Teen accidentally kills self with stolen weapon


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4D5
September 22, 2004, 12:13 AM
Read this article today in the Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV).

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040921/NEWS/109210018

The article actually describes the whole incident without bias. However... I had a real hard time factoring in the "accident" I mean how the heck can putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger be an accident? I thought the article deserved a call to the author. So I called and talked to her. I asked her how she factored in the "accident". Got some lame answers but she finally said it was an accident that the gun was loaded. I said and what was the putting gun to head and pulling trigger? silence.... I told her that every gun safety rule was broken, and where were the parents? I told her the article was ok but the title definately does not qualify as an "accident". Author said the definition of an accident is something unexpected. I said, oh... so that would be someting like playing with a rattle snake? silence... I pressed more, asked why she used "accident" in the title, well... the staff that come up with the titles wrote it. I said fine, let me talk to that person I really have an issue with "accident". One moment..... she comes back on the line(bluff didn't work), I ask, are you the person who wrote the title, no it's me again. So what's up with the title people, well they thought it was right for the article. Explain "accident" to me again. I said this is precisely why I left the PSRK to avoid "news" that gives fuel to the ultra liberals and punishes the 98% law abiding citizens with opressive gun laws. Her reply, well I was in the service, oh I was too and am a responsible gun owner. I asked her since she is familiar with firearms if she ever put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger thinking it might not accidently go off. Well no... neither have I nor has any other person I know. So what do you think about "accident" now... well maybe it shouldn't have been in the title... well I have to go now, ok fine...

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hkOrion
September 22, 2004, 12:23 AM
ah... accidental darwinism. i get it now.


hkOrion

4v50 Gary
September 22, 2004, 12:26 AM
Good for you 4D5 for calling that reporter on her biased reporting. Nevadans aren't sheeple like Californians but with the immigration from PSRK to the Silver State, they could bring their steenken leftist outlook with them and ruin that state. :fire:

fistful
September 22, 2004, 12:28 AM
If the idiot didn't accidently kill himself, then what would you call it? foolishly killed himself? stupidly killed himself?

I think the reporter was just trying to make it clear that it wasn't premeditated suicide.

That Kilgore character, though..."straight-out accidental". Okay. Keep guns away from that brain trust as well.

Andrew Rothman
September 22, 2004, 12:30 AM
Hi. I've never been in the service, but I have written for newspapers.

The reporter (not "author") writes the article. The copy desk writes the headline (not "title").

So the nice lady was telling you the truth. She didn't write the headline.

The copy desk people often read the first few paragraphs, then have to kick out a headline that is interesting, and fits the space.

Sometimes they blow it.

I'm afraid that, instead of changing minds, you came off as a belligerent gun nut.

4D5 got it half right, Gary. the article is remarkably free of bias. Where he goofed up was ripping into her for a headline she didn't write.

Two other things:

1. Welcome to the High Road!
2. Use paragraph breaks! :D

---------------------------

One interesting tidbit from the article:


[Killgore] described the teens as "good boys," just looking for something to do.

Good boys who broke into five cars, stole stuff, including guns, and then recklessly played with them with fatal results?

I'd hate to see what bad boys do. :rolleyes:

P95Carry
September 22, 2004, 12:37 AM
Oh well .. you saved me some writing Andrew .. ditto your post!:p

4D5
September 22, 2004, 01:33 AM
P95Carry

And Andrew would be ? That saved you having to write?



Matt…

Well I guess not having been in the service you might not understand the connection you have with others about experiences with respect to training/guns/responsibility for your actions, wherein you know what the right thing to do (write the true headline) would be and be able to press for “your” headline for the article.

I have never written for newspapers (except for letters to the editor) so I can’t claim to be well versed in that field.

OK so the “reporter” writes the article, I stand corrected.

The copy desk writes the headline (not "title"), corrected again. However, even though she didn't write the headline, well that’s what she said, she “could” have influenced the final wording and said so if she asked for it to be different. And she didn’t connect me with the headline writer because?

So the nice lady was telling you the truth. And you would know she is nice how? The conversation started out as an inquiry but quickly turned defensive on her part. The “ripping” didn’t start until I you could see the conversation going in favor of the shepple.

I'm afraid that, instead of changing minds, you came off as a belligerent gun nut. Well it’s kind of like her being a belligerent reporter. You just have to realize that some people will not ever be “converted”.

And… thanks, I’m glad to be a member of THR even though I haven't posted much on this board.

joe sixpack
September 22, 2004, 03:05 AM
Welcome to THR, glad to have you.

