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Thread: Guns and Alcohol Do Not Mix

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    It was an accident! No, It was self-defense. No, it was insanity. No, it was ingratitude. No, the guy was drinking my vodka!

    A cautionary tale here -- booze and shooting guns do not mix. And a million excuses don't change that.

    I can't figure out why the SA is asserting premeditation. There must be some general rationale motivating that.


    Too bad they don't havebreathalyzers on guns...




    Nov 28, 2007
    In trial, riveting recording of friend's murder

    By John Curran Associated Press

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — They grew up together, went to grade school together and remained best friends into adulthood.

    On Aug. 1, 2006, Matthew Stevens decided to throw a birthday party for his friend, Carl Ackley. They stocked up on booze and barbecue fixings and started drinking in the backyard of Stevens' trailer about 4 p.m.

    Five hours later, police say, Stevens rushed into the trailer in South Reading, grabbed a .357 Magnum from under a mattress and shot Ackley to death on the front steps of the trailer before tearfully admitting what he'd done in a 911 call.

    "He's dead. I killed my best friend," Stevens said on the tape-recorded call. "Oh, my God."

    Jurors heard the recording Tuesday as the trial of Stevens, 47, got under way with a prosecutor telling jurors it was premeditated murder and Stevens' lawyer insisting it was a drunken accident that doesn't meet the legal definition of first-degree murder.

    Ackley's blood alcohol content when he died was .31, almost four times the legal limit for drivers in Vermont; Stevens' was .26 or .27 at the time, according to defense attorney David Sleigh. According to an affidavit filed in the case, it was .16 when measured later.

    "In this trial, there's not a shred of evidence that can support a finding of premeditation," he told the jury in Vermont District Court during his opening statement.

    Deputy Windsor County State's Attorney Heidi Woessner gave a decidedly different view, saying Stevens was irate because he didn't want people drinking his vodka, because Ackley was pressuring him to serve dinner and because he thought Ackley didn't appreciate him throwing the party.

    He told his live-in girlfriend as he pulled out the pistol in his bedroom that he was going to shoot Ackley.

    "If anyone was spoiling for a confrontation that night it was the defendant, not Carl Ackley," she said.

    Ackley, 44, was shot in the neck on the threshold of the trailer. He died at the scene.

    In a chaotic 911 call made moments later by girlfriend Deborah Marcotte, 50, and another longer one made by Stevens himself, Stevens could be heard pleading for help, apologizing for what he'd done and saying he didn't know the gun was loaded.

    In the second call, made by Stevens, he rambled, slurred his speech and cried to Capt. Kevin Anderson of the Vermont State Police, who was trying to keep him on the line until police arrived.

    "It was an accident!" he said at one point. "I can't believe this even happened. This is a nightmare," he said at another point on the call.

    He also told Anderson he wanted to be taken to Waterbury, meaning the Vermont State Hospital psychiatric facility.

    Stevens sat quietly at the defense table as the recordings were played, while the 10-woman, six-man jury — 12 jurors and four alternates — listened and followed along reading from printed transcripts of the call.

    Noting Stevens' stated remorse on the call, Woessner repeatedly told jurors "You can't apologize for murder."

    "Despite his excuses — accidental, self defense, insanity — this case was murder," she said.

    Sleigh said Ackley pursued Stevens from the back yard of the trailer around to the front door, where arriving police found him slumped on his knees, in a pool of blood.

    He said the two friends had had at least one prior physical altercation, and suggested that Stevens' use of force was justified because Ackley was trying to attack him and that it appeared as though Ackley chased Stevens into the trailer.

    "This came out of the blue, between two extremely intoxicated people," said Sleigh, who contended it wasn't a willful or deliberate killing.

    http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs....13/1003/NEWS02



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    This is why I always disagree with people that think it's ok to drink while you're carrying a gun. I think it's a bad idea, and I'm sure the defendant in this case would agree.

    The defense needs to figure out what they are doing. Was he insane? Was he just too drunk? Was it an accident? Was it self defense? Can we just pick one please? Must be a public defender.


    BTW, "I didn't know it was loaded" is not a good excuse, ever. Forget the 4 rules for a minute, not everyone was taught them. The fact of the matter is that you don't point guns at people. Period. You especially don't pull the damn trigger! WTH was he thinking? I mean 1.6 is a high BAC, but it's not THAT high.

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    expvideo wrote:
    This is why I always disagree with people that think it's ok to drink while you're carrying a gun. I think it's a bad idea, and I'm sure the defendant in this case would agree.

