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Old February 14, 2012, 11:58 PM   #26
MarkDozier
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It reinforces my checking and verifying my weapon status when I touch a gun.
You can fix stupid, but with a bit of thought you can prevent it.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:14 AM   #27
wayneinFL
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Wayne, I don't know what other security officer training this guy had but the minimum required training for a CCW in FL is a joke. Literally, all it takes is firing a bullet once without hitting the instructor or some other innocent bystander and you get a nice pretty piece of paper saying you are firearm proficient.
And with that minimum standard and 800,000 people licensed to carry in FL, accidental shootings are still very rare. But if you're still concerned about the training requirement and don't feel safe in Florida, there are plenty of states with stricter requirements.

Of course, our state requires 28 hours of training for a G license, and that didn't prevent this incident. So, if you think training is the cure, you have to find a state that requires more than 3 1/2 days of training for a CCW.
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Old February 15, 2012, 08:37 AM   #28
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He had a CCW license, and I've yet to be involved in a course that didn't treat the basic safety principles. I'll bet his did, too.
Sure, he was undoubtedly made aware of safety rules.

Quote:
And with that minimum standard and 800,000 people licensed to carry in FL, accidental shootings are still very rare. But if you're still concerned about the training requirement and don't feel safe in Florida, there are plenty of states with stricter requirements.

Of course, our state requires 28 hours of training for a G license, and that didn't prevent this incident. So, if you think training is the cure, you have to find a state that requires more than 3 1/2 days of training for a CCW.
It is good that accidental/negligential shootings are rare. They should not happen at all. It was in Florida, as I recall, that it was that an NRA instructor ND'd into a student's foot during a CCW class.
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...tions-director

I think folks have confused training with instruction. Very few people are trained in safety, though at various points in our lives we are almost all made aware of safety issues. These aren't the same thing.

Quote:
You can fix stupid, but with a bit of thought you can prevent it.
Fixing stupid is more of a second party activity. People are notoriously bad at auto-fixing their own stupid acts, as noted for the NRA CCW instructor incident above. Ironically, that incident happened in a church as well.
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Old February 15, 2012, 09:30 AM   #29
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It's a strange thing, not so much "stupid", even though I used the word myself.

I've always been one who has constant "worst case what-if" scenarios running in my head any time I deal with dangerous equipment. Guns, chainsaws, wood splitters, bowling alley machines, even when the kids are at a park near a road. I'm always seeing scenarios play out where I didn't pay enough attention to what the 5 year old was doing or I set the saw down and it fell off the stump or I didn't check the chamber and handed the gun to someone.

I used to think everyone had these things going. I thought it was part of being an adult. That it was why kids had to be protected, because they don't run these scenarios yet.

Turns out not to be true. LOTS of adults don't have these scenarios running. I don't know why. It's not a "stupid" issue. I don't know why they don't or how to get them to start.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:10 AM   #30
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All this is is an unfortunate accident. My best friend slipped on a rock, hit his head and died. Now do we need to train people on how not to get into slip and fall accidents?

There will be unfortunate accidents where people are injured and killed. However, I think mandatory training is a good thing because of the unforgiving nature of firearms and the complex laws out there involving them. Its best to make sure people know what they are doing and know how not to get into trouble. I am all for people attending the various NRA courses out there and believe the responsible firearms owner will take the time to attend them. However, I dont believe training will prevent unfortunate accidents. Accidents will happen and we just need to get over them when they do happen. No one wants to shoot themselves or others accidentally, but it will happen just like car accidents will happen and slip&fall accidents will happen.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:37 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
All this is is an unfortunate accident....
Sorry, but no. Unfortunate, yes; but not really an accident. This was a consequence of a failure to follow proper, well known gun safety protocols.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...Accidents will happen...
This sort of unintentional discharge and injury happens only when the guy with the gun does something wrong. We all need to avoid doing things wrong and to be reminded of the need to do so.

A short time ago I received the following (quoted in part) in an email from another Gunsite alumnus (emphasis added):
Quote:
Negligent discharges that result in injury are the result of 1. IGNORANCE, and/or 2. COMPLACENCY and/or 3. HABIT that is inappropriate to changed conditions.

