Because Guns Make Children Safer


Senseless death or injury: cue the gun nuts!
Inb4 the loonies come in to defend their rooms full of munitions.
why aren't the boys PARENTS in the prison jump suits? Does "society" really think the 9-year old is responsible here? I guess we should allow them to vote, drink, drive, and serve in the military then...
Every time I approached wakefulness last night, I was thinking about this. I don’t like the idea of making laws when we can simply encourage common sense. And I know people get freaked out when they think the rest of us are coming for their guns…

However, I strongly feel that we should have a law that specifies that if your gun is out of your control and used in a crime, you should serve the same time as the person who performed the crime with your gun. Also, if your gun is the cause of somebody’s injury, you should be held responsible for that injury, as if you caused it yourself.

The mother who left her loaded gun where her child could get a hold of it should be charged as if she shot Amina intentionally herself. And she should be responsible financially for the airlift and the hospital bills.

I also feel the same about dog owners. Own however many dogs or guns you want, but if they cause injury or death, you should be held legally responsible, as if you wielded the guns or controlled the dog yourself.
The parents with extensive criminal records (look up "Jamie Chaffin" and "Jason Aaron Cochran" in State Court Records) will certainly wail about the loss of their freedoms and liberties if their guns are taken away. It's bad enough neither parent has custody of the child (the guardian is his paternal uncle), but now mama has to make sure her boyfriends don't leave loaded guns around the home when she has weekend visitation rights? Oh the injustice!
Perhaps gun safety education in elementary schools is the logical answer and compromise so as to not affect 2nd amendment rights.
"The pictures and accounts of the boy appearing in court in his orange prison jumpsuit are heartbreaking."

Sickening. What kind of society does this to a 9 year old child?
Are you honestly arguing that changing the penalty for being the owner of a gun that caused the death of a child from "a child died because of your gun" to "a child is dead because of your gun _and_ you get a few years in prison" will make a difference to anyone? Do you really think that has any deterrence effect whatsoever?
He's a goddam 9 year-old. Why the fuck is he being charged with anything? How is this anything other than criminal negligence or recklessness by the mother?
I’m not sure. But we put people in prison for killing people and that may not deter a murderer.

I do wonder if when people purchased their guns they knew that they were responsible for that gun’s use forever, would they then be sure to keep it locked up? Unloaded? Away from children?
Your link doesn't show that "... statistically, a gun in the house is much more likely to be used against you or your family than against an intruder." Rather, it only shows that "Both firearm prevalence AND questionable storage practices (i.e. storing firearms loaded and unlocked) were associated with higher rates of unintentional firearm deaths."

Not saying I disagree with the sentiment, only that it doesn't link to any data in regards to gun use against intruders.
I'd rather have a firearm safely stored in my house than Goldylock's rape whistle.
"Noooooo! Don't fuck me up the ass in front of my little retarded daughter!" - Goldy, crimefighter
I'm with @4, with the obvious caveat that if you report that your gun has been stolen and cooperate with the police's efforts to track down the culprit, you're in the clear. Not all guns kill people, but guns owned by irresponsible a-holes do so quite often.

The nice thing about that Mr @12, you revolting troll you, is that since you're a responsible gun owner who stores his weapons properly, you would never been in the situation where you have to pay this penalty!
i saw part of his arraignment on the late news last night and i too was absolutely heartbroken for him as well. i thought at the worst he was being detained for questioning, but the orange prison wear was so over the top, and his not understanding the language of the charges..and his dad .. i thought the entire of bremerton must be out of their fucking minds
What @6 said.

Shit. You guys complain about people having guns they way conservatives complain about people having sex.

Since guns, drugs, booze, sex, etc. are not just going to disappear if people wring their hands hard enough, shouldn't we be educating people about these things instead of just hoping they'll either learn it on their own or else never find out about it at all?
We'ed all live longer without guns and booze, that's for sure.

Just a minor quibble... Epidemiologic evidence shows that light/moderate drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, etc.) than teetotalers.

The J-shaped curve of cardiovascular risk vs. alcohol consumption can be seen in this research paper, under the paragraph starting with Average Light–to–Moderate Drinking.

