Firearms thread, from Heather story arc

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Firearms thread, from Heather story arc

Postby kinako mochi on Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:12 pm

In order to keep the issue from going too far off-topic at the Square, I felt, especially after my own posts, to refer to this one when talking about firearms and personal freedoms and counterpoint. This is a much more appropriate place for them. If I have offended anyone with my pointedness, I apologize and cede you the floor. :)

I suppose this can contain any of a dozen points--about females and guns, the right to carry vs. restriction of carry, when to draw, perceptions about guns and the people who like/dislike them, etc. Have at it! :D
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Postby EdSaari on Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:24 am

One major source of infuriation for me are distorted statistics. The literature of the Anti-Gun crowd is loaded with them...

An example "There are over 4000 Gun Shows in the United States every year". Doing the math, 4000 / 50 States = 80. Eighty Gun Shows in every sate every year, or 6.666 Shows in every State, every month ... slightly more than one/ week. Where the hell ARE all of these - I counted four in ALL of New England last year. Is some State, somewhere, holding wall-to-wall Gun Shows?

Another example: In Great Britain there has been no perceptable rise in "Home Invasions" after the massive gun restrictions went into place". True, on the face of it ... BUT!!! In Britain, breaking into an occupied home is not CALLED a "Home Invasion"; the title for this is "Hot Burglary" - The same thing. The frequency of "Hot Burglaries" HAS risen significantly.
A survey was once taken in the United States of those imprisoned for burglary. The question was: "What is the one thing that you fear most - and would deter you most from burglarizing a home?"... the answer was overwhelming - "That the home was occupied, and someone in there had access to a firearm."

Doesn't anyone remember "Clockwork Orange"?

"Glacier" talked, rather vaguely, about some - supposedly? - disturbing statistics. My reaction was -- "More beef-by-product from the Committee to Ban Handguns".

I'm still waiting for his reply.

I could, and WILL, go on later. Right now, breakfast awaits.
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Postby kinako mochi on Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:02 am

My major issue with the anti-gun lobby is they often fail to take into account the fact that a firearm is only a tool, and that human ignorance, greed and folly will inevitably lead to the statistics upon which their arguments are supported.

Meganeguard's account of her experience with firearms is tragic, and I can think of no other way I personally would feel about firearms after something like that, human nature being what it is. But the truth of the matter is, the enraged boyfriend pulled the trigger, the shotgun was a mere tool for terrorism. Any animosity should be directed at the boyfriend, not in the fact that he had the legal right, if any, to wield a firearm. So if in fact he was properly trained and certified, and simply allowed his emotions to overrule his sense of lawfulness, then it is the training and certification that must be changed, not the right to own one. I have a feeling in the boyfriend's case, one or more of those conditions were probably not in place.

One has to remember that as lofty as people's ideals can be (and I feel I can comment freely on that, as I am Buddhist), the simple fact is, humans have not evolved past the ability to settle disputes without deadly force to back them up. The reason the anti-gun lobby exists at all is due to the blood and sacrifice of countless men and women who felt that America was worth fighting and winning for, with firearms. I'm not condoning war, but unfortunately war is still the ultimate conflict solver in this day and age, and until someone can invent something that can protect me and mine from the advances of the deluded and spiritually decayed who feel that harming others for their own gain is their purpose in life, I'll gladly exercise, and fight for, the right to responsibly and prudently use a firearm to defend myself. It to me, is a celebration of the struggle of the fallen, until such a time as it becomes unnecessary, whenever that will be. :)
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Postby pablo on Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:10 am

Thanks for moving this topic over here. :D And also thanks for starting it off with calm commentary.
I myself completely understand that fear can be instilled in anyone due to overwhelming situations, and in NO way do my comments belittle that fact. I bring this up as something to think about, not to try in anyway to change anyone.
What if that guy that shot your friend in the leg with the shot gun had decided to use a car, and drive it at full speed through the front door?
I remember hearing instances of people actually using their cars as "weapons" but I never hear a call for restrictions on car ownership past what there already is (test of driving competency, valid insurance, drivers license). Nor do I hear people afraid of driving or owning their own car because a familly member was hurt or kille by a car, either by their own hand or someone else's. If someone steals a car and runs over someone, no one blames the owner of the car (much the way people would if a criminal stole someone's gun and then hurt someone). If it worked the same way for cars, leagal action would be taken to make cars harder to steal or that all cars would have to be locked up in special garages or harder to hot wire, whatever.
Please remember I'm not trying to make light of the situation but guns are such an easy target, they're loud and the media and Hollywood have have really had them labled as the villians for a long time, overlooking any good they have done.
My whole point is if we were to outlaw every possible thing that could be used as a weapon (think of the opening to Stanley Kubrick's 2001) we would be left with a smooth planet.
Please keep this thread flame proof and both side to the discussion are welcome, just back up what you have to say with facts. Please don't just regurgitate something you've "heard" before without checking it out yourself. Thanks
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Postby Meganeguard on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:15 am

