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“The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did.” – William Clayton Crumby in Florida father who accidentally killed teen son at gun range wanted boy to be ‘comfortable’ around firearms [via]


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  1. I heard a town hall meeting about guns *ooga-booga* where a citizen ask the DA if she was going to “go after” people who accidental or negligently killed their child with a gun…

    The DA said something to the affect of when you see how parents react to accidentally killing their own child, you realize there isn’t anything you can do to them which is worse than what they’ve already experienced.

    Bone chilling to think about.

      • Sounds like this is coming from the mouth of someone who doesn’t have children. You could pull my fingernails off and I don’t think that could compare. Loosing a child is worst possible thing I can imagine. Being the cause of loosing a child is unfathomable.

        • Losing a child is bad. Accidentally killing your own child is so much worse. The grief and guilt are lifetime conditions.

      • There is something which shifts in your psyche once you have a child/ren where you put their wellbeing above all else…

        For the non-sociopath, anyways.

        • And that last line is the key, here.

          I’m not convinced that the investigations conducted after each of these terrible incidents are in-depth enough to uncover a person who is evil/sociopathic enough to make a murder LOOK like a horrible AD/ND (although having security video of the event certainly helps). I am also concerned about unattended child hyperthermia deaths (in hot vehicles) for similar reasons.

          Once you’ve seen the video of a parent sobbing in front of media cameras about their children being kidnapped by a carjacker, pleading for their safe return, only to later find out that the same parent killed the children by strapping them into carseats and pushing the vehicle into a lake; well, it’s enough to make a person a bit more cynical.

    • The truth is you’re talking about a type of “crime” with near zero recidivism. the “criminal” is not a danger to society, and locking him up at taxpayers’ expense would serve no purpose. It would also not deter similar tragedies.

      We need to use our limited prison capacity for truly dangerous people.

      • Kind of hard to say that with any level of confidence, if we aren’t investigating each claim like it’s a potential murder, isn’t it? And I’d say that comments like the cops’ have made just indicate that they may not be looking at it as hard as they might otherwise be doing, if it were something like a mysterious unattended death with a non-obvious cause.

        I suppose a person might be able to make the same claim about husbands who kill their wives (only the wife is in danger, not society in general, right?). And then we find a case like Drew Peterson’s, and we start to wonder how many times this happens over and over again that we don’t really know about.

    • I say put em in a cage anyway. People lose children and have generally unfortunate lives without committing homicide due to negligence.

  2. This is certainly a tragedy for the family
    I take each of my children to the range when they reach age 10
    I stress keeping the gun pointed downrange at all times no matter what
    In my 30 years of shooting I have certainly had hot brass go in my face and down my shirt several times
    A person needs to have the discipline to keep the gun pointed downrange even in the face of hot brass. Or spiders. Or snakes. Or any other painful surprise or distraction
    Tragic as this case is, the father is completely at fault for a negligent discharge

    • Everything you say is completely true.

      The response to hot brass, if one has not experienced it before, is pretty damn involuntary though. Can it be trained out? Can a disciplined mind on an experienced shooter calmly put down the firearm while hot brass is causing a second-degree burn, before dancing like a maniac to get it out? Yes. But I am not surprised. It’s just not something most people plan against.

      • “Can it be trained out?”

        I’ve got a brand on the side of my neck shaped like a 5.56 case that says ‘Yes, it can be trained out.’

        • Uh yea… It sure can be trained out. You can pull your shirt outward and yelp while still keeping your gun pointed downrange. Go to any multi-day defensive pistol training course and watch how brand new female shooters can handle hot brass down their shirt after just a couple hours worth of training. If they can do it, anyone can (and should).

        • Agreed. In Army basic when I was there (1998) the only place they could still legally strike you was at the gun range, for “safety reasons.” Being “kissed” in the back of the head rapidly trains out your flinch reflex to hot brass. Even now, 10 years later, I place the firearm down, making sure it’s pointed downrange, then hop around like a coked up bullfrog to get the brass out.

