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Old February 19, 2012, 11:48 PM   #101
wayneinFL
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And yet intelligence facilitates making better judgements on likely/possible consequences than not.
A doctor I used to know in Arizona told me whenever he had people in the ER for firearms accidents, they were usually college educated people there on vacation. The less educated locals were safer. I don't think intelligence has much to do with it. A five year old can be taught that if you point the gun in an unsafe direction and pull the trigger, someone's going to be hurt. They can understand the consequences. They just don't always judge risk real well. Same thing that people do when they're driving.

Any 2nd grader can tell you to stop on red, or that the speed limit is 70, and that it's dangerous to break the law. But a lot of adults with high IQs will still take that chance when they're late for work.
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Old February 19, 2012, 11:59 PM   #102
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A doctor I used to know in Arizona told me whenever he had people in the ER for firearms accidents, they were usually college educated people there on vacation. The less educated locals were safer. I don't think intelligence has much to do with it.
Your example compares education, not intelligence.

The two are not the same and indeed some less educated people may easily be much smarter than someone who went to university...

I don't want to get into a debate obout what intelligence is.
If everyone goes back to my initial posts on the subject, it is pretty clear that my comment about minimum IQ was tongue in cheek and we are all focusing on the wrong comment.

I do feel that society would benefit from some people not being allowed to drive a car due to some of the things I've seen drivers do: a total lack of maturity from grown adults, but I can still see that an IQ test is not really workable. Psych evaluations maybe..... some of them could do with it!

My main and only real comment on this thread was the introduction of an ad campaign to hopefully educate some firearms owners on what they should already know and why.

That was it.
If that idea does not appeal, so be it
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:48 AM   #103
Glenn E. Meyer
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Why Smart People Do Stupid Things by Ostrom!

As far as country folks vs. city folks with accidents with guns, it's an empirical question. Guys in the country get shot by their dog or crossing a fence with a loaded gun. Who knows with a good sample and some Chi-square.
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:38 PM   #104
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Is there no consequence that will make even a reckless person pause and consider the possible cost?
The death penalty doesnt stop folks from murder. What penalty would stop a person from having an accident? How many folks been shot with their own gun cause they thought it was unloaded? How many times have I read here on this forum about just that? Shootingg the wall, ceiling, etc?

It happens when a person becomes lax and doesnt follow thru every time. Consistancy is the key here.
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:52 PM   #105
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The death penalty doesnt stop folks from murder.
Better to say the death penalty doesn't stop ALL folks from murder. I'll wager it stops many.
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:46 PM   #106
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The problem with penalties is that what separates this guy from all of us is that the stars were all lined up wrong when his stupid thing happened while we all got away with whatever stupid thing we did.

We've all done things that could have turned out very, very bad. But, there's a list of things that all have to go wrong for our stupid things to end in tragedy. For most of us, the stars don't line up.

Be honest. We've all done it. Maybe not with a gun. Maybe with a car, or fireworks, motorcycle, power tools, electricity... Whatever.

Our stupid thing didn't kill anyone BY SHEAR LUCK. His did.

He should go to jail because he got really unlucky and we shouldn't because we got lucky?
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:59 PM   #107
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peetzakilla,

Yes, he should be tried, hopefully found guilty and punished. He took a life, period. Whether by accident, negligence, or evil intent, he took a life all the same. The only exception is self defense.

Threads, and in person conversations like this is what pushes me away from many pro-gun stances. Take a life, with the exception of self defense, a trial, and if guilty a punishment should be served.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; February 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM.
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Old February 20, 2012, 11:44 PM   #108
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Yes, he should be tried, hopefully found guilty and punished. He took a life, period. Whether by accident, negligence, or evil intent, he took a life all the same.

Threads, and in person conversations like this is what pushes me away from many pro-gun stances. Take a life, with the exception of self defense, a trial, and if guilty a punishment should be served.
It is this sort of black/white view of justice that pushes me away from those who see crime and punishment as a simple problem. Simple answers to complex problems are rarely of any value.
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Old February 21, 2012, 12:09 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Fishing_Cabin
...he should be tried, hopefully found guilty and punished. He took a life, period. Whether by accident, negligence, or evil intent, he took a life all the same. The only exception is self defense...
That is not what the law is. Criminal liability attaches when homicide is committed intentionally or through willful, wanton and reckless conduct. Criminal liability does not attach when homicide is the result of simple negligence.
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Old February 21, 2012, 02:18 AM   #110
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What of a man finds a new lover, shoots his wife and claims he was cleaning it and it accidentally goes off. It's an accident then and should we say to give him a weekend or two with community service them because he said it was an accident ?
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Old February 21, 2012, 02:26 AM   #111
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I don't think pointing a gun in the direction of a church congregation and pulling the trigger is "simple negligence."

