William DeHayes was showing Hoover his gun collection. While he was showing her his .22 caliber revolver, it accidentally fired and shot Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. [More at the Tampa Bay Times.]
Hoover died in the ER yesterday; the child she was carrying died with her.
This is, of course, merely the ordinary awful that necessarily flows from Second Amendment fundamentalism. I’ll say one thing: anyone who chalks an incident like this to the necessary cost of preserving freedom cannot be said to be pro-life. If abortion by gun is OK by you…
In any event, the blunt fact of unfettered gun ownership and the celebration of a culture of the gun is that those most at risk of gun violence remain those who own them and their friends and family. Put together the gun-suicides, “accidents” like these,* and shootings of intimate partners and or others known to the shooter, and you have well over half of all gun deaths in the US — a number which in total is essentially the same as those we lose to road accidents.
The fantasy of the gun? It’s all fun and games until the reaper lays hold of its victim’s cloak:
There’s more. Here’s the bit that I just can’t stand:
Police are still investigating the incident, but believe it was an accidental shooting, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
An accident? Not a charge of involuntary manslaughter?
Maybe that’ll come, but sweet FSM! You pick up a gun and shoot someone dead — even if you didn’t mean to — and that’s not a crime?
The NRA, ammosexuals, and all their enablers in politics and the media tell us that the term “responsible gun owners” has actual meaning. It doesn’t, as this case demonstrates . I’ll update this post if it turns out that Mr. DeHayes faces actual consequences for taking another person’s life, but until then, I’m going to vent:
Responsible means that whatever happens with your gun is your fault. Period. You accidentally discharge it and no-one gets hurt? How’s this: big fine, confiscate the weapon involved, lose the right to bear arms for a year for the first incident, forever if you repeat. Someone gets hurt or dies? Jail. Civil liability. Loss of gun rights for life. That’s responsibility.
But of course, I dream. That’s not how we roll. Instead, we’ll just water the tree of liberty with a newlywed, and celebrate life by burying her fetus — and wait (not long) for the next red harvest.
*Scare quotes because such shootings are not acts of god — the deer that darts across the road just at the moment when you have to swerve into a tree or take a 400 pound antlered rodent through the windshield. They are the statistically predictable outcomes of handing guns out freely to a population in which only half of the folks are above average. That is, even though there is no way to predict that Ms. Hoover would fall victim to this awfulness, we knwo we can expect some number per year or month of folks felled by stupidity, carelessness, and general fuck ups with a gun.
Image: Hans Baldung, The Knight, the Young Girl, and Death, c. 1505.
Accidentally hit someone with a car, and there’s a good chance that you’ll be up on charges of vehicular manslaughter. Why are guns different?
Perhaps the auto makers should bankroll a National Cars Association to lobby for the removal of such prosecutions.
And the countdown has already begun.
It’s probably being considered an accident because the shooter was melanin-deficient (if he matches the victim). I’m sure that if he were less so, we[d be looking at charges of manslaughter and murder.
Also, too, Florida.
We don’t take responsibility in this society. It’s always some external agent that caused our boorish (or bloody) behavior.
The thing is….I cannot think of any other “weapon” that one may wield, accidently kill someone, and not face charges. Car? vehicular somethingorother. Baseball bat? Assault if not manslaughter. Crowbar? They’d try and pin murder on ya. Crossbow, stun gun, willy pete…..any of those gets you at least negligent something.
But using an actual killing device and killing someone? Bupkis. Amazing.
@Cervantes: “It accidentally fired”? That makes it sounds as though the gun shot itself.
BTW, I’m the real Cervantes.
I’d settle for seeing some of these morons sued down to the soles of their boots. You can’t take basic safety precautions with your killing stick? Fine, that will be everything in your bank account and your possessions.
When they finally outlaw all abortions for any reason, the shooter will then certainly be charged with some degree of murder. Not of the adult, of course, but murder of the fetus.
If she’d been drugging and the fetus died, then she’d be charged in Tennessee. White male privilege – you’re swimming in it.
@Bruuuuce: melanin deficient, yes. Florida, not necessarily confined to that particular zone of stupid.
@the Conster: This
Involuntary manslaughter requires a negligent act by the accused person. The standard you’re advocating for is strict liability, and I’m unaware of any jurisdiction where manslaughter is strict liability offense. Every type of homicide offense requires some sort of mens rea. With the limited information in the story, it’s completely unclear what led to the discharge of the gun (i.e. who was holding it, was the safety engaged, etc.).
@Cervantes: And I’ve noticed that gun rights people love to claim that guns don’t fire themselves. Huh
We will never be truly safe until only police and the military are allowed to have guns.
Well, wearing saggy pants in Ocala Florida could get you six months in jail. I can see why their jails may be too full to handle these kinds of cases.
@Cacti: I do think strict liability is the right standard for guns and gun ownership. But in fact I think that the discharge of a weapon “accidentally” is by its nature negligent. For example, in this case, if you are showing your guns to a visitor, it would meet my definition of negligence to fail to ensure that the weapons are not loaded.
ETA – I’m aware (a) IANAL and (b) “my definition” and a Charlie Card gets you on the T…but the point is that there are reasonable real-world conceptions of negligence that stop well short of the strict liability standard that you mention.
Did they check her pockets for skittles? Cause that makes a difference.
