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Know your Target, and What's Beyond

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by kingpin008, Sep 5, 2009.

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  1. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    Gentleman in PA fails to heed one of the cardinal rules, in quite spectacular fashion.


    Pa. man fires cannon, hits neighbor's house

    UNIONTOWN, Pa.
    – A Pennsylvania history buff who recreates firearms from old wars accidentally fired a 2-pound cannonball through the wall of his neighbor's home. William Maser, 54, fired a cannonball Wednesday evening outside his home in Georges Township that ricocheted and hit a house 400 yards away. The cannonball, about two inches in diameter, smashed through a window and a wall before landing in a closet. Authorities said nobody was hurt.

    State police charged Maser with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

    No one answered the phone Friday at Maser's home. He told WPXI-TV recreating 19th century cannons is a longtime hobby. He said he is sorry and he will stop shooting them on his property, about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090905/ap_on_fe_st/us_odd_cannonball_through_house/print
    -------------------------------------------------

    Mr. Maser is damn lucky he didn't kill anyone. This just goes to show, that the four rules still applies, even though you may not be dealing with a plain old rifle, shotgun, or pistol. Be careful out there, folks.
     
  2. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    u,mmmmmm.......WOW just wow
     
  3. Mikhail Weiss

    Mikhail Weiss Member

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    Dang-o, man. At least no one was hurt. Had a terrible violation of this rule a few years back here in Oklahoma when a local law enforcement guy got a call to remove a snake from a woman's birdhouse. The man fired his .40 caliber service pistol upward at the snake in the birdhouse and that shot traveled to parts unseen, struck a five-year-old kid fishing with his grandfather on the banks of a nearby pond. Unfortunately, the child died and all of the survivors involved have to live with it.
     
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Reckless endangerment, yes. But I don't agree with criminal mischief (implies that he inteded to damage the house) or disorderly conduct.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. CTSigLover

    CTSigLover Member

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    In PA, reckless or even negligent conduct can support a charge of criminal mischief... and recklessness can support a charge of disorderly conduct... sounds like the charges are right on to me.

    Is firing a cannon under these circumstances negligent or reckless... who can say... that's why we have defense attorneys...

    18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3304:
    § 3304. Criminal mischief.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of criminal
    mischief if he:
    (1) damages tangible property of another intentionally,
    recklessly, or by negligence in the employment of fire,
    explosives, or other dangerous means listed in section
    3302(a) of this title (relating to causing or risking
    catastrophe);
    (2) intentionally or recklessly tampers with tangible
    property of another so as to endanger person or property;
    (3) intentionally or recklessly causes another to suffer
    pecuniary loss by deception or threat;
    (4) intentionally defaces or otherwise damages tangible
    public property or tangible property of another with graffiti
    by use of any aerosol spray-paint can, broad-tipped indelible
    marker or similar marking device;
    (5) intentionally damages real or personal property of
    another; or
    (6) intentionally defaces personal, private or public
    property by discharging a paintball gun or paintball marker
    at that property.

    § 5503. Disorderly conduct.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of disorderly
    conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance
    or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
    (1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or
    tumultuous behavior;
    (2) makes unreasonable noise;
    (3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture;
    or
    (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive
    condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of
    the actor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  6. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Very true. It just annoys me when the charges don't accurately reflect the act. Mischievious is not a synonym for careless or reckless (except when legislators decide so, appearently).

    As for my mispelling reckless........what can I say, wasn't even halfway through my first cup of coffee. ;)
     
  7. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    The charges sound right to me. If that were my house, I'd want to see harsher charges. I'm not a fan of history buffs who use real ammo without knowing what the hell they're doing.

    This situation is a prototypical case of negligence, not an accident.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  8. clone

    clone Member

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    Reckless endangerment is all that is needed in my opinion. I see no reason to "stick it to him" over an accident were no one was hurt. If he was intending to damage the house then yes the other charges would be warranted. I personally think some people have gone mad with litigation power. Just my opinion.

