French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

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French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby cwoodin » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7481982.stm

Apparently during a public demonstration of hostage freeing techniques, a soldier loaded his gun with live ammunition instead of blanks, injuring over a dozen civilians.


How do you even make that mistake?

EDIT: Didn't mean for the subject to sound like the setup for a French military joke :?
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

Not just him, these things get inspected. Not only did he fail to realize he was loading blanks (which look very different from live ammunition), but his unit managed to /give him/ live ammunition without realizing it. I'm honestly baffled at the lack of awareness required to pull this off. Sarkozy's plan of going down the whole chain of command is exactly correct.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby niko7865 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

What kind of simulation has you firing blanks at a crowd of civilians anyway? Also how long does it take you to realize you aren't shooting blanks, I'm fairly certain they have a very different sound/recoil then live ammunition.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby WraithXt1 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

This sounds like the setup to a French military joke, so I loled a little.

I guess the french arent use to using live ammunition are they? :wink:

This was a total failure on the part of the French Army. You dont just pick up live rounds, the armorer had to give him live rounds instead of blanks. As was mentioned, these look VERY different than blanks. After that, he had to HAND LOAD, meaning he touched and looked at each of the rounds as he put them in a magazine. I dont understand how that is possible, but it IS the french...
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Green9090 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:50 am UTC

Wow. I just can't believe so many people who are supposed to know exactly what they're doing could be so amazingly, incredibly stupid and incompetent. This totally blows me away.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby masher » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:38 am UTC

WraithXt1 wrote:This was a total failure on the part of the French Army. You dont just pick up live rounds, the armorer had to give him live rounds instead of blanks. As was mentioned, these look VERY different than blanks. After that, he had to HAND LOAD, meaning he touched and looked at each of the rounds as he put them in a magazine. I dont understand how that is possible, but it IS the french...


Also, it is possible to have live rounds mixed in with blanks at the factory. Additionally, depending on what sort of ammunition was loaded, it could have come in "fast load" packs, which means you don't actually see the rounds being loaded.

I know I'm playing devil's advocate here, but I do agree that it is very fucking hard to have live round mixed in with blanks.

Also, if he was using a gas operated rifle, he should have had a BFA attached to the barrel of his weapon. If he put a live round through that, then there shouldn't have been very much left of his barrel....

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Baka no Kami » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:57 am UTC

Wait for it..........

..........

...................

.........................here it comes................

...........................

..............

"In response the French Government immediately surrendered to the soldier."

ba-dum tish.


The article says he hit 17 people 15 of which were civilians. That means he was probably aiming at 2 people playing "hostage takers" and hit the crowd behind them. But what did he do? Empty the clip? Even during an exercise with blanks that's an idiotic thing to do.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Sunsnail » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:05 am UTC

This gives me no confidence in the French reaction to a real hostage situation. Why would so many civilians be hit?

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby WraithXt1 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:37 am UTC

Sunsnail wrote:This gives me no confidence in the French reaction to a real hostage situation. Why would so many civilians be hit?


And on top of that, the recoil and noise level between blanks and actual rounds is significant. How could you NOT notice that you are shooting live rounds?

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:59 am UTC

Sunsnail wrote:This gives me no confidence in the French reaction to a real hostage situation. Why would so many civilians be hit?


Because one clusterfuck is the end of the world.

Honestly, I'm more concerned about the level of blatant racism in this thread than the fact that some people screwed up somewhere.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Grave » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:07 am UTC

Baka no Kami wrote:The article says he hit 17 people 15 of which were civilians. That means he was probably aiming at 2 people playing "hostage takers" and hit the crowd behind them. But what did he do? Empty the clip? Even during an exercise with blanks that's an idiotic thing to do.


That's a good point - hitting the two (?) "hostage takers would at least have been understandably, but the fact that he continued to fire around 15 times (why would you shoot that much to "rescue hostages" anyway?) after that leads me to believe it wasn't an accident.

pollywog wrote:Honestly, I'm more concerned about the level of blatant racism in this thread than the fact that some people screwed up somewhere.


