Stray bullet kills English astrophysicist visiting Atlanta

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Double Retired
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23 Jan 2022, 11:33 am

Yahoo!, attributed to AP: "Stray bullet kills English astrophysicist visiting Atlanta"


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23 Jan 2022, 8:45 pm

Go on a trip only to get killed. Great travel promotion for not just Atlanta, but the whole US.


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23 Jan 2022, 8:50 pm

And yet Americans have no intention of doing anything to try and curb their gun violence issue...



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24 Jan 2022, 5:02 am

Heartbreaking.

Sorry, I know all the arguments, but few other weapons go through walls and kill someone randomly. This incident falls firmly into a "guns are a problem" column.


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24 Jan 2022, 5:40 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
This incident falls firmly into a "guns are a problem" column.


I would say it goes more into the "gunfights are a problem" column, as this sort of thing seems rather confined to a certain subset of city and neighborhood, and not the kind with a lot of legal gun ownership.


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24 Jan 2022, 5:44 am

Life is tragic and absurd sometimes.



Also, reminded and reinforced a past idea of mine. Note to self: wear a Kevlar vest, when traveling in major American cities.Or major cities in general. That fine line between paranoia, and not being a statistic.


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DW_a_mom
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24 Jan 2022, 6:54 am

Dox47 wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
This incident falls firmly into a "guns are a problem" column.


I would say it goes more into the "gunfights are a problem" column, as this sort of thing seems rather confined to a certain subset of city and neighborhood, and not the kind with a lot of legal gun ownership.


Can't have gun fight with a gun. And a knife fight has less stray bullets.

But ... I hope you understood the inference from my use of "column," which means there are other columns and factors, so the factor alone isn't decisive.

I can't stand stray bullet deaths. It's so ... unnecessary. There have to be so many things that could be done to mitigate the issue.


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24 Jan 2022, 8:45 am

Oh those pesky stray bullets, always out to get someone. Gotta wonder what kind soul squeezed off that fatal round from that evil gun. /sarcasm


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24 Jan 2022, 9:06 am

1. It's a fact that USA is overrun with Killing devices.
2. I believe people have right to carry though. For self defense against 1.


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24 Jan 2022, 7:57 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
I can't stand stray bullet deaths. It's so ... unnecessary. There have to be so many things that could be done to mitigate the issue.


I get that, but I still consider it a form of special pleading, treating this particular tragedy as different than other random accidents and fatal acts of negligence or recklessness due to politics. You're response isn't "we need to do something about this out of control gang violence", it's "we need to do something about guns", because you don't like guns, and this incident gives you an angle to attack something you already don't like, even though doing something about the gang violence is the thing that is more likely to save more lives, including this unfortunate one.

Let me give you a few hypotheticals to give you a feeling for what I mean when I say special pleading.

Situation one is a parent comes home and while parking the car, forgets to set the brake, and it later rolls down the driveway and kills a neighborhood kid.

Situation two is a parent who's cooking dinner and absentmindedly leaves a hot pot on the edge of the stove, where their child then pulls it down on themself and is scalded to death.

Situation three is a parent keeps a pistol in her purse, sets it down for a moment, and their child grabs it and shoots themself or a neighborhood kid.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Do I need to explain how differently situation three will be covered by the media, will potentially cause charges to be filed against the parent, will be used to call for new and more restrictive laws, etc, despite having the same degree of culpable negligence and tragic outcome as the first two scenarios? Please don't insult my intelligence with some variation of "but guns are designed to kill", it's irrelevant, they're simply another potentially dangerous object in a world full of danger, but we treat them as some special case because of politics.

If this particular death was caused by a high speed chase resulting in a crash rather than a stray bullet, would the victim be any less dead, and would you be sighing and saying we need to do something about cars?


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DW_a_mom
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26 Jan 2022, 4:13 am

Dox47 wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
I can't stand stray bullet deaths. It's so ... unnecessary. There have to be so many things that could be done to mitigate the issue.


