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December 11, 2008
Chad Love: Knife Regulation

It's a given that combining actors and real, functioning weaponry is a little like combining poodles and microwaves: put them together and bad stuff's gonna happen. It doesn't matter if it's a gun, a sword, a bow or a knife: Give a thespian a movie prop and he'll save the world. Give him a real weapon and he'll blow away the cameraman and/or lose an appendage. But even at that, this might be one of the most bizarre showbiz weapon whoopsies I've ever seen.

From the story:

An actor slit his throat on stage when the prop knife for his suicide scene turned out to be a real one. Daniel Hoevels, 30, slumped over with blood pouring from his neck while the audience broke into applause at the "special effect". Police are investigating whether the knife was a mistake or a murder plot. They are questioning the rest of the cast, and backstage hands with access to props; they will also carry out DNA tests. Things went wrong at Vienna's Burgtheater as Hoevels' character went to "kill himself" in the final scene of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, about Mary Queen of Scots, on Saturday night

It was only when he did not get up to take a bow that anyone realised something had gone wrong.The knife was reportedly bought at a local shop; one possibility is that the props staff forgot to blunt its blade. "The knife even still had the price tag on it," an investigator said.

After emergency treatment at a hospital, Hoevels declared that the show must go on, and returned to the stage on Sunday night with a bandage tied around his neck, ready to once again meet his mock demise.

Yes, you read that right: he actually slit his own throat.

Mr. Hoevels obviously failed to read Chapter 4, Section 3C of Thespianism for Dummies (Taking One's Own Life for Maximum Dramatic Effect) which clearly states... "prior to scenes in which you will be slitting your own throat with a dummy knife, take a quick second to ensure the knife really is a prop. If however, you fail to take this precaution and subsequently discover while on stage that your blade is not in fact, a prop, remember to utilize the acting skills previously covered in Chapter 2 (Contusion-free Confrontation Techniques for Stage and Screen) and merely pretend to slit your throat without actually touching it to your skin."

OK, so I just made that up. But honestly, how the hell do you slit your own throat? I know that laws concerning edged weapons in the UK have gotten completely wonky in the past few years. I mean, it's become a hassle to even carry your lightsaber any more http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/05/jedi_speak_out_on_uk_sword_law/ but has it come to the point (pun intended) where guys are so unfamiliar with "things that might hurt if misused" that they don't think to check the edge on a knife? Or are actors just universally stupid?



Discussion Topic: Texas Lawmaker Proposes Guns On Campus

From the Avalanche-Journal:

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, author of last year's castle doctrine law - which gives Texans the right to attack an intruder if they feel threatened at their home, business or car - says Texas needs at least one more gun law, and he is planning to author it.

The San Antonio Republican is drafting a bill that, if the Legislature approves and Gov. Rick Perry signs into law, would allow Texans with concealed gun permits to carry their weapons on college campuses, where concealed weapons are now prohibited.

Tell us your reaction.


December 10, 2008
Chad Love: Guns for Gift Cards?

Of all the various gun control schemes that have been rolled out in the past few years, perhaps none is as farcical as the "gun buyback" program, in which citizens are allowed to turn in firearms - no questions asked - in return for cash or gift cards. While I'm sure these programs do indeed make the world safe from the scourge of flintlock musketry, single-shot .22 rifles and non-functioning relics, the programs do absolutely nothing to reduce gun violence.

To me, it always made a lot more sense for those private citizens to hang on to those guns and use them protect themselves from the criminals. After all, if a bad guy wants a plasma TV and blu-ray player he's not going to turn in his gun for a Best Buy gift card, he's going to use it to come take yours.

I guess that's why I don't work for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

From the story:

LOS ANGELES -- A program to exchange guns for gifts brought in a record number of weapons this year as residents hit hard by the economy look under the bed and in closets to find items to trade for groceries. The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

...One man brought in a Soviet-era semiautomatic carbine.

"If that got into the wrong hands of gangbangers, they could kill several people within minutes," (Sheriff's Sgt. Byron) Woods said. "Our biggest fear is a house getting burglarized and these guns getting taken."

I don't know about you guys, but the thought of a gun so terrifying it can actually "kill several people within minutes" makes me glad it's finally off the streets.



Moose Decline Threatens Minnesota Hunt

From the Star-Tribune:

A declining moose herd in northeastern Minnesota could mean an end to moose hunting in the state. . . .

The fear is that a recent rise in temperatures could be causing the population decline. . . .

For now, it's uncertain whether Minnesota will have a moose hunting season next fall, said Dave Schad, DNR fish and wildlife section chief.