@the Conster: So states that have banned all late-term abortions now have a “Glock 9 Loophole” instead? So hollow points are the new coathangers?
Part of the reason, not all of course, but part of the reason the ammosexuals come up with BS stories about Obama taking all their ammo and FEMA camps and what not is the ability to both not see stories like this and to create a wall around their shriveled little souls so that they don’t have to even think about it.
Also, and this May be an overshare but I swear I need to start a group called “dudes with problems getting it up who still don’t feel the need to wave around guns as a surrogate *****”
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
Unless the people who kill the people are Responsible Gun Owners™ and the killed people aren’t of the properly killable sort.
Then it’s the gun that killed the people (typically through the use of the passive voice). The Responsible Gun Owner™ definitionally, one might even say tautologically, cannot be responsible.
Handing a loaded gun to someone is not a negligent act?
Unless the victim held the gun to her own head and pulled the trigger, the gun owner was negligent. He either should have made sure the gun was unloaded or put the goddamned safety on before handing it to another person.
@Cacti: It was inside a house, or at least in the control of the owner and it WAS loaded. Unless he hit the trigger while checking if it was loaded. Why was it loaded? Do they live in a high crime area? Does he keep it (supposedly) for protection? Why was it loaded? Unless and until you are at a range for target shooting, a weapon shouldn’t be loaded, for precisely this reason.
I’d like to see a charge in these cases. Something, anything that acknowledges that a life was lost for NO Reason.
As a real “Responsible Gun Owner”, I love the idea of real penalties to go along with negligent discharges, especially in the case of injury or loss of life to another person.
There are no accidental discharges. A gun only fires when you don’t intend for it to do so if you are being negligent with it.
Pretty sure we have plenty of other laws on the books to deal with wrongful/negligent/involuntarily taking another person’s life, so if there isn’t already such a law on Florida’s books, there fuckin’ ought to be.
We have penalties for things like DUI and what not, so we ought to have penalties for SWS – Shootin’ While Stupid.
I mean, simple as this: If you’re a real Law Abidin’ Self Defender, then what does it matter if you stand the risk of losing your boomstick if you negligently shoot somebody?
If you’re a firearms fetishist and don’t like the idea of penalties for negligent gun use, then you’re exactly the type of person who shouldn’t have a gun in the fuckin’ first place.
Apparently guns do kill people.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of ham-handed, brain damaged, ammosexually aroused, white males to gun people down – accidentally or intentionally – shall not be infringed.
There is no wrong that can’t be righted by a white male with a gun/
A friend of mine was charged with vehicular manslaughter a few years ago; she hit a speeding motorcycle guided by a very drunk guy and the headlight was out on the bike; his passenger/girlfriend was the one who died. My friend said she was turning left with the turn signal; the guy denies he ran a red light or that he was speeding (the skid marks say otherwise). During the sentencing portion of the trial, the relatives of the dead woman were very clear that they found no fault with my friend and were sorry that their late relative had “fallen in with such a rough crowd”. By the time of the trail, the motorcyclist was already under arrest on another drunk driving and assault charge, one of many on his very long rap sheet. My friend did some weekend jail time and lots of community service hours.
When I compare and contrast the above story with this most recent shooting, I can’t understand why this guy isn’t getting popped for involuntary manslaughter. Well, other than “Florida” I guess.
@Cacti: In North Carolina, most episodes of “accidental” gun discharge that results in a death get prosecuted as involuntary manslaughter. Almost by definition, if someone dies in a gun accident, there has been a gross deviation from the basic rules of gun safety, that start with 1) treat every gun as if it was loaded, even/especially when you “know” it isn’t, 2) never point a gun at anyone you don’t intended to shoot even/especially when you “know” it’s unloaded 3) keep you goddamned finger on the trigger; 4) know what’s downrange of wherever you point it; and 5) they’re not goddam toys, they fucking kill people, act accordingly.
Show me an accidental shooting that doesn’t involve breaking at least one of those rules and I’ll show you an “accidental” shooting that might not be involuntary manslaughter.
I think there may be some bicyclists who would like a word. Unless you leave the scene or were committing some other moving violation.
This may have changed somewhat recently.
Not sure I understand this safety rule. ?off?
I just cannot believe the absolute stupidity of people on both ends of the gun.
I know you are not supposed to blame the victim, but fergawdsake why wouldn’t someone immediately leave the vicinity if some fool began to show off his gun collection?
I guess being a Canadian and in my social/family circle guns are virtually unheard of, so I just don’t know what kind of pressure there is to look at someone’s substitute penis, errr I mean gun collection.
Off Topic: a Charlie Card gets you on the T…
I’m going to take it that this is the fare card used on the Boston MTA and so nicknamed for Charlie who boarded at the Kendall Square Station and never returned not having another nickel to pay at Jamaica Plain. (I had to check the lyrics for the station names.)
just standing his ground after all…
@PurpleGirl: Yup. Used to write “token” for that line, but we ain’t got no tokens no more…so Charlie’s back on the MTA.
How dare you suggest that gun owners aren’t all totally responsible and awesome. The very suggestion that they might not be is almost as ridiculous as the idea of laws to enforce that responsibility.
The NRA doesn’t.
@Cacti: Fuck the NRA. With a rusty pitchfork. Sideways and with vigor. Repeatedly.
@catclub: Sorry, used to commenting systems that give you more than four goddamned minutes to check for errors . . . “off” should have been.
