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Old November 5, 2012, 01:07 PM   #1
Seabear
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hypothetical situation

Recently at the Pittsburgh Zoo a small child was placed on the railing of an exhibit of Afrcian Wild dogs and fell into the enclosure.....The dogs attacked and killed the child. Currently the facts are not clear if the fall killed the child or the dogs, but while this was going on no one was certain of that....When the zoo staff arrived they were able to scare off some of the animal, darted some and eventually was forced to kill one of the dogs who would not leave the kill...

My question is if I were there when it happened and legally have a concealed weapon would the law have permitted me to use the weapon to either scare off or shoot the dogs, let me add that I would never have put the danger of the child in play....

I just wonder what I would have done...You Guys?

Last edited by Seabear; November 5, 2012 at 01:29 PM.
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Old November 5, 2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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I don't know about the legal problems that might ensue from discharging the firearm to scare off the dogs, but if someone had shot and killed any of them, I'm almost certain he or she would be hearing from the zoo's lawyers pertaining to "damage of property."
Having said that, human life is more valuable than some dogs and I think that shooting them to save the child would've been the pertinent course of action (assuming, of course, that you could get a clear shot and not put the child any further into harm's way). The only problem with that is if the child had been killed in the fall, not the subsequent attack, then the zoo could easily claim that killing the animals had not been justified, even though there was no way for the shooter to know that the child was already dead.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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I dont think its a good idea to start shooting at zoo animals, unless it got out and charged at you. I cant imagine the legal ramifications of doing such a thing. Just my 2 cents. Thats why I would never put my kid in a spot where they could fall into a pit full of amimals.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Honestly, I was thinking about this today...not about the issue with shooting the dogs.. How in the hell does someone not even think twice about jumping in that pit?!

1. Stupid mother (or whoever was the cause of this tragedy) , god bless them anyways..terrible thing to go through.
2. No thinking! I would hope that someone around would have the balls to jump in and take a couple brutal hits from those dogs to save a child's life. If it were my son; insta-leap.

I can't understand the tragedy.. It's a terrible thing, but god forbid it wasn't the fall that did it.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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Interesting question. First , just to be clear , I stand in judgment of no one else. That having been said , here is my question. Who among you could watch those dogs attack a child and not bring to bear your concealed weapon in defense of that child ? I hardly think I would concern myself with property damage claims. Also , I think the question is whether anyone could be certain the child was dead , as opposed to being certain the child was alive. If there was a remote chance the kid was alive one must act accordingly. That's what I think anyway.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Kid falls into wild dog pit and is getting eaten by the dogs and I'm standing there with a gun(a pocket knife or a ballpoint pen for that matter...

Just a no brainer as to what to do regardless of the aftermath. All the animals at the entire zoo are not worth a single person's life, especially a childs.

FWIW, there was just an update on our 10:00pm news and questions are being asked as to why no zoo staff intervened faster.

A very horrible, senseless tragedy.

Last edited by shortwave; November 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM.
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Old November 6, 2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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Last article I saw indicated that the staff were certain, as soon as they arrived on scene, that the boy was dead. Same article said the zoo CEO says evidence indicates the fall did not kill the child, the dogs did.

There is a safety net in place, in case of falls, but the boy was so light he bounced out of it and into the pen.

No punishment can match what that mother is doing to herself, and anybody can have a dumb moment... but I see a lot of parents who seem to have no concept of risk analysis.

It probably never occurred to the mother that her toddler could fall off the fence, or that dogs could be dangerous.

Then again, a parent I did not know once not only allowed, but encouraged his diaper wearing child to jump on my Rott-Shepherd, in an apparent attempt to use the kid to get my ex-wife's attention. Never occurred to the guy that the dog could eat the kid (or that the woman might have a reasonably large husband in the nearby surf).

Over the years, I have seen a lot of people allow or encourage foolish behavior by their kids with regard to animals.

The zoo incident saddens me, but it does not surprise me.
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Old November 6, 2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Daggitt, I don't know if I would have shot, for fear of hitting the child, but I suspect I might have dropped in after him.

Fear of wild dogs would not compare to fear of living with having done nothing.
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Old November 6, 2012, 01:31 AM   #9
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An old adage I'm somewhat partial to is "A bad plan executed violently now is better than a good plan later."

Even without my carry gun, I like to think that I could have atleast attempted to intervene with my othr every day pocket items. (Swiss Army Knife, ball point pen, keys)

And who knows, once your in the arena, and are fighting with the dogs, you could claim self defense for popping one or two of them.

I was taught that as a civillian with a carry permit, my first duty is to myself and my loved ones, however, I think in that situation my duty as an Eagle Scout would override that.
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Old November 6, 2012, 01:42 AM   #10
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I would have made an attempt to save the child regardless of the outcome. probably by going in after it and if it meant shooting some are all of the dogs so be it. I could not stand by and do nothing. I was a LEO for over 30 years and programmed that way.

My heart and prayers go out to that child's family
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:49 AM   #11
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using your CCW to save a life besides in self-defense such as 2yr old mauled by dogs

http://t.news.msn.com/us/boy-mauled-...dical-examiner

the above article is regarding the expert confirming the boy died from the zoo, African dogs and not the fall...please see original story and comments in below article if you choose:

http://news.yahoo.com/wild-dogs-kill...GlvbnM-;_ylv=3

First of all, I would like to give my sincerest condolences to those involved. Amongst my children, I have a two year old daughter. Just reading this article(s) is heartbreaking, and it can surface other emotions as well. If this thread is not appropriate I apologize in advance to the mods and respect their judgement. The secretary at the mechanic who fixes our vehicles likes our daughter and vice-versa. She doesn't have children. I literally 'jumped' one day when she was making copies and decided it was ok to put our daughter on the counter 5 feet up above a hard floor sitting on the edge with her back turned. I didn't say anything to her, but she seemed to think it wasn't a bigdeal. Being she is friendly to our family and we respect the mechanic, I let it go but stayed right next to my daughter "coincidently" for the minute or two this was going on. I'm still teaching my daughter about traffic; she is too young at two years to fend for herself. That is My Job and My Responsibility. This is why many of us carry too: We Believe it Our Responsibility to Protect Our Families. I also believe innocent citizens and persons deserve to be protected from wrongful harm also...

