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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Rock Springs man charged in sword killing of wife... Reply to topic
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Helen Miller




Location: Springfield VA, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 7:50 am    Post subject: Rock Springs man charged in sword killing of wife...         Reply with quote

"August 2, 2007

ROCK SPRING (AP) -- A Rock Springs man charged with first-degree murder in his wife's death told police he struck her with a sword during an argument Sunday night, according to court documents.

District Judge Daniel Forgey on Wednesday set bail at $750,000 cash for Timothy Brandon, 27. Rock Springs police found Dawnita Brandon, 32, dead in the couple's Rock Springs apartment on Monday morning.

A police statement filed in court states that Kyle Watts called police at 6:11 a.m. Monday. Watts told police that Timothy Brandon, his boss, had called him at about 3:30 a.m. and said that he had killed his wife and "cut her up."
Watts told police that he went to the Brandon apartment after receiving the call and saw something on the kitchen floor covered by a blanket.

The Rock Springs Tactical Response Team entered the Brandon apartment. According to the police statement, officers found Timothy Brandon in a bedroom with what appeared to be blood on his clothing and skin.

Police say that Brandon told them that he and his wife had started arguing after she came home from a bar where they had been drinking on Sunday evening. He said he had arrived home from the bar before she did.

According to the police statement, Brandon told officers that his wife had pushed a plate of food in his face. He said that he started handling a sword and was holding it straight out when his wife came around a corner and impaled herself on it.
According to the statement, Brandon told officers that he then raised the sword and struck her "somewhere above the chest."

A bartender told police that she had served Timothy Brandon "a significant amount of alcohol" that evening and that she had heard him curse at his wife at the bar and tell her, "I'll take care of you later."

Judge Forgey on Wednesday said he could reconsider the bail amount once Brandon has a lawyer. Brandon said he would like to find his own lawyer, but was not sure that he could."
---------
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great now there will be a five day waiting period when you want to buy a sword...
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Keysor wrote:
Great now there will be a five day waiting period when you want to buy a sword...


That's incredibly insensitive and I ask you and any further posters to this topic to steer clear of any such responses. This is a big issue. The responses found by members of this community have more effect than you might think. Tread carefully.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to comment on the specific charges or claims in this case, I just want to point out how easy it is to seriously hurt somebody with an acutely-pointed reproduction sword or rapier. I've noticed that most of us hold swords with the blade horizontal or at a shallow angle up or down. Any of those positions are potentially deadly or disabling for children, pets or adults who round a corner of a room, fall, step back or otherwise suddenly enter the danger zone surrounding the weapon. This isn't as great a concern with broad-bladed cutting swords as with acutely pointed weapons, which can maim or kill with the extertion of very little pressure and only slight penetration of the blade. With a child on the way and other a&a interests in mind, I've chosen to trade away my long, acutely-pointed swords (although there are plenty of ways to secure them). I've also tried to retrain myself to hold the sword's point at an upward angle of between 60 and 90 degrees or else with point straight down and only an inch or two from the floor, even when "alone". When moving weapons from, say, the basement workshop to the upstairs display (two flights of stairs and approximately 13 corners or other blind spots,) I rest the blade on my shoulder with the point up and at least five or six inches above the top of my head.

Responsible firearm owners observe very simple and clear rules for the storage and handling of their weapons. I wish this community had a set of similar rules. At minimum, we should always practice "point awareness" in the same way firearm users practice "muzzle awareness".

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Mon 06 Aug, 2007 10:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's no way around this but to say, news like this is certainly going to make many people more nervous about swords than they otherwise might have been. Logically, we know the man in the story was drunk and violent- like lots of people who kill their spouses tend to be- and it seems like he simply grabbed the nearest weapon in his house. Cynically, one might say that this story is hardly newsworthy at all, except that it was done with a weapon that most people find more exotic than a baseball bat or illegal handgun.
Any time something like this happens, there is a small group of people who will say something like, "If only swords were illegal this would not have happened". I think the best we can hope for is that this group of people will be too small for any politician to take them seriously and write up some new laws, which won't stop drunken murders but certainly will affect collectors and users.
Its a little bit sickening that the alleged murderer seems to blame the weapon for his actions- apparently he said he was just holding it, his wife came at him around a corner, and impaled herself. Of course, he says he then attacked her again, but one implication is that the sword caused the initial injury, not the fool holding it. Hopefully, no jury in the country would ever believe in a case like this that the weapon, and not the criminal, was at fault, but honestly with people these days one can never tell.

