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ucme's avatar

Oscar Pistorius arrested for fatal shooting of his girlfriend: How much trauma can one guy take?

Asked by ucme (38694 points ) February 14th, 2013

Just read the breaking news about this, it’s alleged he thought it was an intruder breaking into his home as he slept.
His mother died when he was young, he overcame his disability to become a multi medal winning athlete & now this!
Not much of a question I know, but felt an urge to ask.

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41 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Very weird! He doesn’t strike me as a psycho. Knowing the crime rate in South Africa is sky high, he may have been defending himself as reportsw say. I guess that was the end of his career and his reputation!

ucme's avatar

Yeah, I suppose the truth will come out as the story develops.

ETpro's avatar

Whatever the truth, it’s a sad story indeed. Rule one of gun safety is never pull the trigger till you have your eyes on the target and know what it is you;re shooting.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

OMG, I just heard about this. It’s so sad, isn’t it? I wonder if they’re actually going to stick with the murder charge. I mean, it’s not like he planned to kill his girlfriend. He thought he was defending his home.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Something about shooting your girlfriend because you thought it was an intruder sounds very suspect to me. I can pick my girlfriend out from a crowd at a glance from 100 meters away, and can tell if it is her putting her key in the door and coming in or my brother, just by the speed and tempo of the sounds.

I don’t know anything about the details of this story, and I know that this does not automatically make him guilty of murder or something, but it does not smell right to me.

If you hear a noise, go downstairs, and can only make out a rough shape, you should still be able to tell who it is. Reading a bit on the story, it says he shot her as she was trying to wake him up for valentines day as a surprise. This to me suggests it was morning, or that at least he got a good look at her.

There are probably seasoned trained soldiers, who do not have the skill to wake up and start instantly shooting, there had to have been at least half a second between the brain waking up and reaching for a gun, in that kind of time a brain would usually register what is going on, and stop you from shooting the wrong person.

Who knows, I am not attempting to put him or trial or something, but it sounds very strange to me. Are they horror movie fans, and she woke him up with a hokey mask on and a chain saw buzzing? I can’t imagine a ’‘valentines day wake up’’ being mistaken for an attack.

janbb's avatar

And they say guns don’t kill people.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’d say that the girlfriend has a lot more trauma than Pistorius did over the last 24 hours.

Mariah's avatar

It was irresponsible gun use for sure, but that doesn’t change how tragic this is….god, I can’t even imagine.

burntbonez's avatar

So sad. People think they are buying guns to protect themselves, but far more guns end up killing someone you love than end up killing an actual threat. The irony is painful. Of course, if he meant to kill her, it’s even worse.

marinelife's avatar

I am outraged. A young woman is dead at his hand!!!!!! He clearly has a history of domestic abuse. How dare you talk about his trauma?

ebasboy's avatar

This is said. I think Poisonedantidote has laid a basis of investigation. Or lets say the girlfriend maybe covered his face and the guy didn’t recognise the smell, and finally reached to a gun under the pillow…Does it make sense?

diavolobella's avatar

A couple of news reports I saw said there was a history of domestic violence with him. Terribly tragic.

Leanne1986's avatar

I’m assuming his girlfriend had a key to his house so she was able to let herself in. My boyfriend has a key to my flat and whenever I hear someone else in my flat other than me or the dog, I assume it is him and go and check, even if I am not expecting him. So far it has always been him. For this reason, I’m struggling to understand why he wouldn’t check before pulling the trigger.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There are reports of something going on in the house before the shooting and he shot her twice. Somethings smells really bad.

rojo's avatar

From what I heard this morning, the local constabulary does not put much credence into the “burglary” story. They are requesting no bail.

Nullo's avatar

@janbb And if he had clubber her over the head in a poorly-lit room? Would it be the weapon’s fault there, too?

SamandMax's avatar

People may find this whole thing about thinking he was defending his home a bit suspect, but I would like to point out a story from the UK where a guy strangled his wife in his sleep.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/nov/17/husband-strangled-wife-during-nightmare
Although the circumstances are not similar, the unfortunate reality is that in sleep -obviously – and just as we wake up, we are not at our most alert and with it.
It does seem rather pointless to me to go through all that in your lifetime just to shoot your girlfriend in cold blood. But I’ll bet he’s having a hard time trying to prove his intentions. I hope his story is the truth otherwise he is going to look worse than very, very bad.

