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Every now and then you read about a Civil War reenactment where someone gets shot with a live round. I would like to be the sort of person who doesn't find that funny, but some dreams are destined to be unfulfilled. I give you...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27372438/?GT1=43001


You might wonder how real ammo gets into a Civil War reenactment. The funny part is that there are so many ways it could happen. Allow me to list the first several theories that pop into my head.


  • One of the participants is a Method Actor.
  • In any large group of people, one of them will not know the definition of "reenactment." That person is likely to own ammunition.
  • One of the participants secretly hates Civil War Reenactments.
  • One of the participants is from the South and is a sore loser.
  • Someone had a plan to commit the perfect murder.
  • One word: Taliban

My favorite theory is that some goober spent the entire weekend hunting for turkeys with his Civil War reenactment blanks and didn't realize it. Later, when he discovered what he had done, he didn't want to face the embarrassment of telling his fellow bearded dorks that he used up all of his blanks. So he figured he'd do the reenactment with live rounds and just shoot over the heads of the other actors. No one would be the wiser. It was a good plan until he stepped in a woodchuck hole and accidentally shot some guy in the shoulder.

The wound wasn't fatal, but the Civil War reenactment medics sawed off the victim's legs anyway, just to err on the cautious side.

 
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Oct 29, 2008
Dearest Martha,
Conditions here at the Civil War reenactment are deplorable. Men are dropping like flies from typhus and Yellow Jack. Bodies are piled three deep and the stink is something awful. I'm beginning to think a reenactment of the Andersonville prison camp was not a very well thought out plan. Maybe the Civil War Reenactment movement is scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Tell the children their father loves them and to pray for his soul. Your loving husband, John Doe
 
 
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Oct 29, 2008
Most wars cast a long shadow: men who die in transit, men who die in veteran hospitals, suicides, etc. I am a bit surprised that the Civil War is one of them. But if this is true, that means Medieval wars, Roman campaigns and even more ancient wars are still claiming victims. How would you like to be a Renaissance Fayre re-enactor and die of the Bubonic Plague. Could happen. Good headline: RENAISSANCE FAIR CLOSED DUE TO BUBONIC PLAGUE OUTBREAK.
 
 
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Oct 29, 2008
This would make a good headline: CIVIL WAR CLAIMS NEW VICTIMS. Just had a thought: are there any medals they can claim?
 
 
Oct 29, 2008
It's easy to see how this could happen. In Michigan anyway, a muzzleloader is considered "unloaded", i.e. for purposes of legally transporting a gun in a vehicle, if you take out the primer or other ignition source. So the guy goes hunting, puts a charge, wad and ball down the barrel, and a percussion cap in place under the hammer to be ready to fire. Seeing no game, he goes back to the truck, removes the cap, but leaves the charge and ball in the barrel. Maybe he's planning to go hunting again soon.

Reenactment day comes and he loads more powder and a wad, not recalling his unsuccessful hunting trip.

Another good reason to clean your gun every time you take it out in the field, even if you didn't fire it.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 28, 2008
There was a Law and Order plot that involved a reenactment of the Aaron Burr/Alexander Hamilton duel to cover up a murder. Sooner or later, every Law and Order plot comes true.
 
 
Oct 28, 2008
That's vintage Wodehouse. "A musical comedy without music"

Thanks for the break Scott.
 
 
Oct 27, 2008

Hi Scott,

You need to make it so the comments are all on one page, this way people that read this at work can copy and paste the comments all at once thus appearing to reduce the amount of time spend browsing the internet
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 27, 2008
Wouldn't it be cool if some woman got mugged nearby, and the battalion of Civil War troops came to her rescue? Imagine the look on the face of the guy doing the mugging?
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
One of the steps in loading a muzzleloader is ramming the powder, wad and ball together. Or, actually, when you are in a reenactment, just powder, wad and more wad :)

It is possible that the tip of the ram broke off inside the barrel and the operator didn't notice, so it acted as a bullet.

For that explanation to be plausible, the operator must have neglected to shoot at a high angle, but whenever there's an accident with firearms you will find that there was never just a single error...
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
They need to check the roster for the name 'Chaney" ...
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
I still miss the old blog.
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
Put more than one human being with another for any activity and it is assured that Murphy's Law, "If anything can go wrong it will." and Chaos Theory "Eratic behavior in nonlinear dynamical systems will occur."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

Add to this, lawyers looking for deep pockets, politicians making hay over it, government officials denying culpability and the media going orgasmic with something to sensationalize.

This is the modern way of looking at what is really nothing more than some thoughtless and stupid moron !$%*!$%* up. The worse part is that his idiot probably breeds diminishing the gene pool.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 27, 2008
Of course, if it was a marketing scheme, It might have been better to have advertised the fact that some one had live ammunition *before* the fact. Sort of like a lottery. I imagine some dogbert-esque circus barker shouting


"Step right up, place a bet. Make a wager on who gets shot...."


It would be quite a lottery prize because of the double blind aspect. The guy who's blank gets switched doesn't know it, and the guy has free will to aim at however he wants. I imagine the payoff would be enormous for some lucky fan.
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
The other point not mentioned in any news reports is that re-enactors are SUPPOSED to aim any weapon fired at a 45 degree angle above the ground to avoid any such unfortunate accidents. Ooops
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
Scott,

You are missing the obvious fact that it could have been an accident. PIcture a bunch of guys trudging through fields, crawling through the grass, and a rock ends up in the barrel of the gun. As soon as he pulls the trigger, the rock would act like a bullet and get shot at whatever it was pointed. Of course, there is always the possibility that someone else put a rock in this guy's gun, but that is a conspiracy for later.

Just be thankful that aiming isn't a big requirement in reenactments.
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
Anyone who writes "I would like to be the sort of person who doesn't find that funny, but some dreams are destined to be unfulfilled" must surely fell the same about this story ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7693386.stm

 
 
Oct 27, 2008
Thank you for giving me a ROTFLASTHOOTC laugh when I was having a very bad day.

I used to have a boy scout leader who said of muzzleloaders 'you don't knock over a liquor store wit a gun that goes *click* *click* *BOOOOM*. That was no accident.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 27, 2008
Hi Scott,

I found the story only of minor interest until I read your spin, then found it truly hilarious. Technically speaking, muzzle loading black powder rifles don't have cartridges and therefore there is not such thing as a blank, you just don't put the bullet in before firing. But I still like your theory, perhaps he was getting rid of extra lead so his fellow bearded dorks wouldn't realize he didn't get off a single good shot while hunting turkeys.

My town stages WWII battle reenactments, complete with tanks, trucks, machine guns and even planes flying overhead. I am curious, but will never go near that game. The potential for disaster is way too high, someday I figure an errant shell will end up in my back yard and I am not well enough armed to return fire, oh well.

If you ever attend some type of reenactment, just remember not to put the kids on your shoulders and don't stand at the front of the spectators.

dsg
 
 
Oct 27, 2008
can you even BEGIN to imagine the irony of a battlefield full of armed soldiers being plunged into chaos amist shouts of:

"CEASE FIRE!!! CEASE FIRE!!! SOMBODY'S BEEN SHOT!!!"

PLEASE tell me they got that on film! :D
 
 
 
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