Proper training with the universal rules can only address #1 and #3.

...The great deficiency of much NRA civilian training ... is that muzzle and trigger discipline are not rigorously enforced except when on the range when the line is hot and sometimes not even then. Change the conditions to carrying a loaded gun at all times and adverse results are predictable.

EXAMPLE #1: Trap and skeet shooters often rest muzzles on their toes and point them at each other. They have almost no accidents on the range because guns are unloaded until just before they shoot. ...CHANGE CONDITIONS to a duck blind with loaded guns and the results are predictable....

One thing that Jeff Cooper said ... made a big impression on me. It is seldom repeated. To address complacency he said that every morning when he picks up his gun he says to himself "somewhere today someone is going to have an accident with a gun - not me, not today".
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:47 AM   #32
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Trying to say it wasn't an accident is trying to split hairs that don't even exist, IMO.

It doesn't matter how many ways we can parse it into various forms of negligence. It was STILL an accident.

If it wasn't intentional, it WAS an accident.

I don't get this apparent concept that accidents and negligence are mutually exclusive.

The only requirement for an accident is that it was unintentional. The "why" or "how" has no bearing.

If its not intentional, it IS an accident.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:54 AM   #33
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I agree in part with your post in that this incident was probably as a result of not handling the firearm properly, but I dont agree with the part on the NRA not enforcing muzzle and trigger discipline.

Ever since I was a child, the golden rule for handling firearms was to treat it as if it were loaded even if it was obvious it was not loaded like a revolver with the cylinder out. That golden rule has been repeated ad nauseum to me and many others time and time again. I think there is even a big sign down at my local range which says it and I think I saw one of those signs down at the local shop. Every time I go onto the range, I have to sign some paperwork which probably specifically states something to that effect. I am confident all NRA instructors teach that golden rule to all of their students. Any firearms instructor I know of would enforce muzzle discipline and would not tolerate anyone pointing a firearm in an unsafe direction.

In any event, we dont know all the facts of this incident. Was the person handling the firearm not following the golden rule and foolishly pointing it at the wall pulling the trigger? Did they drop the firearm? Did the trigger snag on something? I dont think anyone wanted this to happen so it was probably an accident.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:59 AM   #34
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Accidents, or unintentional discharges do happen.

I give two examples.

I had a 1911 38 Super that was converted into a 38 WC gun. I couple times it doubled, meaning fired twice when I pulled the trigger.

Resulted in a miss, but didn't damage anything, I was pointed at the target down range.

A second incident occurred when I was shooting metallic Silhouette. I had a "set trigger" on my rifle. You set the trigger then had a "hair" or extremely light trigger. It was extremely cold I couldn't really feel the trigger.

Again I missed. But the rifle was pointed down range,

Both times:

The gun was loaded.

I had my finger on the trigger

BUT:

It was pointed at something I wanted to shoot

I was aware of the back ground.


Since I was following at least two of the four firearms safety rules,this was accidental shootings, not a negligent shootings.

Accidents do happen, but they don't have to be negligent.
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Old February 15, 2012, 04:36 PM   #35
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Quote:
...I dont agree with the part on the NRA not enforcing muzzle and trigger discipline.

Ever since I was a child, the golden rule for handling firearms was to treat it as if it were loaded ... I am confident all NRA instructors teach that golden rule to all of their students. ...
I can't speak for all NRA instructors, but I and the group I teach with do. Of course, like the person whose email I quoted in my earlier post, I and those people I teach with all had much of our training at Gunsite. The NRA rules do not include your "golden rule."

