Man charged in fatal Redmond shooting


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bikemutt
February 13, 2012, 08:15 PM
The 20-year-old woman killed Sunday morning at a Redmond house party was struck by a stray bullet fired from another room.

The man suspected of firing the handgun, Cornelius De Jong IV, 21, of Redmond, was charged Monday in King County Superior Court with first-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Claire Thompson.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017499429_shooting14m.html

Does this make the case for a loaded chamber indicator, or a magazine drop safety?

Not really, this guy apparently didn't understand that dropping the mag did not clear the weapon. His first impulse was correct, if he planned on drinking he should have left the gun in the safe.

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dmazur
February 13, 2012, 08:32 PM
Since nobody wants mandatory training as part of gun ownership, I suppose the next best thing is mandatory and stiff penalties for negligent use of firearms.

No slaps on wrists.

No "my dad knows someone".

Put the morons away.

And publicize their stupidity.

Perhaps we can learn from the example set by others.

Sad.

Standing Wolf
February 13, 2012, 09:24 PM
Perhaps we can learn from the example set by others.

I've heard there are three kinds of people: those who learn from others' experience, those who learn from their own, and those who learn nothing.

I had the good fortune early in my shooting career to meet a guy with nine and a half fingers, which is to say: half his trigger finger was gone, so he used his second finger. He'd double-charged a cartridge case and blown up a gun. I've never seated a bullet without checking the case, nor will I ever forget the lesson he taught me.

As far as I'm concerned, killing someone while fooling around with a gun and drinking counts as negligent homicide.

Manco
February 13, 2012, 11:04 PM
Does this make the case for a loaded chamber indicator, or a magazine drop safety?

Loaded chamber indicator, no, because you could always check the chamber without one anyway, and you'd have to remember to check in any case. I suppose one could argue that a really obvious LCI, such as a large chunk of metal or plastic painted fluorescent orange sticking out of the top of the pistol, could alert even those who aren't paying attention, but then again people would eventually get used to it and ignore it if they're so inclined. The problem here was breaking two of the fundamental rules of firearms safety, either of which would have prevented this tragedy on its own, and neither of which require any superfluous indicator devices to heed.

Magazine drop safety (or disconnect)...I'd say yes, with the caveat that some trade-offs may be involved. While it doesn't help people follow the safety rules, I can't deny that it can avert tragedies that would have resulted from one of the more common classes of safety violations.

Not really, this guy apparently didn't understand that dropping the mag did not clear the weapon. His first impulse was correct, if he planned on drinking he should have left the gun in the safe.

But the fact is that he didn't do the right things, and that a magazine disconnect would have prevented this tragedy. :scrutiny: It irks me to admit this because I'm a big believer in the idea that safety starts between our ears, as well as in simplicity generally being the best way, but people keep getting shot--usually by others, undeservedly--because of the loaded-chamber issue.

I've heard there are three kinds of people: those who learn from others' experience,

This is known as wisdom, which is about as common as "common" sense, unfortunately.

those who learn from their own,

This is known as experience, and in terms of accidents, the less wisdom one has, the more varied experiences one will accumulate (provided that one avoids the experience of death).

and those who learn nothing.

These are technically known as idiots...just in case anybody was wondering. :D;)

I had the good fortune early in my shooting career to meet a guy with nine and a half fingers, which is to say: half his trigger finger was gone, so he used his second finger. He'd double-charged a cartridge case and blown up a gun. I've never seated a bullet without checking the case, nor will I ever forget the lesson he taught me.

That is wise, although even wisdom does not free one from the perils of human error, of course, which is why implementing multiple layers of safety is also wise. As much as I'm philosophically against the use of devices for implementing safety, obviously some devices are worthy, such as drop safeties (for when the whole gun is dropped, that is) and manual safeties (for some types of guns). Based on the experiences of all too many people, I'm becoming more and more convinced of the value of magazine disconnects, as controversial as this may be. No device should take the place of proper training and safe handling, of course, but when people falter, and they will, sometimes safety devices can literally save lives. In this case, it seems that a lot of people forget about the round in the chamber--just making an observation.

As far as I'm concerned, killing someone while fooling around with a gun and drinking counts as negligent homicide.

I agree. As much as I like guns, they are deadly devices and must be handled with the most serious level of care, not unlike an automobile. Those who fool around with guns with flagrant disregard for safety should be severely punished--that's the only way to confer some degree of wisdom on those who otherwise wouldn't have any.

TenDriver
February 14, 2012, 09:28 AM
Loaded chamber indicator, no, because you should always check the chamber without one anyway.

I fixed it for you. I learned the hard way you ALWAYS check the chamber when you pick up a gun. Any gun.

Not long after I learned the hard way, my cousin learned it as well. His lesson came when he offered to let me dry fire his "unloaded" AR-180. Had I not checked the chamber before doing so, there would have been a bang. Lesson reinforced for me, taught to him.

Manco
February 14, 2012, 11:22 AM
I fixed it for you. I learned the hard way you ALWAYS check the chamber when you pick up a gun. Any gun.