As I stated before I am scared of guns, sorry to keep repeating that, but I did not once mention a thing about gun control. I am fine with people having guns, but I just don't like them around me.
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Postby EdSaari on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:16 am

You make a very good point about information, Pablo. The most accessible source I have is the American Riflemen, published by the NRA ...and I would never attempt to characterize that magazine as being "unbiased." By thier very nature they "lean"; but from checking where I can ... the Department of Justice web site is a major "validation place", along with the UNs World Health Organization, for international Stats, - they are less likely, by far, to bend things beyond recognition.

One "device" I use in teaching NRA classes (BTW-In this State, Massachusetts, it is ILLEGAL to claim to be an Instructor without certification from the State Police - which I have), is to take a pistol. lay it on the bench in front of me and shout, "Look out!! The little legs might come out of the grip and this thing might decide to point itself at someone.." Then, "Ridiculous isn't it! This pistol is a machine; it has no personality, no soul,. It is incapable of making a decision of any kind - either "good" or "evil". It will lie there forever unless someone, a human being, does something with it. It is not to be feared by itself, and it has been enginered and tested to be one of the safest machines we have. It CAN be used improperly, as can a chain saw, or motor vehicle."

More later - I've GOT to get to my photography!
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Postby Meganeguard on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:19 am

One thing though: Cars are not created to kill people. Aren't guns created for the purpose of killing? Hunting rifles are intended to kill animals and pistols are, i assume, used for protection and that protection involves the threat of shooting or killing someone else.
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Postby pablo on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:33 am

Meganeguard wrote:As I stated before I am scared of guns, sorry to keep repeating that, but I did not once mention a thing about gun control. I am fine with people having guns, but I just don't like them around me.


Meganeguard wrote:One thing though: Cars are not created to kill people. Aren't guns created for the purpose of killing? Hunting rifles are intended to kill animals and pistols are, i assume, used for protection and that protection involves the threat of shooting or killing someone else.


I do appologize if it came across that I thought you were for bans or whatnot, that was not my intention. :)
No, cars were not designed to kill people, and by their nature, guns are sometimes used to kill people, but both are nothing more than types of machines. Nothing more.
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Postby EdSaari on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:39 am

Meganeguard wrote:As I stated before I am scared of guns, sorry to keep repeating that, but I did not once mention a thing about gun control. I am fine with people having guns, but I just don't like them around me.


Meganguard ... I can CERTAINLY understand that fear. I've seen a LOT of it. It is not uncommon, and the media and our society seem to do al they can to propogate that fear.

I can only point out that horrible crimes are committed with axes, machetes (I hear machetes are now the violent crime weaon of choice in Australia) ... and there is no "transfer of evil status" to those. We fear, and SHOULD fear those who use them for evil ends, but they are still inanimate and harmless BY THEMSELVES.

Funny .. there is one sport that employs weapons designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill human beings - not to hunt animals - they are useless for that. To participate, simulate causing great physical damage or death to the opponent - and yet ...FENCING is perfectly fine. Putting holes in a piece of paper - a black circle surrounded by concentric rings - is somehow ... bad..???

