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Old November 22, 2012, 06:25 PM   #26
mightyoakwildlife
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"... To meet legal requirements for negligence the store employee had to be doing something that he knew was dangerous, or should have known would be dangerous and did not take precautions."

In response to the post above: Most (if not all of us) would consider that pointing a loaded firearm in the direction of another person is something which may lead to injury. As is repeatedly posted, the BASIC tenets of firearms safety have been disregarded. To claim the defense you attempt to frame, one that the accidental shooting was NOT negligent, the defense would have to show that the 'shooter' was not in posession of these BASIC tenets of firearms safety.

In contradicting jmr40, pointing a loaded firearm toward another person is something that "...he knew was dangerous, or should have known would be dangerous...", even when attempting to unload said firearm.

Law suit or not, I'm sure that the responsible party has a heavy conscience to deal with. Tough way to learn a lesson. May God's blessings be with the victim in his time of need.
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Old November 22, 2012, 06:55 PM   #27
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Again, I have to repeat that there just ain't enough fact in that article to render any kind of decision or place any blame.

Perhaps.......one customer brought in a defective loaded gun and placed it on the counter. While picking the pistol up, the employee kept his finger off the trigger and had the gun pointed at some large product display or at an internal wall. While removing the mag (we don't even know what type of gun or caliber was involved!!!) a defective sear let go and the gun fired, the projectile going through a wallboard wall or bouncing off something, and hitting another customer somewhere in the store.

My story also fits the article info. "My" employee would not be getting all your scorn, but instead might also be getting some of your sympathy. So many of you are just so ready to go off half-cocked, state how expert, professional, and legal you are, and throw blame around. Maybe the employee is an idiot and was negligent, but that is not evident from the posted news report.

Ok, back to the feast.
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Old November 22, 2012, 07:41 PM   #28
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Item 1._I hope that store owner has an umbrella insurance policy beyond the normal business policy limits. Quite possible being shot at his age the old gent may or may not fully recover. Only time will tell. However the outcome. The old gent again has many avenues to pursue if He chooses too.
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Old November 23, 2012, 09:23 AM   #29
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It does not state anywhere that the gun was pointed at the man. Nor does it state what the employee was doing when the weapon was discharged. It is most likely that there was a degree of negligence involved but based on the given information from the article, the only REAL FACTS we know for sure are about the injured man's medical condition, the process of taking him to the hospital and that the store (wisely) refused to comment to the local news.

The article covered: Who?, Where?, When?, What? (but not entirely) and left How? to your imagination in regards to the shooting part.

Those are FACTS. Regardless, it will probably/hopefully be settled out of court with much more media coverage.
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:31 AM   #30
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Some good points have been raised; for instance, we don't know if this might have been a ricochet - the gun may not have been pointed at the customer.
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:33 AM   #31
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I don't think it is necessarily fair to cast extra blame on said gun store employee than any normal citizen(though I realize that is up for debate). Everyone is probably "picturing" in their mind said gun store employee commiting this act, and then the reality is it could've been a very young man or a woman who pulled the trigger. Again, that doesn't change the horrible circumstances for the 65 year-old gentleman; I am just saying the gun/slash outdoors store that is family-owned around my parts has workers that aren't as 'up-to-date' so-to-speak as some others maybe(and this is a very good, credible firearms locations + very honest & professional). Most of the time it is an older gentleman who has vast knowledge, years of experience not just behind a counter, and many times he is carrying a firearm. Other times it is the neice as one of many examples.

bottom line: never point a firearm at someone and I have ALWAYS had an issue with the fact that people do this at firearm stores. It's almost like a freepass that shouldn't exist. I know if a citizen handed this worker a loaded firearm, there are some extra upset individuals.
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Old November 26, 2012, 09:09 PM   #32
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I hope that I never have to be judged by all these internet experts. No one really knows what happened and yet they already have the poor guy charged and found guilty waiting to be hung. I feel bad for both. Hard thing to live with, for both of them.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngunz4life
I don't think it is necessarily fair to cast extra blame on said gun store employee than any normal citizen(though I realize that is up for debate). Everyone is probably "picturing" in their mind said gun store employee commiting this act, and then the reality is it could've been a very young man or a woman who pulled the trigger.
I have to disagree. That's like saying it's not so bad if the wheel falls off my car at 65 MPH on the Interstate because the mechanic was just a rookie who doesn't have 25 years of experience. Or it's okay if the EMP or paramedic hooked someone up to the wrong intravenous drip, because she's young and hasn't been on the job that long.

