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Old November 13, 2012, 02:32 AM   #76
youngunz4life
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MLeake, the 'getting in the arena' part is easily feasible but I do think that shots would have to be fired before getting in due to time constraints, safety, pack mentality, etc. I would guess 11 feet by the video and there is a net to at least assist. There isn't too much room to have flexible entrance choices though.....the fences have the sightseeing bldg or lodge in between with a big, big open window with the railing. One's height obviously makes a difference, but basically for the average adult you have an unrestricted viewpoint of the dogs to say the least and they are below you. The child was directly below the window at least to start.
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:44 AM   #77
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from what I can ascertain, that is the only viewing point for at least the up close encounter andor a way in where the boy fell.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:06 AM   #78
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I do not believe in letting a child die, horribly, while I do nothing, if there is something I could do that has any reasonable chance of success.
You're entitled to do whatever you want in that hypothetical situation as long as you don't endanger anyone else. (Let's be honest: none of us will ever find ourselves in similar circumstances; this was a freak accident, with a set of facts not likely to ever be repeated.)

A very limited number of people (maybe 4 or 6?) were at the railing on the observation deck in a position to jump in immediately. At least one, and perhaps two, of them were probably the parents.

By jumping in, you'd be betting your life that gunshots will scare the dogs off. If that worked, you could more easily and safely do that from the observation deck. If you jump in and gunshots don't work, you are left next to a now-certainly-dead 2-year-old fighting for your life against a pack of up to 11 painted dogs. Best of luck to you, but I will not be putting myself in a similar situation by choice.

Insinuating that anyone who doesn't jump in "believes in letting a child die" is simply absurd.

Perhaps the zookeepers ought to have had guns, and ought to have been the ones to use them, since they were most familiar with the dogs' behavior, and most likely to take appropriate action if gunfire could have helped the situation.

Consider another plausible scenario: you decide to attempt to shoot at the dogs (but shoot wide of the child) from the observation deck. The two parents and others are probably screaming incoherently, "Help!", "Help our child!", etc. You're shooting at something. Suppose there's an off-duty anti-gun Philadelphia police officer close behind you, unaware specifically that a child has fallen into the exhibit, only aware that there's a child in danger, lots of screaming, and that you're shooting at something. I wonder what happens next.

Worst case, you could end up dead along with the 2-year-old, the parents feel even more guilty because you died trying to rescue their child, and maybe 3rd parties feel guilty or traumatized if they were involved or involved through inaction in your fate. While they'd be happy that you tried to rescue a child, your loved ones would have lost you. If you have kids yourself, would you jump into that exhibit at the risk of leaving your own children without a parent?
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:38 AM   #79
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You don't need an off duty cop, anti or not.

My bet would be the sound of gunfire would be enough to stop the (trained) zoo people dead in their tracks and they'd just hunker down until the police arrived.
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:52 AM   #80
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Well, I've read everything between my last post and this one. I've thought about it. I've come to this.

In the past, when confronted with something sudden and new, no matter how well trained I was there was always a pause. It might not be obvious - tenths of a second - but it's there. So, in this case there would be a brief period of thought.

Unless it was my child (see below) I'd hope I'd remain logical enough not to want to close on and engage in close combat with a bunch of dogs that are hell of a lot batter at that than I am when I have a weapon that works at a distance. And you can add to the fact that because of the drop, I might not even get close enough to attack them with hands, feet and whatever. Why would you give up the only advantage you have?

I think I'd give that advantage up if it was my child because I'm a coward. I couldn't face my wife and kids if I didn't live up to what I and they think is my obligation. I know this is true because I've taken risks before because I was more concerned about what my comrades would think than what would happen to me. I guess cowardice can be a tool.

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Old November 13, 2012, 11:51 AM   #81
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tyme, the police response is a potential issue in any defensive firearm use. Should I quit CCW, then?

Meanwhile, somebody has to get to the child. If not, a still potentially living child will bleed out. Shooting dogs doesn't help if nobody assists the child.

It all comes down to how we each define acceptable personal risk. I don't expect most people to see that issue as I do, but I know others who think and act as I would.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:52 AM   #82
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Hal, from what I read, the trained zoo people more or less hunkered down, without gunfire.
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Old November 13, 2012, 12:09 PM   #83
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From what I read, they responded by shooting dummy tranquilizers at the dogs. They didn't want to use live ones because of fear of hitting the child (I guess their concern was that the dose might have been lethal, or that they'd hit the child multiple times and that would be lethal).

