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View Diary: Another day in the (gun crazy) U.S.A. (45 comments)

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  •  The problem with "accidental shootings" as a class (9+ / 0-)

    of shootings is that the police don't want to investigate or prosecute he said/she said situation. And where the victim is dependent on the shooter financially, for a job, or through family there can be powerful incentives to lie to the police about what was really going on at the time of the shooting.

    Reposting my comment from last night (edited):

    We can't know for sure - unless every gun was equipped with a miniature black box video cam recording everything it "looked" at and every time a round was chambered.

    Alcohol related injuries: 25% vehicle, 20% firearm. I suspect that the number of self shootings as a fraction of total "accidental" shootings reflects carelessness to a first approximation. I'd guess that alcohol is a big factor. But we also see fairly sadistic misogynistic gunplay, (e.g. those videos showing a slender woman shooting a shotgun and being knocked off her feet - while someone was filming her. Those are made by people who enjoy humiliating and injuring women, otherwise they would give her adequate instruction).

    Yes, a lot of these shootings are UNINTENTIONAL - although not necessarily accidental. I'm starting to actively reject the word accidental because a shooting requires too many non-random steps.

    A vehicle collision arising from a deer running onto a highway is a vehicle accident because the deer on a roadway is a risk factor that can be controlled. A vehicle collision resulting from bald tires is carelessness, if the owner didn't know the tires were bald; that's why we require annual safety inspections. A vehicle accident the results from drunk driving is not an accident, and it is not the result of carelessness. The alcoholic beverages didn't randomly find their way into a driver's body. It required a conscious decision to drink.

    There is a similar gradient for guns - from accident to careless to recklessness.

    Someone has to purchase the gun.
    Someone has to purchase the ammo.
    Someone has to load the ammo in the magazine or into the gun.
    Someone has to chamber the round and/or pull the hammer back (in a revolver) and/or click off the safety, etc.

    In most situations someone had to put their finger inside the trigger guard. (That's that metal loop around the trigger on every firearm to prevent the trigger from being bumped when the gun falls over or knocks against something.

    In the majority of shootings an additional step is necessary and MUST BE COINCIDENT with the finger on the trigger. The open end of the rifle had to be pointing at a person at the same time someone's finger was on the trigger.

    Do a quick 360 scan and an up/down scan around yourself. Now imagine any kind of rod in your hand and you'll see how the vast majority of random positions a gun could take DO NOT and CAN NOT intersect with a human being.

    Only when ALL of those non-random earlier steps were  taken AND the open end is pointed at a person AND someone's finger is on the trigger is there an injury or death by gunfire.

    When people claim the gun "just went off" to me it's like a saying that a car "just put itself in gear and drove itself down the road and hit someone." No, not usually. Usually there was a driver behind the wheel who turned the car on, put it in gear and failed to operate it in a safe manner.

    A commenter recently suggested that a number of shootings classified as accidental were probably homicides with immediate remorse.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:02:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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