Edit: To comment on Mr. Flynt's statement, I think handling a sword after drinking or in a highly emotional state is just as stupid and/or criminal as doing the same with a firearm or car.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
news like this is certainly going to make many people more nervous about swords than they otherwise might have been.


Not necessarily a bad thing. Too many people think of swords as toys or decorative objects. There's plenty of blame to go around for those attitudes. Even those of us who praise the historical accuracy of a reproduction sword can lose sight of the fact that, in a roundabout way, we're praising the efficiency with which it can kill. That is the historical endgame of taper, balance, profile, COP, weight, etc. I'm as guilty of that as anybody, but when I review a weapon for this site I try to at least mention how its design is meant to injure and kill. I think it's good to dampen enthusiasm and warn in this way. Thick layers of romance and and artistic and technological brilliance sometimes obscure the fact that we collect lethal weapons.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
To comment on Mr. Flynt's statement, I think handling a sword after drinking or in a highly emotional state is just as stupid and/or criminal as doing the same with a firearm or car.


Yep. And one of the rules for safe handling of edged weapons should be to never touch them when intoxicated, heavily medicated or upset.

Is anybody interested in brainstorming a "handling protocol" for edged weapons? Does anything like that exist already or have we all just survived on common sense?

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Martin Wilkinson





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Dan P wrote:
To comment on Mr. Flynt's statement, I think handling a sword after drinking or in a highly emotional state is just as stupid and/or criminal as doing the same with a firearm or car.


Yep. And one of the rules for safe handling of edged weapons should be to never touch them when intoxicated, heavily medicated or upset.

Is anybody interested in brainstorming a "handling protocol" for edged weapons? Does anything like that exist already or have we all just survived on common sense?


Don't get me wrong, i think this a good idea, however those of us who would follow these protocols are the ones who are sensible with swords already, but there are also those of us (and by that i mean humanity, not just the members of this forum) who are going to be stupid and play around with swords, and likely have no "point awareness" or just don't really care, aren't going to follow them, and if they did, it wouldn't stop them doing something stupid. Like the protocol for firearms doesn't stop guns being used in violent crime, a protocol on edged weapons wouldn't stop those who would use them for violent crime, using them.

I am sad to hear about this incident.

But, i have to say that given he attacked her, after she walked onto the blade, that was likely his intention (her walking onto the blade) in carrying it around. I suspect (and hope) that everyone on this forum is sensible enough to not "play" with swords while intoxicated or in an emotional state, but not everyone in the world is. And i doubt that in the situation which started this discussion, any handling edged weapon protocols would have prevented it in any way.

"A bullet you see may go anywhere, but steel's, almost bound to go somewhere."

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Brian D. A.





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Is anybody interested in brainstorming a "handling protocol" for edged weapons?


Mr. Flynt, I actually would like to see something like that. I don't think it would help certain kinds of people, but for those who were interested it might provide a few safety ideas that had perhaps been overlooked.

Personally, all of my swords are "decorative" or unsharpened, but they still have sharp points.
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James Odell




Location: Belton, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Almost certainly the sword collecting community needs a set of (at least informal) guidelines on weapons handling, as Mr. Flynt has proposed. People often forget that even a blunt blade, or a cheap stainless steel sword, is still a very dangerous steel spike under the right conditions. (frankly it’s a miracle none of my friends killed themselves back in high school, the way they showboated in the backyard with cheap blades…)

Of course such guidelines can’t stop the actions of an enraged drunken man, (intentional or not), but they can very effectively serve to mitigate potential accidents among responsible collectors, I would think.

