedding place should be shut down. Also, the person who bears the costs of the wedding place should also be punished.

“The inviter should mention in the invitation cards that celebratory gunfire will not be tolerated and will be reported to concerned authorities. By doing so, the inviter shows clearly that he does not support this negative practice,” he said.

Uncivilized practice

Saad Al-Raqraq, a sociology expert, described the practice as uncivilized. The Interior Ministry always warns the general public against the negative consequences of celebratory gunfire at weddings. However, the practice has never stopped or died away. For example, if a student passes the high school examination or completes college education, his family will shoot in the air as a way to celebrate this achievement. Not all families do that; but some certainly do.

“This practice reflects a negative image about society and shows others that some of us are completely reckless and do not care about innocents’ life. I know some families who lose their loved ones during celebratory gunfire that went wrong. I have been to weddings that turn into a misery because of this negative practice, which contradicts with our religion and cultural values,” he noted, calling upon all members of society to work with authorities to end this practice.

Awareness

Muhammad Al-Nahari, a media expert, underscored the important role the media, especially social media websites, can play in reducing and eradicating this practice. For example, opinion leaders can raise public awareness about this practice and explain to them its dangers and risks.

“Of course the media cannot alone fight this practice. It needs collective efforts. Everyone should act responsibly to put an end to celebratory gunfire at weddings.”


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