Tone In DC
I notice how often these ammosexuals apparently need/want to “show people” their weapons.
Perhaps I lack the expertise, technical proficiency and other qualities that would allow me to fully appreciate firearms like these guys do.
I’m a vintage audio guy. If company comes by, I show them my Luxman receiver and my M&K subwoofer. Thing is, no one’s gonna keel over from me blasting “Cult of Personality” at 120 watts at 8 ohms.
@Cacti: Correct, because like with every other industry the individuals charged with negligence will file suit with the manufacturer claiming that there should have been a warning or an additional safety, or some such. And since the NRA works for the manufacturers…
CorporationsGuns are people too, my friend!
Or perhaps the gun is a naughty little puppy that accidentally peed a bullet through this woman’s brain.
@Tone In DC:
Obviously a sign your stereo isn’t
Tone In DC
As someone who has been trained in the use of firearms, I can tell you it is drilled into you: always assume the gun is loaded. Double And triple check that it is not. Never have the gun pointing in a direction that would be disastrous if fired, unless that’s what you mean to do. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to.fire. he broke all three of these cardinal safety rules. That to me is a negligent act and he should be charged with some version of manslaughter. I think a lot of law enforcement soft pedal these incidents because they can imagine it happening to them or someone they know, and because of their frequent support for guns uber alles. I think there should be stricter laws over NDs and stricter application of the laws on the books. I don’t see this happening to.me or mine because I am hyper aware of the rules. I did not even havemy finger on the trigger in the incident I mentioned last week. It is a nanosecond to move it into firing position. People are way too careless with their guns.
Culture of Truth
Manslaughter would depend on the laws of the state. But definitely a journalistic crime. “While he was showing her his .22 caliber revolver, either DeHayes or Hoover pulled the trigger and shot Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office”
@Tone In DC: Back when I owned a rifle, I didn’t go showing it to guests. Friends knew I had a rifle somewhere in the apartment. I felt no need to show it off to all and sundry.
Tone In DC
Gonna have to mount a laser sight on the volume knob, or something.
Some guy tried to make something called a “gun safe” back in the ’70s. Huge flop. No market for them. Turns out, there’s no such thing as a responsible gun owner.
The Kingston Trio – “M.T.A.”
Goodness, I don’t know why this surprises anyone. It’s Florida. It wouldn’t have been a crime if he’d shot her on purpose, so why should it be a crime to shoot her accidentally?
@Tone In DC: Not the music. But video of Glover & Co might give a few of these scardey cats a heart attack.
But the gun manufacturers are already protected from liability in those cases. Back in 2005, Congress passed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” to exempt gun manufacturers from liability for crimes committed with the guns they manufactured. That’s what a powerful lobby will get you.
NC has some really fucked up gun safety rules.
@jrg: I do know two people who have gun safes and who use them.
I won’t click the story link, but I’m gonna guess. This is a white family, right? Because nearly every time this is a black or Latino person, they get hit with involuntary manslaughter and endangerment charges. So even with SYG and guns for everyone, there’s another tier of justice.
@Tone In DC:
You just need to increase the power of your system until it’s loud enough to do property damage from sonic power alone. That’s what a manly man would do.
I’m still disappointed they didn’t follow the nautical theme of some other cities. London has the Oyster Card, Seattle the Orca. Boston seems a natural for the Cod.
peach flavored shampoo
The second this guy is charged, what’s to stop him from suddenly claiming he felt threated by her fetus and felt the need to SYG (Shoot Your Girlfriend)? Who’s going to prove otherwise?
Tone In DC
Back when I owned a rifle, I didn’t go showing it to guests. Friends knew I had a rifle somewhere in the apartment. I felt no need to show it off to all and sundry.
You lack the nigh irresistible ammosexual urge of folks like this person DeHayes; that, and your IQ is no doubt double or triple his. ;-)
I went to a shooting range once. Never again. They really should stop serving alcohol in places like that.
Florida, although it has a law that specifically covers “vehicular homicide” apparently decided that a 1,000 years of common law on “involuntary manslaughter” and “negligent homicide” was to harsh. So as long as the shooting was “accidental” you can kill someone in Florida and not break the law.
Florida statutes, sec. 782.03. – Excusable homicide
Homicide is excusable when committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent, or by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, without any dangerous weapon being used and not done in a cruel or unusual manner. http://www.sagepub.com/lippmanccl2e/study/supplements/Florida/FL11.pdf
Then it would be the called the Cod Cahd. Really confusing for the tourists.
@kc: “Florida” appears to be a pretty big loophole in criminal law
With women being increasingly charged for endangering their internal snowflakes by ingesting things etc., when can we see one charged with endangering their child by visiting a gun nut? It’s a known risk factor. Silly question of course, looking at the scattered litter of larger kidlets the larger society counts as a reasonable side-effect of freedum-whoops.
But the chance to boss womminz around is also strong within them: quandries, quandries. . .
Tone In DC
San Francisco has the Clipper card, and Hong Kong has the Octopus. Obviously, Hong Kong wins.
@raven: I think it’s great that Charlie is remembered in the nickname of the fare card. I’m jealous, NYC riders just say Metro card. No nickname and no neat song.