    If it was my house I would expect him to repair my house back to normal though.
     
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Is firing a cannon under these curcumstances negligent or reckless... who can say... that's why we have defense attorneys...


    I'd say it is. Come on, the hit someone's house with a cannonball! So much for those who say the 2nd Amendment means we should be able to all have howitzers. What would have been the results if it was a 105 HE round?
     
  10. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    .................................
     
  11. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    Wonder if anyone was in the house that got hit. That's a heck of a door knocker. If the shot was 2 inches, would that be about a 6 pounder? Wasn't a 12 pounder about 3 inches? Any antique cannon buffs out there?
     
  12. CTSigLover

    CTSigLover Member

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    We need more facts about the ricochet... could be it was a fluke 1 in a million thing that a reasonable person could not anticipate, then there is no negligence or recklessness. Regardless of the criminal outcome, there is always the civil tort doctrine of ultra hazardous activity... resulting in strict liability... if I were the DA I would argue that firing a cannon 400 yards from a neighbors house was such an activity, if I were the defense I would argue that due to the ricochet the neighbor was an unforeseeable plaintiff, and on the criminal side that the firer lacked the requisite mental state for either recklessness or negligence... although that may be hard to sell to a jury. Trespass to chattels could also work depending on the actors mental state.

    I would just like to see the cannon owner try to explain this to his insurance company!

    Ultimately it will be up to a jury whether his actions were intentional, reckless, negligent, or if this was simply an accident.
     
  13. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    A 2" lead ball should weigh about 2lbs, depending on the alloy.
     
  14. mustang_steve

    mustang_steve Member

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    ....I can't come up with anything to say other than that guy needed his head checked a long time ago. Who the heck fires cannons towards other people's houses? Well, in the last century or so....jeez.

    ...it's a sad day when safety first is treated like safety second.
     
  15. TxState101

    TxState101 Member

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    I suspect war would've been declared and ended that same round.

    t mustang steve: ricochet

    I'm not defending him, but to imply he deliberately shot at the house after it was claimed to be a ricochet is just ignorant.
     
  16. mustang_steve

    mustang_steve Member

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    Sorry about that...for some reason the bit about the ricochet didn't ding in my head.

    I wonder what he was shooting at. Perhaps next time he should just try to hit a watermelon.
     
  17. TxState101

    TxState101 Member

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    Don't worry about it, I understand we see the dumb things that go on and get fired up about it, and sometimes that doesn't help our statements or responses!

    I don't enjoy callin' folks ignorant based off something as little as that.
     
  18. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    The term "ricochet" sounds like a word that came out of the mouth of the shooter or his defense attorney. I don't give that description much weight. I am interested to know what really happened. A competent DA should be able to catch this moron in a lie. Nobody should be firing a real cannon with real ammo if they are a quarter mile from any home in any direction. Take yourself and your artillery, and go 10 miles into the boondocks somewhere. Just go way the f' over there, dude. I need you to be so far away from my home that I don't care where that thing is pointing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  19. Lawnman380

    Lawnman380 Member

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    Incommmmmmming............
     
  20. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    I know of some guys who used pop cans full of cement for projectiles in a cannon and had no problems untill one of the cans had cement that left a bubble in the bottom of the can. When they shot the thing off it mushroomed the bottom enough to fill the bore and the can flew almost twice as far as the other cans did. Landed in a feed lot of cows. They checked every can after that.
     
  21. PandaBearBG

    PandaBearBG Member

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    Maybe he should of "recreated" a controlled firing range too instead of "out yonder in the pasture..."
     
  22. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Seriously, who hasn't had a negligent discharge in their 2 lb cannon.......ok then-
     
  23. 66912

    66912 Member

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    My father in law fires his with paper loads. All for the effect really. He see's no need for the cannonballs anymore (Which he manufactures himself), He say's that all of the stumps are gone now and he has nothing left to shoot at. LOL.
     
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