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back to article Rifle-waving Yank's premature detonation ruins city's big bang

An early morning rifle test ended rather badly yesterday when a rogue shot detonated $80,000 of fireworks set aside for Fourth of July celebrations. The unnamed shooter, who was reported to be the owner of a car wrecking yard in Bainbridge Island, Washington, was giving his new firearm a go at 1am when a ricochet flew off a …

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Pint

"area of outstanding natural stupidity"

Also known as Darwin Award country

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Facepalm

Yeah takes a special kind of person to go shooting a loaded gun near a bloody great cache of fireworks!

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what kind of wanker messes around shooting at 1am anyway? another gun happy braindead yank.

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Anonymous Coward

@shooting at 1am anyway?

It's not limited to yanks... I live in the fens, and I've been woken up by shooting in fields behind me at 2am before!

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takes an even more special kind of person to go shooting an unloaded gun

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Re: @shooting at 1am anyway?

That my friend is probably because they shouldn't be hunting what ever it is they're after. Also lamping for rabits is harder in the daylight...

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FAIL

Re: Amorous Cowherder

"Yeah takes a special kind of person to go shooting a loaded gun near a bloody great cache of fireworks!" How special do you have to be to read the article and fail to comprehend that the guy was shooting at one of his own wrecks and not the container?

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@Citizen Kaned

> what kind of wanker messes around shooting at 1am anyway?

The kind who didn't buy enough beer to drink himself into a stupor, perhaps?

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Headmaster

Re: Matt Bryant

No matter what he was aiming at, he was still "shooting a loaded gun near a bloody great cache of fireworks!".

What part of 'near' is it that you don't understand?

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Anonymous Coward

A drunk wanker, I'd suggest.

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FAIL

Re: Matt Bryant

"....What part of 'near' is it that you don't understand?" Yes, and he knew there were fireworks in the area from teh twelve-foot neon sign advertising their presence - not!

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Headmaster

Re: Matt Bryant

In your first reply, to Amorous Cowherder, you postulated that he failed "to comprehend that the guy was shooting at one of his own wrecks and not the container?". Which was orthogonal to the fact that he was NEAR that very container. And now you suggest that the gun-wielder didn't know there were fireworks in that container; another argument that has no bearing on the simple fact that he was near it.

Shipping containers don't materialise out of thin air. Shipping containers inside a wrecking yard compound (see the linked articles in one of the replies) do not get put there without the knowledge and permission from the proprietor, and few people but the proprietor tend to be able to get inside the yard at 01:00 for a bit of gun fun, those yards generally being well secured against random visitors by canines and/or firearms (which may well have been the reason for choosing that location). The yard owner may not have known the contents, but I doubt that. Very much.

You invariably come up short yourself in the very reading comprehension you accuse others of lacking, and when having that pointed out, go off dragging unrelated matter into your replies to cover up your failures.

Now go away before I taunt you a secondthird time.

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FAIL

Re: Re: Matt Bryant

OMG, it's like explaining subnetting to a dba!

"....he was NEAR that very container...." Yes! By the sounds of it, there were quite a few containers at the yard, and I'm sure he was close to quite a few of them. The point is he did not know it was full of fireworks as any warning signs would have been illegible in the dark. The next point is he was very unlucky to get a ricochet that penetrated the container (i'm guessing it hit a weaker part that had rusted). All in all, a simple series of conincidences that led to a very unlikely result. All in all totally negating the need for the knee-jerk "Merkins iz dumb" comments from the Daily Mirror readers. Do you understand that? You want me to use really small words? If you don't get it, just do the Internet a favour and stop using computers.

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FAIL

Keep digging, Matt, you may strike oil eventually.

Then you may get rich, buy The Register and kick off all those you think are disparaging the American Intellect.

It's not any general stupidity that made me write those replies. It's only yours. Your failure to comprehend what's written, and your failure to apply logical reasoning.

To recap:

- Article: "a ricochet flew off a rusting motor and hit a container packed with Independence Day incendiaries"

- AmCow: "shooting a loaded gun near a bloody great cache of fireworks!"

Nowhere does it say that he was aiming at the container, something you were reading in AmCow's words, because you felt the need to deny it.

Fail 1

Me: "What part of 'near' is it that you don't understand?" In other words, what you claim the shooter did or didn't do (aim at the container) has no relation that he was doing what he did near that container.

You: the container wasn't sporting a twelve-foot neon sign saying "explosives". Presumably you're expressing that he wouldn't have been so daft to do what he did where he did it with sufficient warning. Maybe so. Still, this does in no way unfail your fail in your first reply, which solely stems from YOUR lack of reading comprehension and YOUR lack of logical reasoning.

Fail 2

And with regards to subnetting and database administration: I know both, thank you.

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Happy

Re: Keep digging, Matt, you may strike oil eventually.

