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[Ed: We love getting story tips slipped under our electronic door by the ever-growing ranks of the Armed Intelligentsia. It’s how we find things we’ve missed and stay on top of the latest and greatest. If you want to let us know about a story, ping us at [email protected]. Of course, we encourage you to let us know about things that happened in the last week or so. Unlike this one we got yesterday…that’s actually from 2004. C’est la vie.]

We’ve chronicled the irresponsible use of firearms here enough to know when someone rises above and beyond the merely careless. Looking back over the huddled masses of IGOTD laureates, most of them are people who, while certainly irresponsible, suffered a momentary lapse of judgement and did something they probably wouldn’t have done if given half a chance to think it over first. OK, maybe not Jan Morgan, but most of them. Then there are the few who transcend mundane, everyday irresponsibility. Those who did exactly what they planned to do, but – as can happen when you combine bright shining stupidity and a gun – had things go south. Fast. Albert Eid is one of those few . . .

Albert (not pictured above) is a member of the Southside Masonic Lodge in Suffolk County, New York. Something evidently akin to Fred and Barney’s Water Buffaloes. And he had the solemn duty of participating in an initiation ceremony for William James earlier this week.

The great minds at Southside dreamed up a nice little hazing ritual designed to “create a state of anxiety” in the the new member. Because having to wear one of those sporty little hats in public isn’t already upsetting enough. So the membership’s brain trust set up some cans on a little platform over James’ head. According to, that’s when Eid pulled out his heater.

The alleged shooter, Albert Eid, was standing approximately 20 feet away holding a gun, (Detective Lt. Jack) Fitzpatrick said at a news conference. When the gun was fired, a man who had been holding a stick out of sight was supposed to knock the cans off the platform to make the inductee think they had been struck by bullets, he said.

Eid had two guns — one with blanks and one with real bullets — and apparently pulled the wrong one out of his pocket and fired, shooting James in the face, the lieutenant said.

James is dead because an old man got confused between the gun with real bullets and the one with the blanks. And because this little Algonquin Roundtable thought it would be cool to see if they could get the new guy to mess his shorts. Never mind the fact that Albert couldn’t manage keep the gun aimed above James’ head and at the cans from 20 feet away. Now Eid’s facing a manslaughter charge and a 47-year-old guy who just wanted to have a place to get away from the wife and kids and drink a few beers every week is dead.

Groucho once said he wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. It’s too bad William James wasn’t a Marx Brothers fan.

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  1. While there are a lot of obvious safety issues and lapse in judgement in this story, to me the most rediculous lapse is the fact that they pointed the gun at the blind folded man. We could be reading about this as; oh shit that was the wrong gun, but at least I wasn’t pointing it at the initiate’s face and nobody was hurt.

  2. Stories like these are what the articles should be about.

    I think you wouldn’t get so much flak about this section if it focused on extreme cases of this nature.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Everyone participating should be charged as accessory too…. I have no idea if you can do that – but they should get in trouble. 🙂

  4. Hope this guy rots in prison for the rest of his days. When someone can’t tell the difference between blanks and live rounds, who says he’ll still be able to tell what side of the street he’s supposed to drive on too?

  5. My first thought was “wow, again? Something like this happened in 2004”. Turns out, however, that this story is the story from 2004.

    Eid pled guilty in 2005 and was sentenced to 5 years probation.

    • 5 years probation? Thats it? Hopefully there was a civil suit that helped the victim’s family out. Only 5 years probation, that is unbelievably sad, the guy should have spent some serious time in prison in my opinion. I hate hazing to join any organization, be it a college fraternity, sports team, or whatever. It serves no justifyable purpose.


    I live in Suffolk County. I have not heard, nor could I find anything on this story in the local papers’ web sites.

    That’s because it appears to have happened eight years ago.

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