I was cleaning it and it went off!


PDA






Father Knows Best
December 17, 2006, 09:21 AM
From the Houston Chronicle yesterday:
Sleeping Woman Killed by Neighbor's Stray Bullet
by Jennifer Leahy

A woman who was asleep in bed just after midnight Friday was killed by a stray bullet from a neighbor's gun in northwest Houston.

Debora Foglegreen, 52, sat up in bed just seconds before she was hit by the bullet that is believed to have accidentally discharged while a 30-year-old man was cleaning his rifle.

"It's bizarre. The bullet traveled through at least two walls," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. John Martin.

The incident occurred at the Ascot Court Apartments, 10910 West Road.

Foglegreen died at the scene. The man has not been charged and the incident is still under investigation.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4407310.html

Darwin misfired on this one. The idiot with the rifle should have shot himself.

If you enjoyed reading about "I was cleaning it and it went off!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Manedwolf
December 17, 2006, 11:25 AM
"It's bizarre. The bullet traveled through at least two walls," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. John Martin.

Nice to know that the Sherriff's Office spokesman is so incompetent that he knows NOTHING about ballistics. :banghead:

And yes, he should be charged. That's what you call a Negligent Discharge, and why the only place a rifle should be pointed while pulling the trigger is into a sandbucket. If you live in an APARTMENT, you should pick up a paint pail and a small bag of "sandbox" sand and keep it in your closet. IMO, there's no excuse not to.

Because when this sort of thing happens, not only do innocent people get killed, but the antis get more excuses, that "rifles are too dangerous to neighbors, look!"

Walkalong
December 17, 2006, 11:42 AM
Darwin misfired on this one. The idiot with the rifle should have shot himself

Gets my Vote!

El Tejon
December 17, 2006, 01:53 PM
Rule #4 only applies to single action autos.

rkh
December 17, 2006, 03:11 PM
This is sad all around.

Not only is the woman dead, but the NDer's life is over because of a dumb mistake and freak coincidence. He's going to spend years in jail and lose his house because he didn't clear the weapon properly.

No snide remarks about darwin, please. This could have happened to anybody.

Manedwolf
December 17, 2006, 03:16 PM
This could have happened to anybody.

Nope. No more than backing your car over a kid because you didn't look could happen to anybody.

Personal responsibility. He was unsafe. He killed someone. He has to pay the price, to ensure that SAFE gun owners can continue to own their firearms.

Otherwise the antis win, because they can claim that guns in homes are inherently unsafe, and that's not the case.

Don Lu
December 17, 2006, 03:23 PM
I dont really think it could have happened to anybody.... maybe anybody who doesnt follow the rules but. A N/D while cleaning a gun could only happen to someone not observing the rules (there are only a few major rules to remember)..I feel bad he has to live w/his mistake, but do not believe it could have happened to anyone.

rkh
December 17, 2006, 03:26 PM
can you honestly say that you have never inadvertently broken any of the 4 rules?

Human beings make mistakes. This guy just got profoundly unlucky. Would you feel the same way if he was son, or your father?

Manedwolf
December 17, 2006, 03:29 PM
RKH, you're not realizing something here.

If you say "it could happen to ANYONE with a gun in their home", then you're making the antis gleeful, because by that logic, having a gun in a home is inherently dangerous to the neighbors and can kill them. Because it can happen to anyone. It's the universal boogeyman for a universal ban on all firearms that they've always dreamt of.

Your argument, there, is what they'd love to be able to use to claim that nobody should have a gun in a residential property, ever, at any time, because what happened here could happen to anyone.

Do you understand?

Jackal
December 17, 2006, 03:34 PM
This could have happened to anybody.

I can honestly say that I have yet to shoot anyone. A person has no excuse for poor firearm handling and I belive he should be prosecuted. Murder, no. Manslaughter, yes.

pangris
December 17, 2006, 03:44 PM
No snide remarks about darwin, please. This could have happened to anybody.

I disagree. This happened because the individual was sloppy, and it cost an innocent woman her life.

The first thing I do when I pick up a weapon in my home is confirm its condition with the muzzle in a safe direction - i.e. the floor.

