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Old June 26, 2009, 05:38 AM   #1
simonkenton
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I Thought it Was Legal to Shoot Yankees

Man Who Shot Another in Civil War Re-enactment Pleads Guilty



nytimes.com
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
Published: June 26, 2009

With an apology and tears, North and South made peace again this week in a Virginia courtroom, ending the baffling case of a Bronx-born, costumed Yankee cavalryman wounded by a rebel’s bullet in an all-too-vivid Civil War re-enactment last year.



Civil War re-enactor Thomas Lord.

The victim, Thomas Lord, now 74, was shot in the back on Sept. 27 during a filmed restaging — supposedly with blank cartridges — of an 1864 skirmish in the trenches around Suffolk, Va. He has recovered.

A suspect, Josh O. Silva, 29, of Norfolk, Va., who had swelled the Confederate ranks as an unofficial walk-on, was later identified with the help of film footage and indicted in January on a charge of reckless handling of a firearm — an 1860 Army Colt pistol — which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

On Wednesday in Isle of Wight Circuit Court, a contrite Mr. Silva, a laid-off government employee, pleaded guilty to the charge on the condition that if he paid Mr. Lord $1,200 in restitution and attended a firearms-safety course by September, the charge would be dismissed, clearing his record, Wayne Farmer, the Isle of Wight County attorney and prosecutor said on Thursday.

“He was clearly scared to death,” Mr. Farmer said in a phone interview. He called the shooting unintentional but faulted Mr. Silva and the event’s organizers for violating the cardinal rule of re-enactments: no live ammunition. Mr. Silva’s pistol had been recently fired and retained a live round in the chamber.

“Mr. Lord could have been killed,” he said.

No one answered the telephone at Mr. Silva’s Norfolk home on Thursday.

Mr. Lord, a Bronx native and a retired New York City police officer who now lives in Suffolk, Va., said he was largely satisfied. “He came over to me outside court with tears in his eyes,” Mr. Lord said in a telephone interview. “He was very apologetic.”

“I’m a Mason,” he added. “We’re a brotherhood of men.” Still, he said, he intended to proceed with a civil suit against Mr. Silva. And he was contemptuous of the sheriff’s investigation, which he said, “went off on a tear that I had been shot by an errant hunter.”

As for the .44-caliber ball that struck him, Mr. Lord said he was awaiting its return by investigators. “I’ll probably put it in a frame with a little of the publicity,” he said.

He has not been scared away from re-enactments. “I’ve been to two since,” he said. But the guns used were harmless, he said, loaded only with 20 grams [sic] of black powder and Cream of Wheat, for the convincing puff of smoke.

Mr. Farmer sounded happy to put the case behind him. “The hostilities are at an end,” he said. “If it’s the second time, I hope it’s the last time.”

Last edited by simonkenton; June 26, 2009 at 04:22 PM.
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:07 AM   #2
gokyo
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Everyone is so lucky in that situation.

However it gets me thinking. Could this be the perfect episode of "Law and Order."

Ripped from the headlines.
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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One word: Carelessness!
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:46 AM   #4
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Many in the south would like to replay the Civil War hoping for a different outcome. As a transplanted "Yankee" here in Florida I see it all the time.
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:54 AM   #5
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Many in the south would like to replay the Civil War hoping for a different outcome. As a transplanted "Yankee" here in Florida I see it all the time.
You damn right, when does it start and I will be there.

Quote:
One word: Carelessness!
I would say stupidity fits better.
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Old June 26, 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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I blame it more on stupidity. I gave up on these re-enactments when I was much younger. My dad and his friends used to go to these things and I remember the disorganization that seemed to ensue when it came time to check the firearms.
Everything was supposed to be checked and re-checked. All it does is give re-enactors in particular and firearms in general a bad name.
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Old June 26, 2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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Things like this are a black eye to the firearms community. But I think it needs to be taken in perspective. Considering the large number of these events and the great numbers of people involved, it's relatively a rare occurance, although even one accident is too much. The liberal media has a field day when such events like this happen, a chance to make gun owners look bad. We cannot be too careful or too safety conscience, our enemys can, and will use any firearm accident against us, they have the media on their side. I'm not saying that this is excusable, only that it is not a common occurance. Compare a reinactment to many other sports and I think it will fare much better in the saftey department. No sport is idiot proof. Just my take on this
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Old June 26, 2009, 09:15 AM   #8
gokyo
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I sometimes wish that the civil war had had a different outcome.

