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Rensselaer man shot by brother’s rifle after hunting in Glenmont the headline at trumpets. Well of course the bolt-action .308 hunting rife in question didn’t shoot his (its?) owner’s brother all by itself. But I’m still reading report after report where firearms discharge at the most inopportune moments, without any obvious indication that the person holding the gun was solely and directly responsible for the resulting injury. Like this:

A 24-year-old man from Voorheesville was attempting to unload his .308 rifle when a single round was discharged. The round struck two parked vehicles before hitting a 25 year-old- man from Rensselaer in the shoulder.

I find it bizarre that the mainstream media — which never met a gun control law they didn’t like — can’t bring themselves to blame gun owners for dangerously deficient gun safety skills.

Do reporters fear that fingering firearms fails will bring the wrath of local gun rights guys and gals down upon their heads? Hardly. Do they think that chronicling negligent discharges is a bloody shirt wave too far? As if.

I reckon this safety-related squeamishness is down to journalists’ belief that guns are evil incarnate. Literally. All guns are like a rifle over the mantlepiece in a play; it’s only a matter of time before it “goes off.” Firearms just want to go off. Injury or death resulting.

I know what you’re thinking: no one can be that stupid. No professional can be that superstitious. What was it that Stevie Wonder said? When you believe in things you don’t understand then you suffer. Journalism is the way. Or something like that.

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  1. That’s a very nice custom rifle, with what appears to be a Mauser action.

    When I say “custom,” I mean that is a bespoke rifle, built to a customer’s spec.

    • That depends on what state you’re in — some states allow a person to claim the carcass of accidentally killed animals, some don’t (some require it to be reported and the state has it butchered for food programs).

  2. Lets say this gun he had went all Remington 700 and the action had a mechanical failure that caused its discharge, and he never had his hand near the trigger. It still doesn’t get around the fact he was handling it in a manner it was pointed at a person.

    • I hadn’t considered that angle – I thought they were leaving open the question of negligence or intent. Also unclear is if the round passed through two vehicles or if it was deflected. If it was deflected (significantly), he may have been good on that rule.

  3. They’re neither that stupid nor that superstitious, they’re just aware of the litigiousness of society. Just as papers are obliged to refer to obvious criminals caught in the act as “suspect”, so they have to avoid declaring a negligent shooter to be negligent.

    That this caters to the desire of idiots to claim “It’s not my fault!” is sad but not relevant.

    • As they should. Until and unless found guilty in a court of law, it is only an allegation. Even those killed while engaged in their crime should remain alleged perpetrators subject to an inquest or other method of adjudication.

  4. Let’s see, if there’s a chance a round could fire, why wasn’t it pointed at the ground? This was in NY state? Had to have been Guinea Wop who left Brooklyn years ago.

  5. “I find it bizarre that the mainstream media — which never met a gun control law they didn’t like — can’t bring themselves to blame gun owners for dangerously deficient gun safety skills.”

    It’s not bizzarre. It simply doesn’t fit the narrative which is designed to demonize guns rather than the owners because that doesn’t get to the personal level for the fudds and morons. Instead of calling the owners stupid/dangerous/psychos the media prefers the demonize the object itself because then no one can say they’re discriminating and insulting people. Like AA, they try to take the sting/stigma out of the problem by attributing fault to an inanimate object. “It’s not your fault you drink way too much/shot your buddy in the face. It’s that object over there! That’s the real bad guy!” is what they’re trying to push.

    The narrative is: Guns are scary and dangerous objects that kill. Only highly trained folks should be allowed near them. Tier One operators, cops etc. this being due to the nature of firearms which is completely unpredictable. You see it’s not the owners fault that this happened, it’s the gun, which due to it’s dangerous nature should be banned for the general public.

    The operator of the armament in question was a retard who did stupid things they shouldn’t have done and those things are easy to avoid” doesn’t further than story line of “Holy-fucking-shit guns are going to kill us all because they’re intrinsically dangerous and only people with years of highly specialized war/crimefighting training should ever be allowed near one! Guns just go off and kill children and unicorns and elves and shit! You don’t want your daughter getting her face blown off and lying in a puddle of blood and brains and hair next to Snap, Crackle, Pop and the entire case of My Little Pony do you? No? Well then don’t ever touch a gun ’cause they’re dangerous killing machines with minds of their own like the fucking Terminator! We gotta ban those things!”

