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Is it accidental or negligent discharge?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PATH, Jan 5, 2003.

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  1. PATH

    PATH Member

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    The gun goes boom when it is not supposed togo boom. What is it? Accidental or negligent?:confused:
     
  2. Schuey2002

    Schuey2002 Member

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    Little of both, "I reckon"....:D
     
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    IMO ..... leaving aside the most quirky of situations ...... NEGLIGENCE'' ... every time.

    If the prime rules are followed then ''accidents'' should not and cannot happen. Porter Glockmans relating of a sad incident two days ago highlighted this .... a forensic (I think) or ballistics guy who shot himslef with a rifle. In the same thread was a case too of a young female cop who removed her pistol mag and ''forgot'' the round in the chamber ... she lived I believe thank heaven.

    Bottom line ... any and every gun is loaded .... until proven otherwise .. twice if possible.

    Furthermore NEVER point a gun at any time at something you don't want to hit!!

    Standard good practice should negate ''accidents'' .... negligence will always be the root cause.
     
  4. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Member

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    Negligent - Number one rule all firearms are loaded even if they arent.:)
     
  5. dave

    dave Member

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    If a gun goes off, on it's own, without the trigger being pulled, it's an accident.

    If a gun goes off after the trigger is pulled, even if it wasn't meant to be pulled, it's a negligent discharge.
     
  6. PlayTheAces

    PlayTheAces Member

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    With guns, I would have to say negligent around 99% of the time. An accident would be an event truly out of your control. If you analyze the root cause of any accident, most could have been prevented. Naturally there are exceptions....
     
  7. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Short of a real freaky parts failure Dave . i'd still say ''negligence'' ... because of poor maintainance!!
     
  8. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    dave's got it close enough.

    I'd put it that if the gun fires without a person handling it, it's an accident. For example, a cocked shotgun leaning against a tree or car falls over and fires, or a dog steps on a cocked gun lying on the ground and it fires, or storing a Glock in the broiler section of a gas oven, forgetting about it, and then turning the broiler on causing a round to cook off. All are accidents.

    If a human is handling it when it fires, it's negligent. For example, when putting a Glock into the old style cases with the trigger protrusion and it fires or attempting to disassemble a gun for cleaning and it fires. Both are negligent.
     
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd still take issue there Blackhawk ........ quite simply, the shotgun leaning cocked against tree .... asking for trouble . even if no human hand nearby ...... it is an unsafe practice.!

    I mean, a loaded and cocked firearm .. whether in human hands or not ... is an ''accident'' waiting to happen .. but caused thru negligence IMO. It's that simple.

    And .... Glock on broiler section??!! Really ... still no ''accident'' because anyone in right mind should ''see ahead'' to the potential for disaster ... it still comes down to negligence ...... by the owner of said firearm.

    Stupidity = negligence ...... and can cost lives.
     
  10. Psssniper

    Psssniper Member

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    Negligent=Human factor

    Accident=no human factor
     
  11. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    P95Carry, if you run Murphy's Law out, ALL accidents have a negligence component. An "accident waiting to happen" isn't an accident, it's just an unsafe situation somebody with knowledge and foresight can recognize.

    Murphy just restated the law of unintended consequences and said, quite rightly, that ANY condition not properly considered that can lead to an unforseen consequence of a pernicious nature will happen. He was an engineer, and astutely made his observation, which unfortunately is not given the serioius due it deserves.

    Negligence has degrees. If a person is aware that a dangerous situation exists yet does not act appropriately to ameloriate the potential harmful consequences, the foreseen event is due to negligence.

    If there was no awareness beforehand, it is an accident.

    Something that may be attributable to me as negligence may well be only an accident for somebody else. The criterion is awareness of the potential consequences. So, I suppose a gun firing when an untrained child gets ahold of it is an accident attributable to the negligence of somebody else. If that's you, and you're 4 states away at the time, would you say YOU had a negligent discharge? No. You'd have to say the child had an accidental discharge.
     
  12. ZekeLuvs1911

    ZekeLuvs1911 Member

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    I would say negligent 95% of the time. I have had firearms for over 12 years now and only once....this year...had a gun needed to be sent in for a repair that if left alone, could cause the gun to fire.
     
  13. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Yes, but we don't really know the true circumstances of that. He could have checked the rifle, left the room, someone came in and loaded it, he came back looked at the barrel for something and BOOM!. Foul play in other words.

    Or maybe he knew it was loaded, but the trigger snagged on something or the sear failed as he was moving it. The point is, you never know unless you were there.
     
  14. lilbiggun

    lilbiggun Member

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    I also agree. Negligent all the way.
    There is no way a gun can go off without a human factor involved. ND's can be accidental but lets put blame where its due. The owner or handler was negligent at the time.
     
