Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Negligent Homicide by One of "The Only Ones"

I've seen this story all over the gunblogosphere:
5-year-old shot and killed

By Johnny Johnson
Staff Writer

NOBLE (OK) — The first shot was so loud it made the hair stand straight up on Jack Tracy's arm. The bullet hit the water just a few feet in front of the boat dock where he was standing.

Instinctively, he pulled his 5-year-old grandson, Austin Haley, close to his left side and began yelling that there were people down by the pond.

Then came the second shot, and the unforgettable thump of a 9 mm bullet penetrating a young boy's skull.

"It went right through the back of his head and came out the front,” Tracy said. "He was just bleeding severely and I knew, right then, he was most likely dead, right there.”

Tracy thought he and his grandson were under attack by someone trying to kill them both, so he threw the boy into the back of a 4-wheeler and drove to his daughter's house about 200 yards away.

"Then two officers came out of the brush over there,” he said. "They didn't tell us they were the ones who had been shooting or that they had shot him. They didn't admit a doggone thing.”

Much later, Tracy said, he found out one of the officers had fired two shots in the Crest Lane neighborhood, trying to kill a snake that had become lodged in a birdhouse on the back porch of a house just up the hill from Tracy's pond.

‘I just feel really bad'
Police had gotten a call of a snake complaint from a woman on Crest Lane, whose 16-year-old daughter saw the snake hanging about 3 feet of its body outside a neighbor's bird house.

The woman, who would not identify herself, told The Oklahoman she called the police station to see if animal control could respond and take care of the snake, which she believed to be a diamondback rattlesnake.

She was told that the city, which lost its only animal control officer recently, would send a police officer over to help.

"This was just a freak and tragic accident,” the woman said, "and I just feel really bad for everyone involved.”
Yes, it was freakish and tragic, but it was not exactly an accident.
Other neighbors weren't as sympathetic.

Crest Lane resident Kara Johnson said there was no excuse for shooting a gun at a snake in a residential area.

"It's a shame that someone had to lose their 5-year-old child over a snake,” Johnson said. "And that's their only child. They'll never get their kid back.”

Neighbor G.W. Henderson said his wife heard a woman screaming within minutes of the shots.

"She was shouting ‘You shot my boy! You shot my boy!'” Henderson said.

Second shot hit snake
City Manager Bob Wade said rumors of overeager Noble officers are inaccurate. "I was told that they tried several ways to get the snake down, but it was still hissing at them and firmly lodged,” Wade said. "What I was told is that the owner of the home either suggested or agreed that they should go ahead and shoot the snake, and then everything happened from there.”
First of all, the homeowner had no business suggesting or agreeing to any discharge of a firearm in a residential area, and the officers had no business discharging a firearm in a non-life-threatening situation. This was not an Uncle Jimbo "It's coming right for us!" scenario.
Wade refused to identify the officer suspected of firing the shots but said the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Said outcome should be charges of negligent homicide, but I have little doubt that he'll walk with "administrative discipline" alone. After all, he's an "only one."
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents were told that officers decided to shoot the animal after being told there was a field behind them, said Jessica Brown, bureau spokeswoman.
It doesn't matter. Rule 4: "Be sure of your target and what is beyond it." Don't take someone else's word for it.
"The first shot grazed the snake, and the second killed it,” Brown said.

Wade said he is 90 percent sure that the same bullet that killed the snake also killed Austin, but due to the trajectory of the shot and the fact that Austin and his grandfather were downhill, investigators have to be 100 percent certain.

"This is so bizarre it has to be fully investigated. ... We're pretty sure circumstantially that it is the bullet from the police officer's gun, but it might be a bullet from someone else,” Wade said.
I'm sure that will be the conclusion of the investigation, since the bullet with the boy's brain tissue is somewhere in the pond, never to be recovered. It must have been space aliens.
Tracy has little doubt about what happened.

"I was standing right beside him when they shot him in the head,” he said. "There just wasn't anything I could do for this baby. He was dead. And he was just the finest Christian boy. His mother just bought him a Bible not a week before this — he wanted one that was camouflage because he was in the Lord's army.'”

Tracy said that when he saw the news reports and heard the police chief saying it was an "unfortunate accident,” the remark seemed too trivial and dismissive.

"I'm not saying the cop shot him on purpose,” Tracy said. "It was an accident. But let me tell you — if I had a kid and put him in this car and didn't put him in a car seat and he got killed on the way to town, they'd charge me with murder ... and what this cop did is a lot worse than that. ... There was no reason for him to kill my grandson.”
Absolutely correct. I'm sure the officer feels horrible about what happened, but I'm also convinced that he thought the idea of popping a snake with his service pistol would be pretty cool.

Unfortunately, once you pull the trigger all the "oh shit!"s and "I'm sorry"s in the world cannot put that bullet back in the cartridge case, or bring a 5 year-old boy back to life. And when it happens, police officers shouldn't get breaks that private citizens don't.

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