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Old November 6, 2012, 04:29 PM   #26
MLeake
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Glenn, the "barrier" was a fence low enough that a mother could set a child upon it to give him a better view, and a safety net that did not actually catch the toddler.

Any healthy adult should be physically able to get over that barrier. Psychologically, maybe not, but physically, it would be a lot easier than the 8' wall we had to clear by jumping up, or the 12' wall with rope we had to climb and jump down from, in the O course (obstacles) at AOCS.

FWIW, I've gone into a burning house to get people out (though, granted, it was only starting to burn, at least apparently - turned out the attic was engulfed), and pulled a dog away from another burning house. Broken up quite a few dog fights. Assisted a swimmer in distress. That kind of thing.

IE, I wasn't "posturing." I can't say for sure that I'd jump into the enclosure first, vs shooting to scatter the dogs first; but I can say for sure that I would try to do something. This is not guaranteeing I'd win, it's just saying I'd try, because I could not just stand there and do nothing.

It's what my mother would have done, in her younger days. It's how I was raised to respond. It's how a couple decades of military service conditioned me to think.

Sorry if you think that's ridiculous posturing.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:31 PM   #27
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Glenn, I really agree w/your post and it makes total sense.

I think that is one of the points that have been made andor discussed in various CCW threads though(example - some saying you have to have guts to shoot or be ready to use deadly force...some being more triggerhappy, etc, etc, etc):

I think only a fraction of people in general whether CCWers, TFLers, women/men, and so-on have that 'gene' so-to-speak where they can act under pressure immediately & instinctively. Some people train and are ready to go, but they freeze during an emergency(police can attest to this but I am not a cop). I'm sure you have dealt with this in your profession/studies as well. Nobody did anything(it is possibly nobody in this situation could do anything). I am sure some have excuses or explanations after-the-fact why they couldn't...and you know, they were probably valid. It doesn't change the fact that only certain people have the 'gene'. It can show up for different reasons...woman protecting her children...someone getting that adrenaline strength to save a loved one under a crushing/heavy car fallen off 'jack', etc. This is a tragedy this had to happen.
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:20 PM   #28
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well legally the situation falls under "lethal force to prevent injury death to bystanders". so legally nothing could be done to you. and yes the zoo could sue you for "property damage" but only an activist judge would have convicted you of it, seriously no judge that wants re election is going to punish the person who shot some zoo animal to save a little kid.



the whole source of the tragedy doe not lay with the zoo.

the employees didnt want to go running in, saying they thought the child was already dead is useless, its a human, they have to assume the person is alive. people who get hit by semis are still considered to be alive until the ambulance gets there to make that determination.

but ultimately it comes to the mother who obviously did not read the safety warning signs on the fences.
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:42 PM   #29
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Some would jump in some would not. When I was like 5 we were in Colo, at a resort type place on a river so Dad could fish. My brother was crossing a walk bridge on the outside and fell in. That water was fast moving, I told Dad there he goes as he swept past us. Dad ran as fast as he could but couldnt catch up to him. 300 yards or so was a waterfall woulda killed him. A group of young men held wrists together and went in after him, they got him out safely. I for one will never forget that, I for one would not hesitate to attepmt the impossible cause it can happen. Wont know until you act and find out.

News said the gal put the kid up there so the kid could get a better view.

Died of blood loss, I feel for the family, to lose a child...well thats real bad.

There is a hero in all of us, just needs to come out at the right time.
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:49 PM   #30
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John 13:15 states:"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

I always sorta fancied the nobility of self sacrifice growing up and feel that it would be far better to de trying than to have never tried at all.

I have a nice purple ribbon near the top of my ribbon bar that attests to more than chest bumping.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:34 PM   #31
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Mleake - wasn't talking about you. I was just trying to point out that we sometimes get empty bravado. I read on another forum that someone was going to run into the pack and pick up a dog by its hind legs and thus the rest will flee.I doubt that's guaranteed.

Or someone who is sure they could make the shots surrounded by a dog pack. Not everyone can make the jump either or get in there in real time.

I also feel the statement that one can't live with oneself, is a throw-away - putting on my psychologist hat. Folks make horribly tough life and death decisions or screw up a situation. You can live with yourself. So that's not a real reason and I regard that as posturing.

