Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Accidental Shooting of 8-Year-Old CA Girl - Possible Charges Pending

The Daily News reports

The victim, whose name was withheld, was shot in the arm by a 20-gauge shotgun.

The shotgun had been left loaded and propped against a wall of the dining room with the butt of the gun on a small wicker chair when it fell and discharged a load of birdshot into the living room, the release said.

Pellets went through the arm of one of the couches and struck the victim in her bicep and abdomen causing major injuries.

The 8-year-old victim and her 7-year-old friend were watching television alone in the living room when the gun went off.
I think something's wrong with the reporting of these stories. Pro-gun folks keep quoting stats which show how few gun accidents there are. Yet, every single day I see four or five stories which make the main stream news. That alone would be 1,500 incidents each year and that's just what pops up on Google. The true figure must be ten or twenty times that.

What's your opinion? Isn't the argument that there are relatively few accidents with firearms a shabby argument anyway? Isn't that a calous approach to a problem that is easily corrected?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Ten to twenty times that, you say, but you provide no evidence to support such an outrageous claim. Fifteen hundred accidents a year is not that many in a country of 300,000,000, nor is the number unusual in comparison to all other forms of accidents. That's not callous; it's realistic.

  2. If you're going to make up numbers, why stop at 10 or 20 times? Go big and declare it's 100x, 500x!

  3. "The true figure must be ten or twenty times that."

    Citation required. Or are you just lying as DC would say?

    1. Ah, so presented with data, you make a conclusion... according to DC that is a LIE!

  4. Ideas that fit into Mikey's authoritarian worldview are self-truthifying.

  5. 10 to 20 times is probably a low figure.

    After all, gun accidents that are non-fatal or don't involve serious injury or damage to another party are rarely reported.

    As a point of comparison, consider traffic accidents. Virtually all traffic accidents having a fatality are reported. Yet, traffic accidents involving serious injury were reported 70% of the time. With slight injury 35% of the time.

    1. Regardless of how many accidents occur, you and Mikeb keep telling us about them. Fine--what do you want done? Mikeb will say that he's already told us, but his proposals won't stop things like this from happening, since people who leave loaded guns around young children aren't likely to follow or even be aware of some new law. Jadegold, what's your solution?

    2. Another factor is that many police departments don't track accidental shootings unless they involve fatalities. Thus, boldly claiming there are "only" x fatal gun accidents and y non-fatal accidents is highly misleading.

      The solutions are simple; you claim they don't or won't work because you're a gunloon and are impervious to anything that threatens the "respect" you've purchased.

    3. In other words, Jadegold, you don't want to tell us. You also say "gunloon" as though it's an insult, but you've yet to give us your definition for the term.

  6. My first question, was it a Remington shotgun?!?!?!?!?

    The last time I found the number from The Centers for Disease Control there were about 600 deaths from accidental gunshots in 2008 or 2009. And there are almost certainly more incidents that only resulted in injury but I don't remember them listing that. If we go with the percentage that overall only 20% or so of gunshot wounds are fatal, then there are about 4 times more gunshot wounds that are non-fatal. (One in five are fatal and four in five are non-fatal.) So the total number of incidents with injuries or deaths would be around 3,000 annually. Surprisingly, that corresponds fairly well to MikeB's guess of four or five per day. But MikeB's guess of 15,000 to 30,000 (10 to 20 times his number of 1,500 per year) are wildly inaccurate.

    1. Wow. Bad math and bad logic at play.

      First, studies show that 15% of gunshot wounds are fatal. But it's important to note that this percentage involves intentional vice accidental shootings.

      OTOH, we know from statistics that for every gun accident fatality there are approx. 105 gun accident injuries. Of course, this doesn't account for gun accidents that go unreported or involve neither fatality or injury.

      It also doesn't account for the fact that many police departments don't track non-fatal gun accidents.

    2. "OTOH, we know from statistics that for every gun accident fatality there are approx. 105 gun accident injuries."

      Citation needed.

    3. 1. Why would anyone report a "gun accident" that results in no fatality or injury?

      2. We'll see if Democommie asks you for a citation, but since you're quoting numbers that are "interesting," at the least, I'd like to know where they come from.