        • @Xander

          I can testify to having the stupid kicked out of me on the range, and that was in ’00. Still not sure it was “acceptable” but we all have to pay our stupid tabs once in a while. I too, learned quickly, that hot brass flying down my collar was far less scary than one of the drill staff flying up my ass.

          Side note; since we’re on the subject… I was on some kid’s suicide watch in basic and while I had him at the hospital, some poor fucker on a litter and his battle buddy came flying into the hospital flanked by MPs. Turns out one of their drill sergeants kicked battle buddy in the ass for pulling stupid during a move and cover exercise and he put a round through the back of his BB’s patella. I always wondered who took the heat for that little charlie-foxtrot.

    • One of the reasons I reccomend starting a new shooter with a rifle; it’s a lot harder to mistakenly get the whole gun turned up range if excited or scared, and if they do start turning it is easier for the teacher to control the gun from the student.

      • My father had the same idea. We put thousands of rounds of 22 through rifles before we moved onto pistols. I plan to do the same with my daughter.

      • Yes, exactly this. I never (*NEVER*) start a new shooter with a handgun. We start with a lever-action .22 Henry rifle, and move up to a Ruger 10/22. And I’m not just watching their shooting technique, I’m watching how distractible they are in the noisy range environment. Bonus points if, during the early intro, they get a Hot Brass Surprise. However they respond, that becomes a teaching moment.

      • My Dad did it right. He started me out with a Daisy BB gun when I was 4, then moved me up to a single shot .22. I shot a .22 pistol for the first time when I was 6 or 7, and was shooting smallbore competition when I was 8. He taught me the 4 rules. It was 10 rules back then, but he really hammered the 4 most important ones into my head from the start. And I got my share of hot .45 cases down the shirt. Thanks, Pop.

      • Yep, start with the rifle…and make the first pistol a revolver, preferably single action. I keep a Ruger Single 10 around just to introduce newbie handgun shooters to the fundamentals. You can instantly tell if it is currently ‘dangerous’ by looking at the hammer, the window of time when a negligent discharge can occur is limited to when it is cocked, and there’s just enough barrel to get a grip on if they start to sweep so long as you wear a glove to keep from getting burned by the cylinder gap. I still bawl them out if they violate the four rules, but the design limits their opportunity to cause serious harm until the rules get internalized. After they’ve mastered safety, stance, grip, sight alignment, and trigger control, I move them along to a double action or semi-auto.

    • “Tragic as this case is, the father is completely at fault for a negligent discharge”

      And he’s taking responsibility for it. See the QOTD. Does he get some ‘social credit’ for that?

      • Of course not. The current narrative dictates that you have no personal responsibility but you are resresponsible for all perceived (current and historic) societal wrongs. Therefore he is not responsible for his son’s death, but is responsible for the deaths of thousands of yutes in Chiraq that were just about to turn their lives around.

    • Hot brass will not burn a hole through your skin. And a lot less painful than whacking your kid.

      There by the grace of God, learn, train and worry about this.

    • From the article:
      “Police said the bullet casing from one round bounced off a wall and landed in the back of Brumby’s shirt. While trying to remove it with his hand — while still holding a pistol in it — he accidentally fired a shot that hit the ceiling and struck his son, killing him.”

      So he was still pointing the muzzle in what I have always been told is a safe direction (up/ceiling). When pistol went off, it ricocheted off the ceiling and hit his son (or at least that’s how it reads). Only mistake he made was keeping his finger inside the trigger guard, and it was a freak accident. Sad day indeed.

      • Muzzle toward the sky might be a safe direction if you’re duck hunting, but every indoor range I’ve been to, “pointed in a safe direction” means downrange only.
        Because of what happened here.

    • This is ONE report of a child accidentally shot due to a negligent discharge.

      More tragic by far is this:

      “In the U.S. at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week.
      The predominant age of victims is one year olds. (12-23 months)
      Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)
      Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.”


      That’s SEVEN kids every day, on average. I don’t think guns are the problem here. Nevertheless, my condolences to the father and the entire family.

