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Old April 28, 2013, 10:48 AM   #1
Glenn E. Meyer
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An antigun article based on someone's tragic incompetence

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/op...my-friend.html

Quote:
It was the second week in August, a Friday the 13th, in fact, in 1982. I was with a group of college roommates who were getting ready to go to the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race. Three of us piled into a red Vega parked outside a friend’s house in Okanogan, Wash., me in the back seat. The driver, who worked with the county sheriff’s department, offered me his service revolver to examine. I turned the weapon onto its side, pointed it toward the door. The barrel, however, slipped when I shifted my grip to pull the hammer back, to make certain the chamber was empty, and turned the gun toward the driver’s seat. When I let the hammer fall, the cylinder must have rotated without my knowing. When I pulled the hammer back a second time it fired a live round.
This is a strange manipulation. The author then states that he suffers from various psychological maladies that he treats with drugs.

Is this supposed to convince one that guns should be banned. One can come up with many more cases of tragic car accidents due to alcohol or the stupidty of youth.

It is a clear case of a vivid instance that is really meaningless in the gun debate being used as an emotional tool.

The author had little idea of how to manipulate a gun, if the story is true -and the officer is certainly a fool, if true for giving someone a loaded gun.

A low point in journalism.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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I read that yesterday. In spite of the author's disclaimer to the effect that he, not the gun, is responsible, the message is exactly the opposite: guns just aren't safe, even in the hands of someone who grew up around them.

The NYT is completely shameless on this issue.

I'm still fuming over the op-ed piece they published in January titled "Please Take Away My Right to a Gun."
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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She would have enjoyed a visit from the Petit family attackers or the professional boxing champion who stalked a young woman in San Antonio.

He also broke in - she had a Glock 21. Guess who won that fight?

There is a fundamental difference in make up between those who can see themselves as being able to defend or being helpless.

However, the latter's views should not be extended to controlling the former.
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Old April 28, 2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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I'm having difficulty understanding how cocking the hammer on a revolver allows one to verify that "the" chamber is empty.

The person says he accepted responsibility, but that's not what he means. He very clearly blames the gun. His description of the incident is nothing other than a classic "IT went off" statement.
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Old April 28, 2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Another tragic example of "you can't fix stupid."
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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So there is the total idiot who doesn't know the difference between the cylinder release and the hammer nor the function of each. Then there is the poor, dumb, hammerhead who gives said idiot a loaded revolver, presumably not aware of just how stupid his buddy actually is. I have zero compassion for either, and only hope he wakes up screaming from nightmares of killing his friend. It is just ironic that the driver was headed to The Omak Stampede and Suicide Race.
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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Old April 28, 2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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Good Lord.

So, the fact that some can not seem to drive cars safely or, manage to walk in a straight line without winding up in a wall, means those and other things should be banned, I suppose.

This is truly a stellar example of why some folks need a keeper. Not a logical reason to regulate "things"
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Old April 28, 2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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I'd be interested in Glenn expanding his comments here. It almost seems to me that there's a form of psychopathology (cognitive dissonance?) abroad in the land. It seems to be characterized by beliefs that --
  1. An idiosyncratic event is a sound basis upon which to make public policy; and

  2. A bad outcome clearly traceable to user error, personal fault or stupidity needs to be addressed by a law; and

  3. If you can't do something, manage something or understand something, no one can.
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Old April 28, 2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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Op-eds... "journalism's" irresponsible way of intentionally slipping garbage into view.
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Old April 28, 2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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The moral of the story isn't to outlaw guns, but to keep them out of the hands of idiots...

...also didn't they go to Jimmie's house after that?
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Old April 28, 2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Yes, I am puzzled with the statement about pulling the hammer back to see if the chamber was empty. On my SAAs the cylinder rotates in the half cock positions, on my Colts, S&Ws and Ruger, the cylinders swing out, my Enfield No. 2 Mk I is a top break. All my semiautomatic pistols-well, we all know you remove the magazine then retract the slide to check for a loaded round while pointing the gun a safe direction AND keeping the trigger finger well away from it. Sounds like neither the author-nor his friend who "worked for" the sheriff's department knew the first thing about proper gun handling. Methinks there's more to this story than has been written.
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Old April 28, 2013, 05:46 PM   #13
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The guy in the story described the gun as his friend's "service revolver," so we can most likely assume that it was a double action. As such, it's highly probable that the cylinder swung out. So the guy didn't know how to manipulate the firearm he was handling.

