Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Do Some Accidental Shootings Result in Heavy Charges?

Local news reports

A Weaverville man is fighting for his life after a friend shot him in the head overnight.

John Kurt Rufus Tipton was transported to Mission Hospital with a bullet still lodged in his brain following the 1 a.m. shooting, authorities said. The shooting happened at the home of James Kyle Brown.

Buncombe sheriff’s detectives believe the shooting was accidental as the men were examining a .22 caliber pistol.

Brown was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, according to warrants at the Buncombe County magistrate’s office. 

The weapon of mass destruction charge was for a sawed-off .20 gauge shotgun found in the home, according to warrants.
First of all, are you kidding me with that charge of "possession of a weapon of mass destruction?" Is that true? A sawed off shotgun is a weapon of mass destruction?

Secondly, why the disparity in charging this guy with "assault with a deadly weapon," but not charging the Texas man who shot his wife in bed at all?

Don't you think we need to regularize the application of gun control laws?  Shouldn't that be done on the federal level?

What do your think? Please leave a comment.


  1. It depends on how short the shotgun is. Less than a 18" barrel and it becomes a NFA controlled weapon than requires the same hoops as a full auto rifle and such.

    1. "Don't you think we need to regularize the application of gun control laws? Shouldn't that be done on the federal level?"

      In some ways, it already is. All purchasers must under go a NICS check except private sales, currently. All permits go thru the same NICS, may or shall issue.

      But here is where the states are not united, the differing carry and possession laws in each state and in some states conflicting county and/or city laws. This is where I have some difference in opinion with the pro-gun guys. I do understand and agree with their concerns, but I do believe a standard and united law can be achieved without stepping on the second amendment rights of all. I have my ideas on this subject.

  2. Sure, let's have one standard across the country--so long as it's the standard that the gun rights side has been calling for.

    But Mikeb, didn't you catch the idiocy of this article? What's a .20 gauge gun? That would be a five pounder, since the number tells how many balls of bore diameter are required to make a pound. No one person could carry one of those, much less shoot it without a gun carriage. Texas Colt Carry is correct to point out that if "sawed-off" means less than eighteen inches, the man is in violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934--that's Federal time. The legal term here is histrionic, but that's the law for you.

  3. Yes, let's have one set of laws, based on the plain text of the Second Amendment. That's a national standard that I'd like.

    As Texas Colt Carry pointed out, if the "sawed-off" shotgun has a barrel that is less than eighteen inches, it is illegal under Federal law. It has been since 1934. In fact, remember all the blather that Laci gave about the Miller decision? That case was about a too-short shotgun.

    But since the article describes the weapon as a .20 gauge, it's more likely a cannon, if we're to believe yet another reporter who knows nothing about guns. Gauge numbers, except for a .410 shotgun, tell us the number of balls of bore diameter required to make a pound. This would be a five pounder. The person who can even carry such a thing, much less fire it, has my respect.

  4. Why does my comment keep disappearing?

    1. Trying again:

      1. As Texas Colt Carry pointed out, the charges here are likely because the shotgun was shorter than the minimum eighteen inches required by the National Firearms Act of 1934. That's the law that the Miller case did a bad job of testing--remember Laci's long discussions about that one?

      2. The reporter here does a bad job on the subject of firearms--typical for the breed. A .20 gauge weapon would fire a five-pound ball. Gauge numbers tell how many balls of bore diameter would be required to equal one pound. Some weightlifters might be able to haul a .20 gauge around, but I doubt there's a person on the planet who could hang on to one while firing it.