In most other CCW defense scenarios, there is a BG who is recognized as the BG by anyone already in the vicinity. I'm not so much concerned about those arriving later. When police arrive you have to be very careful how you behave, but in the initial reaction there's not as much risk.

Shooting at something out of sight, while people are screaming, and being the first person to use a firearm, raises the risks I think.

If you're trying to stop a robbery or something like that, most people are going to look at the situation and see how it matches up against what a robbery would look like. If you're shooting at something unknown at a zoo, who knows what people will think. Shooting wild dogs to save a child who has fallen into an exhibit is not going to go through most people's minds.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:26 PM   #84
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I read nothing that supports your claim.
The whole incident lasted just over 5 min. from the time dispatch dispatched the call until it was all over.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:59 PM   #85
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From what I read, they responded by shooting dummy tranquilizers at the dogs. They didn't want to use live ones because of fear of hitting the child (I guess their concern was that the dose might have been lethal, or that they'd hit the child multiple times and that would be lethal).
Right.

Quote:
I read nothing that supports your claim.
The whole incident lasted just over 5 min. from the time dispatch dispatched the call until it was all over.
Not Right.

Quote:
Zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray said a zookeeper who was 10 feet away immediately responded by calling coworkers for help. Another keeper in the painted-dog building called for the dogs to get them inside, she said. She declined further comment.

Zoo leaders said a worker got seven of the dogs into the building and another keeper brought three in. At some point, they said, workers fired empty tranquilizer darts at the remaining dog that would not leave Maddox alone.

Police officers fatally shot the remaining dog about 10 minutes after the attack began.

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Old November 13, 2012, 02:02 PM   #86
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Please spare us from the psychobabble. You don't know of what you speak. A person can recover from horrendous psychological trauma - it is preferred over death.
I apologize Mr. Meyer. I had no idea we had an expert on the subject or else I would have deferred to you.


To address other posts, I could be romanticizing the event I suppose.. And we all know how brave keyboard pounders are. Then again, I've worked as a lifeguard since I was 16, and while that certainly doesn't make me a dashing, caped hero, it does mean I've been in some life or death situations.

And I really shouldn't have to say this, but come on, I never meant that I would jump in headfirst as my opening! If I had a gun, I'd probably try to shoot, if I didn't, I'd throw a camera, a bag, or an old lady's pet Pomeranian!

There's a lot of things I care about in life, but to be honest, for myself I care but little. There's only one guarantee in life and that is the fact that we are going to die. I can't speak for any of you, but for myself, life's too short for regrets. Not saying I wouldn't regret jumping into the dog-pit, but I definitely wouldn't have as much to to dwell on it
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:52 PM   #87
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Ah, well ...

MLeake, MLeake. You live in an interesting world. Sure, you'd climb the fence, lever your body over the side, hang down and drop, hitting the concrete ready to rock! Locked and loaded. Is there a red "S" on your t-shirt?

Me, I dunno. You say to me; "I guess. I guess". Well, I don't guess. I've carried a gun for a living for a lot of years. Six years in the army, Deputy Sheriff, big game hunter. Took my share of chances, did stupid things. My first Cape buffalo dropped at 8 feet after four applications of .416. (Photo available)

My take on wild dogs vs. the neighbor's pet is that I've been right on top of the dogs, albeit in a safari truck, and my PH stated that leaving the truck would be tantamount to offering them a snack. Before I could get my rifle up and talking, I'd be done. You gotta quit guessing and go see sometimes.

I still say it was the mother's fault for sitting the kid on the rail.

Oh, yeah. By the time you finished all your gymnastics and did end up in the cage, the little boy would be history.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:56 PM   #88
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It is clear people should not speak outside of their expertise as if they were an expert. That's why we shut down folks who decide to say that gun fire noise doesn't damage one's hearing. I act in a similar fashion with non-supported views of stress disorders.

In matters of law, our staff has lawyers. I defer to them on such matters.

