Hunting Accident in PA

Normally this wouldn’t be newsworthy, but apparently this one involves the former Montgomery County District Attorney, who was apparently illegally hunting with his prohibited-person nephew when his nephew accidentally shot a man. His nephew now stands charged. Any bets on whether the Montco DA ever prosecuted someone for illegally hunting? Remember, the rules are for the little people.

45 thoughts on “Hunting Accident in PA”

  1. I first heard about this story on the radio today. What confused me was when the reporter mentioned that an illegal hunting rifle had been used in this case, but what I did not know at the time is that rifles are illegal for hunting in Bucks County because of the population density there.

  2. Misprison of Felony:

    “18 U.S.C. § 4:

    Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

    IMO, there is some abetting going on.

  3. The charges they are facing aren’t federal though, so that doesn’t apply. The federal jurisdictional hook there is “a felony cognizable by a court of the United States.”

    No idea whether Pennsylvania has a similar law though.

  4. The federal felony is the gun and ammo possession by a prohibited person. This is something that has been going on for years (if the news reports are to be believed).

  5. AP via Boston Globe | 4/30/03 | staff

    PITTSBURGH (AP) A man who hunted deer on his own property will spend 15 years in federal prison because he was a convicted felon, and therefore not allowed to possess a gun.
    Under the guidelines, a sentence of at least 15 years was mandatory.

  6. “Remember, the rules are for the little people.”

    See how you are. When we suggest that the hunters and gun owners and CCW guys are generously sprinlked with unfit characters, you balk. Then when one of you does something stupid, you quickly disassociate yourselves from him.

    The truth is these are your kinda guys not mine.

  7. I don’t know about the rest of us – but I never suggested that aren’t BadEggs owning firearms, hunting with them, or carrying them. I object to your characterization of “generously sprinkled”.

  8. Note that in theory this guy couldn’t have gotten a CCW license due to his prior (violent) felony, so in that respect he can’t be one of us.

    I don’t particularly see how he’s “one of us”, we don’t have much use for violent felons (“nearly [beat] a man to death during a fight”).

    As for hunting, my family at least does not hunt with people who violate the law during it (in this case, using a truly high powered rifle in an area where that’s illegal as well as unwise).

    As for “suggesting” our numbers are “generously sprinkled” with pieces of garbage like this guy, I think you need to more than “suggest”. Some numbers would be good, like CCW license holders who lose them due to subsequent actions. As for hunters, there are millions of them each year and last time I checked less than 1,000 lethal gun accidents per year of all types. Obviously not all “unfit characters” rise to the level of accidentally killing someone, but that gives us an idea just how few are “unfit”.

  9. He’s done it before, too, only that guy lived.

    In 1985, Manilla was convicted of aggravated assault for nearly beating a man to death during a fight, a felony conviction that meant he could not own a weapon.


    In 1993 in Schuylkill County, Manilla shot another hunter in the neck, was convicted of reckless hunting and his hunting privileges revoked for two years.

    And he was a prohibited person then, too, but they don’t mention any conviction for being a felon-in-possession.

    Our “justice” system at work.

  10. Sounds like ‘somebody’ has been covering for this guy for years… Felons cannot ‘legally’ own guns, so how in the hell did he get them registered in his name?

  11. Yeah, I know. I don’t think think that was ignorance, I think that the police told them that they were registered. That’s typically what the police say.

  12. To Harold’s point – I suppose I should say that there are people “masquerading” as law-abiding citizens who hunt, &c. They pretend to be “one of us” (as this guy pretended), but are not.

    Still doesn’t change my objection to “generously sprinkled”, though. Lets see some facts, there. Or, you know, not, because the facts don’t support your premise

  13. Of course you want facts and figures to support my “generously sprinkled” idea because no such statistics are possible. I find it absolutely incredible that all you pro-gun guys who each know how many other gun owners, 50, 100, or more, know of not one single case of the “hidden criminal.”

    Your exaggerating the gun control offenses while downplaying your own little lapses is so transparent it’s funny.

  14. mikeb: so you admit you’re talking out of your ass? You’re making an assertion, and you need to back it up with facts and/or figures. Otherwise, you’re just making shit up. As usual.