I read this article when it first aired...I have to admit that my first thoughts were how it would've been possibly been avoided if someone had been carrying. You know it is always possible someone was?? That is all speculation: felon or someone with warrants who couldn't risk being noticed, a man who just doesn't think quick enough plus freezes...again Purely speculation. But it begs the question, if you had your CCW would you have done something? I honestly believe I would have, but 20/20 hindsight is easy. The other factor is: it has to be "that quick". No hesitation in a life or death situation is warranted. You literally have to draw, fire a shot to the butt of one of the dogs(opting first shot not to be near fatal for boy yet still hitting a 'target'). There are other possibilities of how to handle it if you decide to act as well...some more daring than others, but let's face it: one must risk oneself to save others usually. Literally, you must be willing to match a seconds situation with seconds reaction too. In this situation, waiting even a few seconds makes doing anything a moot point. Is there anyone here that can add some two-cents to this thread about the CCW in this situation or a similar situation and/or your feelings on the matter(s)? I'm taking this story with a grain of salt because it is upsetting, but could a CCW law-abiding citizen have made this tragic encounter end differently?

As Always Thanks Fellow TFLers,

Gunz
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:52 AM   #12
MLeake
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There is already a thread about this in GD: "Hypothetical Situation." http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=505664
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:54 AM   #13
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thank you MLeake. I didn't know; I appreciate it(and the link).
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:58 AM   #14
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No problem; if I were you, I'd either copy and paste your OP (which was good) to that thread, or ask a mod for a merge (plus erasure of our extraneous commentary about the other thread).
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:08 AM   #15
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thx

I PMed a mod...
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:12 AM   #16
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gunner, if you jumped in you would've been mauled by dogs and deceased. However, if you had firearm it is possible you could have done justice. As far as being able to shoot the animals. There is Absolutely no doubt that you could do this to save child, and I have concerns for someone who wouldn't do so to save a two-yr old child. Bear in mind, weighing the option means the child dies and you talk about what-ifs sometime over a holiday dinner.

PS- here is my take on situation(I started a thread without knowledge that this one existed already):

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...04#post5278604
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:15 AM   #17
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thanks for the thread/post
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:16 AM   #18
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I agree with younggunz4life

100%

*prayers w/child who had a higher calling
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:15 AM   #19
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Threads merged.
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Old November 6, 2012, 06:33 AM   #20
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Had I been at the wild dog exhibit and did not take action, being a legally armed citizen, it would have been very tough to look at myself in the mirror for months, maybe years to come. It seems to me that zoo employees should be ready to use deadly force if necessary to save the life of a human. I hope that I am wrong, but sometimes it seems that the mindset of those who believe in "animal rights" is that the life of an endangered species is worth more than human life.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:38 AM   #21
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As a roofer who's hit the ground and broken bones from 5' to 16', I wouldn't have gone in. It was 14' drop and doing it safely would have probably gotten me killed by the dogs.
I'm sure I would have fired shots and worried about consequences later, but who can say? Hindsight and second guessing the actions of others is just speculation.
Who knows? I might have simply frozen too, but I doubt it. You have 'to be there' to know what you'll do is all I can say.
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Old November 6, 2012, 10:56 AM   #22
Seabear
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further details

It is now reported that the dogs were attacking the child in a matter of seconds, and when the staff got there it was determained that the child was already deceased, so deadly force was not used on the animals. The speculation here is that anyone that would have jumped in would have been malued and killed by the dogs. My original thought on this matter was if I were there and I did discharge my weapon how would the law and the general public react to my desicion? I think I would have shot to scare the dogs off the child initally, if that didn't work aim at the dogs and not endanger the child.....I know this much, if it were my child I would want every by standers with a gun to draw and shoot.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:09 PM   #23
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I don't know that anybody would have necessarily been charged and killed. I am not so sure that wild dogs in a zoo enclosure behave all that differently from packs of roaming dogs, wild or domestic but loose, that one encounters in the countryside.

Dog packs are known to go after people, but they normally go after children or the elderly. Healthy adult humans can often scatter them, at least for long enough to get to a house or a vehicle.

As far as the wall, accounts vary. Some say 14'; I read 11' in the newspaper, plus a safety net on the way down.

All I know is that I'd like to think most of us would at least try to do something, in such a situation.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:09 PM   #24
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I would've drawn and shot immediately. they were on him immediately i am sure(probably reacted while he was still bouncing off net). i really hope food isn't thrown to those dogs from that same area....
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:19 PM   #25
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There is no good answer for this one. I've seen baloney posturing on other sites. Let's try to avoid that as for rational discussion.

1. Take a shot / hit the kid
2. Jump in (if you could get in vs. the barrier), break a leg
3. Can't live with yourself - a. get therapy or b. can your family get along without you?
4. Go H2H with a wild dog pack because you can do XYZ becauses dogs are ABC - or they eat you also.
5. The mother was stupid - not relevant to us.

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.
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