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Accidental shooting at Aloha Council camp news


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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

how many scouts were present?  Three adults sounds like minimum to open a shooting range for a troop shoot at the camp.  If the troop brought 20 to 30 scouts and the range had 8 to 10 shooting spots, then having 18 guns could be reasonable.  Spares.  Not sure which are shooting well or which sights were well aligned.  

One of many question I would have based on this report would be whether the Aloha Council provided a NCAP trained and certified Range Master for the event, or did the troop reserve a site at the council camp and bring their own guns.

I know that in the case of my council we can set up a shooting activity but only under the direction of trained and certified personnel, usually a member of the council shooting sport staff.

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38 minutes ago, yknot said:

If a child is dead -- no matter where -- when supposedly responsible adults were present I sure hope there would be a lot of charges.  I have to say I am not finding that the direction this conversation is taking to be worthy of scouting.

Yes. I will wait to hear from Prosecutor regarding the exact charge if any regarding the accidental death.

Hawaii has one of the lowest number of firearm deaths compared to other states, but a couple of years ago an ATF agent John Bost was accidentally killed by a rifle discharge at the Kihei Police Station. I found no prosecution regarding that case.

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

If a child is dead -- no matter where -- when supposedly responsible adults were present I sure hope there would be a lot of charges.  I have to say I am not finding that the direction this conversation is taking to be worthy of scouting.

Don't judge.  It's not scout like either.  ... It's a tragedy.  ... We're trying to understand what happened.  ... Also be careful, responsible adults are not automatically criminals.  ... I suspect real negligence happened here.  But, we don't know that yet as the news article has not provided any meaningful details.  No matter what, it's a tragedy for all involved.  

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4 hours ago, yknot said:

If a child is dead -- no matter where -- when supposedly responsible adults were present I sure hope there would be a lot of charges.  I have to say I am not finding that the direction this conversation is taking to be worthy of scouting.

If separate people committed distinct crimes, I don't have any problem with multiple charges.  However what commonly happens is you have DAs stacking up multiple charges for the same offense for (usually) sole purpose of essentially extorting the defendant into accepting a plea deal. (or sometimes so that they can advertise to the public their "tough on crime" stance for elections)

In a hypothetical case like this, lets say the most serious possible charge is "Negligence with a firearm leading to death".

The prosecutor then charges the defendant with:

  • Conspiracy to commit a crime (for planning the events that lead to the accidental death)
  • Negligent handling of a firearm;
  • Negligent handling of a firearm leading to serious injury;
  • Negligent handling of a firearm leading to death;
  • Use of a computer in the commission of a felony (for sending an email to a fellow scouter to discuss the plans for the event that lead to the accidental death)

Now, US law says basically that you can only be charged with multiple crimes if the alleged criminal actions are distinct and separate.  So the DA will use a ridiculous argument like, the first charge covers the planning of the shooting event; the second charges covers the time the event began until that youth picked up the gun; the third charge covers from the picking up of the gun until the scout was injured and the fourth charge covers from when the scout was injured until he was actually dead.

Of course, if this defendant goes to trial, the most likely result is their attorney will get at least 2 if not 3 or 4 of these thrown out after making arguments.  But what the DA is going to argue is:

I'll dismiss everything but the most serious charge if you plead guilty and waive a trial.  But if you don't plead guilty, I'm going to pursue them all and even if the judge dismisses them in the end, it's going to cost you thousands of dollars for an attorney to argue the case."

I don't have a problem with a fair punishment, though it's hard to know what's fair without knowing what kind of negligence we are talking about.  I just object to warping the system.

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29 minutes ago, elitts said:

If separate people committed distinct crimes, I don't have any problem with multiple charges.  However what commonly happens is you have DAs stacking up multiple charges for the same offense for (usually) sole purpose of essentially extorting the defendant into accepting a plea deal. (or sometimes so that they can advertise to the public their "tough on crime" stance for elections)

...

I don't have a problem with a fair punishment, though it's hard to know what's fair without knowing what kind of negligence we are talking about.  I just object to warping the system.

#1 ... not only extorting defendants ... it biases juries.   "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is to convict on a single charge; but situations are rarely clear cut.  A jury can feel good about their decision if they feel they proportionately convict.  ...  Thinking being we're not really sure if the accused is really guilty.  So, let's convict on one of five of the charges.  That way the decision to not convict on the 4 of 5 reflects the doubt and feels like a fair decision.   In addition, juries think he must be guilty of one of these.  Let's choose the closest match.  ... Even worse, these situations are ugly.  It's hard for a jury to see an ugly situation and not convict on any of multiple charges.  

#2  Fair punishment is always hard to decide.   Even harder deciding on fair without having a single fact.  

Edited by fred8033
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As far as I'm concerned, the hole is getting deeper. There's a difference between sadly wondering what could have happened vs. conjecturing that charges are overblown due to bias. It happened. It was about as bad as it can get because a child is dead. Let's leave it at that for now. Anything more seems inappropriate for a site and an organization that is about protecting kids. 

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6 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

One of many question I would have based on this report would be whether the Aloha Council provided a NCAP trained and certified Range Master for the event, or did the troop reserve a site at the council camp and bring their own guns.

Some troops (ours) has an NCS / NRA certified rifle instructor and 2 other certified RSOs. So, we could do a troop shoot. We have one planned for next year. Not many can meet this threshold. 

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32 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

Some troops (ours) has an NCS / NRA certified rifle instructor and 2 other certified RSOs. So, we could do a troop shoot. We have one planned for next year. Not many can meet this threshold. 

Our troop too.  I don't think it's that unusual in a good sized troop.

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Wow, there seems to be a lot of premature judging going on.  Again, I am not arguing my credentials or experience but I have spent some time on the ole shooten range.  It doesn't matter if it's a Marine Corps range, a law enforcement range, a private range or a Scout Camp range, eventually there will be an accidental discharge,  plain and simple.  Most aren't as serious as this, but they do happen.  I will reserve judgment and blame until I get to hear the rest of the story.

 

 

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