It's fine with me if the media starts getting a little antsy about fielding phone calls related to their reporting;)

cheers, ab

Tharg
September 22, 2004, 04:10 AM
Never wrote for a paper...

but i was entered against my will into a UIL competition for "headline writing" ....

it was read the story and come up w/ a headline that fit the space required, that transfered the soul if you will of the article. I won regionals and lost at the state level. hehe..

Either way - the point is if the artical wasn't big on "accidental" then how/why would a person who makes the headlines go w/ accidental?

If one were to try to logically track back through - it CAN be considered an accident if one thought the weapon to be empty. Accidental because if you don't think its going to fire then it does - you didn't MEAN for it to happen - and thus accidental. Yes i know what the four rules say, and i agree w/ them completely. Note that the four rules came from experience i'm sure... experience that was written to help stop ACCIDENTAL deaths/injuries.

I know ya'll (most) don't agree any ND is an accident (and vice versa) and ya know- if yer even somwhat cognizant of how dangerous it is - then it would be a ND no matter what... but people are people and accidents happen - i hope to never have a accidental discharge by following the four rules... four basic rules that were expertly written to bring down accidental (nd) deahts/injuries.

The article btw... says accidental like fourty times - if i was a copy guy who wasn't big into guns or seen the rabidity of the gun knowledgable about what is a ND and what is accidental (none) i'd prolly have put accidental in there as well as a headline.

love this btw.... He described the teens as "good boys," just looking for something to do.

heh good boys who robbed 4-5 cars and a motorhome... just bored my ass - if they were "good boys" they'd know that thievery was not "good"

bleh

J/Tharg!

feedthehogs
September 22, 2004, 08:21 AM
Accident is being assumed based on the statement of another person who was not at the scene at the time of the shooting.
The person who was there said that the victim loaded and unloaded the gun according to the person who was not there.
We have no way of knowing what was in the victims mind at the time of the shooting since he is dead.
If he loaded the gun first, then either he had ammo for it or it was unloaded and the ammo was loose with the gun. By loading it first, he showed some knowlege of the gun being able to load it, then unload it.

Just going by what was reported.

Typical news article making assumptions without the facts.

GREYGHOSTt
September 22, 2004, 08:29 AM
Looks like this time stupidity is for ever!:banghead:

moredes
September 22, 2004, 08:53 AM
What's the problem??? Article seemed fine to me from beginning to end. I especially like the outcome. The witness, Killgore, said:

There's no way I would have let them play with those guns. They would have instantly been taken, no question."

Yeah. And I'll bet he'd have called the law and turned them in:rolleyes: . Good riddance to bad rubbish. Hey, how many times have I seen, "I'd like to kill the !@#$% who stole my guns".....well, this time, this dumb@ss saved someone from a murder charge. If that was my gun, I'd be smilin', like this: :D :D :D :D :D

Preacherman
September 22, 2004, 10:00 AM
Somebody please, please tell me that the other boy is being charged with the five burglaries??? Don't tell me that he's going to be let off with a slap on the wrist because of the "horrible accident" he witnessed!

:fire:

berettaman
September 22, 2004, 10:25 AM
In some states the other boy would be charged in connection with the death.He was present when the guns were stolen and present when the "accident" took place. Fry baby fry!

Pilgrim
September 22, 2004, 11:11 AM
Teen dies from self-inflicted stupidity
is just as eye catching and takes no more column space than
Teen accidentally kills self with stolen weapon

Pilgrim

SLCDave
September 22, 2004, 11:13 AM
I work for a newspaper, and I just want to add something about the reporter(s) not writing the headlines. Many times (maybe even MOST of the time), their work is submitted, and they never see the headline until they open the newsprint.

As for this being an accident, that's a load of bull. If you point a gun at your head and pull the trigger, you're not that bright, but it wasn't an accident.

confinedbythecurtain
September 22, 2004, 11:36 AM
Hey not all of us Californians are lefty liberal antis! I gotta get outta this state!

TallPine
September 22, 2004, 12:18 PM
The "accident" occurred 15 years previously .... :p

Sleeping Dog
September 22, 2004, 01:00 PM
Maybe it's called an accident so the kid can be buried in a church cemetary, depending on religion. And for insurance reasons, if there's insurance.

Sort of like the old "killed while cleaning the gun" reason.

