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Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges

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    TGT Addict
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    Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges Before Play Performance

    Sunday , November 16, 2008
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    ST.GEORGE, Utah —
    A 17-year-old Washington County high school student died Saturday after firing a blank-shooting prop pistol used for a play. Authorities say the Desert Hills student died from head injuries. The pistol was found in the student's hands shortly before the play "Oklahoma!" was scheduled to begin.
    St. George Police Captain Bruce Graham says there were no bullets in the gun, but the gas in it has the same energy that a bullet does.
    The boy was the only person in the sound booth when the cast of "Oklahoma!" heard a loud noise at approximately 6:20 p.m., Graham said.
    The boy was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center, but died about 10 p.m. as hospital officials were preparing to airlift him to a Las Vegas hospital.
    The boy's name has not been released.
    "I'm uncertain of the condition or circumstances of this unfortunate situation," said Marshall Topham, assistant superintendent of secondary education for the Washington County School District. "We're shocked and saddened to learn of it."
    The cast and crew was rehearsing for the play just before their performance when the incident happened. Chase Leary was inside the high school's theater when he heard the prop gun fire.
    "All I heard was screaming, and someone saying call 911," Leary said.
    He said most people inside the theater were crying.
    "I'm pretty overwhelmed," said Randy Johnson, a stage hand for the play, who wasn't inside the school when the shooting happened. ""He is a pretty close friend of mine."
    Graham said detectives are investigating the incident.
    This is the second time police have been called to the school as a result of a prop gun.
    Police responded to the school on Oct. 10 after students reported seeing a person enter the school with a gun. The person who entered the school was actually a drama member with a prop gun for the play.

    FOXNews.com - Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges Before Play Performance - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News



    Now this raises the question, where was the muzzle pointed? (I don't mean to be insensitive)
     

    DrBart2

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    I have heard that it is very common for people who are not familiar with firearms, to believe guns shooting blanks are completely safe. What has happened in the past (and may have happened here) , some actor takes the gun (believing it is harmless) puts it to his head and pretends to commit suicide. Resulting in actually killing themselves. There was a young movie actor (can't remember his name) that did this 10 to 15 years ago. A real shame. Whoever owns the gun should only let actors who are aware of the dangers handle the weapon.
     

    Shorts

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    DrBart, that's exactly what I was thinking happened.

    Yeah, folks think air pressure is harmless but they're sorely mistaken in this case. The thing that comes to mind right now is the air pressure from the compressor. I'm sure we've all used the nozzle to blow a divot in our hand or arm and see how our skin distorts. Can you imagine an immediate and concentrated shot from a loaded primer???
     

    40Arpent

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    I doubt that this person even knew there'd be anything coming out of the barrel.

    I might be wrong about that...

    While his Eagle Scout son knew how to use shotguns
    and .22-caliber rifles, he had never been trained how to
    use a pistol because he wasn't old enough. And Tucker
    didn't know how dangerous blanks can be, his father
    said.
     

    djspump2003

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    I watched the Senate panel discussion on Waco: Rules of Engagement where Chuck Schumer said that flash bang grenades cannot injure a person. I wonder if he knows that blank guns can kill too? Drama kids should take physics too.
     

    Rob1796

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    I might be wrong about that...

    While his Eagle Scout son knew how to use shotguns
    and .22-caliber rifles, he had never been trained how to
    use a pistol because he wasn't old enough. And Tucker
    didn't know how dangerous blanks can be, his father
    said.

    The only problem I find with the father's statement is that, if he knew how to use a shot gun and a .22 rifle, how is knowing how to use a pistol (or for that mater, any other rifle larger than .22?) any different? You pull the trigger, something goes bang, and regardless of it being a prop gun or a real gun, isn't there a rule or something about treating a gun like its loaded always?

    It would be pretty convinent if there were just a few laws, or rules, like, maybe just four or so, about properly handling a firearm. I dunno, maybe thats just me.
     

    Shorts

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    The only problem I find with the father's statement is that, if he knew how to use a shot gun and a .22 rifle, how is knowing how to use a pistol (or for that mater, any other rifle larger than .22?) any different? You pull the trigger, something goes bang, and regardless of it being a prop gun or a real gun, isn't there a rule or something about treating a gun like its loaded always?

    It would be pretty convinent if there were just a few laws, or rules, like, maybe just four or so, about properly handling a firearm. I dunno, maybe thats just me.


    There sure is:

    - a gun is always loaded
    - don't point gun at anything you don't intend to shoot
    - finger off trigger until sights on target
    - know your target and what's beyond


    I'm willing to bet one of those rules above was broken

    It goes to show, you don't pick and choose which rule you break. Any one of those 4 will injure/kill if you don't heed.
     

    DrBart2

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    I remember Jon-Erik Hexum died the exact same way.

    Yep, that was the one I was thinking about, but couldn't remember his name. Here is a good description by Wikipedia.

    On October 12, 1984, in between filming scenes on the set of Cover Up, Hexum was critically wounded after he placed a .44 Magnum prop gun loaded with blanks to his temple and pulled the trigger. The accident happened during the filming of a scene where Hexum’s character (Mac Harper) was supposed to unload a handgun and replace the bullets with blanks – as the script required. However, the shooting was delayed and Hexum – being overworked and tired due to his tight filming schedule and various TV appearances – fell asleep. Hexum awoke, realizing that the scene still was not ready to be shot, and put the gun to his head. Of all the crewmembers in the studio that day, no one claims to have seen the shooting.[5]
    Hexum was apparently unaware that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired within a few inches of the body, especially if pointed at a particularly vulnerable spot, such as the temple or the eye. Although the paper wadding in the blank that Hexum discharged did not penetrate his skull, the wad struck him in the temple with enough blunt force trauma to shatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain causing massive hemorrhaging.[6][2]
    Hexum was rushed to the Beverly Hills Medical Center where he underwent five hours of surgery to repair his wounds.[6]On October 18, six days after the accident, Hexum was declared brain dead. Hexum's mother Greta allowed his body, still connected to life support, to be flown to San Francisco for organ transplants.[3] Hexum's heart was then implanted into a then 36-year old Las Vegas escort service owner who was awaiting a heart transplant.[7]Hexum's kidneys and corneas were also harvested and placed in organ transplant banks before his body was flown back to Los Angeles for autopsy and burial.[3]
    Hexum's death was ruled accidental.[8]Hexum's mother later received an out of court settlement from Twentieth Century Fox Television and Glenn Larson Productions, the production team behind Cover Up.[2]
    Four weeks after Hexum's death, Cover Up resumed airing without Hexum's character, Mac Harper, who was killed in action. The return episode also featured a tribute to Hexum.[9]Actor Antony Hamilton eventually replaced Hexum, but Cover Up was canceled after one season.
     
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    I watched the Senate panel discussion on Waco: Rules of Engagement where Chuck Schumer said that flash bang grenades cannot injure a person. I wonder if he knows that blank guns can kill too? Drama kids should take physics too.

    Would it be too much to ask for Chuckie to hold a flash/bang after pulling the pin to demonstrate grenade safety for all of us? I would love to have him show me himself how this works.

    C'mon, Chuckie, live demo or it's bogus!
     

    kville79

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    Holding a flash bang in your hand and letting it go off? yeah you deserve to loose a pinky doing that. But I've been in a room where a flash bang went off right next to my leg, not a pleasant feeling, but not injurious.
     

    Old Man of the Mountain

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    The original guitar player for the band Chicago used to love to play around with a handgun that he loaded up with blanks.

    Once he pretended that he was committing suicide during a party with his blank gun- once!

    Sometimes once is all it takes.
     
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