    What you’ve done is basically impugn the character of an entire group of people based on the actions of a single man who is tangentially related to that group. The logical fallacy involved in your line of thought is known as a hasty generalization. That tends to be the tool of choice for bigots, racists, and other such unsavory types. Nice company you keep.

  15. Groh was NOT hunting on Manilla’s property. Where did you get that?

    “After finding Groh’s tree stand and shotgun, investigators concluded Groh had been hunting on Richland Township property — not Manilla’s.”

    Manilla shot accross the property onto the adjacent Township property where Groh was hunting.

    Manilla was a prhibited person. Will the straw purchase be prosecuted? How about the obstruction?

  16. Since the recordable and recorded statistics shown bear out our assertion – that a vanishingly small percentage of CCW holders have them revoked, and that the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders who, by the time they commit a violent crime, are legally ineligible to own a firearm – it’s up to you, MikeB, to come up with countering statistics, or cede the field.

    Anecdotally, every current firearm owner I know of is an upstanding citizen guilty of nothing more than the occassional traffic violation. And I don’t know that many, living as I do in New Jersey.

    Here’s the thing for the people who do know those 100+ gun owners; if one in a hundred is a BadEgg, that’s 1%. If the denominator is more than 100, it gets less than that. If you want to say that 1% of the populace ought to be ineligible to own firearms, that’s neither “generously sprinkled” nor particularly suprising. The percentage of citizens who are felons seem sto be around 6% based on some quick Bing searches, so a rate of 1% of “prohibited persons” still posessing guns is pretty decent – given that, by definition, felons are lawbreakers. In actual fact, the rate is much lower than 1%, of course.

  17. Mike — So hang on… Let me get this straight.

    – David Manilla couldn’t touch a gun legally much less own one (or 68!). He was a convicted felon.
    – David Manilla violated the terms of his hunting license by using an unauthorized weapon. There’s definitely no excuse of ignorance as hunter’s ed is mandatory in PA. It wasn’t his first time, either.
    – After the shooting, he deliberately tried to alter and destroy evidence so as to mislead investigators. Nobody in his party called 911 immediately or attempted to get emergency medical personnel on the scene ASAP.

    How is this guy anything like me or any other law abiding gun owner? He has more in common with a drug dealing gang banger felon in the hood than he does with Sebastian or me as far as his involvement with firearms goes.

    Even though what he did is legal by the Joan Peterson School of Law’s standards (i.e., if it happened it must be legal!), the rest of us can realize that he violated numerous laws over the course of many years. We can also see that his relatively powerful and well connected family was either (A) ignorant of his criminal past or (B) aided and abetted his crimes for decades.

  18. Why are you guys debating with this tool? He drops in, makes an inflammatory comment, and wanders off, hoping to draw you back to his blog. He’s an admitted criminal. He’s just projecting his guilty conscience on the rest of us. He thinks that because he was perfectly happy breaking the law, the rest of us are as well.

  19. In my case? Because I live in one of the most hoplophobic states int he union, and I need the practice rebutting. MikeB serves as a robot pitcher for me to take batting practice.

  20. MikeB is more like a dad pitching to the kids in little league. Fortunately for us, the other side doesn’t have much of a bullpen.

  21. Also, leaving their BS unchallanged is not a good way to win over any readers who may be on the fence about the issue. Our side is much more persuasive when the anti’s arguments are demolished with the rhetorical equivalent of artillery fire every time they rear their ugly heads than when we simply ignore it.

  22. Allow me to repeat my assertion in a different way. Most of you guys have friends or relatives who you know are not fit to own guns. You do nothing about it for several reasons, you feel it’s none of your business, or you feel it’s their right to own guns in spite of whatever disqualifying problems they may have. Maybe you even have mixed feelings about it but inertia takes over, you do nothing.

    That’s where you’re complicit.

    To clarify for you contentious guys who like to purposely miss my point, but disqualifying problems I mean all those things I itemized on my post The Famous 10% (no link provided because you know where to find it if you want and I’d hate to prove Sean the mindreader right that all I’m looking for is traffic).