The NRA rules are:
Quote:
  1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
The Four Rules of Jeff Cooper and Gunsite are:
Quote:
  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Gunsite is a hot range. The Gunsite rules are particular well adapted to a hot range. The real world is a hot range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...In any event, we dont know all the facts of this incident. ....
We have the information in the newspaper article:
Quote:
...Investigators say Moises Zambrana was showing his gun in a small closet to another church member interested in buying a firearm. Zambrana reportedly took out the magazine of the Ruger 9mm weapon but did not know there was a bullet in the chamber...
If Mr. Zambrana was handling his weapon, he had a responsibility to do so in a safe manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...Was the person handling the firearm not following the golden rule and foolishly pointing it at the wall pulling the trigger? Did they drop the firearm? Did the trigger snag on something? ....
And those are still avoidable gun handling faults which the person handling the firearm was obliged to avoid.
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Old February 15, 2012, 05:09 PM   #36
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It doesn't matter how many ways we can parse it into various forms of negligence. It was STILL an accident.
Quote:
In any event, we dont know all the facts of this incident. Was the person handling the firearm not following the golden rule and foolishly pointing it at the wall pulling the trigger? Did they drop the firearm? Did the trigger snag on something? I dont think anyone wanted this to happen so it was probably an accident.
It was only an accident in the sense that the discharge was not intentional. Otherwise, Zambrana would have been arrested for murder. While the discharge was not intentional, it was absolutely negligential in the sense that it was an event that could have and should have been prevented had proper handling of the gun been followed.

Was he foolishly pointing it at the wall and pulling the trigger? Maybe. We do know that he was foolishly pointing it in an unsafe direction. We do know that he had know way to know what was beyond the backstop of the wall of the closet he was in. We do know that when the gun was discharged that it struck a person as a result of not having a proper backstop and not having a way to know that somebody was downrange from the gun that was being handled.

Sorry CaptainObvious, you seem to be trying to alibi Zambrana out of responsibility by saying it wasn't intentional, but he was responsible. Hannah Kelley suffered a significant head injury as a direct result of his actions.
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Old February 15, 2012, 05:23 PM   #37
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The more people have guns, the more people will be hurt from accidents. I never belived this until I went to Register cliff in Wyo. The wagon train folk buried a lot of folkss there, cause of death? Accidental gunshots. Folks would get a gun for the trip due to indians and animal threats. Would be walking along, would take gun and look it over, bang just shot the guy over there. No antibiotics many died from a simple wound. There is a large sign there outlining this. The folks was raised up with guns were a bit safer.

I try to not get too upset, the guy is going thru heck over it I am sure. I do train my son and daughter in the safe handleing of a firearm and I recommend everyone else do the same.
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Old February 15, 2012, 05:33 PM   #38
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Even in states that do require mandatory training for CC things like this happen. I agree he broke the 4 rules. Always treat a gun as it is loaded . How hard is it to drop the magazine and open the action to see if anything is in there?
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Old February 15, 2012, 05:45 PM   #39
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I'll add my $.02 for what it's worth. First by definition it was an accident, as has already been said a couple of times. It was unintentional, therefore accidental. As has also been said, that does not mean it was not negligent. It was negligent. We do not need to have all the details. There is no acceptable reason to have a loaded, unholstered weapon being passed around in this situation. There is no acceptable reason for the discharge of this weapon. The responsibility for all of this is on the owner of the weapon.

Training, experience, licensing are not the issue. This man violated the fundamental rules of carrying and handling a weapon. Carrying a weapon brings with it huge responsibility. " I didn't mean to," is of little consequence here. Tell that to the Pastor and his congregation. I understand we are all capable of doing something stupid, but when it comes to handling weapons we all have to do things right. Cooper's, "not me, not today" is a mantra we should all embrace IMO.
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Old February 15, 2012, 06:20 PM   #40
wayneinFL
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DNS:

Quote:
I think folks have confused training with instruction. Very few people are trained in safety, though at various points in our lives we are almost all made aware of safety issues. These aren't the same thing.
Who is "trained in safety" by your definition? What do you suggest?
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Old February 15, 2012, 08:21 PM   #41
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS
It was only an accident in the sense that the discharge was not intentional. Otherwise, Zambrana would have been arrested for murder. While the discharge was not intentional, it was absolutely negligential in the sense that it was an event that could have and should have been prevented had proper handling of the gun been followed.

Certainly it was negligence. My only beef is with the people who seem to think that negligence is incompatible with an accident. We see it in every thread wherein someone mentions an AD, "accidental discharge". There's always 2 or 3 someones screaming about how it's not an AD, it's a ND... as if it somehow can't be BOTH.