What racism? I see the standard issue (and obligatory) French jokes, but nothing that suggests that anyone here honestly believes that the French are intrinsically worse in some way than anyone else.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby VannA » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:15 am UTC

I haven't seen any racism.

I've seen generalisation regarding the competancy of the over-all french Military.. but given that appears to be something the French and their military also agree on, I don't think its racism.

This *should not* have been able to happen.

There are checks and balances in place. They failed. If they failed in this, they can fail in everything.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:29 am UTC

Grave wrote:What racism? I see the standard issue (and obligatory) French jokes, but nothing that suggests that anyone here honestly believes that the French are intrinsically worse in some way than anyone else.


Because jokes based on race are still racist.

"How can you tell when the Chinese move into a neighbourhood? All the Maoris get car insurance." Just a harmless little joke, but small stuff matters too in discrimination.

VannA wrote:I haven't seen any racism.

I've seen generalisation regarding the competancy of the over-all french Military.. but given that appears to be something the French and their military also agree on, I don't think its racism.


I didn't see anything in the article about how incompetent the French consider their military to be.

As to the cause of the incident, I say this soldier acted alone and deliberately loaded live ammunition (which he may have sourced elsewhere) into the gun, with the intent of hurting or killing people.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Grave » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:40 am UTC

pollywog wrote:
Because jokes based on race are still racist.

"How can you tell when the Chinese move into a neighbourhood? All the Maoris get car insurance." Just a harmless little joke, but small stuff matters too in discrimination.


First, "French" is not a race, its a nationality. French jokes are therefore by definition incapable of being racist.

Semantics aside, I don't think such jokes really do matter, so long as everyone understands that they are only jokes. I think that in this company, we all understand that the French are not fundamentally inferior to anyone else (I hope), so such jokes are acceptable (in public, it might be different). And honestly, how is the Maginot Line not funny?

Prepost Edit: And research shows that it really isn't that funny. Who'da thunk?

VannA wrote:This *should not* have been able to happen.

There are checks and balances in place. They failed. If they failed in this, they can fail in everything.


How is this any different than anyone else "going nuts" with a gun? Sometimes, people do stupid, crazy things. Sometimes, those people have guns. Sometimes, those people are in the military. Sometimes, it even makes the news. If this was the soldier acting on his own, as seems likely, its not exactly anything new.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:49 am UTC

Grave wrote:First, "French" is not a race, its a nationality. French jokes are therefore by definition incapable of being racist.


Fair point. It's discriminatory then.

Semantics aside, I don't think such jokes really do matter, so long as everyone understands that they are only jokes. I think that in this company, we all understand that the French are not fundamentally inferior to anyone else (I hope), so such jokes are acceptable (in public, it might be different). And honestly, how is the Maginot Line not funny?

Prepost Edit: And research shows that it really isn't that funny. Who'da thunk?


I just don't think that we can make jokes about people and it be alright just because we understand that they're only jokes, and we don't mean any harm by them. To me, all that stuff just builds up. But no, you may be right.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Green9090 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:04 am UTC

Maybe if the French lost fewer wars, we wouldn't have to make these jokes.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:48 am UTC

Your country wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the French. Shut the fuck up.

As for this story; it seems impossible to me that a trained soldier could load and fire live ammunition without realising it. Absolutely impossible. But the French authorities say they're "99.9%" sure that it wasn't deliberate, and it seems an odd thing to lie about since the truth'll come out at some point anyway (unless they want to cover it up, and I can't see why they would... One psychopath doesn't look as bad as an utter, total fuckup of the entire armed services).

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Baka no Kami » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:57 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Your country wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the French. Shut the fuck up.


That's the sort of argument I'd expect from a frenchman. Don't sink to their level.

Grave wrote:That's a good point - hitting the two (?) "hostage takers would at least have been understandably, but the fact that he continued to fire around 15 times (why would you shoot that much to "rescue hostages" anyway?) after that leads me to believe it wasn't an accident.