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Old November 13, 2012, 02:56 PM   #89
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Quote:
I read nothing that supports your claim.
The whole incident lasted just over 5 min. from the time dispatch dispatched the call until it was all over.
The animals killing the child would not have taken five minutes. It would have been over quickly.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:57 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by youngunz4life View Post
only a small percentage of people would have had an immediate response to this calamity(at least one that was calm enough, not just based on emotional drama and so-on).
And I am one of them. While I have never faced African Dogs, I would have immediately gone into the enclosure to help the child.
I am a Sheepdog, it's in my nature. While I am not a soldier nor a LEO, I would not have stood idle during the mauling without acting.
My lovely wife of 12 years knows what I say is true, that worries her most of all. The fact that I wouldn't hesitate to get involved.
I have saved lives before because I acted while others watched.
It's in my nature to act. It is part of who I am.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:59 PM   #91
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Mleake - you continue to miss my point. The tactical debates are just fine.

I specifically will continue to correct those who post that they must act because they could not live with themselves and because of that would take an action that might have a high probability of death. Not that they are willing to take the risk to save a child but that they can't live with themselves.

That specific reason is horse hockey from what we know about dealing with aftermaths.

Is that clear enough for folks yet?
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:34 PM   #92
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From an eye witness that was there:
Quote:
Ms. Cinti, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, tracked the time frame with her cell phone, saying she made a call at 11:49 a.m. when she and her boyfriend first headed toward the commotion. She said her cell phone shows that the call was ended five minutes and five seconds later, when a half-dozen zoo employees arrived and dispersed the crowd.

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Old November 13, 2012, 04:15 PM   #93
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So Hal, the phone call started at some unknown time AFTER the event started.

Quote:
The animals killing the child would not have taken five minutes. It would have been over quickly.
Well, it may or may not have taken 5 minutes. Sadly, the child was dead by 10 minutes when they reached him. However, it may have taken multiple minutes. If you care to search Youtube, you can see what African Painted Dogs do with their prey. In some cases, they will alternatively strike/bite and back off and this may continue even after the prey is down but still alive and last for minutes. The prey may be evicerated, but still alive and struggling at the time. As with many types of carnivore kill, the kill often is not what we would consider to be quick, clean, or humane.
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Old November 13, 2012, 05:54 PM   #94
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Some people would jump in and risk their lives; others wouldn't particularly since it might not have helped the child. But let's consider another problem.

Shooting and killing an African wild dog after the 2-year-old was clearly already dead, just because the dog was "not responding," is unethical. Why didn't they use a tranquilizer? It's an endangered species, and nobody was in danger. What did the dog do wrong?

Let me guess: once police arrived, they dictated how to deal with the scene, and their playbook says shoot all non-cooperative animals.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:24 PM   #95
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tyme

Quote:
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.
your posts are upsetting...this was post 37

also in the post directly above, that is one heck of a claim to assume the responding officers had no care for the animals so-to-speak. I just read about one K9 getting full police honors. More likely the arriving officers didn't know CLEARLY the child was deceased like you stated.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:36 PM   #96
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hal post# 79 is first quote only

Quote:
My bet would be the sound of gunfire would be enough to stop the (trained) zoo people dead in their tracks and they'd just hunker down until the police arrived.
Hal, I'm not arguing with you here & I might be misunderstanding your post but who cares if the zoo people hunker. Many of the zoo employees are animal experts...others are just highschool or college kids, they're not trained for these type of emergencies plus by that time the child is history anyways. Sometimes one must realize that there is no time to wait for someone else. You kight have been just making an observation so i apologize ifso, i just hope your statement isn't more justification or another reason why someone shouldn't act? Maybe I was thrown off because of the post directly before yours and I thought you all agreed....tyme, not trying to focus on you:

tyme's quotes start:
Quote:
Perhaps the zookeepers ought to have had guns, and ought to have been the ones to use them, since they were most familiar with the dogs' behavior, and most likely to take appropriate action if gunfire could have helped the situation.
but the child didn't have this luxury. this isn't a time to worry about such things, board meetings or the like in the aftermath investigtion is more appropriate.

Quote:
Consider another plausible scenario: you decide to attempt to shoot at the dogs (but shoot wide of the child) from the observation deck. The two parents and others are probably screaming incoherently, "Help!", "Help our child!", etc. You're shooting at something. Suppose there's an off-duty anti-gun Philadelphia police officer close behind you, unaware specifically that a child has fallen into the exhibit, only aware that there's a child in danger, lots of screaming, and that you're shooting at something. I wonder what happens next.