Sorry, but I still fail to see how you and your chum displaying your idiotic prejudices constitutes a "taunt". Next up I suppose you'll start the "your Mama" jokes? Your fellow numpty went off on one and I called him on it, something that obviously upsets you deeply (life-partner maybe?). I can't help it if you're too dumb to admit your prejudices and then even more dumb to carry on trying to argue long after your idiocy and that of your chum has been pointed out. But I bet you'd be the first squealing and posting if someone posted something derogatory towards a group you have been told is "cool". Please don't stop posting your whinings though as they are highly amusing.

"....I know both...." Personally, I'm surprised that anyone with such silly prejudices could bring themselves to use either technology considering they are both the results of Evul Merkin tech. In fact I'm almost as surprised at that as I am unlikely to believe you know anything beyond where the on-off button on your PC is. Major LOL!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Matt Bryant

Daily Mirror readers love America, they visit all of the important bits (to them). In Florida or Las Vegas normally ;)

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Anonymous Coward

That may be so, but you know what, sounds fun to me.

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Mushroom

Y'all should try clicking through to the linked article

Where it says

"He readily admits it. He knew the container was there, he knew the container contained fireworks, he accepts responsibility"

That says it all really...

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Anonymous Coward

"the organiser of neighbouring Poulsbo city's 3rd of July shindig"

It's 7/4, so you meant to say "7th of April" shindig...

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FAIL

Surely

Surely the mandatory third-party insurance which is a condition of issuing a firearms licence would cover this sort of thing?

I mean, they do make you have insurance for your guns just in case you kill or maim someone or break something with them, don't they?

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Trollface

Re: Surely

Government mandated firearms liability insurance? Next thing you know you'll be required to have insurance for other highly dangerous bits of machinery like cars.

Surely that would be some kind of socialist plot to undermine freedom!

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Re: Surely

> undermine freedom!

Shift money to the insurance cartels, shurely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely

"I mean, they do make you have insurance for your guns just in case you kill or maim someone or break something with them, don't they?"

Don't be ridiculous, you Commie. It's everyone's right to blaze away with firearms in the vicinity of combustable material in the middle of the night, regardless of sobriety or liability. It's people like you who'd take away all our freedoms, like that Obama pinko lefty hippie guy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely

WA State requires that all drivers have auto insurance...

So it has already started.

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Alien

Blame the Colonists

If they hadn't won the War of Independence then there would be no cause to celebrate and none of this would have happened.

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Re: Blame the Colonists

The ORIGINAL DHLS budget was too small, hand the various field offices too discoordinated, hence the Natives lost the first round of alien expulsion...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame the Colonists

> If they hadn't won the War of Independence then there would be no cause to celebrate and none of this would have happened.

We only have ourselves to blame; it was that bloody corset maker from Thetford that caused all the trouble...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame the Colonists

If they hadn't won, they wouldn't have the right to blaze away with rifles at 1am in inappropriate areas, either.

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Holmes

Elven safety gnomes?

Surely

1) Not storing the fireworks in strong box is an Elven Safety violation.

2) Discharging a gun in a location where ricochets are possible, and could result in the bullet leaving your land is also an Elven Safety violation.

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Mushroom

"the greatest fireworks show you ever would have wanted to not see"

So, that was just one measly shipping container going boom? Add two more containers *AND* a storage bunker, to start challenging the moniker 'greatest'. I also note 23 fewer casualties, 400 fewer houses destroyed and some 1500 fewer damaged, and 1250 fewer made homeless.

Bit of a non-starter, this one.

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Mushroom

Re: "the greatest fireworks show you ever would have wanted to not see"

In case people dont know: The Enschede firework disaster:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enschede_fireworks_disaster

And yes, it was a big boom, im sure youtube has the appropriate video's:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=enschede+fireworks+disaster&oq=Enschede&gs_l=youtube.3.0.0l10.150.1751.0.2716.8.6.0.2.2.0.59.285.6.6.0...0.0.4m31Serx9-o

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"It went boom"

"Fire investigator Jeromy Hicks [...] said: "It went boom""

Wow, 'Jeromy'. That's some valuable insight right there. Until I read your detailed analysis I was most confused by this complex chain of events. But your way with words has helped explain it to me in layman's terms.

Keep up the good work.

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You need to lamp for rarebits?

I just look under the grill.

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Coat

No boom today.

Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow

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Devil

Now that's a Boomstick

It was a twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find it in the sporting goods department. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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Cuttlefish and septics - Part II

I bet there are very few cuttlefish living in that neighborhood.

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Paris Hilton

May I be the first....

to use a Paris icon with the headline premature detonation ruins city's big bang

Paris, who has never experienced a premature detonation. . . . . .

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Black Helicopters

My BS detector's going off.

Maybe it's all those happy summer afternoons trying to set off fireworks with a rifle as a kid, just like they did in the movies.

A hint for the thickoes out there, it's damned near impossible. Now, if the store would have sold me incendiaries, then I might have had some luck. (Black powder? Yes, the muzzle flash could do something like that -- but muzzle flash doesn't ricochet off old engine blocks.)

I think the heart of it will be closer to the truth behind the guy that lost both thumbs to a homemade firework -- supposedly, the ash from his cigarette fell onto the fuse as he was holding it with both hands. Would that he have held it in his lap like a good moron -- but at least someone else was holding his beer at the moment.

