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Old November 18, 2008, 04:14 PM   #1
FrontSight
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Be careful out there!!! Horrible accidents happen...

16 month old child killed in upstate NY...several news links on this site

http://www.mahalo.com/Edward_Taibi
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Old November 18, 2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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I despise the flagrant use of the word *ACCIDENT*!!! That was not accidental in any way, shape or form!!! Purely NEGLIGENT!!! Some people should starve before being allowed to use a projectile emitting device to procure meat based food!
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Old November 18, 2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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Well, it was an accident in as much as he never meant to hurt anyone, and in that he probably didn't even realize there was a house over there.

A crazy thing is that had he been 100 feet further away I don't know if he would have been charged, and the child might still have been hit and died.
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Old November 18, 2008, 04:37 PM   #4
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Accident is when your gun just goes off... If it was fine until you pull the trigger than accident is gone and negligent replaces it. Most of the fatality car crashes are not accidents since the person was either drunk, or eating, or lookin over their shoulder at the kids in back or talking on the cell phone...
Simply not intending to hurt someone does not an accident make... Failure to follow the rules of safe firearms use makes it negligent. Sorry but I am a hardnose about gun safety and the loose use of the word accident in general.
I also despise warning labels too I have long said that warning labels are the life support for the terminally stupid.
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Old November 18, 2008, 04:41 PM   #5
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A crazy thing is that had he been 100 feet further away I don't know if he would have been charged, and the child might still have been hit and died.
Nope. He'd still be charged. When you shoot, you're responsible for any damage that bullet does, no matter the distance.

He just wouldn't have an additional charge of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling...if they bothered to charge him with that in this case. They didn 't mention it in the article.

'twas a poor decision on his part to shoot that direction, and he'll likely pay for it for the rest of his life...in more ways than prison time.

The child already paid the price of his negligence. He should have known his target AND backstop.

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Old November 18, 2008, 05:02 PM   #6
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Daryl, there are times when people are injured in hunting accidents (Hogdogs, we will have to agree to disagree maybe, as there are indeed hunting accidents that occur; you can't know 100% for sure what is behind your target 100% of the time, unless you have x-ray or infrared vision, such as when bird hunting and there's a camoflauged deer hunter up in a tree stand that you can't see - that HAS happened in real life) and no one is charged, because the state deems it to be an accident and that the hunter was not negligent.
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Old November 18, 2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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In this case, it doesn't sound like it was a tree stand, unless someone moved a mobile home into the woods to hunt from?

It was a residence, and it IS the hunter's responsibility to know where every residence is in the area they're hunting.

The guy was negligent, and his negligence cost a kid her life. He was charged accordingly.

I don't know the laws of that state, but in my state he'd most likely be charged no matter the distance, and Arizona dictates that hunters not discharge a firearm within 1/4 mile of an occupied structure. I can hit a deer at a quarter mile, so I've no doubt that a bullet will kill way farther than that.

It wouldn't excuse anyone if they negligently shot someone farther than that. If you don't know about a residence beyond your target, then you should have studied the area a bit more.

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Old November 18, 2008, 08:45 PM   #8
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If you don't know about a residence beyond your target, then you should have studied the area a bit more.
You normally see a backdrop. I'd never shoot over a crest. A dense wooded area is usually sufficient but requires greater knowledge of what lies beyond.

Devastating thing to happen to a family that has already faced what I'd find impossible to face. I wish feeling sorry for them did some good.
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Old November 18, 2008, 08:52 PM   #9
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I would have to agree that to shoot a guy in a tree that is wearing full camo and no orange would be able to be called an accident. But short of that it is very few scenarios that could be accidental shots. If you shoot thru a deer and back yonder the bullet kills another deer and you have a one deer limit than the warden isn't gonna give a crap about a 2-fer claim... you poached deer number 2. But to put a bullet into civilization because you know not your back STOP is no excuse to claim accident over negligent. But we can agree to disagree or if you wish we can OFFICIALLY debate it via pm as gentlemen do. I have a tremendous arsenal of info, not all is gun related. Love a good debate
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Old November 18, 2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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Oh, I did not mean that this case was not negligent more than accident; I do believe it to be negligent.