Sean Dempsey
December 17, 2006, 03:46 PM
I do not own any rifles and have little experience beyond my little .22 I had growing up... but is there not a way to open/check the chamber in most rifles? Honestly, maybe there's something I am not getting about cleaning guns, but when I clean my XD's, I eject the magazie, then eject any chambered rounds, lock the slide back, and then visually and physically inspect the chamber to make sure nothing is in there.

Maybe I am naive when it comes to rifles, but surely most of them have a way to check and be 100% sure "YEP THERES NOTHING IN THERE!"

Or are most of these "cleaning" ND's simply from people assuming its unloaded and pulling the trigger without taking ANY precautions to inspect the state of the weapon? Do they go "well, I am pretty sure I unloaded it last time I used it 3 weeks ago, so I'll just point it at the wall and pull the trigger before I clean it!"

I don't get it. Yes, accidents happen, but it seems that the accident is "I didn't check the chamber" and not "I accidentally pulled the trigger." Or to use the car analogy, its like driving with your eyes closed, as opposed to not checking your blind spot.

Seriously though, its an honest question, what makes rifles so much harder to validate their state of loaded/unloaded?

antsi
December 17, 2006, 03:47 PM
-----quote--------
can you honestly say that you have never inadvertently broken any of the 4 rules?
-------------------

Usually for an ND to kill someone, you have to break two or three rules simultaneously.

Zero_DgZ
December 17, 2006, 03:49 PM
How do you clean a gun with a round still chambered? Unless you're wiping it down with Pledge and a cloth, isn't an integral part of the process running a brush and patch through the bore? Tricky, with a round still chambered in there. Even tricker without opening the action...

I think it's a convenient excuse. We see it parroted far too many times. More like "I was playing with it and I set it off."

What a dingus.

Manedwolf
December 17, 2006, 03:50 PM
Seriously though, its an honest question, what makes rifles so much harder to validate their state of loaded/unloaded?

They're not. Chamber check is basic safety before you do anything else. Remove mag if it has one. Pull the handle, look in, and there's either a thing with a headstamp and primer visible in there, or there's not.

I also say "Don't trust the extractor, look anyway." I've seen people pull a charging handle and expect that if there's something chambered, it'll be ejected. Problem is, if it wasn't, if a round was stuck, they've also just cocked the gun, and pulling the trigger will fire it.

rkh
December 17, 2006, 03:53 PM
Life is inherently risky. Good people get careless and do dumb things with motor vehicles, lawn mowers, turkey friers, golf clubs, and yes--from time to time--even guns. Freak accidents happen.

Any anti that becomes gleeful at my admission that human beings aren't infallible is sick.

All I'm saying is that I feel really sorry for everybody involved in this horrible story.

Caimlas
December 17, 2006, 03:54 PM
"I was cleaning it and it went off!" seems to be to be the excuse a person would use if they killed their wife, then thought, "Oh sh*t, I've got to save my hide" and cleans it in a panic thinking they're hiding evidence. THen, when sanity strikes, they realize that won't hide a damn thing - thus the excuse.

That's not what happened here, evidently, but wow is it a weird coincidence!

Sean Dempsey
December 17, 2006, 04:13 PM
My CCW instructor taught our class to:

a) put your finger in the hole on a semi-auto where the round would be. Every time. Then, hold the gun up and check it again to make sure nothing it stuck in there.

b) count the empty chambers in a revolver, out loud.

I do that every time, I've never known different.

Gbro
December 17, 2006, 11:53 PM
1. Thank you to the member that gave us the knowledge to keep a pail of sand in our den/workroom for clearing a firearm. This will be passed along to all my student in adult and youth classes.

2. To all of you that balk at the statment "It could Happen......"
We need to humble ourselves, Bad things can happen, There has been an occasional UD in firearms safety classes around this great nation of ours. It Happens!. The recall on the older modle 77 R....(tang safety) has to do with a trigger overtravel set screw. The fault that resulted with this set screw having a poor nylock tab, was it could move into the trigger and the fault would go somthing like this; The safety is moved to fire, trigger is squeezed, gun failes to go off as the stricker failes to be released. Now you open the bolt handle and the movment of the bolt handle causes the striker to fall, was the muzzle still pointed in a safe direction? was it in the home because it didn't fire???