I get that, but I still consider it a form of special pleading, treating this particular tragedy as different than other random accidents and fatal acts of negligence or recklessness due to politics. You're response isn't "we need to do something about this out of control gang violence", it's "we need to do something about guns", because you don't like guns, and this incident gives you an angle to attack something you already don't like, even though doing something about the gang violence is the thing that is more likely to save more lives, including this unfortunate one.

Let me give you a few hypotheticals to give you a feeling for what I mean when I say special pleading.

Situation one is a parent comes home and while parking the car, forgets to set the brake, and it later rolls down the driveway and kills a neighborhood kid.

Situation two is a parent who's cooking dinner and absentmindedly leaves a hot pot on the edge of the stove, where their child then pulls it down on themself and is scalded to death.

Situation three is a parent keeps a pistol in her purse, sets it down for a moment, and their child grabs it and shoots themself or a neighborhood kid.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Do I need to explain how differently situation three will be covered by the media, will potentially cause charges to be filed against the parent, will be used to call for new and more restrictive laws, etc, despite having the same degree of culpable negligence and tragic outcome as the first two scenarios? Please don't insult my intelligence with some variation of "but guns are designed to kill", it's irrelevant, they're simply another potentially dangerous object in a world full of danger, but we treat them as some special case because of politics.

If this particular death was caused by a high speed chase resulting in a crash rather than a stray bullet, would the victim be any less dead, and would you be sighing and saying we need to do something about cars?


I never yelled gun control; you read something I didn’t write into my words.

We have taken dozens and dozens of steps to reduce accidental fatalities from cars, from using stoves near small children, from brake failures, etc. Normally, we see a safety problem, and consider what we can do to solve it without eliminating all use of a product. When a reasonable solution is found, manufacturers are asked or required to incorporate it. When we are talking about anything BUT guns, we’re quick to ask, hm, how do we make it safer?

It’s only with guns that such discussions are cut off at the knees.

Guns don’t only get special scrutiny. They also get special privilege.

We have technology that could limit the damage from guns but we don’t require manufacturers use it.

As I said, my argument is a mark in a column. And it is a mark that I believe could be mitigated without yelling gun control. Shouldn’t gun right advocates be willing to improve gun safety in the ways we would any other product? The reason they aren’t is purely political, is my guess: worried it would be a foot in the door. But I see that as a mark against the movement. The will should be there.


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26 Jan 2022, 4:53 am

DW_a_mom wrote:

I never yelled gun control; you read something I didn’t write into my words.


How else am I supposed to read "guns are a problem"?

DW_a_mom wrote:
We have taken dozens and dozens of steps to reduce accidental fatalities from cars, from using stoves near small children, from brake failures, etc. Normally, we see a safety problem, and consider what we can do to solve it without eliminating all use of a product. When a reasonable solution is found, manufacturers are asked or required to incorporate it. When we are talking about anything BUT guns, we’re quick to ask, hm, how do we make it safer?


What design changes would prevent criminals from shooting at each other and hitting bystanders? Cars can be designed with reminders to set the brakes, stoves can have lips built into the edges, but there isn't really a technical fix for a gun that doesn't also fatally compromise its core function as a weapon that might need to be instantly brought into action, or that prevents misuse that can cause harm to others.

All that is beside my point though, which is that we treat gun accidents, and even negligence, differently than we do other similar acts, the parent whose teen snags their unsecured car keys and goes on a fatal joyride faces nowhere near the judgement, both moral and legal, that the same parent would over an unsecured gun leading to tragedy.

DW_a_mom wrote:
It’s only with guns that such discussions are cut off at the knees.

Guns don’t only get special scrutiny. They also get special privilege.


That's the thing with enumerated constitutional rights, they do get different treatment legally speaking, or at least they're supposed to.

DW_a_mom wrote:
We have technology that could limit the damage from guns but we don’t require manufacturers use it.


