Sunday, August 05, 2007
The story is titled, Freak Accident: Cop Shooting at Snake Kills 5-Year-Old Boy, and here is a link to the video.
First question, why is a cop shooting a snake in the first place? Was it a 100 ft long anaconda choking 14 people or something? This makes no sense to me. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that the cop had a legitmate reason to shoot it, and we'll go from there.
The boy who was killed was about 150 yards from the gun. He was standing on a dock, fishing. He was five, so he was what, about 3 feet tall? That's a nice round number. Now, we'll assume the cop was maybe 6ft maybe. That would put his gun firing from a height of no more than probably 5 feet, tops. So, let's do a little math. The gun was fired from 5 feet off of the ground; it hit a boy's head that was 3 feet off the ground. Actually, we'll throw in a little benifit of the doubt here. Let's say he was sitting, so 2 feet. That gives a 3 feet differential. With a little 9th grade trigonometry, we see that the gun was fired at…..ok….even sitting here with my Machinist’s Handbook, Revised 21st Edition, I can’t remember all the sine cosine crap. Let’s just say that he fired his shot at an angle just a little less than parallel to the ground. Why? If anyone knows even the slightest bit about gun safety, you know that a bullet can go well past your target, if you miss it especially, and hurt and/or kill someone hundreds of feet, even hundreds of yards, away.
Just as a “for instance”, my little box of little .22 Long Rifle rounds here has a warning that the round can hurt or kill someone up to 2 miles away. Me personally, I do my target shooting down at the pond. In the direction I face when I shoot, there is no occupied or populated area for about 4 miles or so. But still, I always make sure that my trajectory puts my bullet into the ground no more than 15 ft or so beyond my target.
For anyone to discharge a firearm almost straight ahead of himself is dangerous, even down at the pond. To do it in a populated area is completely insane. But for a cop to do it, someone who is supposedly super-duper trained in firearm use and safety, is an action that amounts to depraved indifference to human life. Such an action is also known as Murder In The Second Degree in most jurisdictions.
I really hope this guy is prosecuted.
And I really want to know why he was shooting at a snake in the first stinkin place.