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    Williams: Don’t fire guns on New Year’s

    Today community leaders gathered at Emmanuel Institutional Baptist Church in North Philadelphia to urge people not to repeat one annual event – firing guns to ring in the New Year.

    Philadelphians have many new year traditions. But today community leaders gathered at Emmanuel Institutional Baptist Church in North Philadelphia to urge people not to repeat one annual event – firing guns to ring in the New Year.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091228lfgunfire.mp3]

    Joseph Jaskolka used to be an athletic kid. But on a fateful New Year’s Eve in 1998, when Jaskolka was an 11-year-old on his way to see the fireworks, he was hit by a stray bullet in South Philadelphia. The bullet is still lodged in his head. Jaskolka now gets around in a wheelchair, and has had dozens of surgeries. He’s urging revelers not to fire guns to ring in the New Year.

    Joseph-Jaskola
    Joseph Jaskola

    Jaskolka: Don’t do this stupid act just to look cool or appeal to someone. What goes up must come down and it could end a life. It almost ended mine.

    Jaskolka was joined by District Attorney-elect Seth Williams, who encouraged Philadelphians not to fire weapons – but to celebrate the New Year the way he does instead: by banging pots and eating collard greens.

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