Methodologies exist that are efficacious in treating psychological consequences so I don't buy into that.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:57 PM   #32
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Glenn, the fact that methodologies have had to be developed to treat the psychological issues created by such scenarios actually supports the argument that living with one's inaction takes a heavy psychological toll.
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Old November 7, 2012, 11:20 AM   #33
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Yes, but my point was that we can deal with the heavy toll. Thus, saying you would take an action that might be very risky as you couldn't live with yourself isn't sensible.

For extreme example, would you prefer to be eaten alive rather than going through some cognitively behavioral therapy?

Taking the action to save the child and be willing to risk your life to save the child is a viable decision route. Saying you didn't act as it was already too late makes sense also. Not acting because you fear for you own life and/or you didn't want to impact your family (thus valuing the child -who may be too late to save) is a viable decision path.

Saying you will take on high risk because you will get a stress disorder, doesn't work for me. Thinking about it, it might be that one feels that others will think ill of you for not acting and that's the subtext of that kind of statement.

I have a nice presentation on altruism in bystander interventions that I can give.
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Old November 7, 2012, 11:54 AM   #34
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Quote:
Glenn, I really agree w/your post and it makes total sense.

I think that is one of the points that have been made andor discussed in various CCW threads though(example - some saying you have to have guts to shoot or be ready to use deadly force...some being more triggerhappy, etc, etc, etc):

I think only a fraction of people in general whether CCWers, TFLers, women/men, and so-on have that 'gene' so-to-speak where they can act under pressure immediately & instinctively. Some people train and are ready to go, but they freeze during an emergency(police can attest to this but I am not a cop). I'm sure you have dealt with this in your profession/studies as well. Nobody did anything(it is possibly nobody in this situation could do anything). I am sure some have excuses or explanations after-the-fact why they couldn't...and you know, they were probably valid. It doesn't change the fact that only certain people have the 'gene'. It can show up for different reasons...woman protecting her children...someone getting that adrenaline strength to save a loved one under a crushing/heavy car fallen off 'jack', etc. This is a tragedy this had to happen.
How could someone have done something, other than call for help?
Nets may bounce a baby but sounds like it would be an effective barrier for an adult. I have no pic or reference so don't know.

Wild dogs in a pack can eat you too...
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:20 PM   #35
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The OP asks,
Quote:
[w]ould the law have permitted me to use the weapon to either scare off or shoot the dogs . . .
I know more about Texas law than any other state, so I'll use that as an example.

Texas, like most jurisdictions, has a statute that justifies the use of deadly force to protect another person against a threat by a PERSON.

So in Texas, you'd have to go back to one of the more general statutes in the chapter on Justification. In this case:

Quote:
Texas Penal Code. Sec. 9.22. NECESSITY. Conduct is justified if1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm;(2) the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct; and(3) a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed for the conduct does not otherwise plainly appear.
I think a jury would agree that trading a wild dog for a child is just fine.

As far as a civil suit by the zoo goes, I can't believe they'd have the nerve to file one.
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:22 PM   #36
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I have no idea where the frown face came from.
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Old November 7, 2012, 02:33 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
I think this was just very quick horror and speculation about what one would do is hard to verify. Maybe it makes us feel good to think we could stop the horror. We don't want to admit to being helpless. We just don't know if any action would have worked and thus be worth the risk to you. Easy to say you don't care about that on the forum.
I have no problem saying so. There is no way I would shoot the dogs. There is no way I would jump into the enclosure trying to save a 2-year-old who might have already been dead from the approx 10' fall from the netting.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/04...l-small-child/
There's a good picture of the barrier/railing and netting underneath it, at +29 seconds into the video.

There were 11 dogs. I want to know who among those who say they'd try to jump in or shoot the dogs thinks they can either
a) fend off attacks from 11 dogs while carrying a possibly fatally wounded 2-year-old to safety, or
b) shoot 11 dogs attacking a 2-year-old, without hitting the 2-year-old.

If they're trying to tear at the child, they're going to be moving around a lot. Furthermore, shooting at dogs under ideal conditions is less than guaranteed to stop them.

My estimation at a likely outcome to intervention by a "hero" ccwer, who tries to shoot the dogs, is either round(s) hitting the child, or running out of ammo before all the dogs are subdued.

