Sad: A Real "Accidental Discharge"

This is a discussion on Sad: A Real "Accidental Discharge" within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Always maintain control of your firearm. There's a reason that is taught. This firearm was not under anyone's control, and as a result, sadly, a ...

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Thread: Sad: A Real "Accidental Discharge"

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Always maintain control of your firearm. There's a reason that is taught. This firearm was not under anyone's control, and as a result, sadly, a young woman is dead.

    I feel very bad for her young husband as he will have to live with the results of his poor firearms handeling for the rest of his life.
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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I think it was purely an accident that it landed on the hammer hard enough to discharge.
    It was purely undesirable and unintended that the unsecured, unholstered gun landed on the hammer, you mean.

    Chance is merely the probability of something happening.

    Intent, on the other hand, is related to the degree of one's culpability in something happening.

    Based on the degree of intentional action taken, or failed to be taken, one has an opportunity to affect chance. The flipside of that, though, is the killer: chance can dramatically increase, to the extent one fails to give any thought to a problem and the potential ramifications if the stars don't align that day.

    To the extent someone takes reasonable precautions against chance, someone actively shows intent in avoiding certain things happening.

    To the extent one fails to take any such reasonable precautions, one is negligent, careless, reckless. Not giving thought to a problem and not taking at least reasonable precautions ... well, you get what you get, and it's called what it is: negligence.

    In this specific case, who's to say exactly what precautions were taken? The person who last toughed that gun. Who was that? I don't know. Perhaps the one still standing does.

    It seems clear, though, from the simple fact the gun flopped out of the car, and fired when it landed, that there as (a) failure to properly secure the gun to ensure its location and (b) failure to properly holster the gun to ensure it wouldn't fire even if dropped.

    "Accident" in any way? If one views "accident" as equating to the undesirability of those circumstances, sure. Nobody wanted such a firing to occur. But that's fairly irrelevant.

    Nobody intended for the gun to be flopping around unattended, unsecured, unholstered. And yet, it happened. Why? It happened as a direct result of someone's failure to take even minimal, reasonable precautions to avoid what happened. It's that simple. Had an unintended firing occurred despite all of such precautions being taken, then perhaps I'd be inclined to term it "accident," both in terms of intention and chance.

    But, in this case, no: I believe it was negligence. Ask the person who put the gun there, who failed to secure it, who failed to holster it, who failed to recall the damned thing was there when the car door was opened.

    Remember the four gun safety rules:
    • A gun is always loaded.

    • Never point the muzzle at something you're unprepared to destroy.

    • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are prepared to fire.

    • Know your target and what is beyond it.


    I feel very bad for her young husband as he will have to live with the results of his poor firearms handeling for the rest of his life.
    Whomever failed to control that firearm is in a bad way, right now. That person is going to have to live a lifetime knowing his/her failures contributed directly to a death, and that practically ANYTHING that person did differently would have been better doing nothing.

    ====================

    Life's pretty simple, with potentially dangerous weapons around. Very simple, actually.

    • You don't want to have a gun flopping all around a car? Secure it properly.

    • You don't want a muzzle to be flopping around, pointing every which way? Secure it properly.

    • You don't want a gun to be left unattended? Put it in a damned holster, or lock it up.

    • You don't want a gun to fire even if the stars align badly and the gun falls on the hammer? Put it in a damned holster, or lock it up.

    • You won't bother to take even minimal precautions to guard a firearm, know where it is, ensure it cannot be taken, fall or fire without you intentionally doing so ... well, then, you have NO business having a gun anywhere near you under your control or responsibility.


    Negligence.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    This is sad. The gun should have not been loaded or at least a live round should not have been under the hammer. If only he could take it back.

  5. #19
    Member Array old south's Avatar
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    I don't see how dropping a gun is negligent. Have you people never dropped anything. People that say the safety should be on need to know that very few safetys block the hammer or firing pin. The safety blocks the trigger so a drop can cause the hammer to fall. Having the gun in a holster will not stop a hammer from falling if the gun is dropped. Some say don't carry a bullet in the barrel but a self defense gun is not much use if you have to load it. Larry












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  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    failure to properly holster the gun to ensure it wouldn't fire even if dropped.
    Huh?

