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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Teen Blinded by a Frog Flying at 400 Feet Per Second (yes, a frog)

    Old story I came across - One of our little local darlings fixing to splat himself a frog - But the frog got his revenge.

    04/18/2003
    By Donna Fielder / Staff Writer

    Daniel Berry was trying to keep a frog from crawling out the end of the 7-foot barrel of a potato gun early Monday when everything "just went black and red." His world likely will remain black for the rest of his life, he said Thursday from his hospital room.


    The Denton 17-year-old’s story has people arguing nationwide on talk shows and the Internet. And though Daniel said he thinks there must have been some sort of delayed firing when the spud gun went off, sending the frog into his face at 400 feet per second and blinding him, some experts say that could not have been the way it happened.

    Daniel, his brother and a friend were fishing about 1 a.m. Monday when they saw a group of teens on the Old Alton Bridge. They were firing potato guns, which are made of PVC pipe with a canister for a propellant and an ignition.

    "We wanted to shoot them, and we asked if we could. We wanted to have fun," Daniel said. "We’re teenagers. That’s what we do.

    "They told me they were shooting frogs out of there, and I wanted to do it," he said. "The frog kept trying to crawl out."

    The gun uses a 9-volt battery with a foot-long wire with a button on the end for ignition. They sprayed deodorant into the compression cylinder as propellant, and he pushed the button. Nothing happened, despite several pushes.

    He was the only one holding the gun, Daniel said. He set down the firing end and went around to the barrel to make sure the frog was still inside.

    "Nobody clicked the button. It just went off," he said. "It knocked me down and I was all bloody, and my brother and friend dragged me all the way to the car and took me to the hospital."

    He was listed in critical condition at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth until Thursday, when he was transferred to a room. He may be released soon, he said. He has a broken nose and jaw, and doctors plan reconstructive surgery. They will check out his left eye to see whether he might be able to someday detect light.

    Joel Suprise sells potato guns full-time at an Internet Web site from Wisconsin. There is no such thing as a delayed ignition, he said. [hmm, let's see... switch of questionable quality, probably no safety, plastic capable of creating its own static charge, propellent capable of being touched off by any static discharge, the ignition occured when the frog was touched & grounded, possibly producing a spark. Yep, no possibility at all ]

    "There is no possible way for a combustion-based spud gun to ‘just go off,’" Mr. Suprise said. "Nor is it possible for there to be a delayed firing. The ignition button had to have been pushed at the exact time of firing."

    Mr. Suprise said a combustion-based spud gun uses an electrical spark to ignite a mixture of fuel and air just like a spark plug ignites a fuel-air mix in the cylinders of a car engine.

    The spark lasts for only a few hundredths of a second, he said. After the spark has ceased to exist, there is no residual heat or ignition source anywhere in the chamber. Therefore, a "hang fire" is not even possible with a combustion-based spud gun, he said.

    Tucker Carlson, commentator for CNN’s "Crossfire," agrees there could be no hang fire, but since there is no trigger guard, the button could accidentally be pressed without the person knowing it, he said. Last year he wrote an article for GQ magazine on potato guns.

    Mr. Carlson has four children and several spud guns. He closely supervises their use, he said.

    "I like them. They are fantastic toys, but dangerous toys," Mr. Carlson said. "They’re all capable of hurting you. I had a stockade fence in my back yard and in one afternoon, we disintegrated it."

    Possessing a potato gun is a third-degree felony in Texas. But federal authorities say federal law does not govern them, and they are legal in Wisconsin, where Mr. Suprise lives.

    Denton County Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Patton said some experts tell him that if the mix of propellant was too heavy, there could be a hang fire.

    "One deputy went to the scene and the other went to the hospital," Mr. Patton said. "We took witness statements, and the investigation found this to be an accident."

    Larry Barnes, another Wisconsin dealer, said he believes Daniel may accidentally have caused the ignition without knowing it. Perhaps there was a short in the wire leading to the ignition button, and when Daniel set the gun down and moved it around, the connection was made, he said. The back of the gun could have rolled over, depressing the button, he said.

    "The bottom line is the gas is ignited by a spark. It takes electricity to make that spark jump. It’s a microsecond," Mr. Barnes said. "When you press the button, the points generate an electric spark, just like spark plugs. Once the spark is gone, it’s not going to reoccur by itself unless the button is pushed."

    Both dealers emphasize the importance of parental supervision, and their Web sites stress safety measures.

    "You don’t look down the barrel of any gun, any time," Mr. Barnes said. "I sure hope this young man gets better. I said a couple of prayers for him last night."

    DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885.

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  2. #2
    CW Mock's Avatar
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    Wanted to do a little animal cruelty and the frog went Kamikaze in his ass. Go frog!

    For some reason, it made me laugh. Little delinquent got a king size dose of karma!
    "I have an open door policy on tickets ... if I have to open my door, you are getting a ticket. If I turn on those lights, somebody has to pay the electric bill."

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  3. #3
    Shoestring's Avatar
    Shoestring is offline Please dont check the trunk...
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    Okay, spud guns are kinda cool and fun (we never had or played with them in High School..... wink wink) but like the last line of the orig post "You never look into the barrel of a gun" what the hell, its like fireworks, if it dont go off you dont hover above it with your thumb in your arce and stare into it. Come on people use you freaking common sense.

    For the frog, sorry it was your time to go by some idiot kids, but at least you put up a fight.

    In all honesty, hopefully the kid gets some sight back

  4. #4
    Ender's Avatar
    Ender is offline Three Sheets...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoestring View Post
    Okay, spud guns are kinda cool and fun

    In all honesty, hopefully the kid gets some sight back
    spud guns seem cool AND fun.

    I can't say i sympathize with someone who is old enough to know better and still tortures/kills an animal (even if it is only a frog) for entertainment.

    I won't be unhappy if he gets some of his sight back by any stretch, but if he doesn't....I won't lose any sleep.
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  5. #5
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blatantly stolen from another forum
    Talk about an amphibious assault...
    Sorry, just needed to share that.
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  6. #6
    k2.rocky's Avatar
    k2.rocky is offline Officer First Class
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    Potato guns are a blast, especially when accompanied by some cold beer. I've shot tater guns many times but never actually had the ingenious idea of firing live animals out of them. What a moron. Hope he gets better, I think the frog incident will be a self-correcting matter.
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  7. #7
    Lazy Fed's Avatar
    Lazy Fed is offline Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Sorry, just needed to share that.
    OMFG LMAO!!
    dulce et decorum est pro patria mori


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  8. #8
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blatantly stolen from another forum
    Talk about an amphibious assault...


    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Sorry, just needed to share that.
    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMMIT!! Young lady if you make me piss my pants one more time.....be right back.


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  9. #9
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blatantly stolen from another forum
    Talk about an amphibious assault...




    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMMIT!! Young lady if you make me piss my pants one more time.....be right back.


    vBulletin Message
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Ducky again.
    You're welcome.
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  10. #10
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    Quote:

    vBulletin Message
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Ducky again.
    I got it LMAO!
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  11. #11
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    LOL.


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