Can someone who knows guns enlighten me: isn’t a revolver much harder to accidentally discharge than a semi-automatic weapon? My quick browsing of Wikipedia says that a revolver is either single-action (in which case the user has to deliberately pull back the hammer before firing) or double-action (which has a much harder trigger pull). So how exactly does this gun fire accidentally?
@jrg: You’re kidding about them serving alcohol, right? Please tell me you’re kidding
Always loved the song, but could never understand why Charlie’s wife didn’t throw in a nickel while she was down at the Sculley Square station every day at quarter past two handing him a sandwich.
(Of course, I’m not privy to the state of their marriage. Maybe she was just as happy keeping him fed but otherwise out of her life.)
On topic, there should be a strict chain of custody requirement for firearms. If you are the owner of record, that gun and anything that happens with it is your responsibility, whether you lose it, misfire it, keep it unsecured such that it can be borrowed or stolen, or, of course, if you deliberately use it for the purpose for which it was intended. Your responsibility until such time as you relinquish title, at which point full responsibility passes to the new owner.
I’m even more hardcore. I think that anyone who has their gun stolen from their car or property should be civilly responsible for any consequences of the gun being misused in the future. Having your gun stolen means you did not adequately secure it, and if you can’t adequately secure your gun you shouldn’t own one.
It’s estimated that between a quarter and a half million guns are stolen in the US annually. That’s a quarter to a half million more guns in the hands of criminals because of the actions of “responsible” gun owners.
Heh – no sooner did I post, but I realized SiubhanDuinne is pretty much on the same page.
Bolded the extremely relevent fix there for ya.
Flat-out impossible. There has to be some kind of impact to make the bullet fire. And tapping it with your finger won’t do it.
And why do gun owners keep their weapons loaded with one in the chamber? What the fuck? Mine are in a safe, and empty. Mags out, nothing in the chamber, not ever. Even my BB gun gets this treatment.
This is about as much of an “accident” as slamming two fifths of vodka and getting into a car wreck is an “accident”, and needs to be called out and treated as such.
I went mountain biking on a popular portion of the Colorado Trail last weekend, and the surrounding area is National Forest, meaning a free for all as far as camping wherever you want to goes, plus it is close to Denver so lots of weekenders. By the time I turned around to head back to the parking area, I felt like I was having to bike through a war zone thanks to the target shooting; lots of different guns, some semi-auto, some obviously very large caliber. Lots of trees, so you couldn’t tell where it was coming from or if they were shooting into a hill or into the bushes. It rather ruined the fun outdoor vibe, but I got some comfort out of knowing the idiot was burning up big bucks in spent ammo.
Mike in NC
From the article’s comments we have a new nickname for FL: The Gunshine State
@Mnemosyne: Safeties don’t work. Neither do decockers. Unloaded or nothing.
I took a riflery at a camp once, when I was a kid. We learned all about how to handle guns.
The most fun games were called “pew pew”, where you point the gun at other campers and go “pew pew”. The second most fun one was “Bangcock”, where you wait until someone is shooting, and punch them in the balls.
I got riled at Josh at Talking Points Memo this weekend. After reporting on this event, he had readers complaining that he should not call it an accident. He defended calling it an accident because it was not intended. Although he noted that how you describe the event is a different question than whether charges should result, he was losing his patience with those who were complaining.
There’s been a lot of debate over that point over the years. I think consensus opinion is that Charlie’s wife was happiest with her husband trapped on the mass transit equivalent of the Flying Dutchman.
@jrg: I have been to the shooting range three times. Two of those three times I found myself looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. Not going back voluntarily
Could Hoover’s estate at least sue the gun owner in a civil lawsuit? Kind of like how OJ’s victims sued OJ civilly?
He’s right, though. It sounds like it clearly was an accident.
Except that simple, garden-variety negligence won’t support a charge of involuntary manslaughter under Florida law. You need recklessness.
My personal view is that the facts described in the article ought to be enough to constitute recklessness. I would make it a really simple, bright-line test: if there is a round under the hammer and the safety is off or disabled, anything you the gun owner do is per se reckless.
I don’t have any illusions about anybody’s ability to convince a legislature or an appellate court in the Confederacy of that.
While some folks just get online and complain about the gun culture, others go outside and take on gun lovers tit-for-tat
Topless Texans Spar With Open Carry Activists: ‘Boobs For Peace!’
How many of those are really sales that the purchaser and/or the seller prefer to keep off the record?
@StringOnAStick: I got some comfort out of knowing the idiot was burning up big bucks in spent ammo
That’s why I think they should have a tax on ammo, the monies dedicated to a gun victims compensation fund.
Let every round those yahoo’s fire off at least help pay for some of the consequences of their Second Amendment fetishism.
Cause you just never know when a bad guy might bust into your house and need shooting.
@Keith G: That kind of counter protest is about the only reason I could imagine joining the open-carry clowns.
@Tom Levenson: I couldn’t agree more with this. Some accidents are more accidental than others–some are more negligent. A gun owner who is 1) storing a loaded gun, 2) handling a loaded gun while unaware that it is loaded, 3) handling it so inappropriately that it goes off while 4) it is pointed at another person is not “accidentally” discharging said gun. He is negligently discharging it and very harsh penalties should apply. At least as harsh as those which apply to people who drive to endanger or who drive drunk and kill someone. This is not equivalent to someone driving (lawful use) responsibly (not impaired) who hits black ice or has a stroke while driving (actual accidents that can’t have been averted).