Regards.

xdoctor
September 22, 2004, 01:06 PM
I accidentially got in a car accident once. Of course I was doing 80 in a 30 in the middle of a four wheel drift around a corner.

jefnvk
September 22, 2004, 02:08 PM
Sites down :(

But I'd have to agree with:
Maybe it's called an accident so the kid can be buried in a church cemetary, depending on religion. And for insurance reasons, if there's insurance.

Sort of like the old "killed while cleaning the gun" reason.

pax
September 22, 2004, 02:27 PM
In case the site goes down again, here's the article: Teen accidentally kills self with stolen weapon

by F.T. Norton, ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com
September 21, 2004

MINDEN - The gun with which a 15-year-old Indian Hills boy accidentally shot himself to death early Sunday morning had been stolen in a motor-home burglary by the victim and a friend, police said Monday.

"The subsequent investigation revealed that the victim and a 14-year-old male had allegedly committed several acts of (vehicle) burglary in the area of their homes, and during one of these acts came into possession of two loaded handguns," said Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.

The victim, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was in a bedroom of the other boy's home about 1:30 a.m. when he put a .22-caliber weapon against his neck and pulled the trigger, Mezzetta said.

"He believed that it was empty, unloaded," he said. "What a horrible assumption on his part."

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mezzetta said the surviving teen, whose name also is being withheld, confessed to his and the victim's involvement in about "four or five" vehicle burglaries in Indian Hills in which they took items such as loose change, sunglasses and CDs. The theft of the guns from the motor home happened sometime Saturday evening, he said.

Family friend Nathaniel Killgore, 19, said the boys were gone from the house for only about 30 minutes when they returned and were acting suspicious.

"I saw (the boys) kind of sneak in the house," said Killgore, who was attending an Xbox party. "I didn't go see what they were up to, and I always go see what they are doing."

He said the boys were in a bedroom for about five minutes when a shot rang out.

The homeowner tried to help the victim, Killgore said, but it was too late.

According to the other boy, the victim had loaded and unloaded the weapon prior to the shooting, Killgore said. "It was straight out accidental," he said.

He described the teens as "good boys," just looking for something to do.

"This was totally unexpected. It's completely sad. Just completely shocking," he said. "I just regret not getting up to go see what they were doing. There's no way I would have let them play with those guns. They would have instantly been taken, no question."

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.
(Posted for discussion purposes only, under the Fair Use laws. Follow the link in the first post to read the article in context.)

pax

ralphie98
September 22, 2004, 02:41 PM
I don't think it's too far fetched that they called this an accident. The definition of accident as taken from www.m-w.com is "an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance " and "an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance" I'd believe, though can't say for certain, that this event was unplanned and resulted from carelessness and ignorance. I would be willing to put money on the fact that he popped out the magazine and there was a round chambered and he didn't realize it (the ignorant part). Then, to be a tough guy to his buddy, he put the gun to his neck and pulled the trigger (The careless part).

P95Carry
September 22, 2004, 04:23 PM
He described the teens as "good boys," just looking for something to do. Yeah, right .. burglarizing ...... great!:rolleyes:

Andrew Rothman
September 22, 2004, 07:17 PM
4D5, the reporter had probably left the building before the headline was written. That's just how newspapers work.

I once wrote a very nice obituary about a Mathematics professor and amateur astronomer. The headline read, "Astronomy prof dies".

Argh!!!!

The article was good; the headline was bad.

The reporter should have been judged on her work product -- unbiased -- not on your perception of her "...going in favor of the shepple," which seems to have started only after you started grilling her about a headline she didn't write.

Why didn't she connect you to the copy desk? Maybe the copy editor wasn't there (they basically work second shift hours), or maybe she didn't want to subject a colleague to the attitude you had already given her.

Or maybe she just wasn't feeling like a phone operator, but a skilled, educated, experienced professional getting ripped into by a guy who didn't know squat about her job for something she had no control over.

If I were you, I'd call her back, apologize for your misunderstanding, and praise her for her good reporting and unbiased writing. It'll accomplish a lot more.

The go read my newspaper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/), and see what real biased writing looks like.

Then, maybe check out how to quote text in a message: http://www.thehighroad.org/misc.php?action=bbcode#buttons

:)

4D5
September 22, 2004, 09:56 PM
Matt...

I’ll forgo the quoted text so as not to mess it up plus I’m by no means an English major.

I’m certain I’d never be a reporter. I like being in control of all aspects of what I do and not let anyone take credit for my work good or bad, much less add to it, screw it up, then me get blamed for something I had not control over.