What you say is true (and thanks for sharing what happened), but my point was that a loaded chamber indicator doesn't give you any abilities that you don't already have. I agree that people should--or rather MUST--check the chamber, but this valuable reminder is not the specific point I was making in the context of safety-related devices.

And as for ALWAYS checking the chamber, well, frankly I'm not going to check the chamber if I need to use the gun immediately in a defensive situation--it had better already be loaded and ready to fire, and if it isn't then pulling the trigger and getting no bang will effectively be my check. For the purpose of safety outside of emergency situations, then absolutely the chamber should ALWAYS be checked, and furthermore, in my opinion, the trigger should never be pulled for no reason. By the latter I'm referring, for example, to the ingrained habit that many people appear to have of decocking their handguns by pulling the trigger, even when they don't really need to.

Habits can be both useful and detrimental for safety, so we have to be mindful of what actions become habitual. In my view, pulling the trigger unnecessarily is not a safe habit to develop, but unfortunately this is taught at competitions and passed on through imitation. Sure, it's harmless if you otherwise practice safe handling, but it allows less room for error, and we're all only human (at best :)). I probably wouldn't have taken note of this issue if I hadn't read/heard about a number of incidents in which negligent discharges had taken place as a result, but they do happen and all too frequently it seems. As noted earlier, having a magazine disconnect safety can prevent some such incidents, but I think that avoiding certain habits can further reduce the dangers involved in clearing a weapon. The latter may seem silly at first glance to some, but it appears, at least anecdotally, to be how many if not most negligent discharges and firearms-related tragedies occur these days.

dmazur
February 14, 2012, 12:35 PM
Yes, I'll have to admit I don't always check the chamber when picking up a gun, but I'll have to qualify the admission somewhat.

I keep guns in two safes. One is general storage, and they're cased and unloaded. I check those before putting them in the back of the truck, so I don't violate state game laws, even though I know they are unloaded. (This practice also gives me peace of mind that I won't be violating range rules by bringing a loaded gun to the firing line.)

The other safe is "quick access" and it has two holsters on its door. All we keep in these are 1911's, and I do a chamber check to make sure the gun is loaded before holstering it, in Condition 1. This is so, in event of an emergency, I have a reasonable expectation that it will be loaded.

The other circumstance is concealed carry. When taking the pistol out of the safe, I do a chamber check, put the safety back on and holster it. If I have to draw for a self-defense situation, I also have a reasonable expectation that it is still loaded.

I believe the behavior is consistent. Check to make sure it is unloaded before you do something where you want it to be unloaded. And, conversely, check to make sure it is loaded when you want it loaded.

The important thing is to not assume anything about the loaded/unloaded status. :)

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 14, 2012, 12:52 PM
But the fact is that he didn't do the right things, and that a magazine disconnect would have prevented this tragedy. It irks me to admit this because I'm a big believer in the idea that safety starts between our ears, as well as in simplicity generally being the best way, but people keep getting shot--usually by others, undeservedly--because of the loaded-chamber issue.

My dad knows someone who's son would be alive today if a gun had a magazine safety, the kid removed the magazine from his father's chambered gun saying it was now unloaded and gave it to his idiot friend who then pointed it at his friend's head and pulled the trigger. Yes magazines safeties would have saved his life and this girl's and quite a few others. But the facts remain that this is why you practice the 4 rules and be smart about it. It is incredibly dumb to pull the trigger to check if it's chambered.

316SS
February 15, 2012, 12:55 AM
There is no technological solution to stupidity.

Zoogster
February 15, 2012, 01:15 AM
It is sad someone must be punished harshly for an accident, but it is the only solution to letting people have the freedom to possess that which can pose a risk to others.
If they screw up and hurt other people they have to be held responsible.

Whether it is a gun they carry and shoot someone with carelessly, or a car they drive and run someone over with carelessly, if people are going to easily have the ability to possess that which possess a lethal threat then they need to suffer the punishment of misuse.


Otherwise the solution becomes limiting the danger people pose by treating them as children incapable of making good decisions.





As for magazine 'safeties', I hate them. A semi-automatic handgun has a chamber, the chamber is never empty when you remove the magazine.
A magazine safety when working correctly means that if in a struggle or during a less that perfect draw your magazine release gets bumped you don't even get the one round in the gun before you must try to recover the magazine.
It adds extra moving parts to the gun, any of which can keep the firearm from working when they wear down from friction, break, or otherwise have a problem.
A firearm mechanism is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and the more links you add to the chain for something as simple as striking the back of a cartridge, the more risk you add of it not striking the back of the cartridge when needed.
I can appreciate a firing pin block because it adds to the mechanical safety allowing it to be more impact resistant and safe when dropped. This improves the firearm, a tool that is heavy, frequently carried, and used in less than ideal situations where drops and impacts are a high risk.