BTW .. editing after reading back ... Not all firearms are created for killing. There is the sport call Target Shooting, and some firearms are narrowly designed for just that. I have an International Target Rifle - an Anschutz model 1813. It is a single shot .22 long rilfle, with a heavy 28" Bull Barrel, an adjustable cheek piece and hook-type buttplate and palm rest. It weighs 18 pounds. I suppose I could use it for hunting... but it is not suited fo that, nor, considering the cost and delicacy, do I want to knock it about in the field.
Last edited by EdSaari on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pablo on Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:49 am

Yes, fencing is looked upon as a "noble" sport...
Has anyone seen the end of Rob Roy?
Even if fencing does not now draw blood, no one seems to have a problem with it's implication. :-?
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Postby NR Pax on Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:12 am

I would like to extend my compliments on how civilized this discussion has remained. I was bracing for the worst when I saw replies here.

As I had mentioned in the main forum, I have an extreme problem with the claim that a criminal will take a gun away from a woman if she brandishes it for self defense. Sadly, I have had a female friend try to tell me that and she had heard it from a self-defense instructor.
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Postby kinako mochi on Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:19 pm

To respond to your post, NR, I suppose any devil's advocate stance in defense of the chauvinistic defense instructor is probably not going to be popular, but taken as a whole, the average male population will have superior upper body strength compared to an average female, so it will take less skill and training for a male to disarm a female if they are not matched in ability, and if there was any justification for that instructor's blunt and graceless claim, that's probably it. That's not at all to say the potential for a female to train diligently to avoid this natural, physiological disparity doesn't exist. I've seen some very lethal females in both the martial arts and military environments
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Postby NR Pax on Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:37 pm

While it is true that the average man has more upper body strength than the average woman, that isn't going to do any good if she shoots him. And putting your hand on the gun while it is facing you has a lot of potential to end badly for the attacker.

The statement annoys me for three reasons. First, it assumes that women are helpless and unable to protect themselves. And I have also met women while studying martial arts, at the pistol range and in the Corps that are nowhere near that fragile.

Second, there is not one single documented case of a woman brandishing a firearm and having it taken away and used against her by an attacker. A talk show host named Darrell Mulroy once offered $10,000 for one documented case and that money was never collected.

And to borrow from the book The Probabilty Broach, "no 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out."

Finally, I seriously doubt that the average mugger is going to choose to take a gun away rather than get out of the line of fire. They may be low on the intelligence scale but I give them credit for having that much common sense.

The way I see it, any self-defense instructor who insults his students that way does not deserve to teach self-defense.
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Postby kinako mochi on Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:41 pm

Meganeguard wrote:One thing though: Cars are not created to kill people. Aren't guns created for the purpose of killing? Hunting rifles are intended to kill animals and pistols are, i assume, used for protection and that protection involves the threat of shooting or killing someone else.


I agree with the logic behind this, but the truth is, there are thousands of people who die each year using an automobile in the purpose for which it was designed. Because the benefits of owning and operating a car within proper training and certification outweigh these detriments, people go out and risk being injured or killed to have access to the freedoms a car gives us.

If a person is well-trained, a firearm can be non-lethal yet still incapacitate an assailant to the point where he aborts engaging you or is no longer a threat to you. If we are to use the same standards for cars as guns, then the benefits of not being raped or robbed or killed are worth the chance that the force you use may be lethal to the assailant, or yourself. Therefore I am taking responsibility to train myself and to properly exercise my right to use one in self-defense to enjoy the freedom of the security it gives me against opportunist criminals.

A well-trained operator will make more likely that a car or firearm is used for its intended purpose. Even so, there is always the possibility that using one even with prudence may result in your death, or the death of a complete stranger, or your loved ones. It's a matter of perspective, and personal responsibility to society. :)
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Postby kinako mochi on Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:56 pm

NR Pax wrote:The way I see it, any self-defense instructor who insults his students that way does not deserve to teach self-defense.


I agree. In this we see things similarly that females do stand a chance against physically stronger male attackers, and I wholeheartedly support women who show criminals what's up. :D

While I don't doubt the veracity of the statistics, as I have no way of disproving the claims, intuitively I feel if a female gets disarmed while using a handgun by a male attacker, I'm sure the likelihood that it will get reported is no better than if a female assailant disarms a male, any more than rapes get accurately reported. Not negating the quoted stats, but simply food for thought.

Also, think about why females become victimized in the first place
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Postby EdSaari on Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:15 pm

Make *no* mistake about it ... there is one overiding concern if you are confronted with a firearm: Protect yourself!! The odds of disarming an adversary are *very* poor - and there is only one criteria where it might be justified - you have NO other alterantive.

