Michigan resident Evan Thomas Silva, 26, is dead after attending a baby shower on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. Silva was struck by shrapnel from a malfunctioning cannon,
ABC-affiliated local news reported that the cannon was meant to fire harmless coloured smoke that revealed the gender of his friends’ baby. It wasn’t loaded with explosives, but did contain gunpowder.
Other news sources have refuted the claim, with Global News reporting that police stated the cannon filled with coloured smoke was not being fired for gender-reveal purposes.
If the novelty canon was for a gender reveal, it wouldn’t be the first time a fatality happened at a party for celebrating whether a baby on the way is a boy or a girl. An Iowa grandmother-to-be was killed in 2019 by a gender-reveal cannon’s projectiles.
Gender-reveal parties — which have since been disavowed by their creator as a backwards invention that both perpetuates outdated gender roles and harms trans kids — have caused widespread destruction in recent years.
Vox writer Alex Abad-Santos investigated the trend in using explosives for gender reveals and found that one of the reasons parents often turned to flashy firearms for their baby parties was to get popular on social media.
“People want it to be dramatic, celebratory, an event,” psychology professor Peter Glick told Vox. “And to go viral above all, which means an explosion or something else eye-catching or funny or sweet.”
Perhaps this latest tragedy could have been avoided if these celebrations didn’t normalize setting off bombs in honour of the genitalia of the unborn? Just a thought!
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