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Re: My BS detector's going off.

I must admit I am also wondering how somebody managed to set off black powder fireworks with impact given how insensitive the stuff is. Maybe he's got nitro based fireworks? It'd certainly give that extra "bang". :/

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Black Helicopters

Re: My BS detector's going off.

Just wondering if it isn't a homemade flame thrower or some such.

I know that what with all of the wildfires out there, that the meme being pushed that it is careless firearm use. While irresponsible firearm handling is the cause of a lot of things, it isn't likely that a firearm with smokeless powder is going to do this. Nice try, nanny-statists. Your play on the ignorance of the voting public has been noticed.

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Mushroom

Re: My BS detector's going off.

'Robert Nitz, a "mortgage-finance specialist who produces budget fireworks shows in his spare time". '

I'm not sure what goes into budget fireworks, but I'm guessing if he's doing it in his "spare time" it ain't gunna be no fancy "black powders" or whatnot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My BS detector's going off.

Here are some local stories on this:

http://www.bainbridgereview.com/news/161502225.html

http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-businessman-saves-poulsbo-bainbridge-fireworks-shows-with-own-money--20120703,0,4350819.story

TFA #1 says, "The container was being stored at the Belfair Auto Wrecking yard, and someone from the business was nearby, target practicing."

If you look at the photo in TFA #2, you'll see the fireworks were stored in an ordinary modular shipping container.

The container likely had the proper Department of Transportation placards (see here for images: http://dotplacards.com/), but those placards are less than one foot square, and would be impossible to see at night unless light fell directly on them. Unlike in cartoons, such explosives-carrying containers are not labelled "EXPLOSIVES" in five-foot-tall, "International Orange" letters.

What I'd be curious to know is, did the wrecking yard owner know that there was a container of fireworks parked in his wrecking yard? I can imagine a communication-cascade-error-chain at work.

Fireworks Guy: "Hey, Manny, you got a place I can stash a containerized shipping unit where you work for a couple days? I got a load of fireworks in there, and I'd like it to be inside the fence for security."

Manny: "Lemme check with my boss." ... "Hey boss, we got room to stick a shipping container inside the yard for a couple days? It'd be a favor to a friend."

Boss: "Oh, hell, yeah... we got room. But we're not responsible for it -- he's gotta get his own insurance."

Manny: "OK" ... "Hey, F.G., the boss said 'okay'."

Later that night, Boss gets out his rifle and starts plinking, unaware of what's in the container.

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Gold badge

Re: My BS detector's going off.

Maybe the bullet made a hole in the container and then the bloke lit a match for a better look at the strange powder running out of the new hole?

That would be very stupid, but then this would be from someone known to fire a rifle at solid steel objects, from which the bullet is likely to ricochet and go anywhere, including at him.

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Re: My BS detector's going off.

It's a well known fact that anything combustible will explode if it by a bullet. Likewise, any car that's driven over a cliff will burst into flames before it hits the ground.

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Paris Hilton

Re: My BS detector's going off.

Ah, I had forgotten those basic movie facts. It all becomes clear now.

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Mushroom

Re: perlcat

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StuffBlowingUp

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Paris Hilton

Type of Bullet

What I want to know is what kind of bullets he was shooting. Soft-points/hollow-points (e.g., "dum-dums") usually just shatter/splatter when encountering a solid metal block. Full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullets will ricochet. But, FMJs are usually illegal for hunting (well, hunting animals; they're required for hunting humans, via the Hague Convention of 1899).

However, it's somewhat doubtful if a FMJ would retain enough heat energy to ignite a flammable object. I suppose if the FMJ was a tracer round (e.g., bit of Phosphorus in the base), then it might do it. Or, it might do a compression/shock-ignition of the black powder generally used for fireworks.

Note that FMJ bullets are normally a Copper jacket over a lead core, both of which are, generally, non-sparking. It, of course, could have been a armor piercing FMJ (Copper jacket over a steel core), which could have thrown sparks upon contact with a solid object (e.g., piece of steel, concrete, etc.). However, armor piercing bullets are generally prohibited (although this varies by state).

So, what are the technical details?

Dave

P.S. Paris, because she's known for "sparking", and has caused the launch of more projectiles...err, never mind!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Type of Bullet

To be fair, the locals suspect he may have been trying to give some raccoons a bad hair day with his new boomstick, and maybe one got in front of the container, who knows, I would suggest you don't need your FMJs or armour-piercing rounds for raccoons though, but anyone can make a mistake if they'ŗe in a hurry ;)

Tracer round for wildlife... interesting idea hmmmm ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Type of Bullet

As usual there seems to be some confusion over whether we are talking about a rifle or a shotgun. These stories seem to spread like Chinese whispers and most people along the chain don't seem to bother learning that there are different types of 'gun'. Basic ignorance really.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Type of Bullet

Locals seem to think it was a rifle, but someone else here seems pretty sure it was a very shiny shotgun....

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