    I’ll change that “most of you guys” to all of you guys. Every one of you knows some gun owner who drinks too much for his own good, or who flies off the handle showing signs of anger problems. You justify not intervening because maybe, let’s hope, it never results in a bad scene. How about the prescription medication guys, the ones who’ve had back problems or depression and got hooked on the medicine. And let’s not forget the accident prone.

    Of course some of you go much further, you have friends or relatives with violent criminal pasts who seem to have straightened out. What are you going to do, play cop and criticize their desire to exercise a natural human right like everybody else. Of course not. That’s why you’re all complicit in this.

  23. @MikeB: Project much?

    I will repeat my previous statement – I know no person who is a firearms owner who is also unfit to possess firearms; and at least from the level of causal friends on up, I know no person who is unfit to possess, regardless of whether they do or not. Below that level I don’t know them well enough to say, but they function in society safely, they drive, own knives and baseball bats and gold clubs and haven’t yet beaten someone’s brains in, or stabbed someone, or run over someone, &c.

    I’m probably the one closest to your views here – I believe that there are people who shouldn’t possess firearms and yet are safe to not imprison or otherwise confine. Drunkards to the point of having a judge take their driver’s license, the adjudged mentally incometent who are functional on meds or with assistance. People like that.

    Note the common word in those two categories. Judge. Someone decided that the prohibited person whould be (on the merits of each case) barred from possessing a firearm.

    By concentrating on the firearm you miss the person. A person unsafe to possess a firearm due to propensity to violence, drink, or other mental issues is unsafe to drive a car in public, and is usually unsafe to be</i in public without a keeper.

  24. mikeb:

    “Most of you guys have friends or relatives who you know are not fit to own guns. You do nothing about it for several reasons, you feel it’s none of your business, or you feel it’s their right to own guns in spite of whatever disqualifying problems they may have. Maybe you even have mixed feelings about it but inertia takes over, you do nothing.”

    That’s not an accurate statement or characterization. I have a friend who is a shooting buddy. One day he told me he was going to sell one of his handguns to a neighbor. I asked him how he was planning to do that. After a brief conversation, I realized he would be in violation of state law so I gave him the proper forms and advised him to use an FFL if he was still unsure.

    I got involved and educated a fellow gun enthusiast – and now he will do the same if the need arises.

  25. Most of you guys have friends or relatives who you know are not fit to own guns. You do nothing about it for several reasons, you feel it’s none of your business, or you feel it’s their right to own guns in spite of whatever disqualifying problems they may have. Maybe you even have mixed feelings about it but inertia takes over, you do nothing.

    That’s a pretty damning accusation to make with no supporting evidence whatsoever. Give us some actual facts and evidence to support your assertion (as you have been repeatedly asked for, and failed to do, in the past), or STFU.

    And on that note, until he provides the requested factual support, I’m done feeding the troll.

  26. Echoing Ian Argent, I can go even further: in my fifty years on this earth I cannot recall ever knowing a gun owner who was unfit to possess firearms. That would even include the JROTC high school students who as a member of the rifle team I helped teach marksmanship to, a number of whom were able to earn a Marksman badge (hopefully we gave them the knowledge and confidence to later acquire and responsibly use firearms). In my SW Missouri Red State part of the country people respect firearms, and that was also true of the smaller number of gun owners I knew while I was in the Boston and D.C. areas.

    Another statistic would be from the police who teach the required class for a Missouri CCW license at the local college. Their leader said that of the thousands they’d taught only two senior citizens had failed, one woman who was not strong enough to manipulate a Glock (she gave up instead of finding a gun she could use) and a man who just couldn’t observe Rule 2 (“Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.”).

    mikeb302000: You can continue to make this bald, libelous assertion without providing any evidence while ignoring all the hard evidence to the contrary but absent an ignorant audience you’re simply not going to get any traction.

    Just a few bits of incontrovertible and publicly available evidence:

    The amazingly low firearms accident rates in the US where something like half the households have at least one firearm (we have more firearms than people…).

    How the absolute number of accidents have dropped in the last couple of decades while the population has increased and people have bought 10s of millions of new firearms, including handguns because of the next item:

    How starting with Florida in 1987 Shall Issue concealed carry laws have swept the states without the predicted “Dodge City” result; it’s now easier to list the states that aren’t unrestricted, de jure or de facto Shall Issue:

    Hawaii, California, Illinois, Wisconsin (going to change in Real Soon Now), Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and some of Massachusetts (although I’m sure most of the population).