Some jobs require a fundamental level of training and expertise. Age is not an excuse for ignorance, incompetence, or negligence. If the person can't do the job, they shouldn't be in the job. This incident resulted in a person being critically injured, and the person may yet die. Who should we blame other than the person who pulled the trigger?
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:46 PM   #34
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Get a lawyer. Sue them for everything. Enjoy a workfree life afterwards.
THAT right there is what is wrong with this country.

That said, the question still stands: Is the employee negligent? Almost certainly. He's a GUN store employee, and at least as neglignet as an auto mechanic that put a car on a lift and dropped it on a customer. THE FOUR RULES. You have to break at least two for anything really bad to happen ..... I'm guessing this guy broke all four.

If you disagree, please illustrate the mental gymnastics that you would have to excercise to come up with a scenario in which the employee was not negligent ..... I can not think of how the customer could get a bullet in his back without at least 2 of the Four getting violated .......
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:44 AM   #35
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jimbob86, it would be an unlikely scenario, but a customer handing a loaded gun with some mechanical problem could do it, if combined with a ricochet off a hard surface.

Say a combination of an unextracted round and a shade-tree gunsmithed sear, the trigger might never be touched.

But that is admittedly an unlikely sequence of events.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:49 AM   #36
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As I said, it'd take some strenous mental gymnasics to " 'esplain tha' one, Lucy"..... nearly as much as the aforementioned auto mechanic.....
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:52 AM   #37
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jimbob86, the auto mechanic would have a better defense, as most garages specifically ban customers from the bay area - IE, why was the customer ignoring signs and instructions from staff in order to be anywhere near the lift?
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:26 AM   #38
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Aguila Blanca

Quote:
I have to disagree. That's like saying it's not so bad if the wheel falls off my car at 65 MPH on the Interstate because the mechanic was just a rookie who doesn't have 25 years of experience. Or it's okay if the EMP or paramedic hooked someone up to the wrong intravenous drip, because she's young and hasn't been on the job that long.

Some jobs require a fundamental level of training and expertise. Age is not an excuse for ignorance, incompetence, or negligence. If the person can't do the job, they shouldn't be in the job. This incident resulted in a person being critically injured, and the person may yet die. Who should we blame other than the person who pulled the trigger?
The problem is, despite age, some firearm employees aren't firearm employees but just actually working at another store that sells firearms along with many other items. They don't get special training to sell firearms; that is why the man is usually someone who knows what he is talking about. The first time I bought ammo, the young man was telling me that all ammo is the same so just buy the cheapest.

The other issue is that criminal and civil liability is different(obviously you know this). As far as criminally, just because this employee should bare more responsibility(if he/she does after debate), I don't believe you can 'up the charges' in this case because something 'seems right'. In actuality, you might have a better accident argument depending on the situation in the store doing business then some joe schmo on the curb hangin w/his buddy....
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:13 AM   #39
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I hope that I never has to be judged by all these internet experts. No one really knows what happened and yet they already have the poor guy charged and found guilty waiting to be hung.
This is a great post,,,
I can't believe the vehemence towards the employee,,,
You guys are treating him as if he came in off the street shooting on purpose.

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-- Thomas Paine, Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, The Writer's Rights (2002) p. 31
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:17 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by youngunz4life
The other issue is that criminal and civil liability is different(obviously you know this). As far as criminally, just because this employee should bare more responsibility(if he/she does after debate), I don't believe you can 'up the charges' in this case because something 'seems right'. In actuality, you might have a better accident argument depending on the situation in the store doing business then some joe schmo on the curb hangin w/his buddy....
" 'Up the charges"? Who is "upping" any charges? Someone was seriously wounded due to a negligent act of a specific individual. Your argument is beginning to sound like the arguments of those who maintain that anytime a gun discharges unexpectedly it's an "accidental" discharge ... whereas many of us believe that probably at least 90 percent of "accidental" discharges are, in fact, negligent discharges.

If you do something silly in your car, strike, and kill a pedestrian, would you expect NOT to be charged with either negligent homicide or vehicular homicide? Why should someone who does something dumb with a firearm be held to a significantly LOWER standard of care?
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:40 AM   #41
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by aarondhgraham
This is a great post,,,
I can't believe the vehemence towards the employee,,,
You guys are treating him as if he came in off the street shooting on purpose.
Quirk of human nature.

Studies of real juries have found that punishment for an act is strongly correlated with results rather than intent.

Seems almost like a "Well, duh!" statement until you think deeper.

Scenario borrowed from a study:

What if someone tried to kill a "friend" who they believe is allergic to peanuts by putting peanut dust in their salad but it turns out that the friend is NOT allergic to peanuts but IS allergic to poppy seeds, which were not part of the recipe but put there put there by the restaurant employee who thought they were, and the person dies.