However I also think that the western states should break away from the union too.

is that treason? if so I am just joking.
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Old June 26, 2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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There are those who would be very happy to see one western state 'break away'.....where is 'the big one' when we really need it?
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Old June 26, 2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
I Thought it Was Legal to Shoot Yankees
You mean it's not?









Ruh Roh


Quote:
There are those who would be very happy to see one western state 'break away'.....where is 'the big one' when we really need it?
It's coming Mykeal, just a matter of time.
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Old June 26, 2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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Yep I look to see my home state of Mississippi pull out of the Union again ...
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Old June 26, 2009, 11:47 AM   #12
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It's not that we want to pull out of the Union. I expect, what more people might like, is to throw some of the others out.
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Old June 26, 2009, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Could this be the perfect episode of "Law and Order."
I watched that episode a couple a times ... exact same story.

Thanks Mykeal I'm lookin' forward to it too...I'm due east of the San Andreas fault and north of the L.A. fishers and new faults. I'll have beachfront property to sell. When I sell it I'll be headin' to Mississippi and settle near Sundance and Pvt. Hemphill.
:O)
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Old June 26, 2009, 05:40 PM   #14
gokyo
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When I said western I was talking OR, ID, WA, MT, WY, CO, UT,

Not CA I say we give CA back to Mexico.
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:15 PM   #15
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How do you get a .44 caliber lead ball confused with a wad of Cream of Wheat???????
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Old June 26, 2009, 06:30 PM   #16
Hawg Haggen
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How do you get a .44 caliber lead ball confused with a wad of Cream of Wheat???????
Because you want to. This isn't the first reenactment shooting.
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Old June 26, 2009, 07:58 PM   #17
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I thought it was, just been waiting on my joinin papres to come in for the C.S.A.


Yeah there is very little good that comes out of that left state since the Gold Rush so it'd suit many of us just fine if'n it kinda dissapeared.
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Old June 27, 2009, 08:54 AM   #18
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We want perfection, but forget we are human and not perfect.

I go to reenactments to watch, (I can't afford another hobby like that one). At all I have been to, there has never been an accident like this. It has become to me at least, a matter of trust.

Now that trust has been shaken, maybe broken. Will I worry the next time? Probably. Will that kill the enjoyment of the view? Probably as well. It was something I never thought of before. Now, unfortunately, I will.

We are just not perfect in being human.

The Doc is out now.
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Old June 27, 2009, 09:46 AM   #19
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Will I worry the next time? Probably. Will that kill the enjoyment of the view? Probably as well. It was something I never thought of before. Now, unfortunately, I will.
Nah, you gotta keep it in perspective. You're far more likely to be killed in a car crash on the way to the reenactment than 'at' one. Livin' in fear.....ain't livin'.
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Old June 27, 2009, 10:09 AM   #20
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Long ago Joe Bilby, a noted authority on Civil War firearms and a prolific writer and historian, recommended that every reenactor-shooter have two guns. One is never loaded with live ammunition is reserved for reenactments. The other, a shooter, is never used at reenactments. That precludes the possibility of bringing a loaded gun to a reenactment and the possibility of a negligent discharge.
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Old June 27, 2009, 10:31 AM   #21
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French and Indian/Revolutionary War guys don't even take ramrods into the field anymore back east. Not sure about other parts of the country. Some guy used his Brown Bess steel ramrod quite normally while loading a blank during an event, accidentally left it in the barrel, and perforated an opponent.
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Old June 27, 2009, 01:31 PM   #22
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Not CA I say we give CA back to Mexico.
I say we don't ... you don't have to come here, you can jus' leave it alone ... CA, AZ, & NV are the Wild West>>> Still :O)
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Old June 27, 2009, 03:11 PM   #23
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Livin' in fear.....ain't livin'.
No, not living in fear, let's just say that the little voice will be going off in the back of my head now.

The Doc is out now.

(dang those voices in my head )
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Old June 27, 2009, 04:11 PM   #24
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You would think that even the "winners" would want a re-do considering how their victory has turned out over the past 144 years ( especially the last 45 years of "victory" )!!
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Old June 28, 2009, 07:07 AM   #25
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You southern Lads want to fight something, I'm sitting over here in Iraq and we've got PLENTY of these Rag headed fellas that Aren't to kind. Your More the welcome to come on over and lend a hand "By the way it's 130 in the shade before noon. "
Besides that we've already got the peoples Socialist republic of California, the Marxist State of NY, and I'm not touching NJ... But regardless You've got a friend in PA
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