As a systems/database administrator, if something gets screwed up (very rare) that I worked on, the boss doesn’t go looking for someone else in some other department; he’s standing at my desk with lots of questions. So should it be for those who write for the public to read, that is, be ready to field lots of questions and comments, good or bad.

I have a real hard time feeling sorry for any reporters or what their excuses might be when having to answer questions about their opinion (article and/or headline). If as a reporter, you are going to put your opinion out there for all to read, then you better have all the skill, education, and professional experience (or just plain guts) to deal with it because you know you’re going to get lots of questions.

Weimadog
September 22, 2004, 10:50 PM
Some people just don't pay attention to the basic rules of gun safety!:fire:

jefnvk
September 23, 2004, 12:08 AM
I think that it is possible that it is just a stupid mistake. I also think its possible that it is suicide. The only one that really knows is the kid, and he ain't talking.

Maybe the headline should read 'Teen misunderstands the concept of Russian Roulette'

BluesBear
September 23, 2004, 12:49 AM
From the article;
According to the other boy, the victim had loaded and unloaded the weapon prior to the shooting, Killgore said. "It was straight out accidental," he said.
So he popped the clip in and out a few times and forgor to check the chamber. He drops the clip onto the bed, aims the gun at his head and fires for effect.

That means it was straight out negligence!

It would've only been an accident if he had missed.








Yeah yeah I know it's really a magazine. I just used the word clip for effect.

Preacherman
September 23, 2004, 03:01 AM
It wasn't an accident at all: it was an ongoing criminal act. He'd stolen the gun (felony #1): he used the gun (felony #2 in many states) to commit an act of murder (unlawful killing of a person - felony #3).

rayra
September 23, 2004, 04:06 AM
Sometimes they blow it. No, sometimes they spin the hell out of it to misrepresent the factual Truth.
See it ALL the time in AP and Reuters reporting about Israel and the WoT. Consistent fraudulent misrepresentation. Calling TERRORISTS "activists" is a chronic offense.
Congrats to the thread-starter for picking up the phone, but the problem really lies in the J-Schools throughout the Land. And they are heavily polluted with a single Far left of Center mindset.

Tharg
September 23, 2004, 06:37 AM
Ok - just did a google...

the COMMON (common sense isn't) definition of accident is you didn't mean it to happen...

after looking up negligent and accident.

negligent pretty much means you didn't care - you just did - w/o reguard to what might happen. It was under your control and you failed to keep it that way.

Accident refers to things that happen that were not under your control

in THIS sense - i can say that yes... there are NO accidental discharges of weapons. even accidentally dropping said weapon that went off - since it was under your control. (remind all of yourselves to tell your spouses and children every time you drop someting or acciden.... er... negligently knock something off a shelf that it was negligence and not an accident since your arm (i assume) was under your control </sarcasm off>)

under common sense its an accident if you don't think it will go off and it does. Technically its negligence... either way the person wasn't paying attention and got a bullet throught the throat for his efforts.

<bleh>

J/Tharg!

Andrew Rothman
September 23, 2004, 12:24 PM
rayra --

Go read the article again (or probably, for the first time). It is not biased.

The headline, written by a separate person, is lame, whether by ignorance or malice.

4D5 --

What is the problem here? You don't like the way newspapers are run? Tough luck, I'm afraid.

If you still can't figure out that the reporter DOESN'T and CAN'T control the headline, I don't think any further dead-horse-beating will help.

I'm sorry that the headline bothered you, but believe me: That article gets an A+ for accuracy and lack of bias.

And you did nothing but alienate the type of person we want to encourage. Congrats.

NoScreenName
September 23, 2004, 05:10 PM
At least they bury this crap in the Gazette...

I'm almost curious what their header was though... might have to check it out...



Another possibility, while I saw no real bias in hte article except for a somewhat incorrect (IMO) headline... is that the boy's family might be sueing the owners of the RV and firearms that were stolen...and a poor, victimized youth image is being fostered...that'd be some good news in such a small town...or maybe I'm just paranoid...

4D5
September 24, 2004, 01:37 AM
Matt...

So I called the reporter today to apologize for being so assertive about the article and said I had heard from some others with respect of the news business and they confirmed the headline situation. I said I didn’t want to leave a bad impression with respect to gun owners.

She said not to worry, no big deal. Also said my conversation pales in comparison to some of the other calls she’s gotten about the article. She said she’s gotten lots of calls about the article, some from as far away as a military base in Oklahoma. She was wondering if it had been posted on the NRA site.

