Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Gun Control Leads to Accidental Death in Taiwan

Picture of homemade gun from chinapost.com.tw

A 12 year old boy accidentally shot and killed his 20 year old uncle in Taiwan. They were getting ready to go hunting with a homemade gun. The projectile passed through the uncle and lodged in the father's back.  The father will survive. From chinapost.com.tw:
The sixth grader, surnamed Pan (潘), was reportedly handling the rifle at home with his 20-year-old uncle, surnamed Feng (酆), when the weapon discharged and hit the uncle in the right pectoral.
The bullet shot through Feng and fired into a separate room of the house, hitting Pan's father in the back.
The homemade gun pictured is lying on floor tiles.

A common floor tile size in Taiwan is 300mm by 300mm. That is equivalent to 12 inch tile in the U.S.  If the tiles are 12 inches, the grip is about 4 inches, which seems correct. The length of pull would be about 11 inches, also reasonable.  That would make the barrel about 10 inches, and the overall gun about 24 inches long.  A bit short, but easy to carry and move about. I do not see any sights. The outside diameter of the barrel is small, about .5 inches or less. 

I suspect that the propulsive force is provided by nail gun cartridges. The are a common propellant source for homemade guns in China. The gun is said to be legal, so it could use percussion caps.  You can see a potential ramrod under the barrel. It might be a cleaning rod or do double duty as both. The bore is probably smooth, without rifling.

It is common for governments that install highly restrictive gun control schemes to allow aboriginal people to hunt with obsolete technology.  They already have access to the technology, and efforts at enforcement only engender resentment.  From the chinapost.com.tw:
The government grants aborigines the right to own home-made rifles.

However, such weapons are prone to accidental discharge, and there have been several reported cases of accidental injury and death within recent years.
If the government would encourage hunting safety training, and allow the hunters access to modern firearms, accidents might be reduced. Hunter safety courses have been associated with a drop in gun accidents in the United States.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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