State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez was standing outside with his family, welcoming the new year at midnight, as is tradition, when another tradition came down on his head hard.
The Monitor reports that the District 39 lawmaker was hit in the head by a stray bullet from neighborhood gunfire shot off in celebration of 2017's arrival. Incredibly, Martinez survived and didn’t even lose consciousness, though the experience still sounds extremely horrible:
“At the stroke of midnight, my wife comes over and gives me a hug and a kiss, and right after that I felt like a sledgehammer hitting the back of my head,” Martinez said in description of the pain suffered from a gunshot. “I grabbed it and she said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said I was hit by something.”
Martinez told The Monitor that a state trooper friend who worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety once described being shot as feeling like getting “hit with a sledgehammer” as well, so he guessed pretty quickly what happened, despite having a bullet in his head. He was quickly transported to the hospital, where he underwent a 45-minute surgery to remove it.
Unsurprisingly, Martinez is now seeking to eradicate “celebratory gunfire” from his neighborhood, and plans to present some kind of legislation against it when the next session convenes on January 10, according to The Texas Tribune. The Washington Post reports that the practice already carries a potential $4,000 fine and jail time if successfully prosecuted, but Martinez may be looking for stricter laws and enforcement around guns, though he himself is a gun owner. He told The Texas Tribune, “I think that’s something that definitely needs to change,” adding, “Growing up, we grew up around guns. You know, I have a (concealed handgun license). I’m a hunter. But everybody knows better than to get a gun and fire it up in the air because what goes up must come down.”