      3. What, exactly, are "intentional vice accidental shootings"?

  7. From the keyboard of the Arkansan Shootist:

    "Ten to twenty times that, you say, but you provide no evidence to support such an outrageous claim."

    Outrageous you say? Based on your research you've found that number to be ridiculously overestimated? Oh, sorry, you'll need your whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance, again.

    "1. Why would anyone report a "gun accident" that results in no fatality or injury?"

    Because it's required by law in about 80% of the states in the U.S.

    per this link:

    This data:

    Table 2: Average Annual Number of Firearm Injuries--U.S., 1993-98

    Fatal Nonfatal Totals
    Interpersonal 15,371 50,067 65,438
    Self-directed 18,227 4,513 22,740
    Unintentional 1,181 13,688 14,869
    Undetermined 429 11,117 11,546
    Totals 35,208 79,385 114,593

    from here (

    indicates that during the reporting period an average of almost 80K non-fatal firearms injuries were REPORTED. Considering that moronz wit teh gunz who don't injure themselves seriously enough to require medical treatment--or do, but live in the states that don't require that they be reported unless they are the result of a crime--a ratio of about 54:1 (80,000 to 1500). These numbers do not reflect any of the firearms stupidents that do NOT result in someone being wounded badly enough to require medical attention or being missed by a negligently discharged firearm (pure dumb luck or just a statistical anomaly, take your pick). Given that you portray yourself as a "normal" redbloodedMurKKKan gunz owner and don't understand why you report a GSW, well, I guess we can conclude that your guznloonzpalz pretty much feel the same way.

    As is the case with other gunzlawz you guyz don't like, you'll ignore it if you can and bleat about it if you can't. And, of course, you'll be a martyr is you're caught violating one of those "badstupidhead anti-gunz lawz".

    1. Democommie, your link points to the requirement of doctors to report gun accidents when an injury or death occurs. I asked why anyone would report an accident when no injury or death takes place. Do I have to explain the difference?

    2. From your source DC: "An estimated two nonfatal injuries occur for every firearm death."

  8. DC - Greg asked why you would report an incident that did not result in a fatality or INJURY. You proceed to point out that you must report injuries - which he did not question. Why do you make up statements from Greg and then attempt to belittle him by answering questions he did not ask? So are you being a liar or just making shit up?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Thanks for pointing out my error. It appears that Greg Camp and others think two things:

    A.) They shouldn't have to report negligent "stupidents" unless someone is hurt or killed


    4b//Part9 subsection 3.) That the 80,000 or so non-fatal gunshot injuries per year are a drop in the bucket.

    As has been the case in every comment I've ever read by Greg Camp and the rest of teh gunzloonz, real data is inconvenient to them. Greg Camp and his gunzloonzpozze say that their haztehgunz rightz can not be limited or abridged (which we KNOW is bullshit) and that they exercise the utmost care and adhere to the Sacred Four Rules each and every time they have a firearm in their hands (we also KNOW that this is bullshit). And bad stuff never, ever happens and SHUT UP! that's why.

    Greggie asks if I'll be calling Jadegold a liar. I might just, if he can't substantiate and won't retract his assertion. Otoh, based on the real numbers for fatalities and injuries, the figure of 1,500 gun accidents per year is laughably low; and mikeb302000 was low balling the estimate for how many "gun accidents". So, you're right, I was talking about injuries resulting from intentional/unintentional gunshots. If we're talking about shithedz wit teh gunz fucking up without anybody getting hurt seriously enough to require medical attention or getting hurt at all, I'm guessing that number might approach or exceed Jadegold's figure.

    So, yeah, mikeb302000's number was way off--on the low side.

    Since it's pretty obvious that you clownz think stupidents that don't result in injury or death shouldn't be reported we probably can't get a true idea of how many moronz wit teh gunz do something boneheaded each day--but it's a shitton more than 1,500/annum

    1. Whereas Democommie and Jadegold would like to be the central reporting office for gun accidents? Yeah, that's going to happen.

    2. Yes, it is not likely that there will be no central reporting office for gun accidents; more's the pity. It is sad that we can not even agree on the need to have centralized, consistent reporting; that we have hard, reliable, data to work from.