As stated above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FTG-05
Lack of training didn't cause the negligent discharge (note: it was not an accident!)
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown
Sorry, but no. Unfortunate, yes; but not really an accident.
Both statements directly assert that because it was negligent and/or a violation of The Rules, it is somehow NOT "an accident".

It's as if we are implying that by saying it's not an accident we somehow consider the incident more serious than someone who uses the word "accident" or the person who thinks it's an accident doesn't really understand how serious it was.

It's just a silly and unnecessary argument. An irrelevant distinction, in these instances. It's a terrible, tragic, ACCIDENT that resulted from negligence. The two are not mutually exclusive. Even worse, claiming that it wasn't an accident is implying that it was intentional, as if the man shot the girl on purpose because, if it wasn't "an accident" then it WAS intentional. If it WASN'T intentional, it WAS an accident.
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Old February 15, 2012, 08:54 PM   #42
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I stopped teaching the NRA basic pistol course years ago because it was becoming a drag and I was sort of burnt out. But I still teach some folks who need special help (friends, acquaintances who ask or who I observe need the teaching). Just a couple of days ago someone told me he wasn't sure how to load his gun anymore. I will be spending a lot of time with him!

But I always train everyone I teach, whether on the range or classroom to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction while keeping finger off the trigger, check to make sure it's not loaded while keeping finger off the trigger, always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction keeping the finger off the trigger, etc etc, Over and over and over. Several different ways to convey that, but the same message.

Safe direction includes what is beyond what you can see (walls, ceilings, doors, etc).

EVERY TIME YOU PICK UP THE GUN WHETHER YOU JUST PUT IT DOWN OR NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

I know this is repetitious and monotonous to read from all these posts, but it is the responsibility of each of us.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:08 PM   #43
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All the training in the world won't save you from stupid. That Seal who shot himself in the head showing his "unloaded" gun to a lady friend last month is a sad example. No matter who you think you are, you are still vulnerable.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:45 PM   #44
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Quote:
Who is "trained in safety" by your definition? What do you suggest?
By my definition? Back up chief. People are claiming that Zambrana had "safety training" as a result of having a CCW and/or from being a security guard. The question that should be being asked is what is the safety "training" that Zambrana had. Unless he is a firearms instuctor, chances are that his safety "training" was extremely limited to being told the basic gun safety rules, maybe having to identify them on a test, and then not being spotted violating them while otherwise qualifying. Chances are that during the course of his security guard and CCW instruction, he received no materials safey and handling instruction. He probably was not familiar with exactly what would and would not constitute an appropriate backstop to stop a projectile fired from his gun. He probably has never seen or learned the contents of a materials safety and handling sheet for his ammunition or chemicals used in maintaining his gun. Chances are, Zambrana through his CCW or security guard training never received instruction and became qualified to be a range safety officer for the gun range where he shots or for the security company for which he had worked.

His "training" was likely the same 5 or 10 minute guns rules safety review we have all had countless times and then some sort of correction, if needed, if he was seen to violate any of the safety rules whilst on the range. That isn't really "training." It is actually just a comprehension of minimal standards, nothing more. My 76 year old mother got all that "training" last year when she renewed her CHL here in Texas. It isn't training. It is just a brief familiarization, nothing more.

There are people in numerous fields who do undergo extensive safety training for materials handling. There are college degrees in occupation safety and some of which allow for specializations such as chemical handling, fire safety, etc. A lot of your disaster preparation and response training includes extensive safety training. Most of us don't get anything like that.

Quote:
Both statements directly assert that because it was negligent and/or a violation of The Rules, it is somehow NOT "an accident".
If the gun fires because the trigger was depressed by the person handling the gun, then it wasn't an accident, except to say that it was unintentional. If the handler depressed the trigger and the gun fired, then there is nothing about the firing that is accidental. All parts worked as designed. That is exactly what is supposed to happen when you pull the trigger on a gun with a chambered round. That makes it a negligent discharge. It might be a negligent discharge that was accidental in the sense that nobody intended a round to be fired, but because due diligence was not observed, a round did fire. That is a negligent discharge.