    The defense needs to figure out what they are doing. Was he insane? Was he just too drunk? Was it an accident? Was it self defense? Can we just pick one please? Must be a public defender.


    BTW, "I didn't know it was loaded" is not a good excuse, ever. Forget the 4 rules for a minute, not everyone was taught them. The fact of the matter is that you don't point guns at people. Period. You especially don't pull the damn trigger! WTH was he thinking? I mean 1.6 is a high BAC, but it's not THAT high.
    Try again exp

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    bayboy42 wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    This is why I always disagree with people that think it's ok to drink while you're carrying a gun. I think it's a bad idea, and I'm sure the defendant in this case would agree.

    The defense needs to figure out what they are doing. Was he insane? Was he just too drunk? Was it an accident? Was it self defense? Can we just pick one please? Must be a public defender.


    BTW, "I didn't know it was loaded" is not a good excuse, ever. Forget the 4 rules for a minute, not everyone was taught them. The fact of the matter is that you don't point guns at people. Period. You especially don't pull the damn trigger! WTH was he thinking? I mean 1.6 is a high BAC, but it's not THAT high.
    Try again exp
    I meant .16. I'm pretty sure 1.6 is morgue material

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    expvideo wrote:
    bayboy42 wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    This is why I always disagree with people that think it's ok to drink while you're carrying a gun. I think it's a bad idea, and I'm sure the defendant in this case would agree.

    The defense needs to figure out what they are doing. Was he insane? Was he just too drunk? Was it an accident? Was it self defense? Can we just pick one please? Must be a public defender.


    BTW, "I didn't know it was loaded" is not a good excuse, ever. Forget the 4 rules for a minute, not everyone was taught them. The fact of the matter is that you don't point guns at people. Period. You especially don't pull the damn trigger! WTH was he thinking? I mean 1.6 is a high BAC, but it's not THAT high.
    Try again exp
    I meant .16. I'm pretty sure 1.6 is morgue material
    Well, back in my wilder college days...


    I'll add my own twist... guns and intoxication don't mix.

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    expvideo wrote:
    This is why I always disagree with people that think it's ok to drink while you're carrying a gun. I think it's a bad idea ...

    imperialism2024 wrote:
    ...I'll add my own twist... guns and intoxication don't mix.
    I agree with Imperialism2024 here. Having 1 or 2 beers isn't detrimental to your capacity to reason. Getting drunk is another thing.

    I consider carrying a gun the same as driving. If you're gonna get drunk, I don't recommend either. However, if you're drinking in a manner so as not to get drunk, there's no problem doing both.

    For instance, I went to dinner with some buddies from school a month or so back. I had dinner and 2 beers over the course of about 4 hours. (I had the food before I started drinking, which reduces alcohol absorbtion.) I then drove home. I wasn't drunk, I didn't get in an accident, and I didn't shoot anybody.

    Another example: knowing I was going to be at a going-away-party, I opted to leave the gun and car at home. I got pretty drunk and staggered home that night with no problems.

    My point is that it's all about using proper judgement. The gun didn't kill Mr Ackley; a drunk Mr. Stevens (allegedly) did. If he didn't own a gun he could have just as easily grabbed a kitchen knife.
    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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    +1

    I see no mention of responsibility nor understanding of its meaning, here in this thread or in others.

    The Cartridge Brothers, Clique and Claque, would be petty tyrants determining what is reasonable and who is responsible.

    As to alcohol; there is good evidence that alcohol, within a limit, improves shooting - reduces tremors and speeds reaction time.

    Clique and Claque, the conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    As to alcohol; there is good evidence that alcohol, within a limit, improves shooting - reduces tremors and speeds reaction time.
    What is the limit, Doug?

    Is this good evidencethe result of formalized research or is it anecdotal? Or something else?

    What are the particulars of the good evidence you refer to?



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    Remember, "Google is your friend"?
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...iend%26quot%3B

    And
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_Internet:
    someone who intentionally posts [ ... ] messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum or group with the singular intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.
    Doing your research relieves me of no burden when you won't read/understand/remember the citation. If I thought you were other than "invincibly ignorant" (G. G. Liddy, various) then it would give me great pleasure to think that you were following along. Alas.

    The situation reminds me of my daughter while she was a child, "but Dad, what if...? What if?" My response was and is, "the road to hell is paved with 'what ifs.'"

    Learn some freekin' responsibility.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will with wits and guns and the truth. LAB/NRA/GOP *******

  10. #10
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    As to alcohol; there is good evidence that alcohol, within a limit, improves shooting - reduces tremors and speeds reaction time.

    What is the limit, Doug?

