Patterico's Pontifications

12/25/2007

The Second Amendment and the Zoo (Updated)

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 8:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped, killing one zoo visitor and critically injuring two others before it was killed by the police:

“A tiger escaped its cage at the San Francisco Zoo today, killing one person and injuring two others, according to San Francisco police. The victims were all non-employees, said police spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina. The condition of the two people who were wounded remains unclear.

The tiger was shot after the last attack. It had climbed on top of the victim, but started moving toward a group of approaching police officers. Several officers shot it with handguns, Mannina said.”

This blog post claims four tigers were loose at one point and that the tiger responsible for this attack also attacked a keeper earlier this year.

My sympathy to these victims. A fun, holiday trip to the zoo turned into a tragedy. However, if the SF Zoo is a gun-free zone – and it probably is – maybe it should rethink that rule. In addition, San Francisco should (but probably won’t) rethink its pending appeal of a trial court order overturning San Francisco’s city-wide gun ban.

After all, self-defense can be necessary anywhere – even at the zoo.

UPDATE 12/27/2007 – The director of the SF Zoo admits the wall around the tigers’ den was too low. A follow-up post is here.

— DRJ

89 Responses to “The Second Amendment and the Zoo (Updated)”

  1. However, if the SF Zoo is a gun-free zone – and it probably is – maybe it should rethink that rule.

    Absolutely. The incidence of wild animal escapes has become notorious.

    steve (801197)

  2. The chance of escape and injury was 100% for these 3 patrons.

    DRJ (09f144)

  3. “‘Never happens’ is always true until the first time.”

    Foxfier (97deae)

  4. This blog post claims four tigers were loose at one point

    The blog linked KGO-TV which quoted SF Police spokesman Steve Mannia who said at first they were worried that four tigers had escaped, but they soon learned that only one had escaped its pen.

    steve (801197)

  5. Steve,

    I agree that’s what the link says now but the stories must have been updated because I saw multiple references from several sources that 4 tigers might have been loose. This SFGate article even mentions the suspicions:

    “Despite early worries, three other tigers never escaped into the public areas, said San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. Ken Smith.”

    I’m glad you brought this up so it could be updated/corrected. I don’t want to make it sound worse than it is.

    DRJ (09f144)

  6. Hmmm, I may have to upgrade the caliber of my carry piece for my next zoo visit.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  7. I am more concerned about the two-legged animals lurking in the parking lot than than the four-legged animals in the zoo.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  8. You’ll never know when you wish you’d been armed until you have a chance to regret not having been armed.

    Bad kitty!

    Pablo (99243e)

  9. SPQR — I already did. Not that I exactly expect to need it at the Minnesota Zoo — or anywhere else — but I do tend to carry my 629 when I’m out where there might be four-legged critters to worry about.

    Yet another example of why victim disarmament zones are a bad idea.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  10. The Returning Robber

    This is why you need to have not only “liberal” CCW laws, but a political culture in place that understands that crime is bad and it must be opposed at all levels without “good Samaritans” being prosecuted for eliminating such slime as what is in this story.

    PCD (09d6a8)

  11. We’re all so much safer when we’re armed to the teeth –aren’t we now? Never enough guns!

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  12. David,

    You are such a Mench.

    PCD (09d6a8)

  13. David, most of the time, of course, it doesn’t make any difference to most of us.

    Then again, upwards of two million times a year, people in the US do use firearms to defend themselves, so it’s not exactly unknown to have to.

    On more than one but fewer than five occasions, it’s been at least extremely handy for me to have had a gun close at hand, and the only people whose safety was endangered by that were attempting various naughtinesses that the lawyers call “violent felonies” at the time.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  14. “On more than one but fewer than five occasions, it’s been at least extremely handy for me to have had a gun close at hand”

    I’m sure it is. Somebody looks at you cross-eyed — BLAST ‘EM!

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  15. But I did the spell check just like always, boss…[from a Yahoo news story on the SF tiger attack]:

    “After last year’s attack, the zoo added customized steel mesh over the bars, built in a feeding shoot and increased the distance between the public and the cats.”