I just meant that there are indeed times when you pull the trigger and it is an accident, in response to your statement that:

Quote:
If it was fine until you pull the trigger than accident is gone and negligent replaces it.
Also, I meant "accident" as in he did not know there was a house there when he shot and would not have shot if he had known, as opposed to knowing that a house was there and thinking to himself "oh, it will be fine; no one will get hurt, this deer is worth the tiny risk, etc etc."
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Old November 19, 2008, 09:24 AM   #11
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Something we "experienced" hunters must realize is that there is much greater odds of a stray bullet striking someone or something that we don't want it to these days. There is simply tons more of us than there used to be. jd
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Old November 19, 2008, 02:16 PM   #12
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After reading all the articles and watching the video I didn't learn enough about the "incident" to judge this man. I also didn't read anything that explains why he is being held without bail. That is usually done if the person is a flight risk.

In my opinion there is no way you can be 100% positive where your bullet will come to rest. You may be positive of your backstop but your control of that bullet ends when you fire that shot. When hunting you cannot be 100% sure of who or what may be in the bullets path.

Sounds like this guy was doing what most of us would do. Finish off the wounded game in a humanely manner. A bullet fired in a hunting situation may contact a number of objects (trees, rocks, water...) and be deflected in an unintended direction.

The one thing that all the articles made clear was he fired a gun to close to a dwelling. 400 feet instead of 500 feet.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old November 19, 2008, 02:25 PM   #13
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The guy was within 400 feet of a house. That's negligence. The argument of "You can never be sure..." doesn't fly when the basic safety precaution have not been taken. Horrible freak accidents happen. The simple fact is that if he had been even 1 foot farther away this bullet has a 99.9% chance of missing this kid. If he had been at the LEGAL distance it's a virtual guarantee we'd never hear his name.

That said, the "discharge" was negligent. The death was "accidental". It's silly to say there was no accident only negligence here.
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Old November 19, 2008, 02:29 PM   #14
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Dallas Jack, that sounds like it sums it up perfectly to me; I have not heard if there was a richochet or not, nor even if the second shot hit the deer or not.

And really, would it have made any difference if he was 100 feet further away than he was? Only by reviewing the forensic evidence/scene, etc could we MAYBE know the answer, and even then we still might not, especially if it was a ricochet.

Two additional things come to mind:

1) As a homeowner, how do you possibly protect yourself from something like this? Build only super thick brick houses with bomb proof windows?

2) As a hunter, how do you possibly survey all the land around where you are hunting, to know if / where there are homes within 2,000 yards (an acceptable danger zone I think most people would agree on). Homes get constructed almost overnight, faster than google earth can put up pictures, and we all have less and less time on our hands to scout.

With increased populations, I'm starting to feel that no shots at all are safe anymore except ones are sharp downward angles or with big hills behind the target...
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Old November 19, 2008, 02:32 PM   #15
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peetzakilla: Why do you think that the extra 100 feet would have prevented this from happenning? I am not grilling you or being a jerk or anything; I am just wondering what you are basing that on. I.E. what would have made the bullet no longer a danger to anyone in that house if 100 feet was added?
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Old November 19, 2008, 02:34 PM   #16
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peetzakilla, you assume he 1) knew the trailer was there and 2) has a better than average ability to judge distances. (if he could even see the trailer)

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Old November 19, 2008, 02:42 PM   #17
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You would think his friend whose property it was would have told him "There is a house in that direction, so be careful." Maybe he did, maybe he forgot, maybe he lost his bearings, who knows....
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Old November 19, 2008, 02:51 PM   #18
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Scrap5000, good point. We may learn the answer to that in the future.

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Old November 19, 2008, 03:17 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
peetzakilla: Why do you think that the extra 100 feet would have prevented this from happenning?
Like I said, there is an EXTREME probability that ONE more foot would have made this EXACT event not happen. The odds of a bullet hitting an unknown target at 400+ feet is ridiculously remote. Any change in this situation would have likely prevented the same outcome.