      • And this horrible accident will become the focus of bloody t-shirt waving agitprop stories for weeks to come.

        Meanwhile, the squished kids are (literally) an everyday occurrence. No calls for mandatory back-up cams, no calls for sensors, certainly no push to take cars away.

        • There was a pretty strong movement a decade or so ago to ‘ban SUV’s.’ They did the exact same anthropomorphization tactic used with guns…

          “An SUV killed a woman today” … “An SUV crossed the centerline” … etc.

          It never gained full traction, but the movement did have some momentum for a while.

        • I’m afraid you’re mistaken about mandatory backup cameras. NHTSA added a rule that cameras must be standard equipment on cars and light trucks starting in May 2018.

        • Doodle, the mandatory back-up cams were not a talking point, they were railing against SUVs.

      • Jeezlus. Not to say this isn’t a serious issue and it does happen.

        There is no freaking way it’s 50 kids per week.

        Sorry, have to see the data behind that number before I buy it.

      • I hate using tragic events with children to strengthen arguments, but that’s a pretty amazing statistic.

  3. There is no shortage of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities attributed to drivers swatting at bugs or spilling drinks or dropping cigarettes.

    People should train themselves to remain calm in these situations but I suppose shock and surprise is still shock and surprise.

    Shows real character and conviction to accept responsibility like that.

    • If I had a dollar for every time I had to roll down the road with my floorboard, seat, or pants smoldering because my dumb ass dropped another cigarette I’d probably be able to buy another pack of smokes…

      I’ll openly pat myself on the back, it’s not easy to keep it on the road until it’s safe to gtfo while the crotch of your jeans is on fire.

      • Ok, Matt, I’m sorry but I have to be “That Guy” and say… maybe quit smoking? (I’d put a smiley here but I’m too Luddite to ever figure out how.)

  4. All you folks who claim you would not be the least bit distracted by hot brass should test yourselves next time you go to the range by having a bystander heat up a cartridge case with a cigarette lighter and then toss it down your shirt or into your eye when you least expect it. I would like to see videos of the reactions.

    • Straw Man. No one is saying they would not be distracted by it.

      Most of us have experienced the real thing…we don’t need some artificial ‘experiment’ with a lighter.

      So, your point is what, exactly? What shaming tactic are you trying here specifically?

      • If you can’t handle hot brass, how will you handle hot lead? So if you get shot in a gunfight, you might clutch your chest and shoot yourself again. Or you might shoot an innocent bystander. Bottom line: always adhere to the four rules.
        My wife has had hot 9mm and 5.56 brass against her skin. Even on the first time, her reaction has always been the same. Use off hand to relieve the burn. Ive had hot 9mm brass lodge between my glasses and my eyelid. Not fun. Reaction without thinking was: tilt head forward, rip glasses off with off hand and keep gun pointed down range with finger off trigger. Did I train for that? No. Who the fuck would train for that.
        Dude had a brain fart and was negligent. He owned it and will try to move on. We should all learn from this, however, and place the four rules above discomfort at all times.

    • The amount of brass in a cartridge can’t hold enough heat to make me point a gun at something I don’t want to point a gun at.

    • Also, “when you least expect it” is unreasonable. Allegedly he was at a range and pulled the trigger sending the case down his own shirt. He should have expected hot brass and even if he didn’t, he should have known he had a gun and no matter if the rapture ensued right then to put it down before doing anything else.

    • It had has happened to me. I’ve gone shooting in shorts, flip flops and a t shirt and brass went down it. It was unpleasant and distracting but the gun never left the direction of “downrange”.

      It’s not difficult at all.

  5. While operating with friends and doing tandem shoot scenarios I got a 556 down my shirt under my plate carrier. Sincere pain ensued and while I tried to continue operating I called timeout handed my rifle to my buddy after rendering it safe and proceeded to do the hot f’n brass two poke. Still have the scar. And no unsafe actions took place.

    It’s possible to react safely when the shit ensues.

