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October 26, 2012

On Guns, Cars and Distracted Drivers

By David E. Petzal

As Phil and I have noted, we’re doing a series of radio interviews to promote "The Total Gun Manual" which, I understand, may get us a Nobel Prize. (If Barack Obama can get a Nobel for doing absolutely nothing, why shouldn’t we collect one for putting out the greatest gun book ever written?) Most of the talk-show hosts I’ve encountered have been completely ignorant about guns, and admitted it, and did good interviews. However, along the way I’ve gotten some odd questions, and a couple of hostile ones. Some examples:

Have I ever shot anyone? (No, just unlucky I guess.)

Am I armed, right now, this minute? (No. The most dangerous thing in the vicinity is the cat, who is in his morning coma.)

Are you going to shoot us? (No, you’re in another part of the U.S., and way out of rifle range.)

My favorite, though, was: “What if you get crosswise of someone who has road rage and a gun?”

I answered: “The odds on tangling with someone in a car who’s heeled and has road rage are about the same as getting hit by a meteor. But I can guarantee you that before this day is out, both you and I are going to see at least one person who’s driving and texting for all they’re worth, or talking into their cell, or staring at the GPS on the dash, all of which are a lot more dangerous than packing a gun.”

I got a driver’s license and started shooting in organized competition within a year of each other. I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles and spent who knows how much time at shooting ranges, and hunting. In all that time I’ve never seen anyone shot. However, I have seen two fatal highway accidents that had just taken place, and several more where the cops were cleaning up the mess.

If you act like a jerk on the road, the odds on your being caught are pretty small. But if you act like a jerk at a shooting range, or on a hunt, someone is going to speak to you right away, or tell you to leave now. Or, if you’re enough of a jerk, they’ll call the police themselves.

Talking about guns conjures up the paranoid fantasies of those who don’t like firearms in the hands of the public. If these people would like to see the real threat to their lives, however, I suggest they look in their garages.

Comments (40)

Top Rated
All Comments
from habben97 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

well said, Dave.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

What a great point. I absolutely hate to see someone texting, surfing, or otherwise engaged in something other than driving when they are behind the wheel. and like guns, cars and trucks are harmless of themselves, it is the person who is (or should be )in control.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Very well put. To further drive the point home, when we are at a shooting range or on a hunt, 99% of the time we're surrounded by like-minded people. When we're on the road, we don't get that luxury. We're forced to share the road with everyone from 16 yr. olds that just got their license, to 97 yr. old blue hairs that can't see over the dash, to the business person with a cup of hot coffee in one hand, a blackberry in the other and a knee on the steering wheel.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Are you going to shoot us?"

..Chuckle...

...That is hilarious...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nora Holloway wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I never thought about it that way. Nicely stated!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I've seen a lot of things out on the road too. I have not seen anyone checking out their handgun while driving along.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Forgot to mention this part––

"which, I understand, may get us a Nobel Prize. (If Barack Obama can get a Nobel for doing absolutely nothing, why shouldn’t we collect one for putting out the greatest gun book ever written?)"

"I don't care who you are" (unless you're a rock rat obamanite or somesuch,) "that's funny right there"

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

The distracted driving point is a simple rationale to use in "discussions" with anti-gun people. However, it usually boils down to the anti accusing me of trying to change the subject.

Which to me is very telling. Because I don't believe the antis are trying to "save lives," as they proclaim. I believe they are trying to get rid of guns, which they fear because they don't understand.

To borrow a well-known movie line: You want to know the truth? "You can't handle the truth!"

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

There are 62 million cars in the USA and 80 million guns. 30,000 deaths per year by gunshot and 40,000 deaths per year by automobile accidents...

I think we need a background check and waiting period to buy a car. It makes more sense than the way is now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

There are 62 million cars in the USA and 80 million guns. 30,000 deaths per year by gunshot and 40,000 deaths per year by automobile accidents...

I think we need a background check and waiting period to buy a car. It makes more sense than the way is now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Consider encounters with wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, renegade saddle horses, shooting guns, cutting with knives, touching off arrows, hiking on slick snowy mountain sidehills but in spite of it all I have long been convinced that by far the most dangerous thing we attempt is simply driving down the road in one of our vehicles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CCMJS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I vote for Dave and Phil. I just got the book, it's worth a Nobel Prize. At least you did something to earn it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Very well stated, DEP, and Amen! People with guns don't scare me near as much as my daily commute to work.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

To Dr. Ralph: I think the figure is 270 million to 300 million guns, not 80 million.