3. This fall at the rifle range durring sightin days, three (Known) times rifles were loaded with the wrong cartridge(no injurys thank God). These confusing cartridges, The casual shooter is confused, 7mm? look at the different loadings just in that one.The extractor may not pick out one that is wrong for the gun. (IF IT CAN HAPPEN.........).
I posted this a couple years ago on another board;
[/URL]
[URL="http://groups.msn.com/THEGUNROOM/cartridgeboard.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=15384&LastModified=4675463384251835513"] (http://groups.msn.com/THEGUNROOM/cartridgeboard.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=15384&LastModified=4675463384251835513)

4.Darwin? Who the HELL is he??

Gbro

Gbro
December 17, 2006, 11:58 PM
http://groups.msn.com/THEGUNROOM/cartridgeboard.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=15384&LastModified=4675463384251835513My link didn't get pasted anto tha last post

http://groups.msn.com/THEGUNROOM/cartridgeboard.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=15384&LastModified=4675463384251835513

Its a copy/past link sorry it didn't work for me again, and i used the link tool on the review pad??

RNB65
December 18, 2006, 12:00 AM
The man has not been charged and the incident is still under investigation.

He should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. If you're going to own a firearm, the responsibility is entirely on you to own and operate it safely. If you fail to do so, you face the consequences. Killing someone and claiming it was an accident should not be a valid defense.

gwine
December 18, 2006, 12:12 AM
4.Darwin? Who the HELL is he??
A reference to Charles Darwin, proponent of evolution. There is a website devoted to the Darwin Awards (http://www.darwinawards.com/) which gives out awards posthumously to people who do their part to prevent the human gene pool from propagating stupidity (i.e. they kill themselves.)

Humorous in its own twisted way, but a sad reflection on humanity.

Father Knows Best
December 18, 2006, 12:16 AM
How do you clean a gun with a round still chambered? Unless you're wiping it down with Pledge and a cloth, isn't an integral part of the process running a brush and patch through the bore? Tricky, with a round still chambered in there. Even tricker without opening the action...

I think it's a convenient excuse. We see it parroted far too many times. More like "I was playing with it and I set it off."
+1.

I don't believe for a minute that he was really "cleaning" the gun. Most likely, he intentionally and quite knowingly loaded it, and was playing with it. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that 99% of the cases of "I was cleaning it and it went off" are people making excuses and trying to cover up their own juvenile, idiotic, careless behavior.

This guy should get locked up for a LONG time.

iiibdsiil
December 18, 2006, 12:23 AM
Everyone says "It won't happen to me."

panzermk2
December 18, 2006, 12:56 AM
as long as you don't break any of the rules you won't have ND . Can't happen starting with your finger off the trigger and if the gun does malfuction and go off it will be pointed in a safe direction .

The bucket of sand is a great idea. When I lived in an aptartment i had one. Now I am thinking it would be handing to have one again in my gun room.

JLStorm
December 18, 2006, 01:01 AM
That's what you call a Negligent Discharge, and why the only place a rifle should be pointed while pulling the trigger is into a sandbucket. If you live in an APARTMENT, you should pick up a paint pail and a small bag of "sandbox" sand and keep it in your closet. IMO, there's no excuse not to.

Man, I dont consider myself new to guns or untrained by any means, but I have never considered this idea. What a GREAT idea!

swingset
December 18, 2006, 01:07 AM
Human beings make mistakes.

Well, no humans on this site do, apparently. :rolleyes:

Saaaay, I seem to recall some AD/ND stories around here, and no one was calling for the poster to shoot himself. I guess as long as we don't kill someone, we're allowed to be human. Otherwise, we can stone someone to death.

It's a statistical inevitability that a mistake each and everyone of you have made COULD HAVE cost someone (or you) your life. It's something to always remember when a tragedy like this occurs. It could have been you, even if you're too arrogant to admit it.

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 01:10 AM
While I cannot promise that I'll never have an AD or ND, I can guarantee you that this senario won't happen to me.