Worst case, you could end up dead along with the 2-year-old, the parents feel even more guilty because you died trying to rescue their child, and maybe 3rd parties feel guilty or traumatized if they were involved or involved through inaction in your fate. While they'd be happy that you tried to rescue a child, your loved ones would have lost you. If you have kids yourself, would you jump into that exhibit at the risk of leaving your own children without a parent?
lots of whatifs, should we not help the child due to this possible risk?? that seems upsurd to me and just another excuse via speulation. now of course nobody is obligated to act. I respect the post that replied to me saying they would act. That means something to me. DNS made a very very valid point too...this child might not have died instantly, lots of variables and the longer one ponders or just chalks a rescue up as futile takes away this boy's future chances. Almost every CCW encounter holds risk(and no reward without it) unless it is literally your life automatically unless you use your CCW....that is what it is for, but sometimes someone else might need your help.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:05 PM   #97
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Three true experts have posted in this thread, and these are the folks whose opinions I would respect most.

1) A man who jumped/fell off a roof at work, from roughly the same distance, and broke bones doing it.

2) A man who has been to Africa and has seen how Painted Dogs take down their prey -- how quickly it happens, how violent it is, and how difficult it would be to get a fast shot if one were in the midst of it.

3) A man with a doctorate in psychology, talking about survivor guilt, PTSD issues, and realism avoidance in planning.

We live in the age of the instant expert, where everyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's, and the guy who shouts the loudest usually "wins" an all-too-often adversarial online conversation. But I tend to listen hardest for the voices of people who have in some way been there. I might not like what they have to say, but darn sure I'll listen to it. To my ear, a loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it's a whisper.

Speaking of loud voices, there sure seems to be a lot of emotionalism in the thread. I'll grant it's an emotional topic, but it's hardly helpful to be nasty to each other over it.

Would I stand by and "let" the baby get mauled? Nope. If I were close enough to act, I would immediately choose one animal from the pack, and shoot that animal at the base of the skull if possible -- or in the spine near the hindquarters if not. Then I would choose another animal and do the same again. If the animals ran away at the first "warning shot" that incidentally dropped one of their packmates, that would be good. If they didn't, I would keep going until I ran out of ammunition or until it was plainly too late to save the child. (None of this is chest-beating, Glenn; I have the physical skills to do it and have thought through wild animal attacks as we live in a rural area where there were some feral dog packs near my home when the children were younger. There's nothing unrealistic about having a plan to act in a generalized set of circumstances, or about knowing your own shooting skills well enough to know whether you could carry it off under stress.)

Incidentally, for those who are saying that bystanders couldn't tell for sure that the child was actually dead, um, no. We have not seen any pictures of this child's injuries (nor do we want to!!), but .... dogs often go for the throat. If the child's head was completely severed, as seems not unlikely, or if the dogs literally tore the child's body in two, even a non medical person might take that as A Clue. Even if it was less clear than that, I would not want to take away a survivor's coping mechanism. The people who were there need to believe that nothing they could have done would have saved the child. The factual or non-factual nature of their belief hardly matters to us at this point, but it could be a sanity saver for them. Let it be.

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Old November 13, 2012, 08:09 PM   #98
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younggunz, multiple news articles said the child was clearly deceased after a minute or two, and certainly after they finally managed to call the all-but-one dogs away. Even if that's not accurate, it would take only moments for a cop to ask one of the zookeepers to shoot a tranquilizer dart at the dog rather than shoot it with bullets.

As for my not shooting the dogs, that comment in context was about shooting from the observation deck at the dogs 15+ feet away who were actively attacking the child, considering they would have been moving around not presenting clear shots and they would have been very close to the child.

I think it's perfectly ethical to harm a dog to save the 2-year-old's life. I would kill all eleven without hesitation if that's what it took, and if I could do so with reasonable safety and if there was a reasonable chance the child was still alive.
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:03 PM   #99
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Difference between tranquilizers and firearms: noise (much less) and immediate result of noise (dead or wounded and frightened animal). I would suspect the pack to not scatter as a result of tranquilizer darts. It would probably take them a while to make the right associations.

Edit: In the case of a pack, quick kills might be counter-productive, if one's goal is to scatter them. Nasty though it may sound, I'd think a few gutshots would be much more effective than a few brain stem hits. Screaming and wailing in direct response to gunfire is probably going to have a lot more impact on the other pack members.

In military terms, this might be viewed as "shaping" or "preparing" the battle space.

Note that when Alvin York took down 8 Germans in one incident, he shot the rearmost first, then worked his way forward, so the ones in front wouldn't spook. Had he wanted to scatter them, instead of kill them, he would have shot the leader and worked his way back, so the rest could see the first ones die. By his own account, he had learned this trick from hunting.