  6. One concern I have is that there are two versions circulating. One says a 22LR ricochet off the ceiling came back down and struck the teenager. The police statement is according to witnesses he shot his son directly as he waved the pistol up and around his neck.

    The bottom line is that this is a terrible loss.

  7. The comments about this incident at predictably anti-gun websites are truly horrendous.

  8. So what is dad supposed to say-it’s all the guns fault? Sorry folks this was completely preventable. No quotes or platitudes will change my mind. Nothing about hot cars,chemicals left out for little tykes or texting has anything to do with this. You just don’t shoot your kid because you got hit with hot brass…

  9. So what is dad supposed to say-it’s all the guns fault? Sorry folks this was completely preventable. No quotes or platitudes will change my mind. Nothing about hot cars,chemicals left out for little tykes or texting has anything to do with this. You just don’t shoot your kid because you got hit with hot brass…

    • lol i hope you are joking with that last part. you make it sound as if he shot is son BECAUSE he hit him with brass. thats ludicrous. its a tragic accident, they do happen.

  10. I’ve had tons of 5.56 NATO Come off of the wall and go into my opposing Support arms elbow crease And leave second-degree burns I still have a burn There From 14 years ago and if you put a 5.56 casing right in it it matches perfectly. Most people However Are not used to 500 degree brass Landing on their bare skin. If you are an experienced shooter Always when bad things happen you go back to the training that you’ve been taught. This training is very important so that accidents and tragedies like this one do not ever occur. Now on the grounds of him being arrested I think anybody that has a child that owns Firearms or maybe even does not own firearms Can’t even imagine what this father is going through my prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family.

  11. My question is how safe is it at a crowded range with shooters of varying training, discipline, and even intelligence ? I would certainly not have made this mistake but how do I know the guy next to me wouldn’t ? I see some good suggestions in the comments but perhaps gun ranges need to adopt stricter policies as to who shoots at a range, more supervision of shooters, and what happens with violations of gun safety. If one of my boys pulled a stunt like this one (even if no one was hurt), it would be a long time before they were allowed to shoot again.

    • It’s not safe at all. I assume the folks there are idiots unless I know otherwise. I have(in my admittedly limited experience) NEVER been on a gun range with a “range master”. Public ranges only. Except the NRA range in Kankakee,IL when I was a kid.

  12. Why is it that the same tragic endings are treated differently (by the media/government/public) depending on the instrument/object involved?

    Little-Known Danger: Vehicles Backing Over Kids
    It’s estimated that dozens of children are backed over by vehciles every week in parking lots and driveways.

    Just this Easter Sunday in Texas, a 1-year-old boy was killed when he was backed over in the family driveway.

    • You have to recognize dangerous situations and not be too complacent. When handling a gun, do everything in your power to keep it under control and pointed in a safe direction. Backing up a car, check around the car, turn off the radio, open a window, back up slowly. People outside the car, gather up the kids and keep them away.

  13. Let me change the situation just a little bit. What if Bill took your son or daughter to the range and killed them, still his bad feelings are sufficient punishment?

  14. Would it be safe/acceptable doctrine to just drop the gun if you can’t pull this stoic “take the burn” recommendation everyone seems to be giving?

    • Yes. Drop it, set it down, or use off hand to remove the brass.
      Never, never, never point a loaded gun at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy. Even if your face is on fire.

      • So then why is everyone saying, “take the burn”?

        I’d much prefer to mar my $500 glock with a ding from dropping than to scar or disfigure myself.

        Is this just a chest-puffed, “I’m more manly than you” thing or what?

        I understand the 4 rules, and that’s why dropping the gun- especially if you have a modern drop-safe gun- should seem like a no-brainer. Purposefully cooling down a 500 degree brass shell with your body as a heat sink without trying to take rapid action sounds very, very strange.

        • I never said that and certainly not everyone else said that. Generally, we are saying, maintain control of your weapon while in your possession. This means muzzle discipline and trigger control. If you must drop it, by all means, do so. All my guns are drop safe and I don’t mind them getting dinged up. If you can’t do that then yes, take the burn. The alternative may be deadly as this story shows.

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