Jack Saladin wrote:As for this story; it seems impossible to me that a trained soldier could load and fire live ammunition without realising it. Absolutely impossible. But the French authorities say they're "99.9%" sure that it wasn't deliberate


I'm willing to believe both that the crowd was close enough together that some of the shots were through-n-throughs and that it was not intentional. But that he shot so much impies either very poor training, or that he was instructed to make it look more exciting.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Sparv » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:04 am UTC

Stop the wild guessing, pals. i'm folloing some reliable french blogs about the events. If it has any interest, I'll try to translate some parts of it.

That's the sort of argument I'd expect from a frenchman. Don't sink to their level.


I find this EXTREMELY offensive. I hope it's an internet argument.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Green9090 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:01 am UTC

Sparv wrote:Stop the wild guessing, pals. i'm folloing some reliable french blogs about the events. If it has any interest, I'll try to translate some parts of it.

That's the sort of argument I'd expect from a frenchman. Don't sink to their level.


I find this EXTREMELY offensive. I hope it's an internet argument.

I'd be very interested to hear what you've found on the matter; this seems so odd that there has to be more to it. I'd also like to add that I doubt any of the French-bashing going on here is remotely serious. Hopefully you can take it as well as we take it when the rest of the world says Americans are grease-encrusted, Nascar-watching slobs.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:03 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:Hopefully you can take it as well as we take it when the rest of the world says Americans are grease-encrusted, Nascar-watching slobs.


In other words: I don't care if you insult me because of my country, so you shouldn't really care either.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby ishikiri » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:59 am UTC

Edit to remove offtopic flamebaitage.

The term everyone seems to be looking for is xenophobia: the 'fear' of foreigners and foreign things. If its about race its racism, sex is sexism, nationality is xenophobia.

Something to note is that the French army use the FAMAS rifles, which fire 5.56 NATO rounds, like most modern assult rifles. The thing about these is that they can easily penetrate most kinds of body armour, upto about 300m in combat. So the soldier may not have fired a full dozen rounds before he was stopped.

Its also highly unlikely that this is a multi-level fuck-up as other people have pointed out. It would be very easy to make you own individual stockpile of ammo by stealing a couple of rounds every time you go down to the range (they come in boxes of a few hundred and usually aren't counted beforehand) so he could have been planning this a while before hand.
It wouldn't surprise me if it comes out that this guy had made death/suicide threats in the past. Stuff like this has happened before, and the army does have a knack, unsurprisingly, of attracting the crazies.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Sparv » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:07 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:I'd be very interested to hear what you've found on the matter; this seems so odd that there has to be more to it.


From a reliable journalist's blog:

The shooter was in charge of his squad's ammunition. For still unknown reasons, he kept a live ammo clip from an exercise which took place on the 20 june. He gave out the blank ammo to his teammates, but his live ammo clip ended up with his own blanks.

At the end of the demonstration, the team was simulating an escape from a buiding while using smoke to hide and shooting throw the smoke to be sure that no "enemies" were hiding. The shooter emptied a first clip of blank ammo, and then took the live ammo clip to reload and shot again.
//here begins some guessing from my part
He couldn't directly see the crowd, that's why there were so many victims: he didn't realize that he was hurting people. Moreover he had already shot: his earing was impaired. And finally, a clip can be emptied in one and a half second. (from wikipedia: 25 shot/clip, 1000shot/min)
//end of guessing
The two militaries who were injuried were in the crowd.

EDIT: 100% sure it's an accident.

The BFA broke instead of destroying the weapon. They aren't designed to be 100% safe, but to be the last of the last securities.

All the victims are out of danger.

PS: I have nothing against french jokes, being myself guilty of hundreds of belgian, english, american and german jokes. What worried me was the "sink to their level".
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Baka no Kami » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:48 am UTC

Sparv wrote:I find this EXTREMELY offensive. I hope it's an internet argument.


The majority of your countrymen that I have met have told me that my country sucks. The fact that France provided support in a war more than 200 years ago is given as evidence that any contrary opinion is stupid. These statements are usually made while they are a visitor in my country. A few times I have been told this after I bought them a drink to wish them a good visit.