To All: That should be "talk show host," not "talk shot host."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hear about Texas SH 120?
It's the new "speed way" with a legal speed limit of 84 mph!
Gov. Rick Perry held a ribbon cutting ceremony and everything!
Last night, their new "speed way" between Austin and San Antonio was annointed three times, with blood! Thankfully, not human blood!
Seems Caldwell(?) County around Lockhart is blessed with and over abundance of feral hogs! LOL!
Three pigs related incidents, one vehicle totalled, two damaged!
Imagine, if you can, zipping along at 85mph in your shiny new Ferrari when you realize that "speed bump" ahead is actually a 150 pound feral, out for a midnight stroll over to see if "Maude" is in a receptive mood tonight!
Best advice?
Grip steering wheel firmly, decelerate, brake firmly (not too hard!) and steer through!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Seems most wrecks are caused by drivers attempting to avoid road obstacles!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I believe there are roughly 80 million gun owners but so many of us own more than one which accounts for the hundreds of millions of guns. Either way it still looks like playing with guns is safer than driving so for my own safety tomorrow I am going to stay home and shoot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In a much simpler time, with less conviences that is, the gun was the necessary tool to survive; A trusted friend one could say? Now, we have people that choose to VOTE their rights away to own them!
My only hope is history shall repeat itself less we forget.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Speaking of texting and driving, two of our friends were killed recently and their 14yr. old daughter was busted up pretty good but made the funeral a week later in a wheelchair, when a drunken driver (that's what we used to call it before PC), was texting on a two lane highway, on a curve and crossed the center line, then hit our friend's car head on. When we heard the details of how the accident happened, I mentioned to my wife that if the younger driver that caused the accident wasn't texting, everybody would have probably arrived home safe and sound. Texting and all the aforementioned
distractions of other drivers scares me more when out on the road than the ones that have been moderately drinking and driving, unless they're totally out of it. When texting and driving one is at least momentarily "out of it", that being the best or worst example depending on how you look at it. I hope all states pass laws on texting and driving, if you cause an accident and bodily injury you automatically go to jail, just like DUI. It would not end the problem, but it will probably make some of the younger kids think twice about doing it, knowing it could mean a jail term. Sadly, the 24 year old who caused the accident is going to spend a lot more time behind bars because of the DUI, when in reality the texting very well could have been the greater cause of the accident. What's the difference if you're impaired by alcohol, drugs or staring at a keypad and get somebody killed?

Dave, I really liked your answers to the questions, couldn't have thought of better responses if I had some time to think about it. I didn't get the one about the cat and the coma?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mitchell Maxberry wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Having been one of the most prolific shooters in the US I can attest to seeing more road deaths than shooting range accidents. To be perfectly honest I am doing research on range accidents. This first needs to be qualified death or injury by shooting and death and injury by issues relating to an event. I am aware of 1 accidental death directly by being shot, however I was present when a pit officer was shot through the head and lived at 1000 yds. I was also present on the range when a young lady was killed when a large gun fell on her head resulting in death. I well aware of 2 fatalities well publicized resulting in death, a cleaning rod was used to push out a primed case and the primer went off sending the primer into the pancreas resulting in death a few hours later. Another was from a Lee-Navy 6mm 1890's era rifle which blew up as the result of improper reloading. And have personally witnessed and M-14 clone slam fire and an AR-15 blown up on the firing line. I've also reviewed a case in GB where issued ammo was loaded to maximum legal standards and failed due to circumstances of barrel size and chamber dimensions. Currently living in New Zealand the NZ military is constantly shooting themselves in one case the solder was shot 7 times with a 5.56 , M-249 and survived , leaving the question should such shooting actually be categorized as fatal ??I'm currently fighting the NZ NRA in legal form over its continual violation to range safety and usage under rules between it and the Army. Yes accidents do happen on ranges, but they are so rare as to be insignificant in terms of accidental deaths that it would likely rank at the bottem of any list of accidental death. That being said it must be kept in mind that accidents are reduced by having good safety rules in place and enforced, keeping in mind that most rules are the result of someone else's mistake and the rule is to prevent history repeating its self. Cheers from New Zealand

