No gunfire for the New Year, father pleads

PHILADELPHIA - December 28, 2009

At a news conference Monday morning, Greg Jaskolka told the story of his son, Joseph.

Back on New Year's Eve 1998, someone fired a gun into the air to celebrate the New Year.

That bullet ended up hitting Joseph, leaving him paralyzed.

"He's had over 30 brain surgeries. Each time he has another one, he loses something else. At one point he was able to walk, which he can't do anymore," Jaskolka said. "All because some reckless, non-thinking individual couldn't think of a better way to ring in the new year than shooting a gun in the air."

Jaskolka says insurers have paid out more than $15 million to cover the cost of those surgeries.

Officials at the news conference say it's time to change what they called a 'reckless culture.'

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