ucme's avatar

@marinelife What the hell are you throwing insults my way for? I asked the question when it was a breaking story, not all the relevant facts were apparent at that time, that’s kind of how investigations go. As reports have evolved to show that he has in fact been charged with her murder & bail has been denied, then clearly a more sinister scenario has occured.
If that does prove to be the case, then absolutely my sympathy lies with her & her family, but to state what you did, in that way, was frankly ridiculous.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ucme Mellow dude. There isn’t an insult there.

ucme's avatar

@SamandMax Bear in mind also the guy is disabled, being woken in a startled fashion you can imagine him feeling extremely vulnerable. That is of course if his version of events is to believed, which does sound fairly implausible.
@Adirondackwannabe It’s an insult to me when it’s suggested i’d show support to anyone but a victim, i’m perfectly calm though, just stating my point…dude.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ucme Okay, you came across a little harshly. Sorry mods. I know this is in general.

ucme's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I responded to a harsh comment aimed in my direction, that much is true.
Now, back to the story, if it’s proved that she was the victim of domestic violence, then another supposed “hero of a nation” bites the dust.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

First thought that came mind, OJ Simpson. Sad.

SamandMax's avatar

Wait…Orange-Juice-fer-brains was disabled? I thought he was just off his rocker?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Athlete taking out his partner/domestic violence.

antimatter's avatar

Shit happens…

antimatter's avatar

It makes a story for a good Hollywood low budget television drama.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Everything else being revealed about domestic violence and that the “intruder” defense being a cover is really depressing me. This sucks.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I am really hoping that it is just a tragic accident. I admired him so.

josie's avatar

Sounds fishy to me. We’ll see.

This is exactly why, in spite of the fact that I own a few firearms, my home protection weapons are a baseball bat and a Ka-Bar knife.

Crumpet's avatar

When he said he wanted to be treated like an able-bodied athlete, who’d have thought he meant OJ Simpson?

ucme's avatar

Hilarious the way some folks hit the GA button in a demented fashion regardless of an answers merits…woot, way to go!
Anyway, good responses from the majority of you, thanks.

PhiNotPi's avatar

To be honest, the thing I am most saddened about is that his role in history has been forever tainted. People die, accidents happen, domestic abuse happens too, and there’s nothing to be done about it.

The problem is that Pistorius has filled a very important role, which is being one of the first people to really break the disability barrier in sports. Nobody can ever be first again. Now, his image of perfection is shattered, and so is the perfection of the event (the breaking of a barrier). The damage is permanent, and the world will never get the chance to have a redo.

rooeytoo's avatar

Another sporting hero turns out to be just an ordinary, fallible human being. They’re dropping like flies.

Shippy's avatar

I think after the first shot I would realize I had shot someone I know, but then three more times? No doesn’t wash with me at all. A lot of South Africans use the current crime rate as an excuse.

mazingerz88's avatar

Total waste of beauty.

Nullo's avatar

@Shippy He could still be innocent of malice.
The thing is that defensive action happens very, very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the analytical part of the brain takes a back seat to the part that drives during the fight-or-flight response time. Fistfights can end in under a minute. Whole entire gunfights can last a handful of seconds. It’s possible to shoot someone three separate times in under a second, and if that’s what you’ve taught yourself to do in those situations, you’re unlikely to do anything else. It’s not just civilians, either; now and then a cop will, in the heat of the moment, reach for his pistol when he was going for his taser, and the person dies, and it’s all over the news.
The same goes for any high-stress scenario, like administering first aid or regaining control of your car from the snow, or even putting out a kitchen fire. If you aren’t ready for it, you’re going to do the wrong thing and people could die. Which is why you ought to learn snow driving and some emergency response stuff like first aid, and why you ought to take a class if you plan on defending yourself ballistically.

@ucme The GA button, like its counterparts elsewhere, has simply come to indicate like-mindedness or approval. Introducing appropriate buttons just means that there will be twice as many abuses.

Shippy's avatar

@Nullo Yes I bumped into someone who knows him (disabled person later today). He said this was not his character at all. Plus reminded me, when he was legless in bed he might have felt very defensive. Apparently he had shot someone in his yard last year? I also saw police talking about there being domestic disputes prior to this. Where they were called out at other times. So I guess it is a wait and see situation while forensic evidence is gathered etc., very interesting.

antimatter's avatar

@Nullo I heard a similar story, I think he had too many issues, perhaps it’s going o be another OJ Simpson trail.

flo's avatar

If you have the burgler in the washroom tell him/her that there is a gun pointed at the door and to sit tight. and wait for the police to arrive.

rooeytoo's avatar

He’s out on bail now, guess they figure he won’t lose his temper and shoot anyone else???

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