She said she’d gotten a new perspective about guns and gun owners and as a result will certainly be a lot more diligent about choosing wording and subject matter in the future.

So there we have it… but I’d still never ever be a reporter

4D5
September 24, 2004, 01:45 AM
Read the paper today and yet another even worse headline.

The editorial headline reads:

"The consequences of inattention"

It's a follow up to the article on the original post about the "accident"

The link is:

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040923/OPINION/109230031


In case the site is down here's the text.

The consequences of inattention

Nevada Appeal Editorial

September 23, 2004

The tragic shooting death of a Fallon teen recently, followed by an equally tragic death in Minden Sunday involving a teen of the same age, should make every parent who owns a gun stop for a moment.

They should ask themselves a couple of questions. Are my guns secure? Who has access to them? Do my children understand the potentially dire consequences of playing with guns? Does anyone in the family have a casual attitude about guns?

The accidental shootings point out the need for parents to continually lecture their children, not only about the inherent risk of handling guns, but also about the dangers of developing a cavalier attitude toward firearms in general.

This goes for adults and teens who may have hunted for years. Familiarity with weapons leads many to handle them without enough thought about safety. It becomes routine to put a gun in the vehicle or take it out, or load or unload a weapon. But it shouldn't be routine. The consequences of inattention when handling a gun, showing it off to a friend, or treating it as a toy are severe.

In both cases, the teens who pulled the triggers didn't know the gun was loaded. The teen who accidentally killed Fallon resident Mark Anthony, 14, didn't know a round was in the chamber of the .12 gauge shotgun, a common hunting firearm found in these parts. The Minden boy put a stolen handgun to his neck and, also believing the gun was empty, pulled the trigger.

The small amount of time it takes to be extra safe, to talk to young people about guns, to take the time to secure all firearms, is a small inconvenience compared to living with a lifetime of guilt when tragedies like these occur. It only takes a moment of carelessness to bring a whole lot of regret.

Many of us who grew up in the outdoors can easily think of a close call with a firearm. Many of us also have been lucky that the situation resulted in no loss of life or limb. These two incidents show the worst consequences of handling guns without considering the potential for tragedy.

Nevada requires young hunters to take a safety class before they can buy a license. However, not everyone who has access to a gun is a hunter. Maybe every household with a gun should sign up.

Lahontan Valley News

The_Antibubba
September 24, 2004, 03:56 AM
I don't know whate Nevada State law is, but many states have a "Felony Homicide" statute-any death resulting from the commission of another crime is treated as if the death was planned; i.e, the criminals SHOULD have known someone could die from their actions. If the one teen had "accidentally" shot the other, it would qualify. It would be a stretch in this case.

That second article is quite level-headed, advocating education and responsibility. Maybe I'll wind up in Nevada again at some point. :)

BluesBear
September 24, 2004, 07:21 AM
It is SO dang refreshing to see anything printed in any newspaper with that much common sense in it.

noonanda
September 24, 2004, 09:05 AM
She said not to worry, no big deal. Also said my conversation pales in comparison to some of the other calls she’s gotten about the article. She said she’s gotten lots of calls about the article, some from as far away as a military base in Oklahoma. She was wondering if it had been posted on the NRA site.
That was me. I wrote her an email about the article, questioning the accidental statement.

Andrew Rothman
September 25, 2004, 02:36 AM
4D5, you are the man. Good for you.

Jim4003
September 25, 2004, 08:35 PM
The bad thing about the entire situation is the gun hating liberals are going to be blaming guns as the problem. Fact is if the kids had been doing what kids should do instead of committing crimes the incident would never have occurred. I feel sorry for the people that had to witness the tragic accident. I do not feel sorry for the criminals, I will not go into further detail as I would only say things I shouldnt.

LAK
September 25, 2004, 11:12 PM
Death by misadventure. And that's putting it politely.

Surely anyone who understands "burglary" and can stay up til 1:30 a.m. is old enough to understand "reckless and foolhardy behavior".

I notice he is repeatedly referred to as "the victim". This is patently false.

Maybe it's called an accident so the kid can be buried in a church cemetary, depending on religion. And for insurance reasons, if there's insurance.
Sort of like the old "killed while cleaning the gun" reason?

A misrepresentation? Or would we call that a form of fraudulent claim?

Andrew Rothman
September 26, 2004, 09:50 PM
I notice he is repeatedly referred to as "the victim". This is patently false.

Well, sure, but "architect of his own destruction" is quite a mouthful. :D

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