There is so much fail in the story one doesn't know how to begin.

Quote:
The barrel, however, slipped when I shifted my grip to pull the hammer back
Why, then, did he not move the barrel back to point in a safe direction (not that the door of a Vega is a safe direction) before continuing his check?

Quote:
When I let the hammer fall, the cylinder must have rotated without my knowing.
How could the hammer have fallen, unless he had his finger on the trigger? And how could the cylinder rotate without his knowing it? It's not like the cylinder is concealed inside the gun where you can't see it or touch it.

Quote:
When I pulled the hammer back a second time it fired a live round.
The hammer didn't fire a live round. And rounds don't go off when someone pulls the hammer back, they go off when the hammer is allowed to strike a live round.

My take is that the guy somehow believed that, because he slept in a room full of guns even though he didn't much care about them, he therefore knew all about them. Either he was never properly indoctrinated with the basic rules of firearms safety, or he didn't pay attention because he wasn't "into" guns.

And this is why I posted in another thread that in an EOTWAWKI situation, my brother is on his own. We both learned to shoot at the same time. However, my little bro' was never "into" shooting, and I don't think he has fired a firearm of any kind for over fifty years. If I'm busy fending off the invading zombie horde, I won't have time to teach my brother (or anyone else) how to use a gun ... safely.
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Old April 28, 2013, 06:48 PM   #14
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Why bother wasting time trying to understand what was written?
The person handling the gun didn't know squat about guns and their actions and subsequent explanation don't make any sense because they don't know squat about guns.

I'll take from this story that the gun handler was ignorant about handling guns. I'll also take from this story that they haven't learned anything about guns since 1982 or they would have made more sense when they wrote the story.

They also don't know much about cars and the reason they had a picture of a gun room in North Dakota when the action happened in Washington state is beyond my understanding.

A friend of my used to say 'I don't know what you're talking about and don't think you do either.'

That sums this story up for me.

Last edited by DaleA; April 28, 2013 at 07:00 PM.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:09 PM   #15
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Well, this is where the trouble started, and it's largely where the blame falls:

Quote:
The driver, who worked with the county sheriff’s department, offered me his service revolver to examine.
Irregardless, it's a tragic event, but the author is using it both to generate sympathy for himself and ammunition for the gun-control crowd.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:38 PM   #16
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Sounds like total fiction to me.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:41 PM   #17
Dashunde
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Quote:
the reason they had a picture of a gun room in North Dakota when the action happened in Washington state is beyond my understanding
My guess is so that rag of a newspaper can sensationalize that pointless story, maybe add some validity to his nonsense by using a odd-ball photo of a bedroom like that.

The NYTimes would be so much more useful if they just made toilet paper.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:02 AM   #18
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We need articles written that debunk garbage like that, or a least shine a light on just how much nonsense it is. The problem I find is that "anti" gun folks won't even bother to read something from a "pro" gun standpoint.

That makes the discussion even more difficult when people refuse to see, recognize, or even take a little peek at the truth.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
I read that yesterday. In spite of the author's disclaimer to the effect that he, not the gun, is responsible, the message is exactly the opposite: guns just aren't safe, even in the hands of someone who grew up around them.
The disclaimer is not really a disclaimer. The author does not claim to misunderstand how guns work but he blames his misunderstanding of the purpose of guns was somehow responsible. In truth, I am thinking his therapy failed since it did not deal with the issue honestly if that is the understanding of the issue he walked away with.

Quote:
The gun lobby likes to say guns don’t kill people, people do. And they’re right, of course. I killed my friend; no one else did; no mechanism did. But this oversimplifies matters (as does the gun control advocates’ position that eliminating weapons will end violent crime).

