I’m lying on the carpet of my bedroom, face down, hands covering my head, knees glued to the ground. I was so quiet in the aftermath that my first real breath in minutes startled me.
It was only a firecracker.
I live nine blocks away from campus – far enough to avoid the ruckus of Ivy St and close enough to mistake the recurrent sound of exploding cardboard for a pistol.
The untrained ear cannot easily discern a firecracker from a small firearm.
Yet students of Chico State have an opportunity to learn how to distinguish one sound from the other. They hear the crack of explosive powder on a regular basis.
“Officers arrived and found at least one apartment, one vehicle, and one complex fitness center shot into” at Pine Tree Family Apartments on Oct. 20, according to a press release.
Two rounds were fired from a handgun in front of Riley’s Bar & Grill on Jan. 19, according a previous Orion article.
Police use surveillance systems to identify gunshots from firecrackers.
But how do students know whether to duck and cover or gaze at the display of sparks skidding on the ground?
My advice: stay on the ground for five minutes to be sure it was a firecracker or until you hear sirens. You should be able to check your phone in that time anyways.
The streets of Chico are rowdy.
Students, stay alert.
Miles Inserra can be reached at the [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.