    Out of respect for the real life tragedy, I’ve an industrial strength gag order taped across my keyboard in order to stifle the several smartass remarks lined up in my head regarding high velocity raw meat.

    allan (1e8f26)

  16. Actually, David, were one to so much as threaten somebody for looking at one cross-eyed — much less shoot that person — one would find oneself in fairly serious legal trouble.

    Look it up.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  17. Technically true, Joel. But everyone in here is against Evil Governmen Intrusion Into Everything and is therefore opposed to any system outside of the All-Holy Self.

    I mean really, Joel — what are you, some sort of Socialist or something?

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  18. David, honest: there are brands of decaf that taste just like the real thing.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  19. It’s nice to see David recycling the straw from his manger scene into arguments here.

    Steverino (e00589)

  20. “The Second Amendment and the Zoo”: yet another weird guest post by DRJ. Keep it up, DRJ, and this site could become a reader-free zone.

    Iapetus (ea6f31)

  21. Somebody looks at you cross-eyed — BLAST ‘EM!

    David, that movie is only playing in your head. The rest of us are not able to watch it, so try to keep that in mind while commenting.

    (Reason #117,427 why David is not to be taken seriously)

    Pablo (99243e)

  22. But everyone in here is against Evil Governmen Intrusion Into Everything and is therefore opposed to any system outside of the All-Holy Self.

    Right, like the public servant who runs the place.

    Pablo (99243e)

  23. (Reason #117,427 why David is not to be taken seriously)

    I am not taken seriously at your own risk.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  24. “David, that movie is only playing in your head. The rest of us are not able to watch it, so try to keep that in mind while commenting.”

    HERE’S the movie playing in my head. It’s been available on video for some time.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  25. We are risking nothing but not taking you seriously, David, since obviously you don’t take yourself seriously. You simply don’t write serious comments.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. “You simply don’t write serious comments.”

    And you simply don’t know how to read what I write.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  27. “Right, like the public servant who runs the place.”

    Which is what makes the foaming-at-the-mouth hostility to givernment in here so weird. Patterico is perfect example of the importan service accomplished by good governemnt. But to read this place the most important servcie the government can provide is torture and execution.

    Purely to be enjoyed as spectacle of course.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  28. Right, David. Nothing on immigration, criminal law enforcement, civil law, etc. Just torture.

    Living in your head must be a lot more like Being There.

    Pablo (99243e)

  29. “Right, David. Nothing on immigration, criminal law enforcement, civil law, etc. Just torture.”

    Torture being of course the remedy advanced for all of the above.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  30. Dave, do you giggle when you write foolish things like that, or is it just us?

    Pablo (99243e)

  31. I’m not surprised that you giggle while torturing people.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  32. And there’s reason #117,428.

    Pablo (99243e)

  33. Only from DE would we get a link to an obscure, foreign (is it French? curious minds are un-concerned) film.

    In another life, I managed a neighborhood, walk-in first-run movie theatre (when such things still existed outside of malls). When we screened Death Wish, and Charles Bronson took-out the bad guys, adults in the audience would loudly cheer. Anecdotal, but an accurate survey of public sentiment.

    As to the two guys who were attacked, I seem to recall reports that they had taunted the tiger before it escaped. My guess is that they might not engage in such activity in the future?

    And DE again, I think that Joel said that those who he had discouraged from further acts with his having ready access to a firearm, were engaged in “violent felonies”. I think we can all agree that in most states of this country, one is allowed to meet violence that causes you to be “in fear for your life and safety, and the life and safety of others” with deadly force.

    All you legal beagles are free to chime in on that.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  34. It’s possible that I’m suffering from some cognitive dissonance but… did David just equate someone armed with a handgun defending himself from a tiger attack to blowing someone away for “looking at him cross eyed?”

    Moral equivalancy? Meet hystrical postering!

    David, we can all agree that giving up nuance for adoption when you were younger has had unexpected negative consequences.

    BJTexs (a48204)

  35. “is it French? curious minds are un-concerned”

    Oxymoron strikes again.

    “It’s possible that I’m suffering from some cognitive dissonance”

    More than merely “possible.”

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  36. “I think we can all agree that in most states of this country, one is allowed to meet violence that causes you to be “in fear for your life and safety, and the life and safety of others” with deadly force.”