    Is this good evidencethe result of formalized research or is it anecdotal? Or something else?

    What are the particulars of the good evidence you refer to?

    Doing your research relieves me of no burden when you won't read/understand/remember the citation. If I thought you were other than "invincibly ignorant" (G. G. Liddy, various) then it would give me great pleasure to think that you were following along. Alas.

    The situation reminds me of my daughter while she was a child, "but Dad, what if...? What if?" My response was and is, "the road to hell is paved with 'what ifs.'"

    Learn some freekin' responsibility.

    You won't say what thebasis for your own assertions is?

    You won't even cite any authoritive source? You won't even say if it is research... or anecdote ...personal experience...or SWAG?

    Why, that's kind of interesting Doug. Very interesting. You justdon't back up what you say.

    We used to have a rule around here at OCDO, at least it was a practice: to cite any source of asserted facts or code or law.

    But you seem to be above that practice.




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    They say the BAC of the victim here was .31 ... and that the shooter was .27, and later measured at .16.

    If these people were as good of friends as they said they were, and they were truly celebrating the birthday, I would think they were probably keeping up with each other so .31 and .27 is believeable to me.

    I have blown above .16 before during a stop (chill out I was walking, not driving)... I would never, ever, even think about carrying a weapon if I had even an inkling of an idea that I might be drinking to this point of intoxication (at above .16 I was still concious as to what was going on, but you reflexes are so blurred and delayed, and become unappropriate).

    However, some of you say if you are going out drinking you shouldn't carry a gun... I can agree with that if we have the same definition of "drinking". To me, going out drinking means planting your butt at the bar for a while with the sole intention to reap the uninhibitory effects of alcohol and in excess...

    Now going out and "having a beer/drink" to me, is going out to meet a buddy at the bar, to watch a game, shoot the ****, something along those lines, and casually having a drink or a beer while doing so. When I go out to do something along these lines, I might have 2 beers in an hour... keep in mind I am 245 lbs... so my BAC over an hour with 2 beers being the heigh/weight I am... well to say the least is well under the legal limit.

    And I do realize that sometimes people go out with the intention of having a beer... or two, and the half hour turns into an hour, and the hour turns into two, and two beers becomes five or six... which I can only offer that you need to be responsible while drinking and planning to drive, or carry a weapon. Set a limit for yourself, follow that limit. When I carry I know my BAC is under the legal limit, the one time I go out to drink every month and a half or two.

    Obviously if you know you have a problem with alcohol, you need to evaluate your actions a little more closely. I woulnd't have a hard time believing these two had problems with alcohol in the past either.

    But for someone to come out and say, hey -- if you have a beer with dinner, you better leave the gun at home, well, I think that is way out of line, and ridiculous. I am not going to give up my ability to protect myself because I want to have a drink.

    Granted, when you see something like this come along, it sends the message, and reinforces that alcohol can be a catalyst for ill-fated judgement and death/murder. However there are plenty of people that drink responsibly and have firearms, and manage to do just fine.


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    http://www.biblehelp.org/godswill.htm
    A good man knows his limitations. From a vintage Clint Eastwood movie...

    You're neither.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    http://www.biblehelp.org/godswill.htm
    A good man knows his limitations. From a vintage Clint Eastwood movie...

    You're neither.
    ?:?

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    http://www.biblehelp.org/godswill.htm
    A good man knows his limitations. From a vintage Clint Eastwood movie...

    You're neither.
    Are you addressing openryan? Me? CA_Libertarian?

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    openryan wrote:
    ?
    Seriously? Henretta.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Remember, "Google is your friend"?
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...iend%26quot%3B

    And
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_Internet:
    someone who intentionally posts [ ...] messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum or group with the singular intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.
    Doing your research relieves me of no burden when you won't read/understand/remember the citation. If I thought you were other than "invincibly ignorant" (G. G. Liddy, various) then it would give me great pleasure to think that you were following along. Alas.

    The situation reminds me of my daughter while she was a child, "but Dad, what if...? What if?" My response was and is, "the road to hell is paved with 'what ifs.'"

    Learn some freekin' responsibility.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will with wits and guns and the truth. LAB/NRA/GOP *******
    You're really annoying sometimes.

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    Curtsey: 'smilie'

  18. #18
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    As to alcohol; there is good evidence that alcohol, within a limit, improves shooting - reduces tremors and speeds reaction time.




    Doug Huffman wrote:

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    :eating popcorn:

    :?

  20. #20
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    HankT wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    As to alcohol; there is good evidence that alcohol, within a limit, improves shooting - reduces tremors and speeds reaction time.