It's nothing personal. I think you have good wine and beautiful countrysides. I love your women.

ishikiri wrote:Something to note is that the French army use the FAMAS rifles, which fire 5.56 NATO rounds, like most modern assult rifles. The thing about these is that they can easily penetrate most kinds of body armour, upto about 300m in combat. So the soldier may not have fired a full dozen rounds before he was stopped.


Do those have a fire selector on them? I know that, typically, our troops are trained to keep it in 3 round burst unless they're doing suppression fire.



EDIT: OK, suppression fire through smoke. That explains it.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby ishikiri » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:19 am UTC

Baka no Kami wrote:
ishikiri wrote:Something to note is that the French army use the FAMAS rifles, which fire 5.56 NATO rounds, like most modern assult rifles. The thing about these is that they can easily penetrate most kinds of body armour, upto about 300m in combat. So the soldier may not have fired a full dozen rounds before he was stopped.


Do those have a fire selector on them? I know that, typically, our troops are trained to keep it in 3 round burst unless they're doing suppression fire.

EDIT: OK, suppression fire through smoke. That explains it.

FAMAS guns have the standard safety/semi-auto/full-auto configuration of most rifles.

US troops commonly shoot in three round bursts because the M16A2 and M16A4 rifles (the most commonly issued) do not have fully automatic fire, stopping poorly trained troops from spray 'n' praying. Only the M16, M16A1 (both I believe are no longer in service, I may be wrong about the A1) and M16A4 (Only given to specialist troops, i.e. SEALS and possibly marines) have full-auto fire capabilities.

The only people in the British forces trained to use full auto all the time are the SAS who generally will put a full mag into each tango, when using MP5s. The Royal Marines only use full auto, as you said, in covering fire. Full auto is generally the mark of poor training.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Green9090 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:02 pm UTC

Sparv wrote:
Green9090 wrote:I'd be very interested to hear what you've found on the matter; this seems so odd that there has to be more to it.


From a reliable journalist's blog:

The shooter was in charge of his squad's ammunition. For still unknown reasons, he kept a live ammo clip from an exercise which took place on the 20 june. He gave out the blank ammo to his teammates, but his live ammo clip ended up with his own blanks.

At the end of the demonstration, the team was simulating an escape from a buiding while using smoke to hide and shooting throw the smoke to be sure that no "enemies" were hiding. The shooter emptied a first clip of blank ammo, and then took the live ammo clip to reload and shot again.
//here begins some guessing from my part
He couldn't directly see the crowd, that's why there were so many victims: he didn't realize that he was hurting people. Moreover he had already shot: his earing was impaired. And finally, a clip can be emptied in one and a half second. (from wikipedia: 25 shot/clip, 1000shot/min)
//end of guessing
The two militaries who were injuried were in the crowd.

EDIT: 100% sure it's an accident.

The BFA broke instead of destroying the weapon. They aren't designed to be 100% safe, but to be the last of the last securities.

All the victims are out of danger.

PS: I have nothing against french jokes, being myself guilty of hundreds of belgian, english, american and german jokes. What worried me was the "sink to their level".

Okay, this is starting to make more sense. He was in the middle of a demonstration when he loaded a clip that got mixed in with the blanks, shot through smoke for 1.5 seconds, and then found out that he had just shot a bunch of people.

Ouch.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Torvaun » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

And now we have a resignation from the French army chief of staff.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7483159.stm
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:08 pm UTC

So that's what happened here. Or, at least that's a plausible scenario. I have to admit I spent a fair amount of time wondering how the hell you could accidentally hit 17 people during a demonstration.

Also, any idea if anyone's died? I mean, the mere fact that you could hit 17 people with an assault rifle, one of them a 3 year old in the heart, and not have any fatalities is fucking amazing.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Indon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Also, any idea if anyone's died? I mean, the mere fact that you could hit 17 people with an assault rifle, one of them a 3 year old in the heart, and not have any fatalities is fucking amazing.