    True, but I was referring to the atmosphere of discussions surrounding the subject in here.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  37. True, but I was referring to the atmosphere of discussions surrounding the subject in my imagination.

    There. Fixed that for you, Dave.

    Pablo (99243e)

  38. Don’t know how to read what you write, David? Yeah, blame the audience for your embarrassing yourself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  39. did David just equate someone armed with a handgun defending himself from a tiger attack to blowing someone away for “looking at him cross eyed?”

    Maybe it was a cross-eyed tiger? Up for a part in a revival of Daktari?

    Steverino (e00589)

  40. We need the authors of gun free zones to be legally liable for the public’s safety. If the zoo prohibits concealed carry, the city of San Francisco needs to be sued and made to truly suffer for denying these men their rights to self defense.
    Owners of private property open to the public need to be held to the same standard. Property owners who allow concealed carry should be legally protected from frivolous lawsuits as well.

    John (e0668d)

  41. Thank you, Pablo.

    I surely love (stop gagging here) the way liberals even attempt to hijack the criticisms/corrections that are directed towards them, instead of responding in an intellectually honest manner.

    And, DE; you were accusing Joel of having a mindset that would want to blow-away someone for looking cross-eyed towards him, not of responding to an escalating threat of felony violence.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  42. John, California is a discretionary issue state and San Francisco is one of those municipalities that only issues to the friends of the Board of Supervisors and movie stars.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  43. While growing up, that tiger didn’t have a father in the home, either.

    Shemp (ac6d4b)

  44. I’m pretty sure that the last carry permit issued in LA County to a private citizen was on the 12th of Never. I think the permit office is in Antarctica.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  45. “Maybe it was a cross-eyed tiger? Up for a part in a revival of Daktari?”

    Am I the Jungle Bunny you’re looking for Steverino?

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  46. John Norman’s law: “Where weapons are not allowed it is wise to carry weapons.”

    nk’s law: “Where weapons are needed it is wise not to go.”

    Moreover, I’m on the side of the tiger, here. I would hope to be able to do much worse to someone who took me from my home and put me on display in a cage.

    nk (c87736)

  47. Am I the Jungle Bunny you’re looking for Steverino?

    No, you’re just a race-baiting idiot. Don’t think for a moment that I take you seriously, you are neither worthy nor capable of rational discussion.

    Just in case you didn’t watch the show, Daktari featured a cross-eyed lion named Clarence. That’s what I was referring to, it had nothing to do with race. A good start to people taking you seriously would be to remove the massive chip from your shoulder.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  48. nk’s law: “Where weapons are needed it is wise not to go.”

    To class at Virginia Tech or Columbine or U of Texas? To the mall in Omaha? To McDonald’s in San Ysidro? To a Jewish center in LA or Seattle? To work in a convenience store? How do you know where weapons are needed?

    Pablo (99243e)

  49. NK,

    I agree with you about being on the tiger’s side. The press conference this morning suggested the tiger may have been “taunted.” In my opinion, that was ridiculous and I hope the Zoo officials and police quickly drop that line of thought.

    This was a wild animal. People go to the zoo to look at wild animals. They take pictures and make funny faces and point. Children get excited and scream and laugh. All of these activities could be considered taunting to wild animals, and the zoo is supposed to know that can happen and deal with it. If the zoo can’t do that, it shouldn’t be a zoo.

    DRJ (09f144)

  50. Oh, I forgot New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Is it better to just stay away, and cede that place to potential goons?

    Pablo (99243e)

  51. I’m not an absolutist about it, Steverino. I would very much want to be armed going home from downtown Chicago through its West Side to my home. But the zoo? I only go there for my daughter. I have no choice than to go through the West Side for her doctors’ appointments. I have a choice to take her to some other fun place where I don’t feel that I need a gun.

    nk (c87736)

  52. Sorry, #51 was a response to Pablo.

    nk (c87736)

  53. P.S. And, no, I would never carry a gun to church. And I know several police officers who are required to be armed off-duty but who lock their guns in the trunks of their cars at social functions. It’s a question of personal sensibility and on how you want to live.

    nk (c87736)

  54. And I know several police officers who are required to be armed off-duty but who lock their guns in the trunks of their cars at social functions.

