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firearms

Here’s another heartbreaking story about children shooting children; in this case, a five-year-old shot and killed his two-year-old sister. What makes this case particularly horrible is that the gun belonged to the five-year-old.

Yes, there are people in this world so demented they would give a .22 caliber firearm to a five-year-old.

No, wait, that’s not quite right. The story says the boy got the rifle as a present last year, meaning he may have been four at the time.

Cumberland County Coroner Gary White identified the girl as Caroline Starks.

He said the children’s mother was at home when the shooting occurred, and the gun was a gift the boy received last year.

“It’s a Crickett,” he said. “It’s a little rifle for a kid. …The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun.”

White said the gun was kept in a corner, and the family did not realize a shell had been left in it.

He said the shooting will be ruled accidental.

“Just one of those crazy accidents,” White said.

Yeah, just one of those crazy accidents. I mean, what responsible adult would have thought to not allow a five-year-old own a gun?

in other gun news, last week the Republican senators from Oklahoma, Inhofe and Lucas, introduced a bill that

… would ban federal agencies, excluding the Pentagon, from buying more ammunition during a six-month period if it currently possesses more than its monthly averages during the Bush administration.

The conspiracy theory that incubated the bill is that the Obama administration is trying to buy up bullets so ordinary Americans have less access to them in the marketplace.

As the news story says, even the NRA isn’t buying that one.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Ed  •  May 1, 2013 @2:26 pm

    Now the question for gun advocates is whether the boy should be charged as an adult.

  2. maha  •  May 1, 2013 @2:30 pm

    Ed — nobody will be charged. The police have ruled the shooting accidental.

  3. Tom_B  •  May 1, 2013 @2:32 pm

    The parents should lose custody. Any parent who would allow a minor to have a gun (other than an air rifle, for an older kid, for target shooting) is unfit.

  4. Ed  •  May 1, 2013 @2:36 pm

    Ah, but in “Bowling for Columbine” Michael Moore interviewed the DA where a 6 year old boy had brought a gun to school and shot a classmate. He was under considerable pressure to charge the boy as an adult.
    Don’t you wonder if Wayne LaPierre wants to see him charged under the law? After all, guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Gotta follow through on your logic here.
    Also bear in mind that Davy Crockett shot him a bar when he was only three.

  5. joanr16  •  May 1, 2013 @2:39 pm

    Don’t you wonder if Wayne LaPierre wants to see him charged under the law?

    Of course not. No sensible person uses the word “logic” in reference to Wayne LaPierre.

  6. maha  •  May 1, 2013 @2:51 pm

    Don’t you wonder if Wayne LaPierre wants to see him charged under the law?

    He doesn’t, because if you parse NRA rhetoric carefully you see that the only firearm violence that’s a problem for them is when the use is criminal. Gun violence that doesn’t show up in crime statistics does not count, to them.

  7. c u n d gulag  •  May 1, 2013 @2:59 pm

    As you all know, I’m pretty much against anything but a simple handgun or shotgun for protecting a persons home and family, and a rifle or two, for hunting.
    But if they all disappeared completely, I wouldn’t shed a tear for the whole lot of them.

    But even if I was pro-gun, if I didn’t think my kid was old or mature enough, I wouldn’t hand my car over to him/her to drive – then they’re not getting near a gun that I hadn’t carefully personally checked before, and only in situations where I could personally supervise the child.

    And it’s as it should be, the child SHOULDN’T be charged, because he’s ONLY 5!
    He’s a fucking CHILD!!!

    Imo – the parents need to be charged with reckless endangerment, or something of that sort, since I think depraved indifference is a bit too tough.
    Yeah, it was an “accident” that the kid shot his little sister – a preventable accident waiting to happen, when you give a 4 or 5 year old a gun, and then don’t lock that gun away so he can’t get at it unless YOU give it to him, when you’re supervising him.

    If you put your 4 or 5 year-old on your lap and let him steer your car, and, while you were distracted, he ran someone over, killing them, are the cops going to let the parent(s) go because it was an “accident?”

    Until adults start having “some skin” in these gun deaths of children, there’s really nothing to worry about, except funeral costs, and psychological damage for family members and friends.
    Tack on fines, and a nice prison term of about 5-10 years, and we might see some change.
    “Oh,” the gun-nut righties will scream, “but then you’re hurting the entire family, by putting their father and/or mother in jail.”