  6. I’m pretty sure it’s willful intent. Very few guns are known to just ‘go off’. Even those very rare ones that do ‘go off’ ought not to be pointed in a manner where they can cause injury. I remember the recent Remington 700 trigger issues where the investigation(news) interviewed the 90 year old designer, other people and even the father of a dead boy who was killed when his mother discharged a 700 that led to the boy’s death. Everybody was happy to go on camera except the mom. It was her negligent muzzle awareness that led to her son’s death. Did Remington have a dangerous product? Yes. Still, it is drummed into us from day one that you alone are responsible for anything that comes down that barrel.

    • I think that there are some facts about the Barber case, the one involving the mother attempting to unload a pre-1982 Remington 700 (the design that required taking the safety off to unlock and open the bolt, a necessary step for unloading) of which you are not aware.
      Gus Barber was NOT in the actual ‘line of fire’ of the rifle’s muzzle; The bullet penetrated a metal-framed trailer, struck a solid metal frame section, then fragmented, and the fragments ricocheted at an obtuse angle–it was a FRAGMENT of the bullet that hit Gus in the abdomen.
      Granted, Gus was ‘in front’ of the muzzle, but he was also at an angle to the bullet’s original path. For argument’s sake, he might as well have been standing alongside her, and the bullet could have ricocheted back from the metal trailer frame and hit him–or, being fired into the ground, the bullet could have struck a stone buried a few inches deep, ricocheted, and come back in nearly the direction it was fired to strike him. Many scenarios are possible; High-velocity/high-energy projectiles can take very unpredictable paths.
      The big point of all of this is that the rifle should NOT have fired without a trigger pull, and that is the biggest concern. If a firearm can discharge in any manner other than a pull of the trigger, it is not a reliable and safe design.
      If a rifle can fire at any time, without a trigger pull, just exactly what direction is ‘safe?’ Is there a ‘safe’ direction to point an unsafe rifle? Should we modify Rule 2 to read “Never allow the muzzle to point in any direction whatsoever wherein a bullet inadvertently fired could conceivably ricochet and/or fragment and go off in an unpredictable and random direction?”
      If that was the Rule, there would be very few ‘safe’ directions in this world, and no gun could ever leave the safe. There has to be SOME reliability in a ‘safety,’ mechanical device or no, to BE a ‘safety’–or such a device should be called something else, such as the ‘maybe not so safety’ or the ‘safety gesture.’
      There are also stories out there that the Barber 700 was in bad repair, that it was modified, that it was ‘rusty.’ In fact, the rifle was NOT rusty until later in its life when it was in a flood AFTER the shooting, it was in good, clean mechanical condition, and its trigger HAD been adjusted–to make it MORE safe, by INCREASING the overlap between connector and sear. This adjustment is authorized by Remington for its gunsmiths, by the way.
      As to Mrs. Barber, she has been interviewed and deposed numerous times; That she did not choose to speak on camera for the CNBC program says nothing about her veracity, and much about her grief and regret.
      The more you know, the more the Remingtons with Walker triggers should scare you.

  7. A person I know shot the side of his jeep 3 or so years ago at end of hunting trip. A combination of gloves, rain and for some reason taking rifle with bench rest trigger hunting. Can’t remember exact weight but under 2 pounds.

    But as he had checked no one was in front of him nothing duct tape couldn’t fix.

    Have also seen several firearms go off due to worn safety / trigger including an M60.

    Can’t tell you the number of people between army and being club instructor I’ve told the four rules to. But they work if you use them.

    • My once ever negligent discharge came when I decided to try my Japanese Arasaka WWII rifle for elk hunting. Between the bizarre safety, slipping on (I kid you not) an unseen slug on a very wet slope, and uncooperative salal bushes, I managed to shoot a stump. The worst result was that any elk nearby were warned, and took off.

      Yes, I was using the butt to help balance as I moved up-slope through sword ferns, but I still had the barrel aimed somewhere it wouldn’t just launch a bullet into open airspace.