  15. GD

    GD Member

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    It is all perspective.
    I'm at the firing range ready to shoot and a person throws something at me. I suffer an accidental discharge caused by his negligence. Unless you are a liberal, guns don't just jump up and go boom.
    Yes, there are defective firearms, but it is your responsibility to check out your firearm before firing it.
    Accidental discharge means simply that you did not intend for it to discharge. Negligence is just putting blame for who caused the discharge. This is similar to any accident, say a car accident. I'm still going to call them car accidents not car negligents and I'm still going to call them accidental discharges in the case of firearms.
    :neener:
     
  16. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Blackhawk ....... OK - I was getting a tad pedantic!! I do agree there has to be some leeway for accident . Murphy got it right in some ways! :) I'm not trying to make waves too much!
    Aha tho ...... allow me one more pedantic moment!! No, sure ...... not ME having an AD .. but re the culpability factor (which may or may not be seen as negligence) ..... if the weapon was unsecured/loaded .. whatever, such that said child COULD get hands on it and create potential mayhem ..... who is responsible? I would be, even if several states away. Simply because I should have taken pains to not be negligent with my safety proceedures etc.

    Anyways ... many cases are open to interpretation ...... and I wasn't trying to get into a pi$$ing match!! Sorry if it seemed so. Just that overall it has struck me over many years how the majority of firearms accidents (incidents?) ... did track back to someone's negligence/carelessness .. call it what you will.

    The other example given here that was probably a classic accident, per se ... was the scenario where a guy is shooting and some object outa nowhere hits him and he fires involuntarily ... now that would be true accident because cause totally unforeseen probably.
     
  17. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    P95Carry, yeah, that's just it.

    The elements of an AD or ND are that a gun goes off, and somebody's there with the gun. If it was foreseeable, it's negligent, thus an ND. If it wasn't foreseeble, it's an AD.

    If there's nobody in the area or vicinity of the gun, like maybe a squirrel getting in through the sunroof of your SUV where you locked up your loaded and ready to fire guns and it manages to fire one while grubbing around for something to eat, I wouldn't classify that as either an AD or ND simply because I think the terms should apply to a human being DIRECTLY involved.

    Anyway, I believe that an overwhelming percentage of inadvertent discharges of firearms are NDs, and the relatively few ADs there are involve negligence by somebody else.

    This hasn't been any kind of pi$$ing contest. It's been an informative discussion, and I've sorted a few things out as a result.
     
  18. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    hahahaha! :D :D :D That made my day!
     
  19. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    One of the funniest and best animal documentaries I've seen was one a few years ago where some Brits filmed squirrels figuring out ways to get food put out in bird feeders. No matter what elaborate measures the humans took so the birds could get the food but the squirrels couldn't were defeated by the squirrels.
     
  20. Triad

    Triad Member

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    Balckhawk, I saw that too. You really have to respect the little critters, don't you? Back on topic, I think you nailed it.
     
  21. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    PSSsniper says it all.
     
  22. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    By pssniper's definition, there really are no 'accidents' with guns. Generally, an 'accident' is when there is a discharge without some form of direct human handling of the arm that results in an unintentional discharge, such as by having a finger on the trigger when it happens or some other mishandling of a loaded firearm. This is negligence by the operator. If there is a mechanical problem that results in the discharge, it is considered 'accidental' in regard to the operator, but such really are not 'accidents.'

    That being said, mechanical failures that result in the unintentional discharge of the arm are also going to be human-related in some form. For example, the Rem 700 rifle has been plagued by unintentional discharges while trying to remove live rounds from the chamber. This apparently is a design flaw. As such, it is a human-caused problem. Metal may fail under circumstances where it should not and result in a discharge. That failure of the metal would be due to improper forging or casting and then a failure to identify the problem metal in quality control checks. Other types of malfunctions may be due to improper maintenance or modification that result in a discharge.

    It is this sort of reasoning that is applied to airliner crashes. Design flaws, improper maintenance, or pilot error all end up being tied to some form of human cause. In real life, there are few such 'accidents' in the grand scheme.
     
  23. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    99% of the time, negligence is involved.
     
  24. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Legal definition of "negligence": NEGLIGENCE - The failure to use reasonable care. The doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do, or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do under like circumstances. A departure from what an ordinary reasonable member of the community would do in the same community.

    The only time it has ever happened to me I cleared the gun. Another person clearly saw me clear it and check it. When I squeezed the trigger it fired. Somehow a rnd that I had no idea was in the chamber stayed there even after racking the slide, locking it, looking in, with the muzzle up. To this day I'm not certain how it could have happened but I can't see it fitting "negligence". Short of sticking my finger in there I'm not certain what else I could have done. OTOH I don't think "accident" applies very well, either.
     
  25. mjustice

    mjustice Member

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    I agree with PSSSniper and Dave. You generally cannot call it negligent unless there is some "human" involvement.

    MJ
     
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