    But if they got caught selling pot, or making meth, then that’s not huring the childrens families by putting their father and/or mother in jail? We do it every fucking day!
    We put people away for decades for selling someone elses kid a joint, or giving one to their child, but, giving them a gun, and then recklessly leaving it where it can be found and accessed, and then having the child kill someone with that gun, is not punishable, because it’s an “accident?”
    Charge the stupid parents!
    Try these stupd parents!!
    And if they’re found guilty, lock up the stupid parents!!!
    Do it for the sake of the children.
    Theirs, and other peoples.

  8. biggerbox  •  May 1, 2013 @3:20 pm

    Apparently in Cumberland County, Kentucky, one entire plot-line of the movie A Christmas Story is completely incomprehensible. Can they imagine a world where parents would refuse to give their (older than 5 years) child a BB gun, because “you’ll shoot your eye out!”

    And I’d be flummoxed trying to understand what kind of parent wouldn’t be meticulous about checking and removing live ammunition from any firearm left lying around the living room, but I can’t manage to get past being flummoxed by the concept that people are buying actual working firearms, and not cap guns, for children that age in the first place. What. The. F**K?!

    But what’s worst is that I can’t even say “Yeah, well, maybe that was just some tragic, sad, hillbilly family with no sense, and they’ve been punished by losing their daughter,” because the frickin’ medical examiner calls it an “accident”?! Like people in positions of responsibility in that area, not just these awful parents, think that giving a 5yr old access to a loaded firearm is just a normal everyday thing, and whoops? What else do they give kids access to down there? Knives? Lasers? Poisons of various kinds?

    “Well, sure, I guess little Johnny did blow up the neighbor with the kid-sized portable demolition charges we bought him, but it was an accident. We didn’t realize we’d left the blasting caps in it? Ooops.”

    Thinking about the people in this story sure makes the existence of Mitch McConnell easier to understand. They are his constituents.

  9. Swami  •  May 1, 2013 @3:31 pm

    Does the Eddie Eagle gun safety program enroll 5 year olds?…Somebody should be charged for child neglect at a minimum. That gun is a single shot bolt action rifle, and there is no way a bullet could have been chambered in it without the gross failure of adult responsibility.

  10. joanr16  •  May 1, 2013 @3:35 pm

    I foresee a Simpsons parody of an NRA instructional cartoon for the kiddies, with a talking assault weapon named Trigger McBlamblam or similar. Jaunty music, stuff ‘sploding when you shoot at it, what’s not to love?

  11. Stephen Stralka  •  May 1, 2013 @3:50 pm

    White said the gun was kept in a corner, and the family did not realize a shell had been left in it.

    This is what gets me. Even if you don’t think it’s totally demented and irresponsible to give a small child a gun in the first place, you don’t just leave it lying around when you’re not there to supervise. And when you do let the gun out of your sight, you make extra goddamn sure it isn’t loaded.

  12. c u n d gulag  •  May 1, 2013 @3:52 pm

    I suggest we create a new category for people like these parents to be charged with – “Depraved Stupidity!”

    Yes, and if you can’t send them to jail, then you permanently take away their children – and put the parents on some “No-Screw” list, where they’re not even allowed to try have more children.

  13. Doug  •  May 1, 2013 @6:42 pm

    Here’s the first rule of gun safety, which they obviously don’t teach in Kentucky. Pay attention because otherwise it’s too tricky to get. It’s the first thing I taught my adult sons before I taught them to shoot..

    “A gun is always loaded.”

    This is how you treat EVERY gun until and unless you have the mag out and you personally inspect the chamber. As soon as the gun leaves your hands, whether you hand it to someone or you put it on a corner or wherever you store it – the first rule reverts as soon as you handle it again.

    “A gun is always loaded.” Do note that the rule does not suggest you treat a gun as if it might be loaded because your opinion will affect how you handle the weapon. ALWAYS, ALWAYS treat a gun with the absolute conviction that it’s ready to go off until you make the inspection yourself.

    Whenever I check in at the range to shoot, the first thing they do BEFORE they let me on the range is inspect the gun to ensure it is unloaded. Don’t EVEN tell them they don’t need to check because, ‘It’s not loaded.’ – the pros have heard that before.

    This rule may cause you to treat a gun with greater caution than needed, but that’s a small inconvenience compared to the potential tragedy that comes with too little caution.

    If they want to introduce a bill, I suggest there should be mandatory jail time for the (adult) gun owner who utters the phrase after an accident ; “I didn’t think the gun was loaded.” The statement is a confession of criminal negligence.