    Doug Huffman wrote:
    The real point is that alcohol clouds one's judgment. Whether you are a better gunfighter after one beer is rather irrelevant to this incident.

    If your judgment is impaired, then why would you want to carry a firearm any more than you would want to get behind the wheel of a car?

    I open carry all the time. I have to open carry in a bar because of a stupid Virginia law. Drunks are not rational people and I had one try to grab my SIG once. A bar (a real bar, not a restaurant that serves alcohol) is one place where I would rather conceal than open carry. I do not drink when I carry and I do not carry when I drink.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Ahh! A two days dead thread resurrected! Two personal anecdotes do not data make.

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    It is a fact that alcohol clouds judgement. There is no data needed, because it's common knowledge. Wikipedia "alcohol". I'm sure it will be in there.

  23. #23
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    I'll admit, at first I though DH's comment was a joke...

  24. #24
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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I'll admit, at first I though DH's comment was a joke...
    Nah.

    Doug Huffman actually believes that "alcohol ... improves shooting!"



    I wonder if Doug believes that alcohol "improved" the shooting of Robert Hawkins???

    "... Hawkins was not a social person, preferring to play video games while drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana."




    I'll be famous, wrote teen killer

    Robert Lusetich, Los Angeles correspondent | December 07, 2007[/i]


    A TORMENTED 19-year-old, who shot dead eight people yesterday in a US shopping mall before shooting himself, left a suicide note complaining that he was worthless - but adding: "Now I'll be famous."

    Robert Hawkins, an experienced and avid hunter and gun enthusiast, took an assault rifle to a busy department store in Omaha, Nebraska, and opened fire on terrified Christmas shoppers, killing eight and wounding five others.

    Local media reports said Hawkins, who then turned the weapon on himself, recently broke up with his girlfriend and had been fired from his job at McDonald's.

    He was also arrested last week for being a minor in possession of alcohol - the legal drinking age in the US is 21 - and was due in court on December 19.

    Hawkins's landlady, Debora Maruca-Kovac, told CNN she had received a call from an upset Hawkins before the shooting in which he told her he'd left a note "explaining everything".

    When Ms Maruca-Kovac - who had taken the troubled Hawkins into her home 18 months ago after he was kicked out by his family - asked what he meant, he said "It's too late" and put down the phone. She said after reading the note left in his bedroom she phoned his mother, and together they alerted police.

    "He just said (in the note) how he was sorry for everything, that he didn't want to be a burden any longer to anybody, that he loved his family and he loved all of his friends," Ms Maruca-Kovac said.

    "He said he was a piece of **** all his life" Ms Maruca-Kovac said, adding he used the words: "Now I'll be famous."

    In the note he reportedly also talked about "going out in style".

    Police chief Thomas Warren said the attack, the worst in the state's history, was premeditated but indiscriminate.

    Witnesses, many of whom did not realise what was happening, believing the gunfire was balloons popping or construction work, said it was over in minutes, though the nightmare lasted almost an hour for hundreds of frightened shoppers hiding behind racks of clothes and in toilets.

    Hawkins, tall and lanky and dressed in camouflage gear, ran through the Westroads mall just before 2pm (local time) holding an AK-47 high above him before stopping on the third floor of the Von Maur store and firing.

    "I saw a guy run by with a huge gun," a woman named Teresa told a local television station.

    "At first it didn't register. Then, there was a woman who had an awful look on her face with two little kids. She was practically dragging the one and pushing the stroller and saying, 'He has a gun and he's shooting people'."

    As Americans struggled to process the reality of yet another senseless massacre in their heartland, a portrait emerged of Hawkins that is eerily similar to those of his predecessors, from Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to Virginia Tech mass murderer Cho Seung-hui.

    Dark, brooding, solitary and inconsolable, Hawkins was reportedly taking powerful anti-depressants - drugs that have been linked to violence and suicide. He had also been given drugs for attention deficit disorder.

    A friend, Shawn Saunders, said Hawkins was not a social person, preferring to play video games while drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

    He was kicked out of high school two years ago and was estranged from his family.

    His parents, who are divorced but live in the area, put him in a home for troubled youths, where he was reportedly harassed, after which Hawkins moved into the home of Ms Maruca-Kovac's sons, who were friends.

    "When he first came in the house, he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted," said Ms Maruca-Kovac, who works as a nurse. After discovering the note, she went to work at the Nebraska Medical Centre, where she saw shooting victims brought in for treatment.

    He reportedly also left a note for friends, and a makeshift will.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...19-601,00.html







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