I think it's profoundly stupid, and meets my personal threshold for what should constitute criminally culpable negligence.

Pointing the gun somewhere reasonably safe and pulling the trigger, without verifying chamber status, might be reasonably argued to be simple negligence. That's not what happened in this case.
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Old February 21, 2012, 02:42 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by MLeake
I don't think pointing a gun in the direction of a church congregation and pulling the trigger is "simple negligence."...
And that will be for the DA, and a jury, if the DA brings charges, to decide.
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Old February 21, 2012, 03:19 AM   #113
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@ fiddletown

But it might be criminally negligent manslaughter which is still a felony punishable with serious jail time. Ejecting a magazine but not checking the chamber before pulling the trigger and causing a death fits the description of criminally negligent for me.
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Old February 21, 2012, 03:44 AM   #114
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What of a man finds a new lover, shoots his wife and claims he was cleaning it and it accidentally goes off. It's an accident then and should we say to give him a weekend or two with community service them because he said it was an accident ?
No, we get down to the bottom of whether it really was an accident or not. Otherwise we'd have to put people in prison for all kinds of accidents just in case it was murder.
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Old February 21, 2012, 05:55 AM   #115
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well here in Washington state there aren't any training requirements for a cpl, just have to be able to lawfully own a firearm is all, not that im against firearms training, and it's always sad to hear about a ND/AD,but Washington is a "low-income firearm owner" friendly state, and the cpl is good for 5 years and cost $55.75.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:06 AM   #116
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The degree of empathy and consideration for others does not seem to me to be linked to intelligence, and my observations over 55 years of life indicate that neither is the related willingness to think about the consequences of one's actions to others.

I don't think it is symptomatic of a nanny state to hold people responsible for thoughtless actions that reach the point of negligence. Homicide as a result of negligence is a different crime than premeditated murder, and in my mind it is just to consider both crimes, but with different penalties. In my state, causing a death by drunk driving carries a separate charge from the drunk driving itself. I consider that a recognition in the law of the fact that there is a significant segment of the population that considers the consequences of their actions to themselves much more highly than the consequences of those same actions to others. That seems an appropriate role of law to me.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:37 AM   #117
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I just read that story of the guy who fired his Ruger in a Walmart bathroom and claims he dropped it and it went off.

People can say that we have a right to bear arms, but in Illinois I've never been able to exercise that right and when it comes down to it the 2nd Amendment only means what the courts and case law says it means.

I have been active in gun rights debate since 1987, and we have been fighting an ideological war, played out in the courts and the polls.

When there is an negligent discharge, I feel it adds credibiltiy to the false claims of the Brady Campaign, LCAV and others. I can't help but feel it's a setback.

I know that the right to keep and bear arms is a right just like the right to free speech, and just because someone abuses their right to free speech doesn't mean they lose it, but as I said, the 2nd Amendment so far, at least in Illinois has only been what the courts have said it is.

If more mandatory training and frequent continuing education would cut down on NDs then I'm for it.

And if someone negligently fires their Ruger in Walmart - they just lost their RTKBA as far as I'm concerned.

There are so many threads here about people that are miffed because this company or that doesn't allow people to carry arms into their facilitites.

After a guy shoots his Ruger in a Walmart bathroom can you blame Walmart for instituting a no-guns policy in their stores?

Mandatory training and continuing education requirments are better than having guns banned everywhere you could possibly go.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:50 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by fawcettlee
But it might be criminally negligent manslaughter which is still a felony punishable with serious jail time....
Provide a citation to a legal authority defining the elements of a felony called "negligent manslaughter." It's more commonly referred to as "involuntary manslaughter", and requires some level of fault beyond simple negligence, a level of fault usually referred to as "gross negligence" or "willful, wanton and reckless" or simply "reckless."

There are generally three level of fault recognized in the law: negligence; gross negligence (or willful, wanton and reckless); and intentional. Often personal injury caused by the second two will result in some criminal responsibility.

