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High School Student Dies from Prop Gun Injury

Discussion in 'News' started by elite1trek, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2008
  2. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    What a tragic and totally avoidable situation. It makes me wonder though, who thought it would be a good idea to use a real firearm, blanks or no, in a highschool situation.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Whoever let that unsupervised child have a loaded firearm needs to be prosecuted.
     
  4. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    I won't be the last one to agree that it certainly should have been a fake gun, rather than a real one, which was used during the show. But I'm also wondering what a prop was doing in the booth.

    Also, the report said that the police had previously been called to the campus due to someone bringing the prop gun to the school. Here's a thought: what on EARTH are the police thinking that they would let a working gun be brought to a high school, prop or not? As we've now been reassured, it has just as much potential to kill as a prop as it does when used to murder.

    There were at least 3 people who could have avoided this: the deceased, the director, and the police officer who said "oh, you're just using it as a prop? That's fine then."
     
  5. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    We just finished a play at my high school where we used a prop gun. It wasn't used until near the end of the show. At half hour call, the TD would go to a big safe and bring out a smaller safe which contained the gun. He would hand it directly to the ASM on that side of the stage, who was not permitted to let it out of her sight. He would also give the key to the safe to another tech. Immediately before the gun was to be used, the tech with the key would come over and unlock the safe. The gun was handed to the actress and she walked on stage and did her thing. Immediately after coming off, the process happened in reverse. Then right after the final curtain the TD would come back and take the safe and key and lock them in the bigger safe.

    A little overcautious? Possibly. But if this school were to have been just a little more overcautious, this completely preventable tragedy could have been avoided.
     
  6. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    That is truly unfortunate and if handled properly should of never happened.
    rochem method sounds like alot of unnecessary work, but it is necessary for safety especially in a high school. Always treat a gun like it is loaded. In a theater setting the gun is going to be pointed at someone, therefor extra precautions need to be taken. IMO with the school shootings that have happened there shouldn't be guns in a high school, especially not unsupervised.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  7. Gretsch

    Gretsch Member

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    Whether or not the gun is real a blank can kill when miss used. The problem was that they were using a starter blank in a 38, this means the gun had the same power discharge as 38 without a bullet. They should been using hand packed blanks with less powder. Its sad that people don't consult professionals when they do these things.
     
  8. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    From what I understand it was a real gun with blanks. Meaning that energy and gas was actually released from the end of the gun.
     
  9. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    Here's another article that provides a little further explination of the situation...

    Salt Lake Tribune Article
     
  10. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    This article actually sounds like everybody is trying to cover their backside. It is unacceptable for a student to have a gun, real or otherwise. It is certainly unacceptable for him to be allowed to remove it from the school.
     
  11. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    So they brought a firearm into a school to use as a sound effect? [​IMG]
     
  12. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    Once Again, I will state...It sounds like people are trying to cover their backside...legally.

    I know that I wouldn't want to be the person who is going to catch hell for all this. I'm not saying that I would lie about it, just that that person is in a really bad position.
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Wait... so the kid took a rifle HOME to fix?

    This is more of a PSA then anything.

    First, you must be properly trained to handle a firearm before taking one onstage, and beyond that you must be trained on how to properly handle a firearm that is designed for stage use.

    When not onstage, the gun should be treated just like any other type of firearm, it should be kept in a locked vault. The person being shot at the the person doing the shooting must be present to load the firearm, and the person being shot it should do the loading. It should then be locked up until needed onstage.

    Also, you should NEVER use a real gun. You must have a gun that has a welded barrel. Period.

    When I have used firearms in the past onstage, I always go with these guys. They have good stuff for a good price.

    So, if someone comes to you wanting a live fire effect, don't tell them to bring something in, use a sound effect if possible. Have a person trained in stage combat come in and handle the weapons as well as insist that the weapon be manufactured for use onstage.

    gun rental
     
  14. soundop

    soundop Active Member

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    Wow, being a high school theater tech, and having a crew that sees a prop gun and is always like oooooh thts cool i think ill play with this, i personally never have and always yell at my crew for that behavior, any way theyve sworn off never to mishandle any prop, and i am going to make sure my director sees this article to stress to our cast the importance of not touching any prop that is not theres
     
  15. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    Again, I think it's hard to point ONLY one finger, but I'd say the Gun-Donor-Parent is mostly responsible. He/she knew this was a real gun. It would be hard to not realize that. However, I've also gotta question what the kid was thinking when he put the gun to his head; let alone taking it out of a "locked cabinet" to do so. And I think the administration or at least the director should have checked more closely. I'd rather have a director who some would consider "anal" than a deceased cohort.
     
  16. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    So I posted both stories on my door of my office for my students to read. Amazingly, none of them cared. They all said that of course they would not play with a gun, which I flipped out when I found them playing with a gun that was in our prop shop that I did not know we had (its now locked up). Ug. It really made me mad when they just laughed about it. I feel like that shop teacher on south park,

    "Stop screwing around, you kids screw around to much".
     
  17. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    Seems more like Dangerfield to me: you get no respect. :p

    I printed out the FOX version at a rehearsal earlier this evening and just "happened" leave it laying innocently on one of the tables. I left early so I'm curious as to whether the Techs found it during their classroom clean-up.
     
  18. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    That story spread fast around drama departments here in Utah. The junior high school just finished Oklahoma, and they had a big discussion about it.

    I also watched another newscast that I think said in addition to being a member of the tech crew and being an eagle scout, he had taught about guns at a scout camp where he worked. He should have really known better.

    A guy in my neighborhood had his brother die onstage during West Side Story a while ago. Apparently a real gun was swapped in, and he got shot, and rolled into the pit. They didn't notice till curtain call.

    It's always a really sad, and easily preventable way to die in my opinion. People should really never take any kind of gun lightly.
     
  19. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    maybe sticking a cleaning rod down the barrel to make sure it is plugged would be a good safety measure to make sure that the gun is the correct one with the barrel plugged. Also when ever there is any live fire, i make sure there is a person there who is an expert in the field. I had a cop lady telling me one day that when she was at weapons training class, the teacher proceded to load a gun and shoot his at his foot, naturally hitting him in the foot. THIS HAPPENED DURING THE MIDDLE OF A POLICE ACADEMY FIRE ARMS TRAINING SESSION!!! You get into trouble when you get too comforable with something that is very dangerous.
     
  20. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, this was a preventable tragedy, there were many points in the chain of events where the ultimate end could have been prevented. As with ANY weapon used on stage (including bare skin) proper training and supervision is required. Even with professional companies you always need trained stage combat choreographers. There are a couple good trained Utahns who would have happily helped out had they been called.

    Also, Rochem's safety procedures are not far fetched at all. We are a professional theatre and we always follow similar procedures and not only with firearms but with swords and knives as well.

    Safety is key in all that we do in this industry. If you ever see people engaging in any unsafe activity or practice you should say something. If you walk in to your venue and see that something is not safe for use, say something. We would rather cancel a performance than risk the safety of cast, crew and audience. It is easier to refund 1000 tickets than to take people to the hospital (or worse).
     

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