Such as what? Smart gun technology that doesn't work and adds price and complexity to a tool that needs to function every time as someone's life may literally depend upon it? I've got guns from the 1950s that work as well as the day they rolled off the assembly line, and I expect them to continue to function that well past 2050 because they're simple and well made, no electronics to fail, no batteries to run out, no mechanical interlock to to engage under the vibrations from recoil and lock up the gun at exactly the wrong time, so on and so forth.

DW_a_mom wrote:
As I said, my argument is a mark in a column. And it is a mark that I believe could be mitigated without yelling gun control. Shouldn’t gun right advocates be willing to improve gun safety in the ways we would any other product? The reason they aren’t is purely political, is my guess: worried it would be a foot in the door. But I see that as a mark against the movement. The will should be there.


You're going to need to give me an example of what you're talking about, as otherwise I'm being forced to speculate, and that can lead to mind reading, which as you know I'm not a fan of.


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26 Jan 2022, 9:58 am

Dox47 wrote:

Situation three is a parent keeps a pistol in her purse, sets it down for a moment, and their child grabs it and shoots themself or a neighborhood kid.



I have a first cousin who did just that, but the gun was locked up. He killed a younger neighbor kid he hated with a shotgun that was locked up (he stole the key). My cousin conned the kid to visit him to show him the gun. Supposedly it went off when it was dropped on the floor. It took his head off.

My uncle never kept his guns loaded, but he got blamed for the “accident”. It was no accident, it was intentional from my point of view. My cousin was held for mental observation for a month and then released. He was too young (below the age of 12) to be charged in that state per the laws on the books at the time. My uncle was not charged as he had proof the gun was locked up at the time while he was gone and his son stole the key to the cabinet. This incident broke part of my family apart, as my grandparents sided with my cousin. Later on, this same cousin threw his teenage son out of a moving pickup truck because he did not like who he was dating. He survived with injuries. I hate this nutcase.

One of my former students is in prison for a similar gun issue, but it was a real accident. Her 8 year old son killed her 3 year old daughter with a loaded shotgun. She had it near a door to protect herself from an abusive ex. She did not have it locked up like she should have. She never expected it to happen, it just did by her words. Now she gets to spend five years behind bars.

I have nothing against proper gun ownership, but guns do need to be kept out of the hands of children as much as possible. Unfortunately that still did not stop my cousin from doing what he did. Intent is a big player in some gun “accidents”. If he had a knife, he would have still used it. It just would have been harder for him to get away with.



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26 Jan 2022, 6:38 pm

QuantumChemist wrote:
I have a first cousin who did just that, but the gun was locked up. He killed a younger neighbor kid he hated with a shotgun that was locked up (he stole the key). My cousin conned the kid to visit him to show him the gun. Supposedly it went off when it was dropped on the floor. It took his head off.

My uncle never kept his guns loaded, but he got blamed for the “accident”. It was no accident, it was intentional from my point of view. My cousin was held for mental observation for a month and then released. He was too young (below the age of 12) to be charged in that state per the laws on the books at the time. My uncle was not charged as he had proof the gun was locked up at the time while he was gone and his son stole the key to the cabinet. This incident broke part of my family apart, as my grandparents sided with my cousin. Later on, this same cousin threw his teenage son out of a moving pickup truck because he did not like who he was dating. He survived with injuries. I hate this nutcase.


I don't like to throw this word around casually, but your cousin sounds like a psychopath in the clinical sense rather than the hyperbolic one, he probably didn't see killing that kid as doing anything wrong, someone annoyed him and he made and executed a plan to get rid of them, simple as that. Speaking as a gunsmith, a loaded and cocked shotgun could go off if dropped onto a hard surface at a certain angle, depending on the model and when it was made, but it doesn't sound likely if the other kid was shot in the face, the gun would have had to have been dropped almost straight down on its butt, and there's usually a soft pad installed there to absorb some of the recoil that would have cushioned the impact. Assuming your cousin did this on purpose, I wonder if he was smart enough to crouch down and shoot up so that the angle of entry was from below rather than straight on, or if the cops caught it either way.