Tone In DC
That pun was pretty much deadly, IMHO.
I doubt it. There is at least one indoor range that I know of in OC with a bar.
Florida has a law, “Glocks vs Docs” that states physicians can lose their license for giving parents gun safety tips. Just one more hallmark of an insane fetishization of guns.
ETA: Holy shit. I thought you were making it up: http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/09/smallbusiness/gun-range-alcohol/
OK. I’m done trolling. That’s the dumbest fucking thing I have ever seen.
@Cervantes: So there are two of you? Or three of you – two who capitalize and one who doesn’t?
@Roger Moore: Cracow could have the Kraken Card, which would beat the Octopus.
Can you use a Calamari card to go to Kilimanjaro?
I read this heart breaking story earlier this morning. Something has been gnawing at me ever since…it was a revolver. As a former soldier and police officer, I can tell you that you can literally (did I just commit some sort of error there?) bang the damn thing on the sidewalk and it will not discharge, unless the it is cocked. Pulling the trigger on a revolver hard enough to spin the cylinder and chamber a round and force the hammer back and then forward takes some effort. If you want to make this process faster, you’d merely cock it and then you only have to lightly pull the trigger. Doing the latter while handing the gun over to someone is negligent. Period.
I agree that suing people over these kinds of “accidents” is our only way out.
@burnspbesq: Who would go to such a place? Even if you trust yourself not to do something dumb, how do you trust everyone else?
This bar we used to frequent had two dart boards. I didn’t even like that next to some of drunk idiots that would show up sometimes.
@Betty Cracker: That’s special.
Note especially that one of the documented risk factors for murder in cases where domestic abuse is reported is the presence of a gun in the house. It’s a standard recommendation that doctors ask battered partners if there is such a weapon. If you can’t ask, you can’t assess risk, and you can’t hope to prevent.
Which is to say that barring docs from discussing guns requires them to violate what is at least an emerging standard of practice, not to mention basic medical ethics. It also, in my utterly calm view, makes those who promulgated such a legal abortion accessories to multiple murders.
Field Time in Stanton has a “lounge.” Website doesn’t say anything about alcohol, but I have been told that you can get beer.
Sounds like a blast.
Manly men kin hold there likker.
Or sumpin sumpin like that.
The range in Brea claims to have a strict “no food or drink in the facility” policy. Don’t ask me how they police the parking lot, cuz ah dunno.
We’re missing some key details from the thumbnail account of the incident itself, such as:.
How did the gun come to be pointed at Mrs. Hoover? How did the safety come to be off?
If this happened at a moment when the gun was momentarily in her possession (Mr. DeHayes having handed it to her, safety properly on) – and she had somehow mishandled it, well maybe it was simply a tragic, but excusable accident from Mr. Dehayes’ standpoint. OTOH if Mr. DeHayes was the one handling it, it’s difficult to see how this could plausibly be just simply a “tragic accident” rather than culpable negligence of the sort supporting involuntary manslaughter. This can be shown by considering the probabilities for a chain of events that would excuse Mr. Dehayes from negligent responsibility. If, while keeping it pointed away from any person, he inadvertently dropped it in a manner causing it to accidentally fire at a moment when the tumbling gun was pointed in an unfortunate direction (maybe he was trying to grab it after it slipped loose from his hand?) If so, I could almost understand this to simply be a tragic accident BUT-FOR another substantial problem – why wasn’t the safety on? I suppose it’s possible, at least in principle, that if the gun was inadvertently dropped with the safety on, impact with some object at just the right angle could turn off the safety (e.g. if it’s a button), but the probability is vanishingly unlikely that such an impact would cause all three requisite conditions for a fatal accident: a) accidental impact turns off the safety; b) accidental impact causes the gun to fire; c) at the moment the gun happened to tumble to an angle aimed directly at Mrs. Hoover’s head. Yet, that’s what we’d have to believe for Mr. DeHayes to get off the hook for responsibility for negligent involuntary manslaughter.
Given Boston pronunciation, that’s close to what they already call the Card.
I’m really feeling for the newlywed husband; a couple of days ago he had everything to live for, and now his world has been shattered.
It’s all fun and games until someone loses their whole family.
@Betty Cracker: Don’t know why, but seeing your “Glocks vs Docs” right after the “Boobs for Peace” makes me wonder if we might see a naked confrontation between “Cocks for Glocks” and “Boobs for Peace”.
@SiubhanDuinne: Yep. UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH seriously.
O/T, the 4th Circuit Court has held that the ban on marriage in five states is unconstitutional. Applies to the states in the Circuit: Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia*, and West-By-God-You’d-Better-Smile-When-You-Say-Virginia.
It’s happening with such frequency these days, a person might get bored with it.
Naah. This kind of good news will never get boring.
*(Finally, the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan is fully inclusive.)
You did that on purpose, didn’t you?
@mack: A revolver? Are you sure? Because I would almost call that unpossible unless, as you say, he cocked the weapon before handing it to her.
Makes me wonder if the news reporter has any concept of the difference between a wheelgun and a semi.
Either way, though – the degree of care to be exercised in any situation is a sliding scale, based on the danger sought to be prevented. We don’t expect the same degree of care to protect against a stubbed toe that we expect in the protection of life. That’s why it isn’t inconceivably reckless to walk around your house in the dark, but it IS inconceivably reckless to drive your car blindfolded.
