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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Should people who shoot guns in the air in an urban setting be charged with attempted murder, or voluntary manslaughter?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21144 points ) January 5th, 2011

Should people who shoot guns up in the air on New Years, 4th of July, etc be charged with attempted murder or voluntary manslaughter? While talking with a friend on how we stayed save celebrating New Years he said he heard a breaking news story from LA County of a man being struck in the head minutes after New Years by a bullet someone, somewhere shot into the air. Needless to say he did not survive. People who shoot guns off in urban areas has to know that bullet is not going to evaporate or go into orbit, it will eventually come down somewhere, so those foolish enough to get caught doing it shouldn’t they be charged with attempted murder or at least attempted voluntary manslaughter?

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20 Answers

coffeenut's avatar

At the very least (If it doesn’t hurt anyone/anything) Reckless Endangerment (unless it comes down and kills someone) than Manslaughter

rooeytoo's avatar

If someone is crazy enough to shoot a bullet into the air to celebrate a holiday, they are too crazy to own a gun in the first place.

But since anyone can own a gun, then yes charge them with attempted murder for sure.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

We had tons of that here. I was out of beer on New Years and was afraid to walk the block to the store. I’m pretty sure H_C is going for a racism angle here so I will add that I live in a white trash part of town. I never see brown people unless I go to Eugene. This place is like Wonder Bread with holsters.

john65pennington's avatar

I agree with the idea of your question. only problem is this: how could you ever prove or locate this one particular weapon used in your question and how could you prove who actually fired the killing shot?

The laws are already on the books to cover this type of situation. but, to my knowledge, no one has ever been convicted for this type of incident, much less arrested for same.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central charges or accusation of crimes would depend on the codes in different localities. Generally, serious felony charges like attempted murder or attempted voluntary manslaughter would require a specific victim. The charges would, generally, require evidence of deliberate, intentional or reckless extreme disregard for human life. It requires a deliberate attempt to commit a crime, in the case of murder, against a person.

Did you happen to see the story of the about Alfredo Simon, the Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher, who faces an involuntary manslaughter charge in a fatal shooting New Year’s Eve. He is accused of firing celebratory shots in the air in Lupero near Santo Domingo. The bullets allegedly killed his cousin.

Of course there are different versions of what happened.

marinelife's avatar

I think the charge should be voluntary manslaughter.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

As @john65pennington stated,there are already laws.
I did have a dog that was paralyzed by a bullet that lodged in her spine after someone fired a gun into the air on New Year’s Eve.We had no idea who or where it came from.
There are irresponsible and responsible gun owners out there.

Moegitto's avatar

Pretty sure if they shoot in the air and the bullet drops and injures someone/thing it’s involuntary manslaughter.

flutherother's avatar

You should make guns illegal in the first place. Once they have been fired the damage is done.

iamthemob's avatar

@marinelife – voluntary manslaughter requires harmful intent, but the intent is countered by mitigating circumstances (like, really, really pissing off the guy who kills you ;-)). This, however would be covered under involuntary manslaughter statutes in most jurisdictions. As mentioned, though, the issue is proof rather than criminalization.

YoBob's avatar

Neither. They should be charged with reckless endangerment along with all other firearms related offenses on the books that make such discharge of a weapon illegal.

Unfortunately, it is morons like that who give the other 99.9% of responsible gun owners a bad name.

filmfann's avatar

You can’t prove intent. What we need to do is increase the penalty for reckless discharge of a firearm.

Symbeline's avatar

Well you can’t really, since it wasn’t voluntary or an intent, but I definitely do think that something should be done about randomly shooting guns around a shitload of people. Seems highly irresponsible and dangerous to me.

Supacase's avatar

Involuntary manslaughter. They don’t know it is going to hit someone and the actual chances of that are rather slim, so I don’t think voluntary is appropriate.

ucme's avatar

Maybe that’s what wiped out all those blackbirds! Okay, it’s just a little joke. No need to go all hillbilly on a fella XD

rooeytoo's avatar

Here is another question, what do you do with a 10 year old who shoots his mother with a gun selected from the family cache because he doesn’t want to bring in more firewood???

filmfann's avatar

@rooeytoo Obviously not make him bring in more firewood!

syzygy2600's avatar

Voluntary manslaughter and depraved indifference to human life. The only people stupid enough to shoot off guns in public are toothless hicks and gang banging thugs, both of which the world would be better off without.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Neither. If someone is killed then I think something along the lines of gross negligence, something more serious than involuntary manslaughter. They know the risks, or they should.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Not_the_CIA I’m pretty sure H_C is going for a racism angle here so I will add that I live in a white trash part of town. Who is doing it and where they lived had no sway on my feelings. Be you some African American gangbanger from Compton, a vato from Laredo, or some white trash from the back woods of wherever if they have no reason or logic but to shoot a weapon in the air of populated area I don’t care their race or economic standard because either can shoot a bullet that can hit me or any of mine.

@filmfann I can go with that. You shoot off a gun in a populated area you get an automatic 10yrs for each shell you shot. If someone dies then you get more.

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