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Thread: AD = ND? Yeah or Nay?

  1. #1
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    Someone in the California section stated that all "accidental discharges" are by definition "negligent discharges" "AD=ND"

    What say the masses?

    One must define one's terms to truly argue well

    webster says

    Main Entry: neg·li·gent
    Pronunciation: \-jənt\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin neglegent-, neglegens, present participle of neglegere
    Date: 14th century
    1 a : marked by or given to neglect especially habitually or culpably b : failing to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in like circumstances
    2 : marked by a carelessly easy manner

    Webster also says

    Main Entry: ac·ci·dent
    Pronunciation: \ˈak-sə-dənt, -ˌdent; ˈaks-dənt\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin accident-, accidens nonessential quality, chance, from present participle of accidere to happen, from ad- + cadere to fall — more at chance
    Date: 14th century
    1 a : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance b : lack of intention or necessity : chance <met by accident rather than by design>
    2 a : an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance b : an unexpected and medically important bodily event especially when injurious <a cerebrovascular accident> c : an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but for which legal relief may be sought d —used euphemistically to refer to an involuntary act or instance of urination or defecation
    3 : a nonessential property or quality of an entity or circumstance <the accident of nationality>

    Hypothetical situation to start the discussion:

    Shooteris in a range traing session running a live fire obstacle course that includes a simulated primary weapon stoppage mid course. Simulated stoppageis determined by round count not by any mechanical means. Immediate action drill is to dump the long gun on the sling and keep fighting with pistol. Shooter hits his round count and dumps his long gun. Long gun is on a single point sling hung off of a heavy vest with various and sundry pouches and stuff attached with oh so black and eminently tactical velcro. Long gun hits end of sling and swings so that the 1/4 inch now protruberant formerly firmly attachedcorner of autility pouch slides into the trigger guard tripping the trigger. Loud bloody hillarity ensues.





  2. #2
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    Per your hypo scenario, ND. Shooter failed to switch safety on before dumping long gun.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    In your hypothetical, it's an ND, because the shooter failed to engage the rifle's safety before switching to his sidearm.

    IMO in about 99% of circumstances, AD does = ND.

    I have seen a lot of unintentional discharges over the years--some on VERY secure ranges populated with VERY well-trained shooters--and every single one of them was, IMO, due to "operator error" or lax safety practices.

    The one time I've seen an unintentional discharge that was NOT due to the negligence of the operator with regards to weapons handling or range safety was due to a "parts failure", and it involved a sear that had been "modified" by an unqualified "gunsmith", which failed and caused a 1911 to go full auto and empty the entire magazine in about 2 seconds. And technically, even THAT incident was "negligent", because the weapon had been altered by someone who didn't know what they were doing, and CAUSED it to malfunction...

    I think truly "accidental" discharges are INCREDIBLY rare. Most are somebody's fault.

    I've only had a firearm in my hands fire when I didn't want it to ONE time. I had a new Colt Delta Elite 10mm (man, was that a SWEET pistol), and was familiarizing myself with it's recoil and operation. I had put about 50 rounds through it, and was feeling pretty comfortable with it, so I decided to do some "speed reload" drills with it. After emptying the first mag, I dropped the mag, inserted a fresh mag, and as I was bringing the sights back in-line from the reload, I released the slide, and made the mistake of leaving my finger in the trigger guard. As the slide came into battery, the momentum of it moved the gun forward in my grip just enough to cause my finger to engage the trigger and POP--she fired one into the ceiling of my lane about 20 feet out. Light flashed, whistles blew, and the range officer shouted at me by name, asking me as politely as he could "just what the hell are you doing to my ceiling!!!". After a proper dressing-down that lasted about 5 full minutes, I shot two more mags--slowly, with the range officer over my shoulder, and then left with my tail between my legs.

    And that was NOT an "accident". It was outright negligence, and luckily the only damage done was to my ego, and an acoustic baffle in the ceiling. It was a lesson that will ALWAYS stick with me, and luckily it was learned with no injuries or real damage. That was a LONG time ago (almost 20 years ago), and I've learned a LOT (and matured a lot) since then...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
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    I see an AD as something that your own actions CANNOT prevent.

    Whereas a ND is something your actions COULD HAVE prevented if you had taken those actions.

    Example:

    Forgetting to switch the safety on and it shoots? ND

    Gun is dropped or fallsfor some reason and it still fires? AD

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    Gedankenexperiment; for every 'AD' of which you hear, think of the hypothetical preventative actions.

    How often was it imperative that it be un-holstered at just that moment.

    There are no 'accidents' with a round chambered or a key in the ignition. Seldom if ever is that accident precursor essential at that moment.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    Seldom if ever is that accident precursor essential at that moment.
    Straight out of "Normal Accidents" by Charles Perrow....

    Excellent point, Doug.

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    Agreeing with everyone else - your hypothetical is definitely a ND.

    Personally, I would define an AD as some sort of mechanical failure that was in no way related to the handler. As mentioned, dropping a gun and having the safety/firing pin block fail would be considered an AD.