Here, the minimum level of care that we should expect and require is the basic rules of firearms handling. Assume it is loaded. Point it at nothing you do not intend to destroy. Keep finger off trigger and outside trigger guard.
Those rules were obviously and flagrantly violated here, no matter whether it was a revolver or a semiauto, and I would certainly call it manslaughter.
@SiubhanDuinne: Amazing. Wow.
Honey, we moved to Maryland too quick – we just had to wait a year!
@Mike J: NIIIICE!
Tone In DC
Florida has a law, “Glocks vs Docs” that states physicians can lose their license for giving parents gun safety tips. Just one more hallmark of an insane fetishization of guns.
Doctors forbidden from discussing firearms with patients. A $10,000 fine. That is past insane. That legislature is so far down the rabbit hole, Alice can’t see them anymore.
@elmo: Am I sure of what? That a revolver will not go off “by itself”? Yes, very sure. I can’t imagine cocking it and then handing it to someone, but that is about the only way it could discharge without pulling the trigger.
@SiubhanDuinne: Sadly, seriously. And now it’s been upheld as not being an unconstitutional infringement on the doctors’ free speech, but as being a legitimate state regulation of professionals. Pfui.
Wow, Florida. Where the laws of physics only apply to non-gated communities, I suppose?
@elmo: Re-reading your reply…I may have jumped the, er, gun. Yes, I am sure it was a revolver, according to the story. Maybe lazy reporting?
@WereBear: Needs a Venn diagram, with Florida in one ellipse, and The Reality-Based Community in another, with no overlap.
@Waynski: It was sarcasm. Most of this thread is idiotic.
I inherited several guns years ago. They are locked in a safe, unloaded. That makes me a gun owner. It does not mean I leave guns laying about, loaded, for kids to play with.
The whole “there’s no such thing as a responsible gun owner” notion that floats around here is absurd. It’s the exact same thing as the “we good, they bad” tribal logic the right uses in the gun debate. It makes no sense.
I’ll add that as long as people own guns, there will be accidents, because some people are stupid, and others are nuts. There is no way all guns will be outlawed. Never going to happen. Some people still hunt for food.
Even if it did happen, the police and the military would still have guns, which might reduce the likelihood of bad things happening, but would make the severity of those bad things much worse. That’s not a hypothetical, either. Innocent Americans are killed in the drug war. They were killed at Kent State. Given enough time, something truly, truly bad would happen. Remember what things were like after 9/11? How liberals were painted as traitors? How you just couldn’t say some things? How they took songs off the radio? Imagine the Bush or Palin presidency if a nuke went off in a major city.
Or imagine a disaster like Katrina, where police response was not possible. Tell me you wouldn’t want a gun, then. I damn sure would.
Too bad the people that make that case are contemptible, and seem to believe that losing an election is the worse form of oppression imaginable. That doesn’t put me in good intellectual company.
@jrg: Actually, as I read, the whole thread is an argument that as long as people own guns, those owners should face the same obligations that owners of any potentially dangerous tools, say a car. There is the difference that guns, used as intended, are designed to kill, while cars are merely supposed to get you around. But basically we’re all saying that the concept of responsible gun ownership only means something if “accidents” carry consequences — big ones, commensurate with the damage that “accidents” with lethal weapons produce.
Sorry if that somehow makes you squirm. You sound like someone who takes the duty of someone who has chosen to retain your inherited means of life and death seriously. Not all do. Real penalties for failing to do so, when such failures have real-world consequences, seem to me the only way to make your personal meticulousness a cultural norm…which is what we want. Drinking and driving still occurs — but it is much less common, and it is much more broadly understood as a major fuck up (with real jail time to follow if anyone gets hurt) because of decades of pressure to make it a socially unacceptable course of action.
@jrg: “Innocent Americans are killed in the drug war. They were killed at Kent State. Given enough time, something truly, truly bad would happen.”
If those Kent State students had been carrying guns it would have been 10X worse. “Guns protect us from tyranny” is a terrible argument.
No, I’m comfortable with that. With rights come responsibility, but the sardonic way the term “responsible gun owners” gets used around here gets under my skin.
@jrg: Well, for that matter, the careless manner in which the NRA applies and wields the term responsible gun owners is equally cringeworthy.
@Tone In DC:
I def have to warn them not to hop anywhere near the turntable when spinning vinyl–it’s always loaded.
@mack: I’m thinking it almost has to be either lazy reporting, or it isn’t manslaughter anymore – it’s murder. As you say, revolvers do not ever just “go off.”
@scav: No doubt.
@SatanicPanic: There are so many counter-examples to what you’re saying, I’m not even going to bother listing them all. I’ll just pick one – do you think Bashar al Assad would have responded to a sternly worded petition?
Twice monthly “Deerhunter” parties.
Big Picture Pathologist
@HR Progressive: Well said!
It would be great if it were automatic jail time if your gun caused the death of a child, but that will never happen, either.
Showing off your gun and it goes off, killing your kid? No murder charge but you will do time.
Leave your loaded gun where your kid can get to it and she kills herself or her friend? You do time.
Don’t keep your gun locked away and someone steals it and uses it to shoot up a classroom? You do time.
In the world where I make this law, maybe it’s an affirmative defense that someone keeps the gun in a safe or at a licensed gun club. But that’s it. Once people start doing time for this shit maybe behavior changes.
