The Internet's Original Gun Critic

The Amish Slaying

It turns out the Amish Girl was killed by a horrible incident of negligence.  Pretty much it was an accident, but one based on a negligent action.   This is a horrible thing, but the man never intended to kill the girl.  I’m sure that gives comfort to the family of the young woman slain – Okay, not even close.  My heart goes out to the family.

Firing a gun into the air is incredibly stupid.  As we can see the potential for tragedy played out to the fullest in this case.  Doesn’t get much worse than this.   This is why we don’t fire a rifle – of any type – into the air.  Ever.  Even a muzzle loader, 1.5 miles away from anything.  Just don’t do it.   For a muzzle loader, you can’t just unload, which is why the man fired it.  So what you do is you fire it into something that can take a hit.  Like a bucket of sand.  Or a barrel of sand or water.  Whatever you can come up with.   Just don’t fire it into the air.


  1. toadold's Gravatar toadold

    It happens in Chicago and all over the Middle East. People will fire weapons into the air to celebrate a wedding and some poor sole will take one in the head. It got worse with all the AK’s out there ’cause they’d let rip on full auto and really fill the air with falling lead. I remember hearing when I was a kid about an incicent. The excuse offered was, “It was just a .22.” It still managed to punch through a skull.

  2. Tom's Gravatar Tom

    Actually, you can unload a BP muzzleloader w/o firing it. My club had the blackpowder guys show us a demo during Hunter’s Ed class. Take the percussion cap out, then place a drill bit on a stick down into the bore, and drill a little ways into the lead ball/bullet. Then pull it out of the bore. Shooting it into a berm or backstop sounds a lot easier, but you might avoid having to clean the piece with this hand-pulling technique, too.

    Just shows the potential for tragedy when one ignores or forgets the safety rules.

  3. Brandon's Gravatar Brandon

    Well you can also use a commercial ball-puller. I’ve got one made by TC that threads into the other end of my ramrod, great for pulling saboted hollowpoints.

    My Traditions Hawken was given to me by a friend who loaded it for deer season…and didn’t unload it for five years. I put the puller in, clamped some vice grips to the ramrod, stood on the vice grips, and pulled the thing out.

  4. Glen's Gravatar Glen

    Wow! What are the chances? Terrible. Maybe add this safety precaution to the 4 laws of gun safety. But alas, it looks like he broke the 4th one…

    • Flint's Gravatar Flint

      And the second, since he fired towards something he didn’t intend to shoot.

      It’s already covered, twice over.

  5. Kristopher's Gravatar Kristopher

    Screw one of these on your loading rod:

    Put a t-handle on the other end.

    Screw it into the ball, put the handle through a picket fence, or between the door and the doorframe on the hinge side, grab the rifle, and lean back.

    It all comes out without firing.

    If you buy a firearm, learn how to use it, dammit.

  6. GinoSLC's Gravatar GinoSLC

    Or, if it’s an inline, simply remove the breech plug and knock the bullet & pyrodex pellets out the back with the ramrod.
    Not so simple with loose powder of course…but not alot of folks use that with inlines.

  7. JesseL's Gravatar JesseL

    Even easier than a ball puller is a Saf-T Unloader. Injects CO2 through the touch hole or nipple and pops everything out with no fuss.

    • Kristopher's Gravatar Kristopher

      It doesn’t work well with flintlocks ( adapter usually doesn’t fit ).

      And a ball puller is cheap enough that you have no excuse to not have one.

  8. toadold's Gravatar toadold

    I just remembered, a number of ranchers and farmers stopped letting people hunt squirrels on their land with .22 rifles around my small town. They’d miss a high angle shot in the tree and the bullets where coming down all over the place. Some live stock got wounded.

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