One night back in July, 18-year-old Minneapolis resident Malo Dashaunta Gomez decided that the best way to cure his boredom was to shoot off his gun. So he saw some cops hanging out in a squad car and fired off nine rounds at them. Problem solved?

Uh, well, maybe in the short-term it worked. As a long-term strategy, however, Gomez's plan seem to have failed, because now he's sitting in a drab cell in the local jail and facing two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault; if convicted, he could do decades in prison, which sounds way more boring and monotonous than living in Minneapolis (even during the winter).

Not many people know this, but shooting at random people—especially police officers—is against the law even when you believe there's nothing else to do. The upshot is that you always have better things to do besides shooting at random people; if you can stop having such a codependent relationship with your gun, you will discover them. Why, there's painting and calligraphy, and visiting farms, and crossword puzzles, and woodworking. You have alternatives.

If you absolutely must fire off your gun, though, try shooting one of these things instead of cops:

  • The sun (I saw him laughing at you the other day, BTW)
  • The moon
  • Clouds
  • Targets set up at shooting ranges
  • Clay pigeons
  • Stalactites inside an empty cave
  • Big big pile of dirt
  • Old Sears catalogs
  • Greasy towels you used to clean your car
  • Jumbo bag of stale popcorn
  • Water balloons

Make sure you shoot only in authorized areas, protect your ears, and don't throw your gun in the trash when you're done. [KARE 11 via City Pages. Image via City Pages]