Potential rules so far explored…

- be aware of your swords point, and hold it away from people at all times (skyward / ground ward)
- never handle a weapon while intoxicated, heavily medicated, or in any other altered state.
- Always be aware of the fact that your weapon is exactly that; a tool for killing.

So what else, sounds like a reasonable precaution?

[/u]
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Brian D. A.





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"How to safely transport a sword to another room or outdoors without a scabbard" is one question I would like more information on. I wonder if this is getting off-topic though. Perhaps someone should start a new thread?
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B. Stark
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quite frankly, I loathe the idea of "making a set of guidelines". Are the "sword police" going to enforce them? The only thing that keeps a weapon safe is the person holding it, not a set of rules. Also the idea of these guidelines has nothing to do with a homicide that could have just as easily been carried out with a more mundane tool or weapon. It surprises me as well that some folks who are familiar enough with swords need to be given ideas on what is safe handling or not.

Which leads me to mention the altogether lack of scabbards for european swords. Japanese swords, whether nihonto, or newly manufactured swords have a scabbard. Why is it that this essential part of European swords is stunted with makers? You buy a katana, you get scabbard as part of the whole package. With Euro swords it's an add on. The old notion of not storing your sword in it's scabbard for long periods of time is a misleading statement. There's no better place to store your sword. It's meant to be stored in a scabbard (especially a sharp). Maintenance is another responsibility, if you( the collector, user etc.) let your sword go neglected for 9 months with out at least occasionally wiping it down with oil then it's your own fault. I can only assume that for so long a period of time most mass manufactured swords were blunts(DelTin for instance) and the overall concern for safety was much less as opposed to the very sharp weapons that are made today.

Anyhow, regardless of safe handling, swords are weapons, and as such they will be viewed in a negative light by various parties who hold to ideologies that endorse an unarmed society regardless of how much violence is incorporated it their use. Obviously, an event like this brings to bare much negative connotation, but the fact remains, that those slain by swords is such a miniscule number as to be almost non-existent when compared to the manifold other ways homicides are committed. Remove firearms from the general populace that of course may or may not change.

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Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?

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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

B. Stark wrote:
Quite frankly, I loathe the idea of "making a set of guidelines". Are the "sword police" going to enforce them? The only thing that keeps a weapon safe is the person holding it, not a set of rules. Also the idea of these guidelines has nothing to do with a homicide that could have just as easily been carried out with a more mundane tool or weapon. It surprises me as well that some folks who are familiar enough with swords need to be given ideas on what is safe handling or not.

I couldn't agree more. I have to feel that if a person isn't responsible enough to safely handle a sword without a list of rules, then that person probably shouldn't own a sword. The only rule that needs to be said: BE MINDFUL!

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I may be painting with too broad a brush, but I tend to believe that the kind of people who would design a protocol for the handling of reproduction weapons are inherently less likely to commit such gross offenses. Obversely the kind of person who would commit such a repugnant crime (I think) would neither learn or apply such a protocol.

This is not to say that any of us is free from passions or error, simply that the kind of consideration involved in such an attempt is most likely lost on men with murder in thier hearts.
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Dan P




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We cannot keep swords out of the hands of the criminally stupid and the homicidal without affecting our legitimate rights and responsibilies. Unfortunately the public at large, and the politicians, don't care (and likely never will) about the interests of responsible sword owners, because weapons are scary for some reason to lots of people, look like good things to symbolically take "off the street", and sword hobbyists are a small minority compared to all the people who would support new laws simply through hearing about cases like the one that started this thread and being too indifferent to learn more.

