Okay, first the obvious: Yes, the joke does write itself:
But hang on, there’s something weird going on here. First, the lead:
PARIS (AP) — France’s army chief resigned Tuesday following a weekend military show in which 16 people were shot and wounded when real bullets were used instead of blanks. ‘s [SIC] resignation, Sarkozy’s office said Tuesday, and the defense minister suspended the use of blank munitions at public military shows.
I’ve checked a couple of places, and in both the French army chief’s name is, apparently, ” “, as in ” ‘s resignation.” (His real name is the richly fruity sounding “Gen. Bruno Cuche.”)
Officials had earlier said 17 people were injured, but Montpellier Prosecutor Brice Robin on Tuesday put the total at 16.
… Robin said the shooting appeared to be unintentional.
“According to his (the soldier’s) early statements, it appears that he made a mistake while loading his gun,” Robin said. “This act was absolutely not premeditated; I want to be clear about this point.”
The soldier said he “forgot” to hand in unused bullets, as rules stipulate, and then mistakenly loaded his weapon with those munitions, Robin said.
The soldier, a sergeant, was placed under judicial control and freed pending the investigation.
I can understand how you might report 17 instead of 16 injuries, but here’s the question: How did he manage to injure 16 people before he realized that he had real bullets instead of blanks in his gun? The AP report leaves us clueless on that score. Accidentally shooting one person is understandable. Accidentally shooting 16 people — that’s something else.
The Associated Press: The news source that leaves you knowing less than you did before!
Okay, start sending in your jokes about how this soldier has shot more people than any other French soldier in history.