@Cacti: Res ipsa loquitur. I’ve heard it said that guns don’t kill people.
It’s a “reasonable person” standard, based on what twelve people think a reasonable person would have done. And they’re the common clay of the New West.
@jrg: Don’t think he would. But what part of Syria are we supposed to look at and think “I want the USA to be like that”?
About half the country seemingly doesn’t give a shit about responsibility. Especially if it involves them or their political party. What would lead one to believe that accidentally shooting someone would require a higher level of responsibility from people who don’t value it in any other way? Their idea of responsibility is that POC, liberals and people who dare worship another god than them are wholly responsible for all the problems in the world. How could they hold that view and have any idea about personal responsibility for unintentionally shooting someone? Our last VP shot a friend in the face and got the friend to apologize for getting in the way of his gun. They see no possibility of them being personally responsible for anything.
Well this is interesting isn’t it? Especially if we are now arresting and jailing women who jeopardize an embryo by doing ordinary every day things. I believe every pregnant woman who lives or partners with a man who owns guns should be thrown in jail until the baby is born safe after which time we don’t care if the man shoots the kid “on accident.” It’s what Jesus would want.
As to the question of negligence – that should already be proven if the gun fires and it wasn’t intended. That requires safety off, live round in the chamber, and finger on the trigger. All things that a so called responsible gun owner should know to avoid. It’s that or claim that safeties regularly fail and that guns regularly load and fire themselves – which undermines their “guns are perfectly safe” argument.
It’s just lazy or stupid reporting. This link has a Facebook photo of the gun nut owner. The 22 in the photo isn’t a revolver.
Typical white trash from Pasco/Hernado counties.
Hear hear! Well written Tom!
@planetjanet: In this case, he’s not wrong. Young children think an “accident” is an excuse that allows them to avoid all responsibility, but adults should know that “accident” doesn’t mean “no one is at fault.” To the contrary, most accidents are caused because at least one person made a mistake – and allowing that person to avoid responsibility for their mistake isn’t fair to the person who didn’t make a mistake and got hurt. Calling it an accident doesn’t mean there’s no penalty involved – it just means people don’t think it’s a premeditated murder. Some “accidents” can result in convictions for second degree murder.
@planetjanet: Having read the link, his readers are much more stupid than I realized.
Didn’t a famous person once say that no one would get rich underestimating the stupidity of the average person? And of course the corollary is that it’s much easier to make money if one treats general stupidity as the norm. Or as one of my profs said it, “If common sense was so common, wouldn’t more people have at least some?”
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
Your very own post doesn’t put you in good intellectual company.
@scav: Indeed, I believe we are taking the NRA’s rhetoric and applying it to the people they are fighting for who seem not to fit that definition. We can’t help the fact that applying their term to their base undermines the comfort with which actual responsible gun owners can apply the label to themselves.
The fact is the NRA discusses the issue as though 1) everyone is responsible until they’ve accidentally shot someone and 2) even then they are still responsible (because it’s not like they lose their gun rights.) So if by their definition “responsible gun owners” are the people who should be free to own guns and people who have accidentally shot and killed people get to own guns, then those people are still responsible gun owners.
I feel for jrg. Responsible gun owner has gone the way of patriot, freedom, and family values as a phrase that has been completely destroyed by right wing propaganda. But we’re just responding to the phrases as they are used, not as they should be used. And right now in our discourse that phrase comes with a heavy eye roll.
While GOS is not popular around here they do run a weekly feature that deserves more attention. There is a regular column that recounts the weeks accidental shootings. I always link it on facebook because I believe we need to publicize the real cost of gun ownership. It might take years but we need to constantly undermine the BS that the NRA has built around guns for defense and “responsible owners”.
I’ll try to drop the link here next time I see it
What Gex said, but also it seems as though the NRA wants us to presume that all gun owners are automatically responsible owners, even after they accidentally kill a woman and her unborn child. “Responsible gun owner” is a meaningless phrase if there’s no such thing as an irresponsible owner.
Popular sovereignty works, except when it doesn’t. There should be a way for an enlightened federal government to force recalcitrant states to pass better laws, but for the most part, that is not our system. People here like to talk about gun nuts. Don’t. They are the scab on the tail that is not wagging the dog. The bad guys are the collection of companies that fund the NRA (and their mouthpiece media) in order that shareholder value in those companies can ever be increased.
It’s possible that some who are commenting here own parts of index funds or other instruments that invest in such assets.
The second Amendment will not be changed in my life time and even the different Supreme Court that will exist in 15 tears probably will not be too helpful. So it seems that the way to de-fang the NRA is by attacking it’s source of income so that using money for arguing against common sense gun safety is seen as anathema.
I have no firm idea how that will be done.
I do wonder if the insurance companies will be of help. Hopefully, the careless gun owner also owns the house. The now-widowed dad will be suing of compensation. Is there a level of tort activity that would cause gun ownership to be a condition of risk calling for a more expensive premium? It would be cool to have the market work in our favor for a change.
Until that day, I wonder if this was a bit of Darwin in action. Maybe they were good friends with years of experience, but there are a variety of invitations that cause me to think really hard before answering. “Come over here. Let me show you my gun” (if talking about real fire arms) would be one such invitation.