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I live just outside San Antonio, which has once more earned the distinction of having the worst drivers in the United States (actual statistics from the insurance companies). We just had our third fatality in the last month the other night caused by someone going the wrong way -- for several miles -- down a major highway. That to me would be equivalent to somebody picking their rifle up at the range and pointing it back at the clubhouse, directly opposite from the targets. Like DEP, I have never actually witnessed anyone shot, accidentally or on purpose, but in the last two weeks I've seen big time pileups happen right in front of me. The last happened just as I was starting to take a left on a green light at a farm-to-market road intersection. I looked up just in time to see that a pickup truck coming from my left was about to barrel into the rear end of the third car sitting at the red light. Bam! Three car chain collision. God knows what the idiot behind the wheel of that truck was doing, rather than looking ahead at three stopped cars in the broad open daylight. Happened about 3 p.m. sun-shiny day, nice dry roads. I've yet to have anyone line up behind me at the range and start shooting through me at his target, but evidently a lot of people down here think two cars -- or three -- can occupy the same space at the same time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Many of us have had these thoughts on almost a daily basis, but you have managed to state them better than most of us could. Using digital gadgets while driving is stupid enough to disqualify anyone from operating a vehicle, or should be. It is reckless driving pure and simple and a driver's license should be yanked as a consequence. By the way, I still have to log in two or more times to get on this site. What gives?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In preperation for hunting season I run year round. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen drivers not notice me in my flourescent yellow shirts because they had a phone stuck to their ear.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I believe that cell phones and the like were invent3ed by an evil scientist to send subliminal messages into the brains of humans to turn them into "ZOMBIE DRIVERS" Thank God, some states are starting to ban the use of cell phones. Let's face it, most of us do dumb s**t when driving (mostly inadvertently) and cause a case of road rage, but I have never heard of a case where someone pulled out their gun and blasted someone else into oblivion. Maybe we should have a background check for first time drivers like we have when purchasing a gun. I'll bet that would stop alot of road rage. (YEAH, RIGHT)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

David pretty much nailed it!

Looking forward to the manual, I'm sure it will be a good read with all the Gun Nut satire!

I remember that day all to well when a fella gave Deputy Garcia and I not just one brake check but three! (CHUCKLE!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

According to my sources, 56% of all the firearms-related fatalities in the U.S. are suicides. I don't know of any records being kept for automobile-related suicides.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from twoforks wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I just read this statement today from my rifle manual."All machines, be they chain saws, automobiles, lawn mowers or firearms are built to function as mindless mechanical slaves. They serve only as well as your intellect dictates."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

does a zip drive make a person a computer hacker? does a bic lighter make someone an arsonist? both answers are no but tell that to someone who hates guns, cause if you love guns then you must be some sort of a criminal!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Good writing Dave. Is there a fee involved in this Noble Prize nomination process? If so I think we Gun Nuts could pass the hat to cover the fee for you and Phil. That is as long as the individual cost does not exceed the price of two boxes of Weatherby rifle ammo or a case of shotgun shells.

I have the book and it would make a great Christmas present.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Are you going to shoot us?"

I'd be tempted to answer 'Do you want me to?'

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

1981, Fort Bliss, TX. I was at the range watching the guy in the fox hole next to me clean out his flash suppressor with his finger. His gun went off, blowing his finger off. As the range officers were rushing to his rescue he was failing in his foxhole, blood spurting out of his left hand, M16 in the right hand, also failing around. As the officers approached the screaming recruit he turned and pointed his rifle at them. They immediately hit the dirt. This obviously pissed them off. After the recruit dropped his weapon, all three officers jump down his foxhole and beat the daylights of of him or subdued him, depending upon your point of view. Witnessed all this from just a few feet away.

I bet this same guy is texting and driving today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

also Dr. Ralph, of those 30,000 gun deaths per year, i think a touch over half of those are suicides as well. just to give it a bit more perspective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hi...

What a great thread...!! Humor and sorrow.

But...did you know that there is no more Road Rage...?? That's right...it's now INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"He shot himself while cleaning a loaded gun" is mere polite speak to mask the guilt and shame of a suicide for the family. Who the heck ever looks down the barrel of a loaded gun while "cleaning" it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

When I first read this post I didn't think that I had anything to contribute. However this weekend I was a part of a California road rage incident wile returning from the rifle range. I passed a guy on a two lane road returning from the range with a 22-250, .308 and 270 in my trunk. This fool proceeded to chase me from that point until I reach a stop sign at which point he got out of his car yelling and screaming and beating on my passenger side windows. I calmly resisted getting out and escalating the situation. I drove home and called the highway patrol (who had jurisdiction) only to be told that there was nothing that they could do even though I could describe the guy and had his license plate number. I definitely felt mor in danger on the road Saturday than I did at the range.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Probably (way) more than 300,000,000 firearms, I don't know what I was thinking. I have a feeling the double post is an indicator of the proficiency of my motor skills at that time. But really it just makes my case three and a half or four times more potent.