    And do you suppose that if this were to happen while they were visiting a “safe” restaurant for a social function that they’d wish they had it on their person and not in their trunk? Suzanna Hupp did, and I can’t see how carrying it responsibly would have adversely affected her experience had nothing at all happened.

    Bad things don’t just happen on the West Side. How do you know when a weapon is a good idea?

    Pablo (99243e)

  55. nk — I’m with you, actually.

    But . . .

    The first documented defensive gun use by a permit holder in Minnesota after we reformed our carry laws happened at a very nice corner in Eden Prairie, one of the lowest-crime suburbs in the metro; the first defensive shooting by a permit holder happened June 7 of this year, in Coon Rapids, ditto.

    It’s not the places where you’ll obviously need a gun that you’ll need a gun; it’s simple (for most folks, who don’t work or live in the dangerous places) to stay away. It’s all those safe places — malls, nice suburbs, the bedroom of one’s home — that can, without warning, turn nasty on you.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  56. “Don’t think for a moment that I take you seriously, you are neither worthy nor capable of rational discussion.”

    LOL!

    “This was a wild animal. People go to the zoo to look at wild animals. They take pictures and make funny faces and point. Children get excited and scream and laugh. All of these activities could be considered taunting to wild animals, and the zoo is supposed to know that can happen and deal with it. If the zoo can’t do that, it shouldn’t be a zoo.”

    Well this only serves to underscore the fact that we still don’t know exactly what happened and why. Initial news reports went to far as to state that four tigers were loose, rather than one. There’s even been loose talk about the tiger leaping over the barrier that separated her from the public — which according to those who’ve actually vistied that zoo is quite impossible. Someone, somehow, must have left the cage door open for the tiger to escape.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  57. nk, I don’t find your PD acquaintances to be sensible. I find them lazy and skirting their duty.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. Kevin Murphy: I know of at least one guy who was issued a carry permit in LA County. He had to go to court to get it, though. (And wasn’t there a time when the police chief of Los Angeles got a carry permit because his cop license was pending?)

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  59. Rosenberg, your recollection is correct. I’m blanking on that chief’s name, he was from Philadelphia and not Jack Dunphy’s favorite.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. Not smoking and not drinking are good ideas, too. But I smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey. Rode motorcycles for the longest time as well. Like I said, it’s how you want to live.

    I bought my first semi-automatic rifle in the late ’80s, when Bush ’41 imposed the first ban. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. If the government didn’t want me to have one maybe I should have one. Bought a thousand rounds of ammunition for it, too. I fired about a hundred and twenty rounds at the range and then put it aside until I gave it away.

    nk (c87736)

  61. SPQR — there’s a modern fad in some white shirt circles among the badged set not to carry, in some cases both on and offduty. My own police chief kind of makes a fetish of not carrying off duty, something that one long-time serving officer who is a friend of mine thinks is a horrible example for his officers. (I agree with him, and with you.)

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  62. To be honest, my cop friends are “white shirts”.

    nk (c87736)

  63. Rosenberg, between the excessive use of paramilitary / SWAT teams and non-carrying plain clothes, I’m starting to think that there is something fundamentally dysfunctional among some police depts.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. By the way, evidently that tiger was not a “wild” animal in the sense of someone taking it from its “home” and displaying it in a cage. That tiger was born in a zoo.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. “A gun without a man is just a worthless piece of iron. A man without a gun is still a man.”

    nk (c87736)

  66. nk #65, but not a man that will impress a tiger or an armed criminal.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  67. SPQR, what more can I say? It’s an individual decision dependent on individual sensibility. If DC v. Parker/Heller grants an individual right to keep and bear arms ypu’ll still likely find me no more heavily armed than with my three-inch pocket knife.

    nk (c87736)

  68. Francis Bacon was unarmed when he impressed an armed thief named George Dyer who had broken into his house. He said “Why don’t you come to bed and we can discuss this in the morning.” George stayed for well over a decade.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  69. David E.,

    You’re starting to sound like Clayton Williams.

    SPQR,

    I think even zoo-raised animals are wild animals. Especially tigers.

