whats the difference, accidental vs neglegent discharge?


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rustymaggot
October 8, 2006, 04:05 AM
i hear neglegent discharge and i hear accidental discharge and there seems to be a difference between them. can anyone elaborate?

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strambo
October 8, 2006, 05:18 AM
"Accidental" refers to a failure of the weapon mechanically, or something truly accidental, outside the resonable control of the operator. For example, dropping a gun and it goes off. Or, a safety malfunction, or a worn out sear, or a foreign object trips the trigger.

"Negligent" is where the operator squeezes the trigger on a firearm and it discharges when they didn't mean to fire a shot. Excuses are "I thought it was empty" or 'I didn't realize my finger was on the trigger" as so forth.

Truly accidental discharges are very rare. Probably 99% are "negligent". Also, if you are carrying a vintage single action revolver with a round under the chamber (not safe or recommended) and the hammer is caught and released firing the gun by accident...probably still "negligent" for not following safe practices for that firearm. Room for debate in these situations I guess since you didn't press the trigger...but that's probably .001% of cases.

In Iraq, a guy had a discharge in a clearing barrel with an AK. He removed the mag, checked the chamber, but failed to see the round still on the bolt face that didn't eject and was hard to see because of the cover. The chamber was empty. When he closed the bolt and sqeezed the trigger (supposed to at a clearing barrel) it fired. The purpose of a clearing barrel is to safely take a round when something goes wrong.

You could say "negligent" because he didn't look close enough, but he was given the benefit of a doubt (not fired) because the weapon did malfunction in not ejecting and the design lent itself to problems observing the bolt face. Everyone was told of the incident, to check the bolt face and that future incidents would be treated as NDs and you would be fired because everybody was told.

rustymaggot
October 8, 2006, 07:41 AM
i understand now. thank you.

Molon Labe
October 8, 2006, 08:52 AM
I had an accidental discharge. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=2198432&postcount=101)

SaxonPig
October 8, 2006, 08:55 AM
There is no real difference. When I was young the term was AD meaning any time the gun fired when you didn't intend for it to do so (excluding those times at the range when your shot fired just a moment before you were fully on target as these were premature discharges). Then a few years ago the term ND became all the rage and very fashionable (I think Jeff Cooper started this).

Any time the gun fires when you don't intend it's an accident. Most ADs do involve some negligence on the operator's part but it's still an accident. I have argued (one amongst millions who insist on saying ND for reasons that elude me) that getting in the habit of saying ND is very dangerous because the word negligent is a legal term and automatically assignes legal responsibility. God forbid, but if you ever do have an AD causing injury or damage and you tell the investigating cop "That's when I experienced the ND" you have just assumed full and complete legal responsibility for the incident and are now fully exposed for criminal prosecution (how can you plead not guilty when you admitted guilt at the scene?) and/or civil liabiliy (a civil attorney trying to take everything you own will be very grateful to you for admitting liability when you uttered the words ND).

Think about it. Do we say "I had a traffic negligence on the way to work this morning." Do we say "I had a negligence in the kitchen and burned my hand." Yet many people insist on say ND when they should say AD. Especilly if cops or lawyers can hear you.

What will now follow will be many pious and condescending replies (by people who will swear that it will never and could never happen to them) about how we must accept responsibility and how ND is a more correct term. They can call it what they will. I prefer to not surrender myself to some shark lawyer trying to take everything I own.

I have had two ADs. One was a malfunction of the gun causing a round to be fired into the floor in my home. The other my own stupidity for pulling the trigger on a gun I knew to be unloaded putting a bullet into the wall. The second was clearly a case of negligence on my part, but both were accidents. They ADs.

strambo
October 8, 2006, 10:20 AM
You make a good point about not wanting to utter these words (ND) in public. Words do have meaning though, a true accidental discharge is not negligent. People can debate how "accidental" a "negligent" discharge is.

Two reasons why there are firearms "accidents" (not counting mechanical failure). 1) Ignorance, the person just does not know how to safely clear and handle a firearm. 2) Complacency, the person knows gun safety and how to handle the firearm, but becomes complacent and forgets a step.

Every time I read about a persons' AD/ND, it reminds me that it can happen to me if I get complacent and I mentally review my practices looking for where I can improve or when I was complacent last.

LkWinnipesaukee
October 8, 2006, 11:40 AM
Gun's fault= accidental
Your fault=ND

Manedwolf
October 8, 2006, 12:48 PM
The news media's version:

When a cop does it: AD, no matter what they did.
When a non-cop gun owner does it: ND, no matter what they did.

:rolleyes:

Aguila Blanca
October 8, 2006, 01:52 PM
Any time the gun fires when you don't intend it's an accident. Most ADs do involve some negligence on the operator's part but it's still an accident.
Accidents cannot be 100% prevented. That's why they are called "accidents."

Negligence can be prevented. Disguising a negligent act by calling it an accident serves no positive purpose. (CYA is not, IMHO, a positive purpose.)

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