I don't load my guns and play with them.

I don't pick up my rifle and point it in random directions, pretending to pick off bad guys. Or trophy deer.

I don't pull a sidearm from the safe and sweep the room, playing Dirty Harry.

Zero_DgZ and Father Knows Best pretty much nailed it.

Reckless endangerment. Manslaughter.

"I was cleaning it?"

I'm gonna bet that if the forensic dudes took their little laser pointer (they all have them -- haven't you watched CSI?) and traced the line through the two walls (piece of cake, there are at least two holes, The bullet traveled through at least two walls, remember) the re-created trajectory would clearly show the shot was fired from a shouldered standing position, not sitting. Child's play.

At which point, the "guns are dangerous" becomes "idiots playing with guns are dangerous."

Would anyone like to bet whether they'll actually try to re-create the trajectory?

Nematocyst
December 18, 2006, 01:16 AM
How do you clean a gun with a round still chambered? Unless you're wiping it down with Pledge and a cloth, isn't an integral part of the process running a brush and patch through the bore? Tricky, with a round still chambered in there. Even tricker without opening the action...I'm with FKB on this one in agreeing with Zero_DgZ. It's almost inconceivable to me how to even begin cleaning a loaded gun (at least one of mine). Cleaning one of mine loaded is just a physical impossibility. (Of course, it could have simply been that he was beginning to clean it, clicked the trigger without checking first ... but that's still just a violation of the four rules...)

It would be instructive to find out what kind of gun was involved here.
___________

Oh, and about Darwin. Read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin).

As it turns out, his ideas weren't "wrong", just incomplete, and unable to fully explain biological evolution (says one with advanced degrees in evolutionary biology). His ideas on natural selection were (to borrow a phrase from mathematics), "necessary but insufficient." Biology is now improving on Darwin's seminal, pioneering (genius) views with new models of evolution that add volumes to what we know about evolution.

But that's fodder for another thread, some other day...

Telperion
December 18, 2006, 01:29 AM
Who cleans their guns in the middle of the night? Guy was not cleaning it, he was playing with it.

ilcylic
December 18, 2006, 01:41 AM
Manedwolf++: I usually look, but I admit there have been times I've counted on "knowing" the extractor would empty the chamber.

Gbro: Those pictures are scary. So that blown out piece of brass was basically blast formed to expand the neck? Yeesh.

Telperion: That's not neccesarily accurate. I know a lot of night oriented people. If you're up until dawn every day, a lot of stuff happens "at night". Including cleaning firearms.

RNB65
December 18, 2006, 02:05 AM
Who cleans their guns in the middle of the night?

I do. I typically clean guns between 2AM and 4AM. Put on a little good music (RUSH's 2112 is my fav gun cleaning CD) and go to it. :)

ArchAngelCD
December 18, 2006, 02:24 AM
At which point, the "guns are dangerous" becomes "idiots playing with guns are dangerous."
Unfortunately that won't make the papers. They will leave the story as-is just to push the anti agenda.

carpettbaggerr
December 18, 2006, 02:46 AM
This could have happened to anybody. Sure could. Sit up in bed, then next thing, you're talkin' to St. Pete. Anybody whose neighbor has a gun could wake up dead. :uhoh:

"It's bizarre. The bullet traveled through at least two walls," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. John Martin.
I think he meant the odds the bullet hit her at all, not that it had the energy to kill her. Two walls, not aimed, still hits her in a vital area.

Unlucky lottery, indeed.

Manedwolf
December 18, 2006, 03:43 AM
Glad to help with the sandbucket idea! :)

And yeah, you can get all you need at Lowes or Home Depot. 5 gal paint/driveway finishing bucket with lid in the paint aisle, and a bag of enough fine-grade sand in the garden department to fill it. I doubt many rounds would make it through what would be almost two feet of dense sand.

For any rifle that might need to be cleared of an unsafe situation, or for any handgun that requires pulling the trigger for dis-assembly, I'd just thought it'd be the best place to point it. The worst that could happen, then, would be ringing ears and "eau de gunsmoke", but nobody hurt and no property damage.

tanksoldier
December 18, 2006, 05:22 AM
Generally speaking, in order to injure someone you have to break at least 2 rules at the same time.