I think the only hope would be that firing a warning shot or two away from the child would scare off the dogs. Maybe. That's a strategy I could support.
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Old November 7, 2012, 10:02 PM   #38
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Quote:
How could someone have done something, other than call for help?
Nets may bounce a baby but sounds like it would be an effective barrier for an adult. I have no pic or reference so don't know.

Wild dogs in a pack can eat you too...
If you read my other post(s) I am against someone just jumping in & even stated this would cause whomever did so to become deceased rapidly like the child.

I would've drawn my handgun without a second thought and shot one of the dogs. The shot would not have been one that would have put the child in danger(in my opinion). It would've missed(and served as a warning shot) or it would've hit one of the dogs. I can't say what would've happened from that point, but something would have and trust me a dog's ears will hear a 357(remember, they'd be in 'the zone').

My point is there are only a select few that can handle pressure situations(not speaking of this one and not speaking of me). Many trained individuals freeze up when an emergency occurs.

Calling for help sometimes unfortunately doesn't do anything. Sometimes you, yourself must act.
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Old November 7, 2012, 10:10 PM   #39
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It makes me angry what happened to that child. Thanks for the video.
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Old November 7, 2012, 11:25 PM   #40
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Something could've been done, but only in hindsight. It is a sad situation, no matter what.
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Old November 8, 2012, 12:12 AM   #41
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I understand that there could be great risks involved with any of the approaches (shoot, drop in, or shoot then drop in).

I understand that many do not think such risks worthwhile.

I also know that there are many of us who would still try. Maybe my perspective is skewed. This could be due to me being retired military, and most of my friends being retired or former military or LE, and almost all my current co-workers being retired or former military or current reservists and guardsmen. (Some of those are also volunteer firemen.)

This could be because of the personality traits for which we were selected for our jobs - IE, we are so deluded as to think we can salvage situations involving engine failures, fires, hostile fire, and significant weather events.

I may have just been overly effectively brainwashed by work as a defense contractor, or as a Navy pilot, or even before that by my mother (who, when I was a child, saved a friend's poodle from what would have been an even worse mauling than it received from a large and vicious German Shepherd, when Mom was armed with only a frying pan and adrenaline). But my first thought tends to be "how can I handle this?" and not "oh, well, there is nothing I can do."

Guess I am just sadly deluded.
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Old November 8, 2012, 12:29 AM   #42
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But my first thought tends to be "how can I handle this?" and not "oh, well, there is nothing I can do."

My thoughts exactly. What's that thing on our hips that so many of us carry concealed actually for? Showing off at the range or protecting the innocent from serious bodily injury or death?

Do we think a real world situation is going to be perfect? Do we think that the bad guys will give us enough time to bar the door, grabs the kids, pump the shotgun and call the cops?

What happens when the bad guys are a pack of zoo animals? Well we never thought of that one, so there must be nothing we can do.

Lame
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:27 AM   #43
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Quote:
MLeake

I understand that there could be great risks involved with any of the approaches (shoot, drop in, or shoot then drop in).

I understand that many do not think such risks worthwhile.

I also know that there are many of us who would still try. Maybe my perspective is skewed. This could be due to me being retired military, and most of my friends being retired or former military or LE, and almost all my current co-workers being retired or former military or current reservists and guardsmen. (Some of those are also volunteer firemen.)
MLeake is right, That is why I posted as I did in Post #10. Being a US Navy veteran and retired LEO Lieutenant, I can relate to that mind set. Being 74 yrs old might slow me down a bit, but you can bet I would have tried to save that child regardless of the outcome.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:30 AM   #44
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Quote:
An old adage I'm somewhat partial to is "A bad plan executed violently now is better than a good plan later."
Not such a good plan for Steve Stevenson. A bad plan executed (poor choice of words) violently certainly killed him. However, in looking at pictures of the enclosure, noting the reports that there were 11 dogs, the fear of hitting the child is quite remote if a CCW person wanted to try warning shots. Not only that, warning shots could be safely fired into the ground near the child and dogs with virtually no danger to child or dogs (though I think I would much rather shoot the dogs and let the combined yelps and gun report be more effective than the report alone). If you were that CCW person, were present or heard screams and responded, you could have been within 10 yards of the child and dogs, at the rail. Don't want to shoot too close to the child? At that range, a competent shooter should be able to shoot closely, but in the interest of safety of the child, you could start by shooting circling dogs or dogs on the periphery of the attack, thereby reducing the friendly fire threat to the child, reducing the dog threat to the child, and accomplishing the scare tactics of the report as well.