    So, to directly answer your question: not all AD's are ND's, but they are in most cases. However, if we were applying the definitions that you provided, then, in fact, AD = ND and ND = AD - due to this definition of "accident"
    an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignoranc

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    It requires a gross, even multiple, failure for an H&K or M1911 to discharge simply for being dropped.

    How many times have you dropped a weapon?

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    I think there's a bit of psychology at work here, too. Although there probably could be some sort of truly "accidental" discharge, deeming all unintended firings as "negligent" brings the severity of the situation into greater focus...
    The onus is upon us to be vigilant and safe, at all times.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    darthmord wrote:
    I see an AD as something that your own actions CANNOT prevent.

    Whereas a ND is something your actions COULD HAVE prevented if you had taken those actions.
    I agree with this very sound proposition.






    darthmord wrote:
    Example:

    ...

    Gun is dropped or fallsfor some reason and it still fires? AD
    Nah.

    Who had control over the weapon? Who bought a gun that is unsafe in that regard AND dropped it?

    Nah, dropping an unsafe gun has gotta be ND situation.



    Here's a test for determining an AD/ND that I thought of:

    1. You have a 12 year old daughter. Cute, bright, does well in school. Minds her parents and has a sparkle in her eye. Just like her mom, your wife of 20 years.The kidwants to be a nuclear engineer. Or an astronaut. She's gonna be someone you will be proud of. She already is.

    2. Some LAC with a gun happens to be in bullet range of your daughter and for "reason X" his firearm discharges unintentionally.

    3. The bullet from the unintentionally-fired gun strikes your 12-year-old daughter in the torso. Blood is all over the place as you walk up to her after hearing the shot.


    Now for the test.

    Take a blank piece of paper and write at the top: "Reasons for the LAC's Shot That Would Classify It As Acccidental Discharge."

    Then, underneath list all the reasons.

    So, it's simple. If the "reason X" for the firing is on the list, then it's an AD.

    If the "reason X" is not on the list, then it's an ND.



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    In the situation that the OP spelled out, I would call that anegligent discharge becuase the operator failed to operate the safety so an intrucion into the trigger guard couldn't fore the gun..

    Now if you have an older version of the Remington 700, and the gun fired while sliding the safety to the fire position, (common problem with older rem 700's)I would call it accidental dischargeor a gun malfunction.
    How about a winchester or Marlin 30-30 lever action where the hammer spur breaks off as you letting the hammer down to the 1st detent position, the spur breaks and the hammer slams the firing pin, is that negligent? No, it is another malfunction or accidental discharge because the operator had no control over how it happened.

    What about an SKS or an AR slam-firing? you pull the trigger onceto shoot one round, but the gun shoots multiples and jams? Is that negligent, accidental, or an unregistered machine gun that will get you a few years in prison?

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    All NDs are ADs, but not all ADs and NDs.

    NDs are a subset of ADs. To suggest that that an ND is not accidental is to imply that it is intentional, as accidental and unintentional are synonyms. In fact ADs are sometimes call Unintentional Discharges.

    Most ADs are attributable to negligence, and I like to describe those as NDs, as it emphasizes what could have been done to avoid it. I'll typically stick with the AD descriptor for mechanical failure, etc.

    People often say "NDs are not ADs" or "there are no ADs," but then people refer to magazines as clips and refer to cartridges as bullets. People often don't understand the terminology they use, and it's usually not worth stressing too much about.



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    Thanks. Like allopathy and homeopathy.

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    Negligence does cause accidents, and accidents are caused by cranial/anal cartage.

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    imho, there are no accidental discharges, only negligent.

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    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    Gedankenexperiment; for every 'AD' of which you hear, think of the hypothetical preventative actions.

    How often was it imperative that it be un-holstered at just that moment.

    There are no 'accidents' with a round chambered or a key in the ignition. Seldom if ever is that accident precursor essential at that moment.
    Question for you Mr. Huffman. Do you feel that carrying your gun with a round chambered is irresponsible?

    marine77 wrote:
    imho, there are no accidental discharges, only negligent.
    I can see what your saying, however, people have owned guns that have had undiscovered manufacturer flaws. These flaws have to be "discovered" somehow, so its either the manufacturers fault, or the owners. ... I know I am being the devil's advocate. Just thoughts that's all.

    I carry my handgun chambered and ready for use at anytime. Whether "ND" or "AD", the most important thing for us gun owners is to follow the golden rule.

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    Jero1987 wrote:
    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    Gedankenexperiment; for every 'AD' of which you hear, think of the hypothetical preventative actions.

    How often was it imperative that it be un-holstered at just that moment?

    There are no 'accidents' with a round chambered or a key in the ignition. Seldom if ever is that accident precursor essential at that moment.
    Question for you Mr. Huffman. Do you feel that carrying your gun with a round chambered is irresponsible?
    Not at all. Indeed, I carry my OCW in Condition One and my SA/DA CCW in Condition Two, both quality weapons.

    Neither have I been cited as a motorist since 1977 nor did any of the initial Rx plant start-ups that I directed go particularly awry. In my briefing room Admiral Rickover's Responsibility was prominently displayed "It is an unique concept..." (so that you may find it on-line).