Criminal responsibility does not arise from personal injury caused by simple negligence unless the underlying negligent act is itself a crime (e. g., drunk driving).

In every State one will find a great deal of law, including both statutes and court decisions, which will define and describe the various ways to determine whether particular conduct in a particular case is "negligent", "grossly negligent" or "intentional."
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Old February 21, 2012, 05:06 PM   #119
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Peetzakilla,

My stupid thing: as a teenager I went out drinking and drove home. Well, I think I drove home, I woke in by bed with my car in the driveway and no one told me later that anyone else drove my car. I realized then that I could have killed someone. The thing is, if I had I would have expected to be tried, convicted and jailed. I was lucky this didn't happen, it could have. I certainly didn't intend to harm anyone. I believe if I or anyone else uses the poor judgment to drink and drive and has the "Bad Luck" to maim or kill someone they need to be punished as a warning to others. If the "Stars Align" when some idiot sneaks into a closet in a public facility to play with his gun while not making sure it is unloaded then he needs to be punished.
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Old February 21, 2012, 05:18 PM   #120
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A curious thing about training here in NY State. What many states such as Ct or FL require for training prior to being issued a carry permit is basically illegal here in NY. The way the law is in NY, any adult of 21 years of age or older can not touch a pistol unless he has a permit. A local pistol club used to offer safety training for people interested in getting a permit but wanting some training before hand but landed in hot water for it.
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Old February 21, 2012, 05:43 PM   #121
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For those of you who demand punishment what would you give? What is justice here? What would it take to prevent others from the, " transient lapses of judgment or attention" that fiddletown recently mentioned in another thread. Do you really think fear of punishment will do it? How many people are killed on the highways of our country each year because of a transient lapse of attention? How many hunters are killed because of a transient lapse in judgement? If punishment was such a powerful deterrent why are our prisons so full, and our crime rates so high?

I completely agree accountability for our actions is an important part of our social fabric, but arbitrary punishment for stupid, tragic accidents will not stop them.
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:04 PM   #122
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We punish people for the lapse in judgement of driving under the influence. I believe this is just.

Here we have adults indulging in a legal activity which is known to lead to a condition where a judgement is impaired. We punish these people for making the poor judgment of diving while drunk even if they don't injure anyone.

Should we not punish drunk drivers?

We have a case of an adult choosing to posses a lethal weapon as should be his right. His responsibility should be to take reasonable care to make sure his right to carry does not interfere with another's right to live. If he fails in this, not in a freak accident but in complete disregard of basic safety rules should he be treated differently than a drunk driver? Why?
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:18 PM   #123
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Drunk driving is a crime, and any damage done because of it a crime. Being stupid is not a crime. If it were many of us would be serving jail time. He had a stupid lapse of judgement that tragically resulted in a young woman being killed. It was completely preventable. What is your punishment for this "crime"? It is not a sarcastic question. I don't know what justice is here. I just don't see how imprisoning this guy will do anything but ruin more lives.
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:23 PM   #124
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How many hunters are killed because of a transient lapse in judgement?
My point exactly. How many hunters are punished for negligently killing another? It's always a "hunting accident". I thought that poor SOB dressed in orange was a deer. Oh, the guy had a brown coat so I thought he was a deer (does this guy know what a deer looks like?). "I took a "sound shot"". (This is not criminally negligent?).

To get back to the original topic, if a person who knowingly takes a firearm into a populated area, does not make sure it is clear of ammunition and even if he thought he did, points it in a direction where he has no idea what is beyond AND puts his finger on the trigger is not criminally or recklessly negligent then who is?

Why can we not demand better of our fellow gun owners? Why should they be excused of such idiocy?

I'm sorry, I think I've beat the poor nag into a red sludge. Please forgive me. I've always been dismayed by how completely irresponsible hunters could get away with murder and I don't feel people choosing to go armed should be given a free pass because they "made a mistake". If you choose to be armed you must choose NOT to make a mistake.
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:33 PM   #125
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We're starting to get into the realm of fruitless speculations.

[1] We have very few details. We only have a general idea, based on news media accounts of what happened.

[2] In assessing legal liability and culpability, details frequently matter a great deal.

[3] And Zambrana's legal liability will decided based on Florida law.

[4] I have no doubt that Mr. Zambrana can be held legally responsible in some way. But whether it will only be a matter of civil liability or criminal charges will be brought and sustained remains to be seen.
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