Have been waiting patiently for my complimentary copy of "The Total Gun Manual", but it has not yet arrived. Must be an oversight...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman170 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Boom!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GAsqhntr wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Every one on the road at 4:00 AM is a hunter, a fisher, or a drunk! Think how lucky we all are to be alive after over 50 years of driving to the fields or lakes through such a gauntlet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GAsqhntr wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Every one on the road at 4:00 AM is a hunter, a fisher, or a drunk! Think how lucky we all are to be alive after over 50 years of driving to the fields or lakes through such a gauntlet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Proverbs wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

The distracted driving point is a simple rationale to use in "discussions" with anti-gun people. However, it usually boils down to the anti accusing me of trying to change the subject.

Which to me is very telling. Because I don't believe the antis are trying to "save lives," as they proclaim. I believe they are trying to get rid of guns, which they fear because they don't understand.

To borrow a well-known movie line: You want to know the truth? "You can't handle the truth!"

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from CCMJS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I vote for Dave and Phil. I just got the book, it's worth a Nobel Prize. At least you did something to earn it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

What a great point. I absolutely hate to see someone texting, surfing, or otherwise engaged in something other than driving when they are behind the wheel. and like guns, cars and trucks are harmless of themselves, it is the person who is (or should be )in control.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Very well put. To further drive the point home, when we are at a shooting range or on a hunt, 99% of the time we're surrounded by like-minded people. When we're on the road, we don't get that luxury. We're forced to share the road with everyone from 16 yr. olds that just got their license, to 97 yr. old blue hairs that can't see over the dash, to the business person with a cup of hot coffee in one hand, a blackberry in the other and a knee on the steering wheel.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I've seen a lot of things out on the road too. I have not seen anyone checking out their handgun while driving along.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Forgot to mention this part––

"which, I understand, may get us a Nobel Prize. (If Barack Obama can get a Nobel for doing absolutely nothing, why shouldn’t we collect one for putting out the greatest gun book ever written?)"

"I don't care who you are" (unless you're a rock rat obamanite or somesuch,) "that's funny right there"

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

There are 62 million cars in the USA and 80 million guns. 30,000 deaths per year by gunshot and 40,000 deaths per year by automobile accidents...

I think we need a background check and waiting period to buy a car. It makes more sense than the way is now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Are you going to shoot us?"

..Chuckle...

...That is hilarious...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nora Holloway wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I never thought about it that way. Nicely stated!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

There are 62 million cars in the USA and 80 million guns. 30,000 deaths per year by gunshot and 40,000 deaths per year by automobile accidents...

I think we need a background check and waiting period to buy a car. It makes more sense than the way is now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Very well stated, DEP, and Amen! People with guns don't scare me near as much as my daily commute to work.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

To Dr. Ralph: I think the figure is 270 million to 300 million guns, not 80 million.

To All: That should be "talk show host," not "talk shot host."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I believe that cell phones and the like were invent3ed by an evil scientist to send subliminal messages into the brains of humans to turn them into "ZOMBIE DRIVERS" Thank God, some states are starting to ban the use of cell phones. Let's face it, most of us do dumb s**t when driving (mostly inadvertently) and cause a case of road rage, but I have never heard of a case where someone pulled out their gun and blasted someone else into oblivion. Maybe we should have a background check for first time drivers like we have when purchasing a gun. I'll bet that would stop alot of road rage. (YEAH, RIGHT)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

