Ideology Today: Boy kills Baby With a Gun


Perhaps gun ownership is so common in parts of the States that it's redundant to say who owned the gun, it would be like saying "two children were killed in a car crash...who owned the car?" If guns have become such a part of the fabric of life that they are left in closets, in drawers, under pillows loaded and ready to go, I guess no one is really surprised when curious kids find them and play with them, and occasionally shoot them..."it's sad, but what can you do?" Something makes me think this story won't open up any kind of dialogue on responsible gun ownership, or, God forbid, restricting the ownership of handguns.
Hey, there was a gun in the closet (literally) when I was a kid. I just knew if I touched it I'd get a whuppin' to within an inch of my life, so I didn't.
@ #2 - But you did touch it, didn't you?
First of all, 5280, I bet that gun wasn't loaded, I bet your dad kept the bullets elsewhere, and second, I *did* say responsible gun and I both know there's plenty of irresponsible gun ownership in the States (and here too, no doubt.) And sadly, *whuppin's* seem to have gone out of style, more's the pity, in case you hadn't noticed. (Personally, I found the threat of a whuppin' to be quite an effective parenting tool with my own yard apes.)
@ 1, the problem with most proposed gun restriction legislation (besides the fact that it's going to be DOA in committee) is that the sheer number of guns out there will render the restrictions impractical, if not just outright impossible to enforce.

OTOH, one of the old refrains from the NRA was that the already existing laws needed to be enforced better. I've never heard of what these laws were, or how they could be enforced better. 5280, as our resident lawyer, ex-cop, and NRA charter member, can you shed some light on this point?
Matt, while the NRA's position is indeed that existing laws need to be enforced better, we take a slightly different tack on this particular issue. You probably don't know that NRA is the world's foremost proponent of gun safety for children. Through our "Eddy the Eagle" program (cartoon characters who teach gun safety to kids), many gun tragedies have undoubtedly been averted. The key is knowledge, not fear, and certainly not more laws.

And Canuck, yes, it was unloaded. But I knew where the ammo was. Never touched that either.
So it's an empty canard? Because if you can't tell me WHAT law isn't being correctly enforced, then that's how I have to judge that statement.

Gun safety is great - I wholeheartedly endorse all efforts there - but I wanted to know if that oft-repeated statement was true or just a cynical deflection.
When you fill out your Federal 4473, they ask a lot of questions. Unfortunately, one of them is not, "are you stupid to the point of criminal negligence?" These tragedies are entirely preventable. The safety rules are simple common sense. It amazes me how often people get a gun, do not respect the risks, and fail to take even the most basic precautions.
It's hardly an "empty canard" - it's just our feeling that education about gun safety is more likely to save lives in this particular instance than other alternatives. And, in fact, it's working: More children are killed on bicycles every year than by guns.
It is an empty canard if you cannot cite one gun safety law on the books that isn't being enforced. Because when the NRA claims that "better law enforcement" is required to keep people safe from guns, that means that there are gun laws not being enforced somewhere.

I do not dispute the success of gun safety programs, just the claim that there are any laws that aren't being properly enforced.

All I want is one example of such a law. The gun safety thing is completely beside the point.
My, we're being confrontational this morning. It has nothing to do with this particular story, but one of the things we're most proud of is our efforts to add "use of a fun during the commission of a crime" as an aggravator in sentencing. This was something that was purely NRA's idea, and not that long ago at all nobody had ever heard of such a thing. It's now standard just about everywhere, and has taken "bad guys" off the streets for far longer periods of time than they otherwise would have been. Who knows, maybe it's also discouraged a few people from using a gun to commit a crime who otherwise would have.

There are many more examples, equally as irrelevant to this particular story, if you care to keep beating away at this horse.
Eh, fun, gun. Freudian slip. More likely just a typo, though - BlackBerry keyboards are pretty fargin' tiny.
There's a reason why they're called gun nuts. Mental illness prevents them from looking at things like this and seeing what's really there. Too crazy over guns to care about anything else.
Don't take it personally, 5280. I just get testy when I ask a clear question and don't get a clear answer.

I don't see how this is "irrelevant" now, when it wasn't "irrelevant" when you first decided to address my question. Unless answering irrelevant questions is something you like to do without calling them that.

I like the sentencing for committing crimes with a gun. If that idea originated within the gun community, they deserve all the credit for that.

That said, my question about that point remains unanswered. I have no intention of going round and round and round. If you can't answer it directly, then my original judgment, that that's an empty talking point intended to deflect proposed gun legislation rather than contribute to gun safety, stands.

See you elsewhere in Slog.
Like a lot people I too was horrified at this tragedy. I commented on this Saturday evening under your headline: "Stunned to Death".
"NRA is the world's foremost proponent of gun safety for children". BP is the world's foremost proponent of deppwater oil well drilling safety, Goldman Sachs is the world's foremost proponent of CDO safety, the US military the world's foremost proponent of bomb safety, etc.

Name anyone else that spends as much money on gun safety, Max. You can't.
Rhetorical question?


Another question? One more final question? Conclusion.
@18, troll troll troll troll troll counterpoint troll.

The 2-year-old never knew what the hell hit him. The 9-year-old sure as hell did, though. He's going to have a rough, rough life. Living around gun kooks isn't going to help.

In a perfect world, the father will say to himself "I murdered both those boys" a couple of times a day for the rest of his life.

What can you do? You can take the 9 year old away from the morons who let him kill his brother. It also boggles the mind that no neglect laws apply here.
@21, and where's the boy going to go?
into the loving arms of the CPS?

there just are not that many families waiting to adopt a 9 year old with major emotional issues.
@21 But that's my point: this won't be seen as an issue at all, it'll just be seen as a "tragic accident." If you acknowledge the need to remove that boy from his home, then you have to acknowledge that his parents should be in jail for leaving a loaded gun around, that handgun ownership is a major problem, and that our society is so fucked up that people seem to think they need loaded weapons to defend themselves 24/7. Somehow, I don't see that happening. So much easier to say "too bad, so sad."
Maybe the NRA could fund raising him in a healthy environment with access to the level of counseling and treatment he needs. They could peel off a teeny tiny slice of their yearly lobbying budget and the kid would be set up for life.

And funeral expenses for his brother. The NRA should pay for that too.