There is one special circumstance - no one should EVER obey the instruction to "get into a motor vehicle"!! NEVER, ever ... It is far better to risk being shot then and there. The best course of action would be to SCREAM, turn and run! The assailant is much less likely to shoot just to stop someone, and with enough noise, there will be no assurance that a scream will NOT be heard with some sort of response.

Actually that is far down the road. The real way to protect one self is to avoid getting into that situation in the first place. it is amazing how some single women will continue to walk on the side of the street they have intitailly chosen, instead of modifying their path by crossing the street, to aviod an unruly drunk.

One thing I have real trouble understanding is the heavy restrictions we have in this State on carrying Mace. It is an effective, smple, non-lethal weapon... and very effective in buying a few precious seconds of time to enable the escape from an attacker. I think it should be ISSUED to each and every female College Student ... along with necessary training in its use. Instead, it requires mountains of paperwork, the applicant must give up their right to privacy, there must be a background check, fingerprinting, references from upstanding citizens... all the usual for a License to Carry Firearms.

I am SICK of so called "tough laws". It is time for intellegent ones..... bu that might be too much to ask.
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Postby Guairdean on Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:33 pm

I've only had to use a firearm in self defense one time. Fortunately, I didn't have to fire it. It's presence was enough. I was filling up my car at a local gas station (after hours using a credit card) when two men decided that I should fork over some cash. One circled to one side, the other circled to the other side. The larger of the two demanded money and indicated that I would be wise to hand it over quickly. My hands were in my jacket pockets. I pulled the pistol out far enough for the thief on my right to see it clearly. He swore loudly and started back to his car. His friend looked confused, but went with his friend. He picked up his pace when he saw why his friend was leaving. The one that had been on my right shouted "You turns coming" followed by more swearing as they got in the car and drove off. I gave their license plate and a description of their car to the police, but nothing ever came of it. They were probably passing through. Fortunately, I had the means to defend myself. I've often wondered just how far the robbery would have gone.
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Postby kinako mochi on Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:37 pm

The advantage a pistol, or any firearm, ultimately gives you is the ability to stop an assailant/enemy force at a distance, and in trained and capable hands, it doesn't matter if you are male or female, your potential lethality is a considerable deterrent.

If Guairdean were not armed, those punks would have rolled him, no doubt about it, doubly so if they were desperate enough from being strung out. Even the simplest criminal knows that even a poor marksman can very likely kill him if he were to advance. Nowadays career criminals train as well, so it's best not to rely on the sight of the weapon alone, as the element knows people without diligent training tend to freeze up in the moment of truth. The best insurance for a positive outcome from an encounter such as Guairdean's, is to be trained, focused, armed, and ready. :)
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Postby EdSaari on Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:17 am

One note of warning: Although there is *much* good information here - and a lot written towards re-arraging the attitudes towards firearms and self defense, this is in NO way to be considered as a substitue for a reputable program of instruction in self defense. *Some* local Police Departments will provide courses for the general public, but most are under the burden of being undermanned and underfunded. ... therefore the National Rifle Association, despite the "demon branding" provides them - often in concert with the local Police. I have all the materials, and LOT of the content deals not with firearms, but in strategies to avoid their use.
The information in Personal Protection has been developed from YEARS of experience and cases, and I think the NRA course is the best available.

An example ... "Prepare - Plant bushes with "LARGE* thorns around the entryway to your home. A thug is much less likely to choose that location as a place of concealment."
And - "When walking down the street, walk as close to the curb as possible - that will increase the amount of time necessary for a thug to dart out from a doorway and pull you inside, and lessen the chance that they will even try. "

The decision to use a firearm in self defense is a grave and terrible one... and not to be taken lightly. No matter how justified and legal, it has a massively adverse psychological effect on everyone, even Police Officers.
The only thing I can think of that is worse is YOU becoming the subject of the gory photographs taken at a crime scene.
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Postby kinako mochi on Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:37 am

Ed's made a good point
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Postby EdSaari on Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:36 am

**WELL Said** Kinako... Couldn't have written it better myself.
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Postby luchog on Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:25 am

kinako mochi wrote:If a person is well-trained, a firearm can be non-lethal yet still incapacitate an assailant to the point where he aborts engaging you or is no longer a threat to you.