  14. Tom_B  •  May 1, 2013 @7:28 pm

    In other news: “http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/zimmerman-passes-stand-ground-hearing-chance-immunity-192058221.html” Zimmerman wants to get in front of a jury ASAP figuring, probably correctly, that in a 12 person Florida jury there will be at least one flea brain who will think what he did was some kind of perverse self- defense. If I were the prosecution, I’d have tried to bump it to the Federal courts and out of that screwed-up state.

  15. paradoctor  •  May 1, 2013 @7:32 pm

    Doug: So “the gun is loaded” is what the statisticians call the ‘null hypothesis'; the default assumption, requiring refutation to deny. The opposite theory, “the gun is unloaded” is the ‘alternate hypothesis’, the challenger, requiring proof to affirm. Which hypothesis is which is determined by which one is more expensive to be wrong about.

  16. Swami  •  May 1, 2013 @8:41 pm

    I’d have tried to bump it to the Federal courts and out of that screwed-up state.

    Gee, Tom..What’s so screwed up with Florida? Maybe our gun laws are a little lax by some standards, and our voting rights aren’t as secure as in other states, but when it comes to passing progressive bestiality laws and reducing welfare fraud via tried and true drug testing we lead the nation.

  17. csm  •  May 2, 2013 @1:14 pm

    Interesting how whenever the NRA and their crony gun organizations and sundry gun sycophants weigh in on the “debate” regarding gun safety, they always use the term “responsible gun owners.” And yet, these accidents happen because the gun owners are anything but responsible. They remove the clip but always seem to forget about the one in the chamber. When this happens, they go from being “responsible gun owners” to irresponsible gun owners, removed from the former category, by virtue of their irresponsibility, and in a sane world would be placed in the criminal category, e.g. your negligence was criminal, and now you are a criminal with a gun.

    If I get behind the wheel of my car blind drunk and kill someone, I am likely to be charged with negligent homicide. The car was not a weapon, but I still killed with it due to my own negligence. I will also face civil liability, and I better have insurance, because I will likely face civil suits.

    The main purpose for the gun is killing something, thus there should be a higher burden of responsibility, as well as liability than there is with the car. And yet its backwards: while the car owner in the case above must have insurance, and is charged with being negligent in the case of an accident, the gun owner, is not required to carry insurance and is neither considered liable or negligent when “the gun goes off” and kills someone accidentally. And in my drunken stupor if the person I run over and kill with my car happens to be my son/daughter, wife, sister/brother, cousin, mom, there is no consideration given that “his loss is suffering enough,” as they do with the guns. It’s backward; it’s illogical. It’s insane.

    Anyone attempting to buy a gun, after passing a background check, should be required to have liability insurance. The access to the insurance should be dependent on showing proof of having passed an approved gun safety and handling course. The cost of the insurance should be much higher for any gun that does not have biometric sensors, because then the gun can be fired by someone else “accidentally.” If my gun falls into the hands of a child who uses it to kill, I should be charged with negligent homicide. And if I allow my gun to fall into the hands of someone who uses it to commit a crime, because I allowed it to be sold without a required background check, then I should be charged the same as the criminal that used it to commit the crime. And in both cases I should be able to be held civilly liable, and sued in court.

    If they want to be responsible gun owners, than make them live up to and prove it.

  18. csm  •  May 2, 2013 @1:19 pm

    And WTF is up with the “Crickett” guns? Isn’t that akin to “Joe Camel” and marketing a dangerous product to children?

    For all of what passes for their “religious fervor,” the gun has become the false idol of the right. They worship it and hold above everything, including life. Jesus can’t hold a candle to the gun in the “minds “of these people.

  19. uncledad  •  May 2, 2013 @1:21 pm

    “Yes, there are people in this world so demented they would give a .22 caliber firearm to a five-year-old”

    The problem here is that the 2 year old was not armed as well. Had she been able to exercise her 2nd amendment rights she could have killed the shooter first. The only thing that will stop a bad child with a gun is a good child with a gun!

  20. joanr16  •  May 2, 2013 @1:41 pm

    The problem here is that the 2 year old was not armed as well. Had she been able to exercise her 2nd amendment rights she could have killed the shooter first.

    That would surely take both “the Terrible Twos” and “stand your ground” to a whole new level!

  21. Swami  •  May 2, 2013 @1:48 pm

    The only thing that will stop a bad child with a gun is a good child with a gun!