<Insert joke about socialized medicine>

But seriously, they probably had medical staff on hand (or at least, on call) for medical problems during the exercise, and chances are the french soldiers themselves had some form of first-aid training. That nobody seems to have died demonstrates that system is working just as it should.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby space_raptor » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

Probably using those pansy ass 7.62mm rounds. Clearly they don't do much damage, if nobody got killed.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby ishikiri » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:36 pm UTC

space_raptor wrote:Probably using those pansy ass 7.62mm rounds. Clearly they don't do much damage, if nobody got killed.

The only weapon in French service that fires 7.62s is their sniper rifle.

French Military + 25 rnd Mag = FAMAS F1 or G2. A 5.56x45mm NATO weapon.

I know he's joking but I just can't let someone be worng on the internet!
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Robin S » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:I doubt any of the French-bashing going on here is remotely serious.
I'm not trying to single you out here, because a number of people have said the same thing. However, I'd like to point out that if (for example) gay-bashing was going on, there would be zero tolerance regardless of whether it was intended seriously. We should hold all forms of discrimination to the same standards, even if it is only in jest.
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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:
Green9090 wrote:I doubt any of the French-bashing going on here is remotely serious.
I'm not trying to single you out here, because a number of people have said the same thing. However, I'd like to point out that if (for example) gay-bashing was going on, there would be zero tolerance regardless of whether it was intended seriously. We should hold all forms of discrimination to the same standards, even if it is only in jest.

Of course a Limey would say that.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby jtniehof » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Also, any idea if anyone's died? I mean, the mere fact that you could hit 17 people with an assault rifle, one of them a 3 year old in the heart, and not have any fatalities is fucking amazing.

Presumably the BFA screwed up the trajectory somehow: maybe directly slowing the rounds, maybe causing them to tumble (and thus present more resistance.)

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Gunfingers » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:12 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:
Green9090 wrote:I doubt any of the French-bashing going on here is remotely serious.
I'm not trying to single you out here, because a number of people have said the same thing. However, I'd like to point out that if (for example) gay-bashing was going on, there would be zero tolerance regardless of whether it was intended seriously. We should hold all forms of discrimination to the same standards, even if it is only in jest.

Quit being such a fag.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:
Robin S wrote:
Green9090 wrote:I doubt any of the French-bashing going on here is remotely serious.
I'm not trying to single you out here, because a number of people have said the same thing. However, I'd like to point out that if (for example) gay-bashing was going on, there would be zero tolerance regardless of whether it was intended seriously. We should hold all forms of discrimination to the same standards, even if it is only in jest.

Quit being such a fag.

And I've been bested. I know when I'm beaten, and I take my hat off to you sir.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby space_raptor » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

ishikiri wrote:
space_raptor wrote:Probably using those pansy ass 7.62mm rounds. Clearly they don't do much damage, if nobody got killed.

The only weapon in French service that fires 7.62s is their sniper rifle.

French Military + 25 rnd Mag = FAMAS F1 or G2. A 5.56x45mm NATO weapon.

I know he's joking but I just can't let someone be wrong on the internet!

Fine. 5.56mm. Even more pansier. Frankly I am surprised half the country didn't go on strike.
The drinking will continue until morale improves.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:30 pm UTC

space_raptor wrote:
ishikiri wrote:
space_raptor wrote:Probably using those pansy ass 7.62mm rounds. Clearly they don't do much damage, if nobody got killed.

The only weapon in French service that fires 7.62s is their sniper rifle.

French Military + 25 rnd Mag = FAMAS F1 or G2. A 5.56x45mm NATO weapon.

I know he's joking but I just can't let someone be wrong on the internet!

Fine. 5.56mm. Even more pansier. Frankly I am surprised half the country didn't go on strike surrender immediately.

Fixed.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Robin S » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Quit being such a fag.
This doesn't disprove my point, precisely because you said it in response to my comment. If, however, a thread like this one had been created about something that a gay man had done which fitted the stereotype of a gay person and people started saying "Oh, well, what do you expect? He was gay after all", even as a joke, there would be an uproar.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

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Re: French soldier accidentally loads gun with live ammunition

Postby Gunfingers » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:46 pm UTC

Hey guys, did you ever notice how gay people drive like this *drives like gay person*, but straight people drive like this *drives like straight person*.

I mean...what's up with that? Am i right?


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