Also, sadly as abortion gets harder and harder to get, soon-to-be-daddies that don’t want to be daddies now have the easiest way out. Just shoot to kill with no witnesses and call it an accident. End of story.
Ella in New Mexico
True, unless you are duck hunting and blast the side of your fellow hunter’s face with a round of birdshot.
steve from Antioch
J R in WV
I used to work with a great woman who’s husband was a police officer, experienced, long term police officer. Was cleaning a gun at the kitchen table, it discharged, shot her in the thigh. She survived, a tribute to emergency services. They remained married. She limped on rainy days.
I was on a petit jury once, a murder trial, and the ballistics expert witness was asked how many police ready rooms he had visited. The answer was hundreds, countless. The next question was how many how no sign of an accidental discharge in a wall, floor or ceiling, and his answer was probably none.
So well trained experts can experience an unintentional discharge of a weapon.
One note, revolvers do not have safeties. They are inherently safe, as you must pull the trigger, and in the case of a single action revolver, you must first pull the hammer back, ie, cock the weapon, before the weapon can discharge.
Safeties are for semi-automatic pistols, to prevent a pistol with a cartridge in the chamber AND with the hammer (or other mechanism) prepared to fire, unless the safety is engaged, which will prevent the weapon from discharging.
Many years ago I was running around with an older friend, who drove us over by a friend of his to visit. This guy, married with kids upstairs asleep, had a new shotgun, which he was proud to show off to his friend and the rest of us.
With a shotgun, you hold the weapon to your shoulder, which is one point of the two points needed to aim. The barrel of the gun is moved toward the bird(s) you aim to shoot at. So a new gun gets pulled up to one’s sholder and waved around, so you can see how it aims from your shoulder.
When the shotgun was passed around to me, the first thing I did was ease the chamber back, to see if there was a shell in it. THERE WAS!!!
We were waving a loaded 12 guage shotgun at the living room ceiling, above which was the bedroom with the babies sleeping in it. When I showed the loaded chamber to the fellow who’s gun and house and babies it was, he was mortified, and had 3 excuses for how it coyuld have happened.
I was the youngest person in the room, and I was the only one who looked to see if the F’in gun was loaded!! Now that’s piss poor safety in my book. Even tho no one was hurt, that was just by accident.
That said, I’ve never heard of a shooting range with any alcoholic beverage allowed. Bowling alleys, sure, bue shooting ranges? Never!
Most won’t let you onto the range if you smell like you had a beed with lunch!
Maybe I’m spoiled from visiting ranges run by ex-Marines, mostly, who are totally professional… maybe. I’ve visited ranges where I felt uncomfortable, and wound up not going to the actual shooting range for that very reason.
My Grandma taught me how to shoot, and to be safe with guns. In her youth, a lady carried a pistol or revolver in her purse, at all times. And men were polite to the ladies! At all times!!
J R in WV
@J R in WV: Sorry for all those typos, had bubbly with dinner!!
Also sat on a petit jury for a murder indictment. The victim was shot by a gun which was in a holster, evidence showed bits of holster in his chest and underarm. He was in pajamas, packing for a hunting trip, was going to use the (high-powered, hair-trigger, single-action) pistol on the hunting trip.
Testimony was that the holster and gun were in his wife’s hand as he reached out for it and it wwnt off. Being single-action, it must have been cocked when it went off. The whole family and visitors were playing with the pistol, passing it around, cocking and uncocking it as they handled it.
We acquited the wife, as there seemed reasonable doubt that she intended to shoot and kill her husband. No evidence that they didn’t love one another totally. No boy friends or girl friends. Just – maybe – a terrible accident. The only charge we could have convicted on was first degree murder, which required murderous intent.
No one believed that intentional murder would have involved a holster.
Quite a horrific interrogation she suffered through, too. NOT on video, except for the couple of minutes where she admitted that the police told her she must have cocked the pistol, else it couldn’t have gone off. She was a shooter and hunter as well, and knew that as well as the cops did.
But she was destroyed by the loss of her husband and family. Very sad case, verdict on my birthday right at Christmas time, nearly midnight when we finally signed the form.
Jury duty can be really hard! It was all just 3 miles from our farm.
Meanwhile, during the actual Katrina, the ones with the guns were the ones who physically prevented unarmed black people fleeing the city on foot from entering their neighborhoods, shooting and even killing some of them with absolute impunity.
How is this not manslaughter?
Because the guy who shot the woman is white. Whitey white white whitety white.
If the guy who accidentally shot her had been black, why, then the SWAT team would’ve stormed the apartment. The entire apartment complex would’ve dissolved in a hail of gunfire from SWAT snipers and lawes rockets and shotgun blasts.
White privilege, people. It exists.
@Cacti: Guns don’t discharge with the safeties engaged, that’s the point.
@Tom Levenson: I don’t understand the Responsible Gun Owner defense either. We were brought up with guns, but they were locked up and unloaded. But, they were always treated as if loaded.
During my service years I had One AD/ND incedent while on liberty, and that was because I trusted my shipmate that his Ruger Blackhawk was unloaded. Luckily we were in a remote area and no one was hurt, but the Ford pickup’s window was toast. That was a lesson you never ever forget, even when your hearing recovers.
Paul in KY
Dead thread, but it is pretty hard for a revolver to accidently fire unless you pull the trigger. Only other thing would be dropping it so that it lands on the trigger (with a round in chamber, of course) and that force makes it fire.