Lots of people think warning shots are a bad idea, but this is a perfect example where a warning shot could have been employed safely, the round fired into the ground (dirt) of the African Painted Dog exhibit without danger of hitting the child.

Quote:
John 13:15 states:"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Being a reasonable and responsible family man, the child being a stranger to me, the notion of trading my life for that of a stanger (certainly not a friend) by just stupidly jumping into a pit of attacking dogs is preposterous on several levels. Feel good Biblical passages are exactly that, even when the wrong citation is provided (see John 15:13). The context isn't even appropriate. Being dead for a stranger after been needlessly and horrifically mauled to death by dogs ain't going to take care of my family that depends on me. Part of the reason for having a GUN is that it projects force. I am not flying over the rail and performing an artistic gymnast's bounce off the safety netting to get into the death arena with the dogs.

I don't know why anyone here, being the exceptional tactical and firearms experts that are noted, would consider it reasonable to jump into a pit of dogs, after first needing to negotiate the railing, the 10 foot drop, bouncing off the safety netting, and then onto the ground with the dogs...when all they had to do was to take proper aim from the railing and shoot. You can shoot the ground. You can shoot an encircling dog. You could even shoot the tail end of a dog harming the child, being sure to pick and direction of fire that has the impact and trajectory moving away from the child.

In following up with what Woody55, there would be absolute justification (criminal law) in every state for saving the child's life from dogs. Every state permits the use of lethal force to respond to a lethal threat and every state has self defense laws that extend to protecting others.
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Old November 8, 2012, 08:46 AM   #45
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Agreed. The 10 foot drop alone leads me to think at least one broken ankle. You're useless in that context.
That assumes you can negotiate the net.

Remember there's also a time factor here. These are wild hunting dogs. Killing is how they make their living. Likely by the time anyone can get their act together the child is dead.
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:51 PM   #46
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Quote:
There were 11 dogs. I want to know who among those who say they'd try to jump in or shoot the dogs thinks they can either
a) fend off attacks from 11 dogs while carrying a possibly fatally wounded 2-year-old to safety, or
b) shoot 11 dogs attacking a 2-year-old, without hitting the 2-year-old.
My thoughts are the wild dogs would react like a yote, in other words retreat from a full grown man. Maybe I am wrong, as heavy as I am the legs would go out for sure. A shot from their level may scare them away, who knows.

No matter the what ifs, this is a lesson, dont do this, period. Should have a sign up or something but folks do stuff like this a lot. Didnt a guy fall into niagra climbing up on the railing?
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:55 PM   #47
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Folks should do some reference work on the behavioral patterns of the dogs before speculating how they would behave. Esp. if they were already in the feeding and kill mode. I don't know that, do you?

For all you know, if you jump in - the dogs think "Take out " had arrived.
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Old November 8, 2012, 06:24 PM   #48
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African Painted dogs have no problems taking down zebras and wildebeests. They will also take other carnivores such as hyena.

Graphic and not work/family safe...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXHDx45izJE

To assume they would just react like coyotes would be a poor assumption.
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Old November 8, 2012, 08:59 PM   #49
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Good post, DNS.

As far as jumping from the 14' rail, I'm no tumbler and I'm currently recovering from a fall from 12' that gave me a nasty pilon fracture. Climbing over the rail and climbing down to a height from which you could safely drop would take time. A warning shot or a shot at a dog on the fringes makes a lot more sense.
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Old November 9, 2012, 12:53 AM   #50
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Glenn and DNS, doing research on the dogs is not a bad idea.

Note, though, that you probably did your research after the fact, in the comfort of your study spaces.

(If you knew the habits of African painted dogs from prior research, more power to you.)

My point, though, is that in most such situations, the odds are that 1) we won't be experts on the critters encountered; and 2) we won't have time to look up their habits in the wild. We will most likely have to ad-lib quite a bit.

Another point to consider: the animals in the zoo may be "wild," but they are not kept hungry. They aren't hunting because they need to hunt, so the odds are high that they will behave differently than would a hunting pack in the wild.

And most canids are rather cautious of adult, non-elderly humans. That does not mean they can't take them down, but it does mean they typically do not.
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