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

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    I agree with the above statement that there's no such thing as an accidental discharge. Every time a round fires, it CAN BE prevented by the person wielding the gun. In the example in the OP, the safety was not on. Assuming it was a real life situation and the weapon jammed, the trigger pull by the gear wouldn't have done anything anyhow.

    If a weapon falls and fires, why did the person wielding it not have full control over it?

    Parts failure? I've never seen a parts failure cause a gun to fire at random times. I've seen them cause guns to KEEP firing after the initial round, but not spontaneously.

    Just because it's a Negligent discharge, does not mean it's the wielder's fault, but it's SOMEONE'S fault, even if it's the QC at the plant the gun was manufactured in.

    Barring someone dropping dead of natural causes or going into convulsions while at a range and HAVING NEVER HAD SYMPTONS of this in the past, everything is preventable. Everything.

    Be responsible for your own actions. Just as the shooter above who shot the ceiling of the range, he took responsibility for his negligent discharge, admitted his fault, and learned from it. Nobody was hurt because he was otherwise being safe. Gun pointed down range, not pointing at anybody or anything that could ricochet it back.

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    I don't particularly like the term 'accidental' discharge as it carries no responsibility... I see an 'accident' as something that ordinary protocol would not have prevented... Kind of like an 'accidental' pregnancy... There are standard and readily available preventative measures that you are supposed to take to prevent that!

    In most cases I believe the term 'Negligent' applies as most of these instances are caused by user error and responsibility needs to be applied!

    If it truly was NOT user error, then the term 'Unintentional' should be applied, along with the reason for it happening...

    "mechanical malfunction caused an UNINTENTIONAL discharge"
    "the rubber broke causing an Unintentional pregnancy...."

    "I had my finger on the trigger when I dropped the slide and negligently discharged"
    "I didn't use a rubber negligently causing her to get pregnant..." (in this scenario, the responsibility falls to both, but the 'negligent' applies better than 'accident'...)

    I cannot think of ANY situation where pregnancy would actually be an 'Accident' as you have to be doing the act in the first place! (unless she tripped and he fell....

    Just my $.02

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    Every AD can be considered an ND if you try hard enough. It is much like an automobile accident that someone is doing something wrong. At the company I used to work for it we had an automobile accident we had to go before the safety review board. They finally put into place the "unavoidable accident" rule where it said that you had done everything you reasonably could have done to avoid it. This was after a good many people got raked over the coals for some pissy arse reason.

    I had one where someone hit me in the rear while I was stopped at a red light and the only thing I could have done to precent it was run the red light. After reading the report the board didn't even call me in to review it.

    If you have an AD someone can it was a ND because you shouldn't even have had a gun in your posession. I flipped the safety off on my rifle one day and it fired. YOu could say that I should have had it checked out by a gunsmith before I went shooting that day. Sometimes there are AD's because to prevent then would mean unreasonable precautions.

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    The vast majority of "Accidental Discharges" are in fact Negligent.

    My biggest peeve is when a news report says a firearm "went off." It didn't go off! The trigger was pulled and the weapon functioned exactly as it was designed to!

    Modern weapons don't "go off."

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    My own UD/AD story.


    This past Friday night I was enjoying some range time with my girlfriend and
    a friend of hers. After about and hour or so of them pounding away with her
    Glock 23 and her friends Sig P220, They decided that they wanted to give my
    Glock 20 10mm a try. I had fired about 200 rounds through it that night with no
    problems. After about 2 more magazines, I hand the G20 to my g/f who takes the
    pistol and a fresh magazine up to the firing line. As she prepares to fire, I hear
    and see the pistol discharge, she unloads it, comes back to the bench, white as
    a ghost, and says, "It went off when I closed the slide, I didn't pull the trigger!".

    Thankfully, we all follow safe gun handling techniques, and the muzzle was always
    in a safe direction, no one was injured.(The round actually struck the target, safely downrange)

    She said she was certain that she didn't have her finger on the trigger. It scared
    the living Shi# out of her. So, I field stripped the firearm, inspected it and found nothing out of the ordinary.

    I took the pistol, with the remaining rounds in the magazine, stepped up to the firing line, Put the mag in the gun aimed at the target, and closed the slide. BANG! Slamfire...

    The pistol is at the local Glock armorer as I type this.

    So, IMHO, not all UD's/AD's are ND's Thoughts ?

    ~Springfield

    edited for spelling.

  23. #23
    Regular Member UtahJarhead's Avatar
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    I agree that there was nothing you did wrong, but it was 100% preventable. Perhaps preventable shouldn't equate to Negligent Discharge.

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    UtahJarhead wrote:
    I agree that there was nothing you did wrong, but it was 100% preventable. Perhaps preventable shouldn't equate to Negligent Discharge.
    How was the initial slamfire preventable ? That's what I'm curious about....

    ~~Springfield

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    Regular Member UtahJarhead's Avatar
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    Hmmm... good point. It would imply you would have an armorer inspect the gun between every round.

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