My friend was killed by a man who misunderstood guns, who imagined that comfort with — and affection for — guns was a vital component of manhood.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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I think its a good thing to get people to put stupid in writing and then print it for the public. It just needs a bit of editing. It should read: This is how a gun I did not own shot someone while I was holding it.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:17 AM   #21
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Deputy hands his loaded service gun to a man not familiar with handguns. Some mistakes you only make once. From the description of the sequence of events the author knows nothing about handguns but if it was a true story then the deputy paid for his bone head move in the worst way possible. I'm sorry for his family but you didn't need a deputy like that on the force any way.

It isn't anti-gun, it's anti-ignorant/stupid people handling guns. You cannot fix stupid, you can only slow it down with a well placed application of a 2X4 to the forehead.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:49 AM   #22
Glenn E. Meyer
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My view is that:

1. The Times is vehemently antigun. Thus they take every effort to attack gun owners. Even if once in awhile they have an honest article - their editorial stance is clear.

2. Either through their own emotions and/or deliberately they choose incidents where guns do bad. This is to portray a vivid instance to appear emotionally to ban all guns.

3. They play to the incompetence argument. This fellow and the article Vanya cited. See they are unsafe for the average dope (like you and me).

4. They play on the currently popular hipster themes of depression, PTSD, drug usage - as compared to a realistic therapeutic solution. Oh, no - see you will go nuts if you use a gun.

5. The article attacks what they view as the classic male attitudes. The violent, rural male - out of control. It is an attack on a culture which to the island of Manhattan is evil and bizarre.

Similarly, Vanya's article has a woman who requests and trumpets her own incompetence to deal with a psychological problem. She portrays a picture of wanting benevolent sexism as the disturbed little lady cannot overcome her disturbances and own a firearm. The suicide argument is specious as an impulsive use of drugs, or jumping off a building are available. True, guns might be a touch easier but depriving many of gun rights as she cannot handle it is egocentric, narcissistic personal weakness.

I'm glad she didn't but suggestion the denial of rights for many more is not acceptable.

The Times is trying to present a set of weak people. I wonder if they try to find such or have them come over the transom. Certainly, they might get over the transom positive stories of gun use. They have had some in the past but the total package is to use emotion and appeal to an Eastern and/or urban view of personal weakness to tar all gun owners as a bizarre and dangerous subculture.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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Good analysis, Glenn.

I'd add one more item: I think the Times is also portraying guns as seductively dangerous: in this recent piece, the author says that he was unable to resist the masculine allure of guns and the gun culture. He writes:
Like many other young men, I mythologized guns and the ideas of manhood associated with them.
<snip>
My friend was killed by a man who misunderstood guns, who imagined that comfort with — and affection for — guns was a vital component of manhood.
Similarly, the author of the piece I mentioned says that because of her history of depression, guns are just too dangerous for her, and she is powerless before them:
But since most people like me are more likely to harm ourselves than to turn into mass-murdering monsters, our leaders should do more to keep us safe from ourselves.
If she's afraid of owning a gun, all she has to do is not buy one, but their seductive power is such that she doesn't trust herself not to -- and the State should save her from herself. The implicit message, I think, is that all gun owners have been seduced by these dangerous objects, and that we are at risk because of our own weakness.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:23 AM   #24
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This is frustrating, but it isn't only guns.

For instance, look at the reporting on the collision between the Navy EP-3 and the Chinese fighter.

The Chinese fighter should have yielded right of way because it was intercepting.

The Chinese fighter should have yielded right of way because it was more maneuverable.

The Chinese fighter should have yielded right of way because its cockpit design affords better visibility.

These are international rules of the road, and would not have been hard for reporters or editors to discover. Yet the international, and even the US, media often as not went along with the Chinese meme of "the aggressor P3 caused the accident."

Don't even get me started on the JFK, Jr reporting. Guy went flying with a not fully healed broken leg/foot (have fun operating rudder pedal and brake), proceeding into conditions requiring more instrument training than he had, and pushed into weather that caused him to lose orientation and either a) spin or b) spiral a perfectly good airplane into the ocean. Press coverage on that looked for flaws in the airplane; implied general aviation was unsafe; yada yada yada.

I could look at motorcycles, boats, etc; the point is that while malfeasance in reporting is possible (and likely in the case of guns), a lot of bad reporting is due to outright laziness, and a failure to consult subject matter experts.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:58 AM   #25
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Great addition, Vanya!
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