    LOL! I know it’s crazy,but that’s about the size of it.

  22. Swami  •  May 2, 2013 @4:21 pm

    More wrong? Sounds like something Jethro Bodine would say. Jethro says, “the computer ain’t never ever been wrong”.

  23. DBK  •  May 3, 2013 @10:27 am

    Well why wasn’t that two year old armed? The problem isn’t a five year old with a loaded gun, it’s that the two year old couldn’t return fire and defend herself.

    (No I don’t think this is a funny story. No I don’t think the little girl should have been armed. I am using NRA logic to demonstrate how ridiculous NRA logic is.)

  24. Swami  •  May 3, 2013 @7:52 pm

    http://news.yahoo.com/nra-official-culture-war-more-gun-rights-163302097.html

    They’re pumping up the rubes.. A call for freedom fighters. All that’s required now is that you buy a gun and you’re a full fledged patriot. It seems Santorum decided to cloak himself in the mantle of patriotism..I guess he wasn’t getting enough play with the lovin’ Jesus angle.

  25. c u n d gulag  •  May 4, 2013 @1:17 pm

    Ok, if this gets through the twit-filter, here’s the “Anarchy in the US” thingie that I promised today:

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/349305

    In a Farleigh Dickenson University study, 44% of Republicans believe that an armed rebellion may be necessary to protect our liberties.
    44%!!!
    And only 31% disagreed!
    Democrats agreed at 18%, and Independents at 27%.

    And, what says “Anarchy in the US,” better than an armed rebellion?

    All of those rubes, with cammo on, lugging their assault weapons, and clips of many bullets – gathering in make-shift militia’s.
    All to duke it out, mano-a-mano combat, with the American government – the one with best trained, best armed, military in the world.
    These fools thinking they’re modern-day Minutemen, taking on the Redcoats and Hessians – who didn’t have planes, helicopters, drones, tanks, personnel carries, air-to-surface missiles, drones, etc.

    They dreaming of gathering their forces by screaming, “WOLVERINES!!!”, like in their favorite movie, “Red Dawn.”
    They’re going to build defense positions, waiting for the US troops to come.

    I hope they’re quick, and their aim is perfect.
    Because when the US Government sends in a drone instead, or a missile, the secesh rebels aim had better be perfect – or else the movie we’ll see about them later won’t be “Red Dawn,” but “Red Puddle,” “Red Mist,” or, “Red, Missed!”

    We need look no further for evidence that these people are nucking futs.

  26. c u n d gulag  •  May 4, 2013 @1:18 pm

    Damn, my promised “Anarchy in the US” comment just got twit-filtered!
    Sh*t, maha IS on to me!

  27. c u n d gulag  •  May 4, 2013 @1:19 pm

    I’ll try again tomorrow, with something about “Entropy.”

  28. Ed  •  May 5, 2013 @7:56 pm

    Agree with c u n d gulag, with the added note that these rebels are all super individualists, meaning that they all want to act independently in resisting the coming tyranny.

    I would like to ask them what is their command structure going to look like? That is, can they describe their chain of command, knowing from whom they will take orders, to whom they will issue orders, and how everyone higher up in the chain of command will be confident that their orders will be carried out?

    One thing about the U.S. Army; they don’t really abuse you, but they do make it very clear who is boss. These NRA guys, on the other hand, will each be his own general. Minutemen, indeed!

    George Washington had little use for the militias, which were not of much use in the Revolutionary War, or in the War of 1812, nor in the Mexican War. Militias on the frontier declined as male citizens resented having to show up regularly to muster and drill. Andrew Jackson was disgusted with the Kentucky militiamen who ran away under fire and made known his displeasure in his official report to Secretary of War James Monroe. In any case it was artillery, not the frontiersmen with their rifles, that carried the day in the Battle of New Orleans.

    Command structure means as little to today’s wingnuts as it did to their great-great-great-great-great granddaddies back in the day. Does anyone have any video of any of these guys being confronted with the rudiments of military history? It would be interesting viewing.

  29. Swami  •  May 8, 2013 @1:00 pm
  30. uncledad  •  May 8, 2013 @1:34 pm

    “Here’s another one killed”

    At least the kid was free to shoot himself, if the libruls had their way that kid would never have had the liberty to have access to guns. Go freedom!!!!!

  31. uncledad  •  May 8, 2013 @1:38 pm

    Oh I can’t wait until the 4th of July!!!! This should be quite a spectacle:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/07/washington-gun-march-protest/2142469/



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