  8. I think it’s much more convenient to put emphasis on the gun because doing so ultimately makes it much easier to lead the audience to the conclusion that the only solution is to get rid of the guns.

    When the audience is given every indication that it is all but the gun’s fault, it will inevitably dawn on them that it is the gun’s fault. At that point, the answer becomes simple: If we just get rid of the guns, this won’t happen anymore, and even more importantly to the public, they won’t have to hear about it anymore (spoiler alert, America: you will continue to hear about it).

    Given that guns are inanimate objects that can literally be taken from one’s possession, that’s all that need be done. If it’s not the gun’s fault, then we have no choice but to blame the individual, which is far less appealing because then we have to take into account the infinite complexities of human behavior, which the average person is less inclined, and less qualified to do.

    Gun control is a very ineffective, superficial, meaningless, and purely symbolic gesture, but it represents convenience in what is an otherwise very cumbersome issue, and therein lies its appeal.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: People want convenience. People don’t want to think, they want to be told what to think. Sad, but true. If you give someone two options to solve a given problem, A. Get rid of this object, or, …B. Learn about human history, philosophy, maybe some psychology, and (against everything the world has been training you for throughout your entire life) learn to think independently and rationally, people will always pick A.

    Understanding freedom is hard work. It takes time and effort. Some people might claim they just don’t have the time, or can’t be bothered with it, or maybe they’re just lazy. But whatever the reason, I wish those same people would show a shred of integrity and remove themselves from all political discourse.

  9. Come on, guys — they don’t dare say it was the fault of the human, or they’ll get sued, with a good chance of it costing a bundle. No reported is going to risk getting fired for costing his employer many thousands of dollars due to a lawsuit.

    We’ll see the media actually assigning blame where it belongs the same day they can get away with calling someone who committed a crime with a dozen witnesses a “perpetrator” rather than a “suspect”.

  10. Why? Because “journalists” lie, that’s why. It doesn’t even matter what they lie about. It’s a compulsion. As long as they’re lying, they’re true journalists, in the mold of Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Lara Logan, Juan Thompson, Jonathan Karl, Stephen Glass, Michael Finkel, Ed Schultz — and that’s just a partial list of the bitchez that got busted.

  11. That’s the second hunting negligent discharge hitting a family member in upstate NY in the past week. The other was a guy who thought his dad looked like a deer.

  12. I think it’s just absolute ignorance of how a firearm functions. They have no idea that a person has to manually do something to the rifle to make it discharge. They think a gun can just go off by itself if there are rounds in just the magazine let alone the chamber. Ignorance breeds fear and these people’s ignorance is so over the top they are down right petrified of anything in the shape of a gun. Saddest thing of all is these are the people that right laws and preach to their leftist followers.

    • If ‘manually doing something’ includes merely picking up the gun, or shaking it (as with a certain Taurus design) or running the slide to chamber a round with an auto pistol, or operating the bolt to unload a rifle, does that imply that the human operator bears the entire fault, and no fault need attach to the unsafe mechanism?
      Carried further, if while driving your car you step on the brake and the car accelerates rapidly instead, is that your entire fault, or does the automobile bear some blame? If you attempt to make a turn at safe speed, and the car instead veers in the opposite direction entirely and runs over someone, are you solely to blame?
      We expect our mechanical devices to function safely when used in the manner for which they are intended; In the case of firearms, we expect, and should demand, that they will NOT fire unless the firing device, in this case a trigger mechanism, operates to fire the gun only when it is activated by pressure on the trigger to release the sear.
      If a safety does not work as intended, then it is not a ‘safety,’ and there is no point in calling it one; Better to leave it off the firearm completely.

  13. Demonizing the object (in this case the gun though remember the anti-SUV craze from a few years back) allows the collectivists to not only shame and ridicule the owner of the demonized object but also their friends and family, the guy who sold the thing, the guy who sold any accessories for the thing or anyone even thinking about owning such a thing. This is a much more fertile ground for the budding Alyinsky-ites to sew their Rule #5 seeds.

    Then too, the easy reason is that making the owner (shooter) responsible for where his bullet goes might be an argument for “individual responsibility” and lefties will be havin’ none of THAT!

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