As far as seeing wild animals... I doubt poprivit is the only one to have seen predators in the wild. Probably several of us have done so, from a truck, or a boat, or even while afoot. (Or in the water... I've run across African game during vehicle tours near Praetoria; gators in any number of places canoeing Florida; a couple sharks while SCUBA diving; even have a pack of coyotes that regularly hunts out behind my west pasture - hear them most nights when I'm home, walking the dogs.)

Pax, an acquaintance fell off a barn while working on the roof. He broke his pelvis; nasty injury. That makes him an expert on falling, unexpectedly, while trying to toss away the chainsaw he'd been using to cut a beam - IE an expert on that type of fall in those circumstances.

I've had to jump from a 9' platform (shelf about 3' below the top of the 12' wall) in training, though granted it was onto sand. Bigger worry than impact, per se, was twisting knees or ankles, as happened to some of my classmates. As we were going for times, there was no hang and drop from closer to the ground, we were going as fast as we could (600 yards of sand, and a dozen or so obstacles, with a goal under 3:30). IIRC I ran a 3:12; the badge time was 2:55. I'm just an ok athlete, but raw ability doesn't always directly correspond to willingness to try.

Falls can injure; there are techniques for minimizing the damage, which one can proactively employ. One can still get hurt, even badly hurt.

And again, note that once the number of dogs were pointed out (having not seen the video, I assumed two or three, in error), I revised my strategy to shoot and scatter first, then enter. The point remains, if the kid had not been dead yet, somebody would need to get to him to try to stop bleeding while waiting for the cavalry - or to keep the dogs from thinking about coming back in the interim.

Hal, what is that quote we CCW types like? "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away," I believe. Yet you think waiting five minutes in this instance was reasonable?

Glenn, people can learn to live with a lot. That doesn't mean they necessarily ever stop hearing that inner voice whisper, "Coward." You say I keep missing your point. That may be, but you keep missing mine.

You say people are making outrageous claims; I ask, have you never read of or known people who were driven to self-abuse (drug abuse, alcoholism, successive abusive relationships) or even suicide by guilt or self-recrimination? Just because it doesn't automatically have to happen, does not mean that it doesn't.

You say that you are the expert; I don't dispute that. But, can you ethically guarantee the outcome of a course of treatment for one of your patients? Or, are you only allowed to say what the statistics support?

Can you ethically diagnose a person you have neither interviewed nor tested? If not, how can you say with authority what a given individual will or won't do, or can or can't live with? I'll grant you that you can give a good statistical analysis, but that's as far as it goes.

For that matter, is "Normal" a universal thing, or does it vary by culture? If it varies by culture, is that only ethnic or religious (for instance, the Japanese traditionally viewed suicide as a normal response to a major failure), or can it vary by occupation and social group (are "normal" views on the appropriate time and place for violence going to be the same between a group of US Army Rangers and a group of obstetric or pediatric nurses)?

As far as amateur psychology goes, what would you call Shakespeare or Dostoefsky? Seems to me some of my psych profs used Hamlet and Raskolnikov as examples of psychological issues in literature; seems to me those works pre-date modern psychology...

Ok, now I'm done with the psych arguments.

Last edited by MLeake; November 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 01:17 AM   #100
youngunz4life
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younggunz, multiple news articles said the child was clearly deceased after a minute or two, and certainly after they finally managed to call the all-but-one dogs away. Even if that's not accurate, it would take only moments for a cop to ask one of the zookeepers to shoot a tranquilizer dart at the dog rather than shoot it with bullets.
its pretty much common sense that this would be the case(not saying you are alluding to otherwise), and this is why I have stated from the onset immediate action was necessary. I was just stating DNS made a valid point(in my opinion) mainly due to the fact it would help avoid assumptions. I think when an active officer is on the scene this is an emergency situation, and he/she doesn't know specifics. He/She is one of the guys acting under the premise of staying focused and calm and that immediate action is necessary. Said officer isn't going to be asking a bystander if the child is deceased & if he doesn't have a tranquilizer then he is gonna use his firearm which is at the ready. The dog was deemed aggressive andor was SOL. I have no sympathy for the dog. I don't mean to seem harsh, but the dog was aggressive...if not others probably would've been shot as well. The officer made his way to the child and used deadly force with what was available to him.
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