The reason we have the 4 rules is because humans make mistakes. Breaking 1 rule may or may not be a mistake... breaking 2 at once is negligence.

Firearms are deadly tools, and those who own and use them need to be held accountable. Otherwise, as others have said, the antis win. If this truely could happen to any firearms owner, even a conciencious one, then firearms truely are too dangerous for the average citizen to posess.

can you honestly say that you have never inadvertently broken any of the 4 rules?

Human beings make mistakes. This guy just got profoundly unlucky. Would you feel the same way if he was son, or your father?

It very well could be me someday, if I ever get that lazy or complacent. If it does happen to me I hope I have the cajones to take what I deserve like a man for my stupidity. The reason that nobody is calling on anyone here to shoot themselves is because even when they DID have a ND, they obeyed Rule #2:

Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you are not willing to destroy.

And thus no one was harmed. As I mentioned above, you usually have to violate 2 rules before you can actually hurt someone.

Saaaay, I seem to recall some AD/ND stories around here, and no one was calling for the poster to shoot himself. It could have been you, even if you're too arrogant to admit it.

Mr White
December 18, 2006, 11:58 AM
Can I honestly say that I've never broken any of the 4 rules? No, I cannot.

Can I say that it is a VERY ingrained habit that whenever I pick up a gun, the first thing I do is point it in a safe direction and check the magazine and action to ensure the gun is in the condition (clear or loaded) that I think it is in? Yes, without question.

The whole "I was cleaning it and it went off" or "I was looking at it and I didn't know it was loaded" excuses are PURE BULLSHIP! There is NO excuse for an AD or ND. If everyone would just take the few seconds to verify the condition of every gun they pick up, ADs/NDs would be a thing of the past.

One persons stupidity got an innocent killed and gave a big black eye to us all.
He deserves what he gets.

Father Knows Best
December 18, 2006, 12:06 PM
I have never had a ND. I know people who have. No one was injured, however, because they were observing other safety rules. For instance, I participate in cowboy action shooting. I've seen a couple of ND's there, including my own father who let one go at the loading table. His thumb slipped while trying to lower the hammer, and unfortunately he had indexed the cylinder wrong and a live round was under it. He put a .45 caliber hole in the loading table, and scared the bejeezus out of the loading table officer. No one was hurt, however, because he was observing rules 1 and 2, i.e., treating all guns as if they were loaded (he thought there was no live round under the hammer, but was careful, anyway) and keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Thus, no one was hurt.

ND's can indeed happen. There's no excuse for killing someone with an ND, however, because safe gun handling means not exposing anyone else to the risk of getting shot by your own carelessness.

doubleg
December 18, 2006, 12:10 PM
Thats messed up. I used to live about 4 blocks away from there. So I understand why he had his rifle out in the middle of the night, crime is horrible. Home invasions, gangs, you name it.

javacodeman
December 18, 2006, 01:07 PM
I was cleaning my handguns one night after going to the range. My mother-in-law was in town. She's not an anti, but I wouldn't call her a "pro" either. She just thinks they are dangerous (ah, which they are) and that as a Christian, we can trust our fate to God (to expound more on that is another thread). Anyways, apparently one of my wife's distant cousins shot himself (not fatally) about 15 years ago.

So while I'm cleaning my guns, my wife asks her mom, "How did cousin [so-and-so] shot himself?" My mother-in-law replies (you guessed it), "While cleaning his guns."

I don't say anything and keep going about my business. But I'm thinking the whole time that "cleaning the gun" must be the most often used excuse for reckless, foolish behavior that results in a gun discharge.

BTW, I was somehow able to keep myself from an ND while cleaning my gun that night.:cool:

On another note: So, a 5 gal bucket of sand will stop a bullet with only noise, smoke, and splattered sand as consequences?

java

ArfinGreebly
December 18, 2006, 03:08 PM
You know, I think that's worth a range test.

Let's see, take a bucket to the range, fill with sand, fire a round, use a kitty litter scoop to locate the expended round, measure depth. Repeat with assorted calibres.