But that is as long as I want the extra list of parts to be that can prevent proper functioning of the firearm.
We don't also need add things that don't increase the mechanical functioning of the firearm, but reduce reliability in order to compensate for a potential mental deficiency.
There is a few professions were I might consider the ability to render my firearm worthless with a push of a button to be an asset and accept the additional unnecessary mechanical complexity. Like as an officer open carrying that spends more time fighting and wrestling with people while wearing a gun in close proximity to those I am wrestling, than needing to deploy that firearm. But even then I think there is a better mechanical solution than a magazine safety.
I think a magazine safety is a step in the wrong direction for your average civilian concealed carrier.

sig220mw
February 15, 2012, 01:55 AM
He did an idiotic thing and made us all look bad.

dmazur
February 15, 2012, 03:54 PM
In an answer to another question, I used the example of the old cars with the seat belt interlocks as a parallel to magazine safeties.

(You couldn't start the car without fastening the seat belts for everyone who was sitting in a seat. There was an ignition interlock, and weight sensors in the seats, in addition to seat belt buckle switches. Funny to watch someone buckling up a bag of groceries, so they could drive home...)

Of course, now I believe it is accepted design to have a seat belt warning. It doesn't lock out the ignition. (At least, none of the newer cars I'm aware of, but there may be some that still do ignition interlocks.)

So, going along this line of reasoning, I'm in favor of loaded chamber indicators. Provided they are simple and won't disable the gun. I don't have any guns with LCI's, but I don't think I'd refuse to own one.

On the other hand, I don't like the idea of a magazine safety. It is too much complexity to have associated with the critical function of the trigger.

JRH6856
February 15, 2012, 04:52 PM
the ability to render my firearm worthless with a push of a button to be an asset

With some guns, a mag safety will not even do that reliably. For example, the mag safety on a Browning High Power applies enough pressure on the mag that the mag will not drop free when the release is pressed and the mag has to be pulled free with the off hand. As long as the mag is in the gun, the chambered round can be fired, but with the mag unsecured, it will probably fall free and in any event, it will not feed another round.

In a struggle, limiting the BG to one shot is better than him getting control of the gun with a full mag, not having the mag safety makes reloading a lot faster. YMMV.

leadcounsel
February 16, 2012, 01:16 AM
Humans aren't "zero defect" creatures. Those that want to blindly drop the hammer on others for their mistakes often overlook their own mornic or illegal moments in life. Take a good long honest look in the mirror and I bet we all have done something really dumb or illegal and just got really lucky at times...

We imprison more people than any other developed nation. Maybe prison isn't the best approach. Just sayin...

JRH6856
February 16, 2012, 01:48 AM
Maybe prison isn't the best approach. Just sayin...

And maybe locking a human being in a cage is the epitome of "cruel and unusual punishment." Or would be if it were not so usual.

SleazyRider
February 16, 2012, 05:33 AM
He did an idiotic thing and made us all look bad.
Agreed. Should we anticipate "more of the same" based on the profusion of ccws being issued and firearms being purchased over the past decade?

guyfromohio
February 16, 2012, 05:40 AM
You can't legislate stupid away.

bikerdoc
February 16, 2012, 08:01 AM
You can't legislate stupid away.

Nor do we have a medicine for it.

sehnsi
February 17, 2012, 01:39 PM
Came here because I found this forum thread looking for more articles on this shooting. I know everyone involved in this story (shooter, victim, and most of the bystanders) and I'm going to say that I totally agree with the people who are saying that while a drop safety/etc might have saved the girl who was shot in this story, there really isn't any cure for stupidity. DeJong was one of those people that it made me incredibly uncomfortable that he even owned a gun. He always had poor trigger discipline, he would pass the thing around to his (intoxicated) friends, pointed it at me a few times, got in my car and pointed it at pedestrians one time, and it was usually loaded when I saw it.

Its a really weird thing to legislate because you have to balance out people like DeJong who should be doing life for being negligent with a firearm, while not overly punishing people who legitimately have a misfire.

Since nobody wants mandatory training as part of gun ownership, I suppose the next best thing is mandatory and stiff penalties for negligent use of firearms.

No slaps on wrists.

No "my dad knows someone".

Put the morons away.

And publicize their stupidity.

Perhaps we can learn from the example set by others.

Sad.

Yeah the shooter owns a wood chipping company and has a really wealthy family, even though stuff like this NEVER happens in Redmond he's probably just going to get a slap on the wrist. Which is ****ed up because DeJong has a bunch of other prior (not felony) charges that show that he's a complete negligent retard. DUIS and the likes.

316SS
February 17, 2012, 04:06 PM
Humans aren't "zero defect" creatures. Those that want to blindly drop the hammer on others for their mistakes often overlook their own mornic or illegal moments in life. Take a good long honest look in the mirror and I bet we all have done something really dumb or illegal and just got really lucky at times...

We imprison more people than any other developed nation. Maybe prison isn't the best approach. Just sayin...

In a free society governed by the rule of law, each of us should be held responsible for his actions. Certainly everybody makes mistakes, but when your mistakes result in the death or maiming of another person, you are responsible. There are FOUR generally accepted rules of firearms safety, and if you follow ANY ONE of them then no harm will come to a person even if you have a negligent discharge. If you violate ALL FOUR and someone is killed, the excuse that "everybody makes mistakes" just doesn't cut it.

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