Therefore, the best thing that responsible owners can hope for is that our hobby can attract as little attention as possible in the eyes of the skittish public following these tragic events.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking about safety guidelines:

It's probably true that the kind of people who would follow those safety guidelines are the kind who would not like to commit sword-related violence in any case, but let's not blur the difference between inclination and knowledge. A sword owner might not want to ever hurt anybody else with a sword but he/she might have a problem doing that because the lack of a generalized safety protocol prevents him/her from knowing exactly what precautions are needed in handling such weapons. So I'd say the creation of a guideline would still be a useful and worthwhile endeavor especially since it might go a long way towards instructing beginners or first-time sword owners in such matters. Maybe we can start by taking a gun/knife-based safety guide and modifying it to suit the peculiarities of swords?
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug, 2007 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my country sharp swords are considered weapons. To keep one it is necessary to go through a lot of paperwork, same is true for firearms (this is the reason why Del Tin doesn't produce sharps, to avoid the paperwork necessary to export weapons)..

Despite this people are killed brutally by means of anythig else, starting from kitchen knives and wood axes.

Professional criminals buy illegitimate weapons with ease too.

Recently a spate of bank robberies has occured, the weapon being a paper cutter ... clerks are so scared that it is enough for them.


So such bans on weapons only damage the honest citizens who want to play according to the rues, for the rest criminals are undeterred.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Idiots will do as they please, and suffer the consequences. Or their innocent family, friends or pets will. My suggestion is for a set of rules (or, if folks don't like that word, then maybe "protocols") that a person new to this hobby can have in front of him the first time he touches a weapon. He (or she, of course) may be a perfectly reasonable and responsible person, but simply have no experience with such weapons. As I mentioned in my first post, I've seen lots of very experienced and knowledgeable people hold swords in positions that I would consider dangerous if pets or children were present.

Common sense is derived from experience. We don't touch hot stoves, not because we were born knowing not to touch them but because we touched them at one time and got burned. Somebody with no experience with edged weapons will know generally what not to do (swing the weapon wildly, for example,) but probably has no idea how sharp a sword edge can be or how acutely pointed a tip can be.

Nobody's talking about "enforcement". It just makes good sense to me to have simple, clear protocols based on our collective, hard-earned "common sense". When my son is old enough to take an interest in my hobby, I don't want to just make up a lesson on the spot about respecting these objects as weapons, being mindful of everyone and everything in the vicinity, etc. I don't want to think, while waiting in an emergency room, "oh, I guess I forgot to tell him about that".

Maybe I'm dimly remembering the sort of stuff one learns as a Boy Scout for a merit badge in something like knife or firearms safety. Thinking off-the-cuff, I guess this is along the lines of what I'd want my son and others to remember:

I understand that historic arms are not toys.
I will respect historic arms as lethal weapons.
I will be mindful of other people, animals and property whenever handling historic arms.
I will promote understanding of historic arms by being well-informed, encouraging and respectful.
I will never handle historic arms while intoxicated, medicated, upset or otherwise impaired.
I will never handle historic arms without specific permission from their owners.

I would add a few sentences to each of these basic points, but we could do worse than just keep these in mind.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Darryl Aoki





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:

Thinking off-the-cuff, I guess this is along the lines of what I'd want my son and others to remember:

I understand that historic arms are not toys.
I will respect historic arms as lethal weapons.
I will be mindful of other people, animals and property whenever handling historic arms.
I will promote understanding of historic arms by being well-informed, encouraging and respectful.
I will never handle historic arms while intoxicated, medicated, upset or otherwise impaired.
I will never handle historic arms without specific permission from their owners.

I would add a few sentences to each of these basic points, but we could do worse than just keep these in mind.


It's certainly a good place to start. I also like the notion of modifying firearm-handling protocols to deal with swords.
Having seen what some people will do with firearms, I shudder at the notion of those same people with a sword. At least a gun can be unloaded.
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Bram Verbeek





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I would like to see is more awareness

A point is deadly, know where it is and what could be coming towards it,
Keep a blade away from children,
Never let your eye from someone inexperienced walking around with it
Draw cuts are nasty, try to avoid the chance of sweeping your plade past someone
A sword should not be hanged on the wall (or displayed in an other way) in such a fashion that someone could be hurt if it falls off
Only use sharp swords where you have secure footing, best to only use semi-sharps only with secure footing as well
If you think you lack total awareness of the situation (too many people, some other people intoxicated) put it away

most very obvious, but all knowledge and thoughts together might fill a gap for someone
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