Notes: safety glasses, safety glasses, safety glasses. Oh, and ear protection.

Careful lifting that bucket when filled with sand. A large bucket of kitty litter is in the 25-30 lb range, this will be denser, so expect 50 lbs depending on bucket size.

mbt2001
December 18, 2006, 03:12 PM
I don't understand how a gun can "go off" when you are cleaning it. What?? Are people not opening the bolt/chamber? Are they not stripping out the gun?

Seriously, in order for the gun to discharge, the cleanee had to pull the trigger. And the ONLY WAY that it can happenly "on accident" is if you drop the hammer on an un-inspected chamber; which should never be done. I mean he broke every rule of firearm safety...

The point is that there are carless/neglegent people in the world and had he not done this, he would have done something else of similar stripe causing some other indicies to go up. :banghead:

Edit - ARFIN

I fired a .25 ACP in a bucket of sand about 1 month ago... The bullet penetrated about 4-6" in and made a hole about .75 - 1" diameter... I wouldn't recommend doing it with any other kind of caliber. If the .25 did that much, I can only imagine what a .30-06 or similar would do... I wouldn't consider that safe, unless you were in a pretty well controlled environment.

JLStorm
December 18, 2006, 03:18 PM
I like that idea too...but my cats might use it as another bathroom :uhoh:

vynx
December 18, 2006, 03:30 PM
The bucket of sand (5 gal. size) has been mentioned many times before.

Also, if you prefer a little more ambience you can get a 5 gallon or larger planter (plastic or whatever) and fill it with sand and a plastic plant.

Not only is it safe but your cats will love it too!

I agree that "cleaning guns" is used in place of "fooling around".

Sistema1927
December 18, 2006, 04:30 PM
Cleaning? :confused: Sure.

And I bet that puddle at his feet wasn't Hoppe's #9.

MechAg94
December 18, 2006, 04:31 PM
The planter with a plastic plant is a great idea also. It might also be wider. In a 5 gallon bucket, you need to make sure you are not holding the gun at too sharp of an angle. I would make sure you have at least 12" of deep of sand.

Another consideration might be a put a piece of brick or cinder block in the bottom of the bucket or planter. If a bullet goes through, that ought to stock it without damaging the floor. Just make sure you have enough sand.

MechAg94
December 18, 2006, 04:34 PM
+1 on the comment that he was fooling around with the gun, not cleaning it.

History Prof
December 18, 2006, 05:31 PM
+1 on the comment that he was fooling around with the gun, not cleaning it.How many here have done something this stupid?


Since I asked, I'll go first. I've had two NDs in my life, both when I was young and stupid. BOTH were entirely preventable, if I had been following the rules. The second was far more stupid than the first, simply because I didn't learn from the first. I can tell you that it won't happen to me again. I do a chamber check, visual and PHYSICAL every time I pick up a gun. IT IS AVOIDABLE! "Cleaning" my arse. He was playing with it.

SFvet
December 19, 2006, 01:50 AM
PLAIN and SIMPLE. Anytime you pick up a firearm, and do not intend to discharge it - CLEAR IT OUT. Thats not rocket science or neurosurgery.:banghead:

marksman13
December 19, 2006, 03:32 AM
I've only had one ND in my life. I was twelve years old and sitting in a deer stand by myslef for the first time. I told my dad that the thirty-thirty in my hands just went off. I got my a$$ whooped!!! He knew it was an idiot mistake on my part and he was pissed that i lied. Lessons learned the hard way seem to stick.

I don't think the guy should get off scott-free, but I think criminal negligance will stick easier than something harsher like manslaughter. Just depends on how good of a lawyer he can afford. Just hope that he, and anyone in contact with him get the message that guns are tools designed to kill, and treating them like toys can get innocent people killed.

Flopsy
December 19, 2006, 06:39 PM
Yeah yeah, okay I'm not going to say that an AD/ND could NEVER happen to me.

I WILL say that I will never in life ever clean a rifle without clearing its chamber first!

This guy's stupidity resulted in this accident, not a poor set of circumstances or a momentary lapse in judgment.

If you enjoyed reading about "I was cleaning it and it went off!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!