    I dont think your reading the whole story nor watching the video's as reported. The *single action* 6 shot revolver was holstered at the time of discharge. If, the gun fell out of the car and landed on the hammer precisely so that the hammer struck the firing pin with a fairly stiff force, that rimfire round would fire.

    I've never in my 50 years of life ever seen a holster that would prevent this type of discharge from this mechanical action and this caliber of ammunition. Even the old military style flap cover holster would not prevent this in my opinion. Unless a firing pin *block* was installed in the gun, a holster would not prevent this. The holster shown on the news was an open top thumb break style holster.

    I have no disagreement about the unattended weapon not being properly secured to prevent it from falling, this I agree is negligence. The gun landing perfectly on the hammer to strike the firing pin is accidental. It was this impact that caused the gun to fire.

    **An accident is a specific, identifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, without apparent or deliberate cause but with marked effects**

    **Negligence is not the same as "carelessness", because someone might be exercising as much care as they are capable of, yet still fall below the level of competence expected of them. It is the opposite of "diligence". It can be generally defined as conduct that is culpable because it falls short of what a reasonable person would do to protect another individual from foreseeable risks of harm.**

    The surefire way to prevent this trajedy was to unload the weapon when not in use.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old south View Post
    I don't see how dropping a gun is negligent. Have you people never dropped anything.
    A drop itself may not be negligent. Great! Let's all feel good about that. But let's not allow the person responsible for that happening get off the hook because we all feel so good.

    Surely, the simple fact that failure to control the firearm beforehand lead directly to the gun flopping around, unsecured, unholstered was a negligent act on the part of the person responsible for that failure. Had the person taken even the most basic steps to responsibly secure that firearm, someone would almost certainly NOT have been killed. That, my friend, by almost any standard, is negligence.

    Let's do a little test. Let's take a quick look at the basic steps a person goes through when using the car for errands, picking up someone from work, driving from place to place. Let's see if we can identify where the negligent actions were. This is completely hypothetical.

    Hypothetical time line of events, identifying actions that would be good candidates for negligent steps taken by the person responsible for this firearm:
    • wake up
    • grab the firearm, wallet, keys, etc.
    • ignore the holster.
    • flop the firearm into the car.
    • disregard where the firearm lands.
    • disregard the COM safe, range bag, spare holster, daypack, etc, underneath the driver's seat and in the trunk.
    • disregard the fact that the gun is still fully loaded, but uncontrolled.
    • disregard training about maintaining control over firearm.
    • drive car to errand #1.
    • ignore the fact that the firearm is dangling loose in the car during errands, flopping around to God knows where inside the car ... under the baby carrier that's holding the 2yr old, or ...
    • toss items into car, on top of and around the firearm.
    • pick up passenger (wife from work).
    • open car door.
    • firearm falls to ground, discharging despite anyone wanting it to.
    • spend next X hrs at the hospital, dealing with aftermath.
    • spend next X hours at police, explaining firearm "accident" and steps leading up to the discharge.
    • continue to ignore facts, that had steps been taken to secure and holster the firearm been taken then the gun would not have flopped around to the ground.


    Long before the gun discharged, had the indicated steps (highlighted in bold) been instead replaced by proper handling of the firearm, a death would almost certainly have been avoided.

    No disrespect to the people involved is intended. The surviving folks have my condolences and deepest respect for what they're going through. Nobody should have to scrape one's family off the roadway, watching them die. But, if anything, that should harden our willpower to do what needs to be done, which is looking at this situation for what it is, identifying those elements that could have (and should have) easily been changed due to training and common sense, in order to have avoided what happened.

    But, that's why we train. That's why we always focus on the safety aspects. That's why we make some things routine: taking a gun out of storage; holstering a gun; unholstering a gun; cleaning a gun. That's why we double-check on the safety aspects. Why? 'Cause if you completely ignore the safety steps, it can get you killed ... or, worse, kill someone else.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
    A cheap $20 dollar Walmart range bag would have prevented this tragedy.
    Unloading the gun would have prevented this tragedy too!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcher View Post
    Huh?
    **An accident is a specific, identifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, without apparent or deliberate cause but with marked effects**

    **Negligence is not the same as "carelessness", because someone might be exercising as much care as they are capable of, yet still fall below the level of competence expected of them. It is the opposite of "diligence". It can be generally defined as conduct that is culpable because it falls short of what a reasonable person would do to protect another individual from foreseeable risks of harm.**

    The surefire way to prevent this trajedy was to unload the weapon when not in use.
    I bolded some more for you. The cause was quite clear.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    It's sad and tragic that it occurred, and assessing blame wont' do any good at this point. I'm sure, he would like to take it all back at this point and going thru all of the "what if's" himself, and will be for a looooong time.