Quote:
peetzakilla, you assume he 1) knew the trailer was there and 2) has a better than average ability to judge distances. (if he could even see the trailer)

Actually, I'm assuming he DID NOT know the trailer was there. If he did know and fired in that direction then he should be looking at 2nd degree murder or something similar. If he knew the trailer was there he wouldn't need to judge distances. Knowledge would have precluded a shot in that direction.
I'm also saying he had an ABSOLUTE RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW the trailer was there. I assume he didn't and that makes it negligence instead of murder. I will not hunt an area with which I am not intimately familiar. I look at Google maps and Yahoo and Microsoft Live maps to see where houses and other things are located. I drive around the nearby roads to make sure I know where things are. I print out maps and draw 500 foot circle to show myself where I can hunt. It's a very basic level of responsibility.
No, you cannot, unless you are God, guarantee with absolute certainty where a bullet will end up once you pull the trigger. What you can do is make the possibility of serious problems vanishingly small by taking basic precautions.
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Old November 19, 2008, 03:31 PM   #20
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Like I said, there is an EXTREME probability that ONE more foot would have made this EXACT event not happen. The odds of a bullet hitting an unknown target at 400+ feet is ridiculously remote. Any change in this situation would have likely prevented the same outcome.
Oh, ok, I agree there, but the trailer was full of people; the family had gathered to watch a football game, and therefore odds are good that SOMEONE was gonna get hit. Too many possible outcomes to compute, but a high degree of possibility that someone was gonna get hit in some part of their body.
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Old November 19, 2008, 03:37 PM   #21
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Oh, ok, I agree there, but the trailer was full of people; the family had gathered to watch a football game, and therefore odds are good that SOMEONE was gonna get hit. Too many possible outcomes to compute, but a high degree of possibility that someone was gonna get hit in some part of their body.
You're right. That's why I say he had the responsibility to know and not fire in that direction. If he did know and just thought "Well, it's probably OK..." he should be tried for negligent homicide or 2nd degree murder or some such thing. I'm no lawyer so I don't know the names necessarily but in that case it should be whatever is one step down from intentional premeditated murder.
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Old November 19, 2008, 03:55 PM   #22
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Yep, I gotta agree with ya there, peetzakilla
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Old November 19, 2008, 07:05 PM   #23
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This situation is based on what a reasonable person would do. We all have our level of confidence that we have taken all precautions to insure that no one is injured by our actions and yet it happens.

The police will draw a straight line from where is was standing to the trailer and call it good. What are the chances that you could shoot a bullet into the forest and it not be deflected? Have you ever passed up a shot because you didn't think you could thread the bullet/arrow thru the openings in the branches in front of a game animal? You couldn't be sure your bullet/arrow would not be deflected and miss the animal.

I'm just saying I need more info like maybe a view of what he saw and an idea of what he knew when he made the shot. Till then I will do the prudent thing and reserve judgment.

Was this shot made out of negligence or was he just a slob hunter with no regard for anyones safety.

This is a sad incident and even if he is tried and found not guilty his life is ruined and a little girl is dead. A lose/lose situation for all involved.

No, no rush to judgement for me. Be safe.

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Old November 20, 2008, 01:51 AM   #24
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Many good points made here, and much we can learn from, but I agree with Dallas Jack in that there is no way we have received enough information via this post to fully judge the individual. What if there was a ricochet, which can deflect a bullet's path by any possible degree? Very few of us can point to the place our hunting bullets come to lie.
Knowledge of the area and awareness of your situation are crucial, but do not absolutely prevent strange incidents from happening. Though I have heard no updates, a fan at a recent NASCAR race was hit by a bullet while sitting in an RV. Police were considering the possibility that the bullet was fired from up to 5 miles away by a guy target shooting with a .50 cal rifle. Many people lose their awareness of the background when looking through the limited FOV of a scope. In the last year or so in this area, a person was killed while driving their car down a highway by a deer hunter's bullet that somehow found its way out of a thick woods populated by many hunters...shooter never found, and who knows how convoluted a path that bullet followed to get where it got.
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Old November 20, 2008, 07:26 AM   #25
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Well, it was an accident in as much as he never meant to hurt anyone, and in that he probably didn't even realize there was a house over there.
How could he not realize such a thing? See the pics in the link below. I just don't buy it that he was oblivious to there being homes in the area.
http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...1117011&Ref=PH

It happened around 4:00 PM and there were people coming and going from that house during the day. The would have made a good bit of noise even if he had not visually seen the actual house. Never mind the fact that there are few roads in the area and he likely drove in on the road on which the house sits. Google the address of 1338 Horseshoe Lake Road, Swan Lake, NY on Google Maps.
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