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Thread: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

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    Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    This is incredibly sad and disturbing. A man has lost his son and there is no bringing that son back. All because his first response when waking up was to use a firearm against a supposed intruder.

    Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    OLD FORGE —

    It was early Saturday morning when Old Forge Ambulance paramedic Dan Rivet Jr. received an EMS call he thought he’d never get.

    Not only was there a reported shooting in the popular Route 28 tourism business district, it was at his business.

    “I thought, ‘oh boy, what could this be?’” said Rivet, owner of Clarks Beach Motel. “We have very little violence in Old Forge.”

    State police would later say that Michael Leach, 59, of Rochester, who is a police officer in the village of Perry in Wyoming County, was the shooter.

    He thought his son Matthew S. Leach, 37, also of Rochester, was an intruder when he shot him around 12:50 a.m. inside the motel room, police said.
    Yet some continue to argue for every adult to keep firearms in their homes for 'protection'. I know the usual answers will provide links to instances where someone did manage to kill the right criminal but how many innocents are killed or injured every year in cases of paranoid reaction by the well-armed? Where is the balance point between children killed by their own families and children saved by a firearm?
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Firearms must be used with discretion. That a police office killed his own son is scary...but there's a detail in the story that makes it ever worse: At first, paramedics could not find an entry wound to the victim, but it then was located in the right back area, Rivet said.

    Not only did he shoot his son, he shot him in the back. There is no way I can see that he could have legitimately perceived the person in his room as a threat to him, especially with his back turned. No warning, no shout, no "freeze", no attempt to identify the person in the room before blasting away?

    The only law I know in this situation is California state law, don't know what the law is in New York, but California states that justifiable homicide must meet one of two conditions: the person shooting must be "in bare fear" of death or grave bodily injury from an attacker, or the person being shot must have broken in, in which case it is assumed that the person is a danger. Unless we know more about this situation and the details of New York law, I will have to reserve judgement in the law. But I find it hard to believe that this cop is in the right.
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    As a father I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my kid much less have any role in killing her.

    A man killed his son in what was a horrible mistake. There is absolutely no amount of legislation that could fix such type of mistake.

    To use this as argument for gun control is disgusting.
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    As a father I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my kid much less have any role in killing her.

    A man killed his son in what was a horrible mistake. There is absolutely no amount of legislation that could fix such type of mistake.

    To use this as argument for gun control is disgusting.
    Why do you find it disgusting? Here we have the case of a supposedly trained law-enforcement officer making a bad decision, a decision that cost him and his family their son. Why should we expect those with little to no training to be capable of making a life or death decision when subjected to that stress we place upon ourselves in a situation we perceive as life-threatening?

    The words of the sacrosanct Second Amendment: As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    That "well regulated" phrase is one that far too many unlimited gun ownership advocates seem to glide over. and yes it has been a matter of debate since the early 19th C.
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
    ~ James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Interesting that his son was a LEO as well...

    I can't help but wonder if this is the whole story.
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Interesting that his son was a LEO as well...

    I can't help but wonder if this is the whole story.
    Ya, something doesn't smell right here. How does someone with the training of a LEO shoot first and ask questions later? That is out of character, not impossible, but not the norm.
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    The words of the sacrosanct Second Amendment: As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:


    That "well regulated" phrase is one that far too many unlimited gun ownership advocates seem to glide over. and yes it has been a matter of debate since the early 19th C.
    And so many anti-gun folks love to glide over the fact that the words "well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" and the words "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" are seperated by a comma. They also glide over history as if it is irrelevent. Particularly the history of the times.

    "None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important." --Thomas Jefferson, 1803.

    "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
    --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
    --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his nephew Peter Carr, August 19, 1785.

    "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)."
    --Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution with (his note added), 1776. Papers, 1:353

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
    --Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).
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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    Why do you find it disgusting?
    Because you're using a horrible and PERSONAL tragedy to further a political agenda that doesn't really care about the circumstances under which this tragic accident took place. That's why.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    So, are we arguing that police officers shouldn't have weapons?

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    Re: Officials: Police officer mistakenly kills son at Old Forge motel

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    This is incredibly sad and disturbing. A man has lost his son and there is no bringing that son back. All because his first response when waking up was to use a firearm against a supposed intruder.



    Yet some continue to argue for every adult to keep firearms in their homes for 'protection'. I know the usual answers will provide links to instances where someone did manage to kill the right criminal but how many innocents are killed or injured every year in cases of paranoid reaction by the well-armed? Where is the balance point between children killed by their own families and children saved by a firearm?
    These questions should be put to rigorous research. But all parameters of the matrix have to be included. Not just how often are crimes are prevented with a firearm relative to accidental death, but animal attacks as well. You'd be surprised how often armed citizens are able to scare off or kill an attacking animal with a firearm.

    Anyway, here is some research:

    Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens

    More should be done though.

    You should be informed too, that the vast majority of gun safety and self-defense training for citizens is done by pro-gun groups like the NRA, range owners, etc. I don't hear of any anti-gun groups holding firearm safety courses.

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