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    It's sad and tragic that it occurred, and assessing blame wont' do any good at this point.
    Identifying the cause will, hopefully, avoid such tragedy in future. To blame was the dismissiveness, inattentiveness and/or lack of training that allowed basic steps to be missed.

    Agreed, that we should not see this as blaming anyone. Rather, we should see it as simply identifying the cause(s). The perfect "Case" study, in a manner of speaking.

    If nothing else, let this incident be a klaxon warning to those who would lightly dismiss safety around firearms.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    This kind of thing makes me angry. At the very, very least the hammer could have been left on an EMPTY chamber. It's a freaking revolver; it can still be used defensively because pulling the trigger rolls it over to the next chamber!

    This wasn't clumsiness, either. No one dropped it from his/her hands, it came tumbling out of the car as the door was opened. It wasn't "dropped" it was carelessly stowed.

    A young wife dead, a young husband who's going to be saddled with guilt and grief for a LONG time, a new marriage destroyed... and ALL of this was easily preventable. It's sad, but even more so it's infuriating.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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  13. #27
    Member Array Westrock's Avatar
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    A drop itself may not be negligent. Great! Let's all feel good about that. But let's not allow the person responsible for that happening get off the hook because we all feel so good.
    Sure smells like a pile of blame to me. Maybe we could take it a step further and say if he never bought a gun this wouldn't have happened. The guy lost his wife, for Pete's sake. No one is getting "off the hook."

    Yes, we all need to exercise care. But accidents do happen, even to the best and most careful of people. That's just the way of accidents. Whether it is stepping off a curb while distracted or anything else that kills and maims people every day. And yes, it is a lesson in safety. But have mercy on the guy, and just learn from it.

  14. #28
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    Rather than argue over who is to blame or the definition of an accident , consider the personal aspect of the gun owners actions . I think he already knows he screwed up.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Rather than argue over who is to blame or the definition of an accident , consider the personal aspect of the gun owners actions . I think he already knows he screwed up.
    This is no longer about him, though.
    He is not reading this forum...He's reading his wifes obituary.

    This is about education and learning lessons by proxy.
    Becoming smarter, wiser, and _most safe_ as a result of the error lessons taught to us all per the mistakes of others.

    This guy very much should have known better than to act as he did.
    So should his, very easily prevented but now dead, wife too.

    If they had thought them self to be anything but stone newbie gun owners.

    This story is no different than any other item featured in this area.
    The point and purpose is not to simply throw raspberries at the persons involved but rather to show us all as in this specific case 1) What not to do and 2) What can and does easily occur when you do what you are not supposed to do.

    If only MORE gun owners and people in general would take heed of the lessons provided by stories such as this then far less of these type incidents would occur than they do. Which is weekly (!).
    Completely avoidable and very much regrettable.

    As to the argument there is none.
    Clearly as based on the reports and the results, plural, as very clearly identified multiple times by multiple posters throughout this thread...This was no accident, it was negligence.
    An accident would have been they on a range shooting the firearm and one round being undercharged lodging the projectile in the barrel. A second round is fired in quick succession resulting in product failure explosion of the barrel and action and by off chance a sliver of metal flying outward as into the shooters jugular piercing it and that person dying due to blood loss. That would be an accident. Which was not the case here.

    - Janq

    "The smart man learns from his mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others." - An old timey truism
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Jang ...

    I guess I couldnt agree with you more. The reason I posted this was to discuss the merits and/or faults of this terrible occurance. This is what we do in this section. Whether or not it was negligent or an accident is irrelevant. It's the understanding that it could have been prevented very easily.

    I've spent the better part of my adult life trying to educate people with firearm safety and how guns affect our daily lives. It's forums like these where we can expound upon real life situations and learn from them. I think we all should do our part as gun owners to help educate those who are not as knowledgeable.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981

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