well said, Dave.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Consider encounters with wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, renegade saddle horses, shooting guns, cutting with knives, touching off arrows, hiking on slick snowy mountain sidehills but in spite of it all I have long been convinced that by far the most dangerous thing we attempt is simply driving down the road in one of our vehicles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hear about Texas SH 120?
It's the new "speed way" with a legal speed limit of 84 mph!
Gov. Rick Perry held a ribbon cutting ceremony and everything!
Last night, their new "speed way" between Austin and San Antonio was annointed three times, with blood! Thankfully, not human blood!
Seems Caldwell(?) County around Lockhart is blessed with and over abundance of feral hogs! LOL!
Three pigs related incidents, one vehicle totalled, two damaged!
Imagine, if you can, zipping along at 85mph in your shiny new Ferrari when you realize that "speed bump" ahead is actually a 150 pound feral, out for a midnight stroll over to see if "Maude" is in a receptive mood tonight!
Best advice?
Grip steering wheel firmly, decelerate, brake firmly (not too hard!) and steer through!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Seems most wrecks are caused by drivers attempting to avoid road obstacles!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I believe there are roughly 80 million gun owners but so many of us own more than one which accounts for the hundreds of millions of guns. Either way it still looks like playing with guns is safer than driving so for my own safety tomorrow I am going to stay home and shoot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In a much simpler time, with less conviences that is, the gun was the necessary tool to survive; A trusted friend one could say? Now, we have people that choose to VOTE their rights away to own them!
My only hope is history shall repeat itself less we forget.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Speaking of texting and driving, two of our friends were killed recently and their 14yr. old daughter was busted up pretty good but made the funeral a week later in a wheelchair, when a drunken driver (that's what we used to call it before PC), was texting on a two lane highway, on a curve and crossed the center line, then hit our friend's car head on. When we heard the details of how the accident happened, I mentioned to my wife that if the younger driver that caused the accident wasn't texting, everybody would have probably arrived home safe and sound. Texting and all the aforementioned
distractions of other drivers scares me more when out on the road than the ones that have been moderately drinking and driving, unless they're totally out of it. When texting and driving one is at least momentarily "out of it", that being the best or worst example depending on how you look at it. I hope all states pass laws on texting and driving, if you cause an accident and bodily injury you automatically go to jail, just like DUI. It would not end the problem, but it will probably make some of the younger kids think twice about doing it, knowing it could mean a jail term. Sadly, the 24 year old who caused the accident is going to spend a lot more time behind bars because of the DUI, when in reality the texting very well could have been the greater cause of the accident. What's the difference if you're impaired by alcohol, drugs or staring at a keypad and get somebody killed?

Dave, I really liked your answers to the questions, couldn't have thought of better responses if I had some time to think about it. I didn't get the one about the cat and the coma?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mitchell Maxberry wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Having been one of the most prolific shooters in the US I can attest to seeing more road deaths than shooting range accidents. To be perfectly honest I am doing research on range accidents. This first needs to be qualified death or injury by shooting and death and injury by issues relating to an event. I am aware of 1 accidental death directly by being shot, however I was present when a pit officer was shot through the head and lived at 1000 yds. I was also present on the range when a young lady was killed when a large gun fell on her head resulting in death. I well aware of 2 fatalities well publicized resulting in death, a cleaning rod was used to push out a primed case and the primer went off sending the primer into the pancreas resulting in death a few hours later. Another was from a Lee-Navy 6mm 1890's era rifle which blew up as the result of improper reloading. And have personally witnessed and M-14 clone slam fire and an AR-15 blown up on the firing line. I've also reviewed a case in GB where issued ammo was loaded to maximum legal standards and failed due to circumstances of barrel size and chamber dimensions. Currently living in New Zealand the NZ military is constantly shooting themselves in one case the solder was shot 7 times with a 5.56 , M-249 and survived , leaving the question should such shooting actually be categorized as fatal ??I'm currently fighting the NZ NRA in legal form over its continual violation to range safety and usage under rules between it and the Army. Yes accidents do happen on ranges, but they are so rare as to be insignificant in terms of accidental deaths that it would likely rank at the bottem of any list of accidental death. That being said it must be kept in mind that accidents are reduced by having good safety rules in place and enforced, keeping in mind that most rules are the result of someone else's mistake and the rule is to prevent history repeating its self. Cheers from New Zealand