"We would like to continue hunting that population for as long as it makes sense and doesn't put the population at risk,'' Schad said. "It's a unique opportunity we provide that not many other states can provide.''



Farmer Combines 700-Pound Black Bear

From WQOW News:

A big black bear killed in northern Dunn Co. could prove to be a record-breaker. . . .

The bear was hibernating in a corn field when a farmer ran over it with his combine. The farmer's wife says the bear measured seven feet long from head to tail and weighed more than 700 pounds.

Be sure to check out the photo.



Discussion Topic: On Prescription Pistols

From MSNBC:

It could have been the world's first prescription pistol. The single-bullet Palm Pistol set the Internet abuzz with speculation that Medicare might even pay for the elderly and disabled to pack heat.

But on Monday the Food and Drug Administration said the Palm Pistol doesn't have a shot of being listed as a medical device, and revoked the registration . . . .

[Inventor Matthew M.] Carmel said the elderly and disabled are easy targets for criminals, and the Palm Pistol could be an equalizer[, making them less susceptible to injury].

What do you think? Should Medicare pay for Palm Pistols?


December 09, 2008
Discussion Topic: Iditarod Champ Fined In Moose Poaching Case

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Iditarod champion musher Jeff King was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and another $750 in restitution to the National Park Service on Friday for illegally killing a moose just inside Denali National Park and Preserve more than a year ago.

King, 52, was found guilty of shooting a bull moose 600 feet inside the park boundary by a federal magistrate on Oct. 24 following a two-day trial. He faced a maximum of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Check out the full article and tell us if you think the judge’s decision is fair.



Grizzly Bears Sighted On Vancouver Island

From The Vancouver Sun:

As far as anyone can remember or scientists can determine, only black bears have lived on Vancouver Island.
But this year, grizzlies have been sighted far and wide on northern Vancouver Island and the knot of smaller islands that press close against the coast between Port Hardy and Campbell River. . . .

Officials suspect three or four sub-adult male grizzlies are responsible for this year's sightings, having paddled and island-hopped their way westward from the B.C. mainland.



Update: Eagles Cornerback Talks Guns

Last week, we posted a column from the Washington Post about athletes and guns. Now some of the athletes are talking.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer

Sheppard said that he estimates that "90 percent" of his teammates are also gun owners. Sheppard suggested some, like defensive end Trent Cole, have weapons for sport, but most others have them for protection.

"It's just about how responsible you are handling those types of situations," Sheppard said. "I just pray for the best of everybody and just hope nobody gets put in that predicament" where they have to fire a gun.

Check out what other NFL players have to say on the topic.




December 08, 2008
Chad Love: Attack of The View

It seems Randy Goodman's deer refuses to die. You know the Missouri hunter's ordeal with a large buck that obviously never read any Jack O' Conner has attained true pop-culture status when it's discussed on that most somber, intellectually stimulating of television shows, The View.

I tried to find a video clip of the show. Really, I did. This morning I propped open my eyelids with pieces of toothpick (so I couldn't close my eyes), moved the volume control of my computer's speakers out of reach (so I was forced to listen), handcuffed myself to the desk (so I couldn't run away) and began watching video clips of The View.

I am now typing this blog post with one hand because the other is a bloody stump. The reason my other hand is now a bloody stump is fifteen minutes after clicking on that first video clip my estrogen reached a near-fatal level and I was forced to gnaw my handcuffed hand off at the wrist and run screaming out the back door in search of something manly to do.

I had absolutely no idea how dangerous daytime television was. If someone can find a clip of the show in question I'd appreciate a link, but please be very careful and whatever you do, ONLY WATCH IT ONCE! Any more than that and I promise you'll be reading Cosmo and uttering the phrase "you go, girl!" before you know what hit you.

So in lieu of the actual clip I present this for your reading pleasure

From the website:

While running on the treadmill this morning, I happened upon today’s episode of The View and heard Whoopi Goldberg introducing a HYSTERICAL story that I thought all you wonderful Ecorazzi readers would just LOOOOVVVEEE to hear!

Earlier this week, hunter Randy Goodman was out deer shootin’(what the Sarah Palin?) and fired two shots, killing a 240-pound buck…or so he thought! However, seconds later the revenge-seeking deer came back to life, knocked Goodman down and attacked him with his antlers in what the veteran hunter called “15 seconds of hell.” The deer ran a short distance and died, after Goodman fired two more shots....Now here at the Razz we never condone violence…but in this case we kinda condone violence. I mean come on, the deer died not the hunter, and I think it’s hysterical that Mr. Buck got in a few last seconds of whoop ass time. To quote Whoopi, “You know that man will never shoot anything again!” Hallelujah

And yes, the comments to the blog are every bit as intelligent as the post itself...



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