Sorry if this is a bit morbid, you're in my area of expertise and I enjoy mental detective work.

QuantumChemist wrote:
One of my former students is in prison for a similar gun issue, but it was a real accident. Her 8 year old son killed her 3 year old daughter with a loaded shotgun. She had it near a door to protect herself from an abusive ex. She did not have it locked up like she should have. She never expected it to happen, it just did by her words. Now she gets to spend five years behind bars.


What a waste, a dead kid and a destroyed life, as a felony record is hard to recover from. Like I've said, any other household accident and the chances of the mother being charged, let alone given substantial jail time are virtually nil, but because guns are haram to half the country, we get double tragedies like this.

QuantumChemist wrote:
If he had a knife, he would have still used it. It just would have been harder for him to get away with.


Yeah, "he tripped and fell on it six or eight times" usually doesn't fly with the cops.


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26 Jan 2022, 6:54 pm

Rounds have the right of way.

Maybe there should be a community outreach program that teaches the bad dudes to watch their backdrop, the science of internal, external and terminal ballistics, and learn to shoot a little straighter so when they send them they hit one another rather than innocents. Not really joking here. It applies to an "accident" too, as safety stops these things. Expecting altruistic gunfights and firearm safety from bad dudes is probably me being a little naive here.

Just those psychopath things (someone would have turned themselves in by now if there was empathy).

RIP



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26 Jan 2022, 6:58 pm

Dox47 wrote:
QuantumChemist wrote:
I have a first cousin who did just that, but the gun was locked up. He killed a younger neighbor kid he hated with a shotgun that was locked up (he stole the key). My cousin conned the kid to visit him to show him the gun. Supposedly it went off when it was dropped on the floor. It took his head off.

My uncle never kept his guns loaded, but he got blamed for the “accident”. It was no accident, it was intentional from my point of view. My cousin was held for mental observation for a month and then released. He was too young (below the age of 12) to be charged in that state per the laws on the books at the time. My uncle was not charged as he had proof the gun was locked up at the time while he was gone and his son stole the key to the cabinet. This incident broke part of my family apart, as my grandparents sided with my cousin. Later on, this same cousin threw his teenage son out of a moving pickup truck because he did not like who he was dating. He survived with injuries. I hate this nutcase.


I don't like to throw this word around casually, but your cousin sounds like a psychopath in the clinical sense rather than the hyperbolic one, he probably didn't see killing that kid as doing anything wrong, someone annoyed him and he made and executed a plan to get rid of them, simple as that. Speaking as a gunsmith, a loaded and cocked shotgun could go off if dropped onto a hard surface at a certain angle, depending on the model and when it was made, but it doesn't sound likely if the other kid was shot in the face, the gun would have had to have been dropped almost straight down on its butt, and there's usually a soft pad installed there to absorb some of the recoil that would have cushioned the impact. Assuming your cousin did this on purpose, I wonder if he was smart enough to crouch down and shoot up so that the angle of entry was from below rather than straight on, or if the cops caught it either way.

Sorry if this is a bit morbid, you're in my area of expertise and I enjoy mental detective work.

QuantumChemist wrote:
One of my former students is in prison for a similar gun issue, but it was a real accident. Her 8 year old son killed her 3 year old daughter with a loaded shotgun. She had it near a door to protect herself from an abusive ex. She did not have it locked up like she should have. She never expected it to happen, it just did by her words. Now she gets to spend five years behind bars.


What a waste, a dead kid and a destroyed life, as a felony record is hard to recover from. Like I've said, any other household accident and the chances of the mother being charged, let alone given substantial jail time are virtually nil, but because guns are haram to half the country, we get double tragedies like this.

QuantumChemist wrote:
If he had a knife, he would have still used it. It just would have been harder for him to get away with.


Yeah, "he tripped and fell on it six or eight times" usually doesn't fly with the cops.


A rose by another name is still a rose. The kid's a psychopath.


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