I don't have links handy, but according to US Government statistics, firearms are used approximately 2,500,000 times every year to defend their owners against threats of violent crime, without a single shot being fired. 2.5 million times a year, simply having a firearm present and visible (with a clear intent by the holder to use it in self-defense) is enough to prevent a violent crime. In cases were firearms are involved in self defense, they are fired less than 1% of the time.

Oh, and here's an interesting one, two-thirds of all firearm-caused deaths are from criminals killing other criminals. In other words, gang violence. Which are the direct result of drug laws, since the vast majority of gang violence is fighting over distribution turf. Eliminated drug-related gang violence, and the US violent crime rate is not significantly different from most other industrialized nations. Violent crime rates are on the rise in several European nations, most notably England; again, linked to the drug trade.

Here's a link with some interesting numbers, with citations: Quick Gun Facts
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Postby Guairdean on Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:15 pm

A note on self defense. Many people can't carry a weapon (gun, knife, pepper spray, etc.) for self defense. This is either due to local laws, company policy, or misconceptions about what should be done in a bad situation. The first thing to do is to be aware of your situation. Stand erect, look around, and give the impression that you are in command. Keep your dominant hand in either your purse or pocket. This will give the impression that you have a weapon. Appearing to be a little mouse scurrying in fear will guarantee that you're on top of the "hit list". Acting like you're ready, willing, and able to defend yourself will give the bad guys a reason to skip you and wait for the next mouse to come along. If you can't carry a conventional weapon, carry something unconventional. Don't rely on your car keys in your fist with the keys sticking out of your fingers. It doesn't work. First you have to get within arms reach, and all the bad guy has to do is grab your hand (you might do some damage, but not a lot) and squeeze the keys. Even if you get in a couple of good hits, those keys are too short to do more than scratch. The best bet is to get a can of oven cleaner and put it in your purse. Be aware of your situation (I know, I said that already, it's worth repeating) and take the spray out (take the top off and use a couple of strips of tape to keep it loosely in place) if a stranger starts in your direction. Loudly say "STOP" before they get too close. If they don't stop, point the can at them and say "STOP" again. If they don't stop, start spraying. Spray from the hip, don't hold at arms length in front of you. Anyone faced with a can of caustic spray that doesn't stop is crazy (or worse) and intends to do you harm. If you want to test this, get a can of silly string and ask a friend for help. Ask them to try and take the can before you can spray them. A little practice can save your life. Remember, a woman lying on the ground, raped, and strangled with her own pantyhose is not morally superior to the woman who's standing there explaining to the police why her attacker is dead.
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Postby EdSaari on Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:00 am

luchog wrote:Oh, and here's an interesting one, two-thirds of all firearm-caused deaths are from criminals killing other criminals. In other words, gang violence. Which are the direct result of drug laws, since the vast majority of gang violence is fighting over distribution turf. Eliminated drug-related gang violence, and the US violent crime rate is not significantly different from most other industrialized nations. Violent crime rates are on the rise in several European nations, most notably England; again, linked to the drug trade.
Here's a link with some interesting numbers, with citations: Quick Gun Facts


Thanks for the link, Luchog. It is good to see that they support their information with references to their sources. I only wish they were a little "calmer" and less theatrical in their presentation.

One has to be extremely careful with statistics. In a previous life I was a Quality Control Engineer and one of the few (!?!) extensively involved with statistics. Be CAREFUL about the exact subject. An example... quite a few years ago, a friend and I were visiting a Fish and Wildlife "Deer Checkout Station", during Deer Season, when he got out of the vehicle and proceeded to have his hand (entire hand!) inside the door of the vehicle as he slammed it shut. Not pretty.. quite a bit of blood. We went inside, seeking aid.
The Conservaion Officers (Don't call them "Game Wardens") broke out the fist aid kit and dressed the wound. He recoverd with no problems. That incident was - HAD TO BE - reported as a "Hunting Accident" -- affecting the statistics. It had NOTHING to do with safe hunting or safe firearms handling - only safe door closing practices.
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Postby NR Pax on Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:28 am

EdSaari wrote:Thanks for the link, Luchog. It is good to see that they support their information with references to their sources. I only wish they were a little "calmer" and less theatrical in their presentation.


Then may I suggest this site? Definitely a lot more calmer and he cites his statements very well.
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