  27. You all know MikeB is a troll right? Personally, I don’t mind if you feed him. He’s a harmless critter. Just want you all to be aware.

  28. Jake said:
    That’s a pretty damning accusation to make with no supporting evidence whatsoever.

    He never has any evidence whatsoever to back up his ridiculous claims. I doubt he really cares. Every so often he tries pushing them anyway. I suppose in the past they have been controversial and sparked up a lot of conversation, which is good for his hit counter. Now they are just tired ramblings.

    So I guess it is time for him to come around and try to dredge up some more traffic for his blog again. Maybe he is jealous of all of the traffic Japete’s site has been getting? He’d probably still be getting 30-40 comments per post too if he and his cohorts weren’t so insulting of nearly everyone who comments on his site.

  29. @Sebastian, yeah, I know. I enjoy arguing, even if it is with a brick wall, or a troll.

    Suppose that might be why I have been accused of being rubbery and green a time or two myself…

  30. Sebastian: Indeed, but since I don’t do this often anymore he has provided a useful foil for bringing my arguments up to date, e.g. how few states restrict issuance of concealed carry licenses.

    And while drafting the list I forgot to mention that while Iowa is nearly de facto Shall Issue today it will become de jure Shall Issue January 1st.

  31. It’s fine with me, just want to make sure everyone realizes. Though I have to hear about MikeB being a criminal one more time I’m going to scream.

  32. @MikeB. You claim we need to make sure our neighbors and friends should be perfectly fit to own firearms. Would you have us to do the same with cars? knives? rope?

    You would then have us believe that, by banning guns altogether, we’ll fix this problem. The point of this story, though, is that the law itself is incapable of keeping guns out of “unworthy” hands. If the Law can’t do it, what makes you think that friends and family will be able to do it?

    I, for one, am a strong advocate for this: that any person who is deemed safe enough to be let out of prison, ought to be deemed safe enough to own firearms–and that any person who isn’t safe enough to be trusted with firearms, ought not to be wandering free among us!

  33. Sebastian, That’s a pathetic cop-out, playing the troll card like that. The fact is this is a fascinating debate. Some of your friends deny outright that they know anyone who is unfit, they feign outrage and demand proof. Others like Mark Steele provide personal tales of how they did it right.

    Alpheus, I don’t know if I said you “need to make sure [y]our neighbors and friends should be perfectly fit to own firearms

    What I object to is your failing to do that and trying to paint yourselves as unaware of the problem. When one of these bad apples acts up, you draw a hard line seperating youselves from the offender even if you were out shooting with him the week before.

  34. You know what, Mike? Stop prejudging people you’ve never even heard about. I stand by my statement and will extend it. Anyone I would invite into my home I would trust to keep and bear arms, and vice versa. If I don’t trust them to bear arms safely, how in the heck am I supposed to trust them in my house? If they are unsafe to keep and bear arms, they are unsafe to allow into my home, as it is just chock-full of weapons, from the block of knifes on the sink to the bottles of wine in the pantry, the baseball bat in the front closet, or the Club in the garage. Not to mention anything other than a firearm they brought with them.

    I’ve written in the past that the handgun is the most efficient form of personal protection yet devised by Man; but it’s hardly the only personal weapon in existence, nor even the most effective at causing harm.

    I don’t know what your world is like, but if you honestly believe there’s a noticeable fraction of your friends and family who are dangerous to the point of not being safe with weapons, I pity you, because that’s a sad, lonely, and scared world. But I won’t let you make over mine. And I won’t let you take away my most efficient means of defense, or that of my friends and family.

  35. MikeB302000,

    Is it only the right to keep and bear arms that should be denied a person if they fit your famously ” Made up and completely Unsupported by anything close to fact, statistics or evidence 10%”?

    or should people loose other rights if they have or had drug problems, problems with addictions, anger, etc?

  36. Sebastian, That’s a pathetic cop-out, playing the troll card like that

    What’s the matter? Does the troll not like being called out as a troll? As you say on your blog ‘get over it’.

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