That the gun was not oriented in a safe direction with a proper backstop when it discharged would appear to be another act of negligence. I know - it was an accident that the bullet shot through the closet wall. Wait, the closet wall isn't an appropriate backstop. That sounds like more negligent handling. It was an accident that Hannah Kelley was hit in the head. Well, obviously Zambrana doesn't have X-ray vision and so could not have been aiming through the wall to shoot the intended buyer's girlfriend, but Zambrana didn't have a proper backstop and did not know what was beyond his backstop which turned out to be another human. Negligence.

People are quick to say that "accidents happen" as if there is no blame. Amazingly, far few "accidents" happen when people pay attention to the rules.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:53 PM   #45
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There's a saying in aviation - "If you never walk through a prop arc, you'll never get hit by a prop." It's been so ingrained into me that I will still walk *around* a prop, even if the plane is in the hangar, up on jacks with the engines removed. Anal? Sure. Silly? Perhaps. But I'll never walk into a spinning prop.

The gun safety rules aren't hard to remember or perform, but just about every AD or accidental shooting leads back to a violation of one or more of them.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:02 PM   #46
Brian Pfleuger
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I guess I'm not sure what definition of "accident" folks are using. Accident is virtually synonymous with unintentional.

It was only an accident in that it was unintentional. It was unintentional therefor it was an accident. What other kind of accident is there?

Accident:
An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.


So, the definition of negligence is essentially included in the definition of accident.

This is a very odd discussion to be having. I really don't understand the animosity toward the word accident. I don't understand the belief that using the word accident lessens the severity of the negligence or shifts blame away from the actor. It does not.

An accident caused by negligence, still an accident.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:09 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
...This is a very odd discussion to be having. I really don't understand the animosity toward the word accident. I don't understand the belief that using the word accident lessens the severity of the negligence or shifts blame away from the actor. It does not...
I think you're correct. It seems that some folks are extending the term "accident" to imply that the event was somehow excusable, i. e., "it was just an accident."

So let's try this --

[1] It was an accident insofar as it was not intended.

[2] But it was not excusable because it was the result of someone's failure to properly observe appropriate safety procedures. And safety with a gun is not negotiable.

[3] It was an avoidable event, and the person handling the gun had both the opportunity to avoid the result and the responsibility to avoid the result.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:16 PM   #48
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peetzakilla - the definition of "accident" that you posted is the best I've seen, because (as you stated), it includes the concept of negligence right in the definition. But there are other definitions that don't do that, such as:

"an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap" (dictionary.com)

-or-

"something that happens unexpectedly, without being planned" (MacMillan)


"It's okay - it was just an accident" is acceptable when you're consoling a child who's just spilled a glass of milk, but in the context of firearm safety, I think it's more important to stress the avoidable nature of an incident. Since not everyone thinks of an "accident" as being defined the way you defined it, there's been a move toward using "negligent discharge" rather than AD.
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:26 PM   #49
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Quote:
It's as if we are implying that by saying it's not an accident we somehow consider the incident more serious than someone who uses the word "accident" or the person who thinks it's an accident doesn't really understand how serious it was.

It's just a silly and unnecessary argument. An irrelevant distinction, in these instances. It's a terrible, tragic, ACCIDENT that resulted from negligence. The two are not mutually exclusive. Even worse, claiming that it wasn't an accident is implying that it was intentional, as if the man shot the girl on purpose because, if it wasn't "an accident" then it WAS intentional. If it WASN'T intentional, it WAS an accident.
Peetzakilla this is as good as an argument as I've seen made. Well done.

DNS we keep coming back to the word, "accident." As I said earlier in this thread this was an accident by definition. From Dictionary.com (emphasis is mine):
ac·ci·dent 
noun
1. an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.
2. Law . such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.
3. any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.
4. chance; fortune; luck: I was there by accident.
5. a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.

That this incident was negligent, stupid, and tragic does not make it any less accidental. That poor decisions were made causing this cannot be denied. The consequences of ignoring fundamental safety rules are predictable; yet they are still accidental when they happen. Even if the negligence is found to be criminal by reason of omission or commission the resulting action is still accidental.

Edit: As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. I really need to improve my typing/writing skills...
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:42 PM   #50
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I think that most people who have guns know of gun safety. The problem is that they ignore it.
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