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I live just outside San Antonio, which has once more earned the distinction of having the worst drivers in the United States (actual statistics from the insurance companies). We just had our third fatality in the last month the other night caused by someone going the wrong way -- for several miles -- down a major highway. That to me would be equivalent to somebody picking their rifle up at the range and pointing it back at the clubhouse, directly opposite from the targets. Like DEP, I have never actually witnessed anyone shot, accidentally or on purpose, but in the last two weeks I've seen big time pileups happen right in front of me. The last happened just as I was starting to take a left on a green light at a farm-to-market road intersection. I looked up just in time to see that a pickup truck coming from my left was about to barrel into the rear end of the third car sitting at the red light. Bam! Three car chain collision. God knows what the idiot behind the wheel of that truck was doing, rather than looking ahead at three stopped cars in the broad open daylight. Happened about 3 p.m. sun-shiny day, nice dry roads. I've yet to have anyone line up behind me at the range and start shooting through me at his target, but evidently a lot of people down here think two cars -- or three -- can occupy the same space at the same time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Many of us have had these thoughts on almost a daily basis, but you have managed to state them better than most of us could. Using digital gadgets while driving is stupid enough to disqualify anyone from operating a vehicle, or should be. It is reckless driving pure and simple and a driver's license should be yanked as a consequence. By the way, I still have to log in two or more times to get on this site. What gives?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In preperation for hunting season I run year round. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen drivers not notice me in my flourescent yellow shirts because they had a phone stuck to their ear.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

David pretty much nailed it!

Looking forward to the manual, I'm sure it will be a good read with all the Gun Nut satire!

I remember that day all to well when a fella gave Deputy Garcia and I not just one brake check but three! (CHUCKLE!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

According to my sources, 56% of all the firearms-related fatalities in the U.S. are suicides. I don't know of any records being kept for automobile-related suicides.

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from twoforks wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I just read this statement today from my rifle manual."All machines, be they chain saws, automobiles, lawn mowers or firearms are built to function as mindless mechanical slaves. They serve only as well as your intellect dictates."

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

does a zip drive make a person a computer hacker? does a bic lighter make someone an arsonist? both answers are no but tell that to someone who hates guns, cause if you love guns then you must be some sort of a criminal!!!

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Good writing Dave. Is there a fee involved in this Noble Prize nomination process? If so I think we Gun Nuts could pass the hat to cover the fee for you and Phil. That is as long as the individual cost does not exceed the price of two boxes of Weatherby rifle ammo or a case of shotgun shells.

I have the book and it would make a great Christmas present.

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Are you going to shoot us?"

I'd be tempted to answer 'Do you want me to?'

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

1981, Fort Bliss, TX. I was at the range watching the guy in the fox hole next to me clean out his flash suppressor with his finger. His gun went off, blowing his finger off. As the range officers were rushing to his rescue he was failing in his foxhole, blood spurting out of his left hand, M16 in the right hand, also failing around. As the officers approached the screaming recruit he turned and pointed his rifle at them. They immediately hit the dirt. This obviously pissed them off. After the recruit dropped his weapon, all three officers jump down his foxhole and beat the daylights of of him or subdued him, depending upon your point of view. Witnessed all this from just a few feet away.

I bet this same guy is texting and driving today.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

also Dr. Ralph, of those 30,000 gun deaths per year, i think a touch over half of those are suicides as well. just to give it a bit more perspective.

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hi...

What a great thread...!! Humor and sorrow.

But...did you know that there is no more Road Rage...?? That's right...it's now INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER...!!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"He shot himself while cleaning a loaded gun" is mere polite speak to mask the guilt and shame of a suicide for the family. Who the heck ever looks down the barrel of a loaded gun while "cleaning" it?

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from Safado wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

When I first read this post I didn't think that I had anything to contribute. However this weekend I was a part of a California road rage incident wile returning from the rifle range. I passed a guy on a two lane road returning from the range with a 22-250, .308 and 270 in my trunk. This fool proceeded to chase me from that point until I reach a stop sign at which point he got out of his car yelling and screaming and beating on my passenger side windows. I calmly resisted getting out and escalating the situation. I drove home and called the highway patrol (who had jurisdiction) only to be told that there was nothing that they could do even though I could describe the guy and had his license plate number. I definitely felt mor in danger on the road Saturday than I did at the range.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Probably (way) more than 300,000,000 firearms, I don't know what I was thinking. I have a feeling the double post is an indicator of the proficiency of my motor skills at that time. But really it just makes my case three and a half or four times more potent.

Have been waiting patiently for my complimentary copy of "The Total Gun Manual", but it has not yet arrived. Must be an oversight...

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from outdoorsman170 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Boom!

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from GAsqhntr wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Every one on the road at 4:00 AM is a hunter, a fisher, or a drunk! Think how lucky we all are to be alive after over 50 years of driving to the fields or lakes through such a gauntlet!

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from GAsqhntr wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Every one on the road at 4:00 AM is a hunter, a fisher, or a drunk! Think how lucky we all are to be alive after over 50 years of driving to the fields or lakes through such a gauntlet!

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