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View Diary: Armed gunmen ambush teachers in an Oregon school ... as a readiness test (306 comments)

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  •  Brandon Lee (60+ / 0-)
    Brandon Lee died of a fatal gunshot wound on March 31, 1993 after an accidental shooting on set of The Crow. During filming, a blank cartridge was fired from a gun barrel in which a bullet of a real cartridge was lodged. The bullet struck Lee. He was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC where he underwent 6 hours of surgery. However, attempts to save him were unsuccessful, and Lee was pronounced dead at 1:03pm on March 31, 1993 at 28 years old. The shooting was ruled an accident.

    In the scene in which Lee was shot, Lee’s character walks into his apartment and discovers his fiancée being beaten and raped by thugs. Actor Michael Massee's character fires a handgun at Lee as he walks into the room. Proper blank cartridges were used during the fatal scene, however due to a mix up during earlier filming of gun close ups, a bullet had become lodged in the barrel without anyone noticing. Dummy cartridges had been improperly prepared and then accidentally fired, the primer charge driving the bullet part-way into the barrel, resulting in a squib load. In the fatal scene the explosive charge of the blank propelled the bullet lodged in the barrel as if the gun had been loaded with a live round, resulting in the fatal accident.

    Brandon Lee
    Still think it is ridiculous?
    •  Blanks can still be dangerous... (24+ / 0-)

      Jon-Erik Hexum of a long-ago TV series The Voyager Jon-Erik Hexum, bio:

      However, on October 12th, 1984 after a long and draining day's shooting on the set of "Cover Up: Pilot (#1.0)" (1984), Hexum became bored with the extensive delays and jokingly put a prop .44 magnum revolver to his temple and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, and the wadding from the blank cartridge shattered his skull, whereupon the mortally injured Hexum was rushed via ambulance to hospital to undergo extensive surgery. Despite five hours of work, the chief surgeon, Dr. David Ditsworth, described the damage to Hexum's brain as life-ending. One week later, on October 18th, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead. However, Hexum's commitment to organ donation meant five other lives were assisted or saved with organs harvested from him. The youthful & charming Hexum was dead at only 26 years of age.
      Might've been a blank, but a projectile is still a projectile...

      Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything. —molly ivins

      by fumie on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:15:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blanks can cause injuries. For one, it hits an eye (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie, pgm 01

        "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

        by TofG on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:17:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hexum was one of the most beautiful men on TV (5+ / 0-)

        It's no accident that one of his TV movie credits was "Making of a Male Model". Plus, according to wiki: "After graduating from high school, Hexum went on to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, in order to study biomedical engineering."

      •  Blanks can be lethal (21+ / 0-)

        They are nothing to play around with.  Ever.  I played with some as a kid and quickly learned to respect them, fortunately without anyone being injured.  In a gun make specifically to fire blanks (like for foot races) the wadding is usually diverted upward, but when a regular gun is used? It is a gamble what can happen when the gun is pointed at someone, as can happen in a play without the actor thinking about the possible consequences.

        This Oregon "drill" strikes me as one of the dumber things I've heard of in years. Forget someone being armed, all that would have been needed was be for someone in the room to grab a chair and whack one of the "intruders" over the head.  

        I can tell you from experience, in a high-stress situation one tends to react instinctively. And quickly. Many years ago I disarmed someone about four inches taller than me, without stopping to think about what I was doing. For the record they appeared to be about to hurt themselves, so maybe that made it easier for me to jump in, as contrasted to whether they were pointing a weapon at me. I may never know, but it was quite a high-stress hour until someone came and was able to help me control the individual.

        Based on that one life-altering experience, I can say that in a dangerous situation one's reactions take over. If one of those teachers felt their colleagues' lives were at risk (perhaps one of them a sweetie of their's?) and they saw a way to disable an assailant? The "exercise" could have ended in tragedy.

        A really, really dumb idea.

    •  Lee was NOT shot by live round loaded accidentally (0+ / 0-)

      There was a bullet from a previous firing of the pistol that was lodged in the barrel.  The powder charge from the blank forced the bullet out of the barrel:

      "due to a mix up during earlier filming of gun close ups, a bullet had become lodged in the barrel without anyone noticing"

      I also question the anecdote about the recruit being issued live rounds.  They do not look the same, and anyone with military weapons training would know that, and that would be the armorer that issues the ammunition.  Live rounds have a bullet on the end of the cartridge (duh) and blank rounds have the end of the cartridge crimped closed like the unopened petals of a flower.  For further information, there is also the "dummy round", which led to Lee's death.  A dummy round has a bullet, but no powder and NO PRIMER, and are further marked with paint (usually black or yellow) to denote "dummy", but otherwise they are identical to standard issue ammunition. The reason that dummy rounds are NEVER to be loaded with a live primer is because the charge of the primer creates sufficient pressure to force the dummy round's bullet into the barrel, but not enough pressure to actually drive it out of the barrel (the aforementioned "squib" shot, although a squib can also be the result of incomplete ignition of a genuine live round's powder, or insufficient powder loaded during manufacture--exceedingly rare).  The ultimate cause of Lee's death was that an obviously unqualified prop man removed the powder from a cartridge but left the live primer in place which forced the bullet into the barrel, waiting for a powder charge to send it on its way.  If a live round had been loaded instead of a blank, the barrel would likely have burst upon firing.

      Doesn't make the incident in Halfway, Oregon any less stupid, but mistakenly loading a live round instead of a blank round is way, way, way down the list of reasons why.

      •  You "question" shit that has actually happened (12+ / 0-)

        and which has caused deaths.

        I also question the anecdote about the recruit being issued live rounds.  They do not look the same, and anyone with military weapons training would know that, and that would be the armorer that issues the ammunition.
        Algrim's death was the third of three shooting mistakes that have left Marines injured or dead at Camp Pendleton since 2000. In the previous two cases, and prosecutors say in this one as well, Marines who should have been using blanks had put live ammo in their guns.
        Cpl. Seth Algrim and  Pfc. Jeremy R. Purcel were both killed outright and Lance Cpl. Waightstill Avery was seriously wounded.  This all happened in just six years at just one base (granted, a big one).

        Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

        by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:58:43 PM PDT

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        •  I was 10 years in the airborne infantry (0+ / 0-)

          I was present for tens of thousands of rounds downrange.  I was OIC of an armory ( lucky me).  The Army procedures make such an accident damn near impossible and it would end the career of every officer and NCO in that chain of command.  I have no idea how the marines do it, but I am well versed in the army way, and issuance and custody of ammunition for training is taken very seriously and live rounds are deadly ordnance and deadly ordnance is inspected twice.  The only way I can see it happening is a trooper breaking regs and not turning in unused ammo from a previous exercise and then bringing it back and loading it into the mag himself.

          •  The Marines were equally convinced it was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pgm 01

            impossible.

            Each and every time it happened, they remained sure it was impossible.

            It certainly did not end the career of every officer and NCO in that chain of command, although I certainly doubt it was seen as a bright point.

            The possibility of failure exists in all human systems.

            Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

            by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:59:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And you are so sure that Pine Eagle Charter School (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Silvia Nightshade

            used the same or substantially similar protocols because?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:19:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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