    DRJ (09f144)

  70. DRJ, indeed they are, I meant the comment in contrast to the point about an animal being upset at being captured from the wild and put in a zoo.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  71. I’m pretty sure that the last carry permit issued in LA County to a private citizen was on the 12th of Never.

    Substitute “by” for “in” and I’m pretty sure you’re right. Substitute “City” for “County” and I’m certain of it. If memory serves, Daryl Gates’s LAPD issued a grand total of one permit, to Gates himself. They’ve handed out three or four permits since, but only when a court told them to (Salute v. Pitchess).

    Elsewhere in the county, issue rates are bad but not uniformly so. Culver City issued its share of permits when Ted Cooke was the police chief, which actually worked OK back in the days when every police chief had the authority to issue to any resident of his county.

    Xrlq (b65a72)

  72. But Sean Penn got a carry permit, just to put us plebians in our place.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  73. SPQR — you and me both, although I do have to keep emphasizing “some.”

    nk #67 — I’m sure that there will be those who would criticize you for that decision; free country, and all. Me, I’m pro-choice, and think that, by and large, most adults can make better decisions about that sort of thing for themselves than I can make for them.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  74. Mayberry has always been my ideal idyll. Hooterville too. 😉

    nk (c87736)

  75. Well, for a lot of guys, Hooterville would be, what with all the, well, you know.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  76. Joel and NPQR,

    You are thinking of Willie Williams, the shakiest gun in LAPD.

    PCD (b50035)

  77. Report on the news that investigation of the incident is hinting at the three who were attacked having been taunting the tiger somehow from the enclosure wall and suggestions that they were involved somehow in the tiger’s escape. No clear details yet.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  78. Maybe we’ll learn more from the pair that (so far) survived the attack. Maybe not.

    Were cameras on to record any of this? The story gets murkier by the minute.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  79. I heard there was blood found on the wall and in the moat, along with a shoe. The theory is that one or more people were sitting on the side of the moat with his/their legs dangling down the side. The tiger may have used the legs as leverage to climb out. An expert interviewed on TV said it was hard to imagine a tiger could do that but it might be possible.

    DRJ (09f144)

  80. I don’t know, SPQR. I agree with DRJ. Animals don’t have reasons for the things they do because they have no reason. I’m a farmboy. I never knew when I would be butted, kicked or bitten and this was around rams, billygoats, horses and mules. Mules are the most erratic.

    nk (c87736)

  81. David – The report I heard said there were cameras in the area but none around the cats.

    DRJ (09f144)

  82. NK – Mules and Shetland ponies.

    DRJ (09f144)

  83. I almost forgot – The report I heard also said there were pinecones and other items in the moat that should not have been there. It was believed the boys/men might have thrown them at the tiger, which is probably the reason for the reports of taunting.

    DRJ (09f144)

  84. I thought the real issue here was the dead man’s immigration status.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  85. And from where did you get that idea, Andrew? Certainly nothing that DRJ wrote. But now that you mention it, the tiger did kill the first one near her cage and then tracked the other two for three hundred yards ignoring eveyone else in-between. She may have gotten tired of zoo-food and wanted a taste of Mexican. Asshole!

    nk (c87736)

  86. PCD — yup. And I know of one writer who either has or used to have one. I’m not going to name names, as a quick googling doesn’t show the issue as public, and I’m not into outing permit holders.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  87. CCW’s from Culver City’s police chief…
    Don’t forget Robert Blake, and IIRC Rambo.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  88. And from where did you get that idea, Andrew? Certainly nothing that DRJ wrote.

    I’m confused. Why is immigration status so important in the threads about other criminals, but not here? (I think by the end of the investigation of how the tiger escaped, we’ll have a winner for Final Darwin Award of 2007.)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  89. Oh yes the PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF SAN FRANSICO voted to ban guns only to discover it was unconstitutional now why dont they rule that GUN FREE SCHOOL ZONES are also unconstitutional i mean the wealthy liberal eletists in WASHINGTON D.C.(DISTRICT of CRINIMALS) are already wanting the court ruling that overturned the gun ban these jerks including the idiot mayor(one of those wealthy liberal crinimals)they still want their armed guards and still think they have privlages

    krazy kagu (89f761)


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