    3. Why do you need data? What would you do with them? I have a guess, but why don't you tell us.

    4. Greg, what I'm seeing is a major discrepancy between the stats you guys always quote concerning shooting accidents and the reports I'm reading every day. It doesn't add up.

    5. As the saying goes, the plural of anecdote isn't data.

  11. A very quick observation:

    Even if people are required to report non-fatal / non-injury gun accidents they might not. What are the penalties for not reporting? What are the chances that law enforcement will actually enforce the rule? Oh, and what about those jurisdictions that do not require reporting? I'm with Mike B here, there a many accidental discharges that go unreported. Unfortunately it does become a guessing game about what the ratio might be.

    Let's go with about 80K accidental discharges per year. That is way too high of a number for anyone's comfort. Remember all handguns, rifles and shotguns have some kind of safety to prevent accidental discharge. That is 80K people too lazy, too distracted, and too unconcerned to safe their weapons each and every time. That's a very low bar not being met. That's is 80k people who couldn't bother taking the extra step of purchasing a gun lock; a pretty simple, pretty common sense thing to do.

    Now let's drill down to the specific incident. How many shades of gob-smacking careless was the alleged "adult" in this Gerber incident? Seriously, an unattended shotgun, propped against a wall, within the reach of two little girls? How totally irresponsible can one person be? The girls lucked out, one or both of them could of easily ended up dead.

    Back to the meta point. I'm not going to try to attempt to discern where the "real" numbers of accidental discharges might sit. That is a statistical black hole with no resolution. Again I will observe that even if there is a requirement to report such discharges, under-reporting will be an issue. First not reporting such incident can not be more than an infraction, maybe a misdemeanor at best. Reporting the discharge is after all a paper-work drill that requires a large degree of honesty from the gun owner. I could see a gun owner seeing the incident as a "no harm, no foul" situation, causing under-reporting / non-reporting to be fairly common.

    I would not be the least surprised that most of the actual reports required a little arm-twisting from a law enforcement officer, reminding the good law abiding gun owner to fill out the required form. Or maybe the officer was required to fill out said form after s/he responded to a "shots fired" call and found out some gun owner was just being careless.

    How all this plays out in the discussion is complex, and depends where you sit. If you're a 2nd Amendment absolutist you have a built-in bias to see under / non reporting as minor. If you are some one like Mike B you're more willing to see under / non-reporting as significant to rampant. Any attempt to tease out where the actual numbers might stand, what the impact of non-reporting, under-reporting and where other glitches in the data may sit, is going to be driven by ideology more than the math(s).

    My guess is that accidental discharges of guns is significantly under-reported because most people are unwilling to fess up to the error; it is embarrassing after all. Add to this that the consequences for not reporting are light to non-existent, and that is going to drive up non-compliance. I could see a 10:1 ratio (that's ten failures to report to every act of compliance) as "reasonable" with 50:1 being outer limits territory; possible but not likely. Your result may vary though, we are all swimming in very murky waters here, and the shore is so very far away.

    1. You're using a classic either/or fallacy here. I can see a third possibility: The number of gun accidents is accurately reported. Here's a fourth: The number is underreported, but only slightly. Besides, if no one is injured, why would the gun owner call the police? Do you report yourself every time you drive over the speed limit? Cops who come uninvited to my door will not be allowed in without a warrant. But in the absence of evidence, you feel free to make up whatever conclusion fits your unstated goals.

    2. James, I think that we can agree that negligence was the issue here. Mike, with so many children growing up without their fathers to teach them firearms safety do you think the government needs to get involved then? If so, are you proposing something reasonable like a State instituted firearms safety class in elementary schools? If not, then what exactly are you proposing? Or is this merely to spark a debate between extremes?

    3. I'm proposing safe storage laws followed by holding people responsible when their guns are misused.

      Often, no one pays, it was just an accident, after all. And I'm guessiin' the recidivism rate of those gun-accident authors is high.

    4. Unfortunately, you can't legistlate common sense and individual responsibility, but you can teach it. I guess that I'm just seeing their negligence as the end result and think that it should be addressed at the source, their upbringing. Parents are no longer raising their children to be responsible citizens, in many cases the parents aren't around to raise them at all. As far as what to do about it, that I'm very willing to discuss. I think that we see the same problems, I don't know if we agree on the causes though...