Which person should be punished and how much?

What about a person who drive with a BAC of .40 and makes it home (by sheer "luck") without incident but another who drives with a BAC .09 causes a wreck and kills a mom and her child?

Mr Plastered gets lucky and no charge at all. Mr Barely Illegal gets 20 years. Both by pure "luck".

Mr Gun Shop employee just ruined his life, doing something that's been done 1,000,000 times before by untold thousands of people, who just by pure luck, didn't happen to kill/shoot anyone.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:47 PM   #42
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Mr Gun Shop employee just ruined his life, doing something that's been done 1,000,000 times before by untold thousands of people, who just by pure luck, didn't happen to kill/shoot anyone.
One could argue that it is not just by "pure luck". "Bummer dude, who knew that there was a shark in the water. Sorry about your foot... Hang five dude!"

For some reason, maybe just "pure luck", I haven't managed to kill/injure anyone with either: peanuts, poppy seeds, an automobile when drunk, or a firearm while attempting to unload same.

Or then again...

Perhaps it has to do with something other than "pure luck"...
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:56 PM   #43
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Point being that many others have done the same stupid things and not killed someone "by pure luck".

I'm not talking about NOT doing those things, I'm talking about the people who have done the same exact things and simply not shot someone. No one seems to want them drawn and quartered, yet they did the exact same things, there just wasn't someone standing in the way of their bullet.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:20 PM   #44
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yet they did the exact same things, there just wasn't someone standing in the way of their bullet.
That really is the crux of the problem now, isn't it?

Not that I am advocating irresponsibility in any way shape or form, actually exactly the opposite; however, it is when "the damage is done" that does seem to "practically matter".

I will continue to promote and practice safe gun handling, and will also continue to be thankful for not being shot in the back at my local gun shop. (But, even there I generally don't turn my back on anyone handling a gun just brought into the store or handling a firearm in an unsafe manner; I have walked out of a number of such situations, after mentioning muzzle direction.)

"Bad Luck" is just the timing of when it happens, the bad choices/behaviors allow luck the opportunity to do so.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:30 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Azak
"Bad Luck" is just the timing of when it happens, the bad choices/behaviors allow luck the opportunity to do so.
Exactly, yet we promote dramatically different punishments for the exact same behavior based on nothing more than the "timing" or "bad luck" of when it took place.

I'm not condoning or suggesting anything, I just find it thought provoking, how the guy who engaged in the identical "stupidness" but who was lucky enough that there was only wall in the way of his bullet, gets off scot-free while the guy who was UNLucky enough to have someone standing where his bullet went, gets drawn and quartered.

Both were stupid, neither missed or hit someone on purpose. Both could have killed someone, one does, one does not. One goes to jail, the other does not.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:57 PM   #46
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Exactly, yet we promote dramatically different punishments for the exact same behavior
Is it possible that the gun store employee/"professional" should be held to a higher standard?

Even in the same breath stating that "everyone" should follow the 4 rules.

My dad taught me at an early age that, "life is not fair." But, he also told me that, "you do pretty much see what you look for."

Sometimes we get to learn from our mistakes, sometimes the consequences are far too severe for a "do over".
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:24 PM   #47
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Is it possible that the gun store employee/"professional" should be held to a higher standard?
I think it's necessary. I trust my mechanic not to drive my car into a raised lift or smoke a cigar while he's cleaning the fuel injectors. Likewise, I'd expect someone who handles firearms to be able to do so competently and safely.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:50 PM   #48
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I'd proffer a judge and jury would agree with you. While we don't have a lot of the fact pattern here, a civil action for negligence would have a high chance of success.

If I were on the jury, depending on that fact pattern I'm going to default to a high percentage of fault to the employee/store (store for not properly training and overssing their employees).
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:13 PM   #49
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by Azak
Is it possible that the gun store employee/"professional" should be held to a higher standard?
Maybe so.

Still begs the question of what to do when two John Q Public do the same thing though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azak
Sometimes we get to learn from our mistakes, sometimes the consequences are far too severe for a "do over".
Yes indeed.

I suppose that's where "common sense" is supposed to come in, which I define as the ability to apply lessons learned from other unrelated or disassociated circumstances to a new circumstance.

Lack thereof creating these "too severe for a do-over" situations.
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Old November 27, 2012, 06:15 PM   #50
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and getting to your last part...not real sure why this keeps being compared to cars but since you asked....if it is an accident, no I don't expect to be charged unless I was texting, drunk, etc.
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