The lowest CHD risk is at approximately 20 grams per day. That converts to 0.7055 ounces per day. Which comes to average daily consumption of about 14 ounces of beer (at 5% alcohol), 6 ounces of wine (at 12% alcohol), or 1.8 ounces of hard liquor (at 80 proof = 40% alcohol). If you stick with red wine, you can increase your average consumption somewhat.

I'm wondering why they had an orange jumpsuit around that would fit a 9-year old.
Boy, I hope a gun-owner-responsibility law can be crafted well, and then sponsored by somebody capable of marshaling votes for it - unlike Adam Kline, who couldn't pass a fart downwind in a hurricane.
If a minor gets into your alcohol and there is trouble, you will be charged with a crime. If a minor gets into your guns and there is trouble, you won't be charged, it's just an accident. Ridiculous.

People should be so afraid of furnishing weapons to minors, or other people not allowed to own them (aka his mother) that they keep their guns locked away.
@4: "However, I strongly feel that we should have a law that specifies that if your gun is out of your control and used in a crime, you should serve the same time as the person who performed the crime with your gun. Also, if your gun is the cause of somebody’s injury, you should be held responsible for that injury, as if you caused it yourself."

I understand (and mostly agree with) the intent and philosophy behind this, but that's nearly impossible to implement in a practical way. If the gun is stolen from a safe by a burglar, is the legal owner expected to be responsible for crimes committed with it? What if it's not in a safe when it's stolen? Is that different than a family member taking the gun without permission?

There was clearly negligence here on the part of the mother if a 9 year old could get unfettered access to a handgun, but I'm not sure that there exists a reasonable way to do what you propose.

There's definitely civil liability if a minor drinks your liquor and then, say, gets into a car and kills someone, but criminal charges in those matters are pretty rare.

Unfortunately, the type of scumbag who leaves guns lying around near children is also the type of scumbag who doesn't give a shit about getting sued, because they don't have any assets to take. Only criminal liability could possibly have any effect on them.
If you have a gun, you generally don't need to shoot someone to convince them not to kill / rape / rob you. Just pointing is usually enough.
@18: In case of felonious midgets. Which would be an awesome name for a rock band.
@23: No, but shooting them is an effective way to make sure they won't do it again. I mean, honestly; how many times have people been killed, raped, or robbed by the dead? Sure, it's something to worry about after the Zompocalypse, but not yet.
@22: The kind of dipshit who leaves a loaded gun around children is also the kind who isn't going to care about criminal charges either. You're expecting too much if you think they'll think that far ahead. If they were that type, the gun would already be unloaded and locked.

It's a lot like the notion that magically getting rid of guns - the only way it'd happen no matter what laws are written, considering how many guns are already in this country - would make people stop murdering each other. It'll just make the process slightly more inefficient and knives a little more expensive.

Well, at least while they're in prison, no kids will be stumbling on their guns.

And what we have right now is no clear criminal penalties for these dipshits. The status quo doesn't seem to be working.

It's a lot like the notion that magically getting rid of guns - the only way it'd happen no matter what laws are written, considering how many guns are already in this country - would make people stop murdering each other.

Obviously getting rid of guns wouldn't accomplish that because career criminals will always have access to guns. What it would prevent, however, are spontaneous murders committed by people who wouldn't have the stomach for stabbing or beating someone to death.

Given the sheer number of gun fatalities in this country every year, those murders would significantly decrease. Too bad for all those victims that gun control will never happen in this country.

It'll just make the process slightly more inefficient and knives a little more expensive.

You really understand nothing about violent crime.
@21 I’m not a lawyer or lawmaker, but it seems that a law could be written with exceptions. Are gun safes that easily removed? Are the not bolted in a similar way to a valuables safe? If a gun is not properly locked up, the resultant damage is on the gun owner. If a gun owner doesn’t want to secure her gun, it’s her choice of course. But if it’s stolen and used for a crime, she should still be responsible for the damage. And if someone is able to crack a safe and steal the gun, the gun owner must report that to the police.
@27: Wow, someone's a cranky pants. You should spend some time with the dictionary: I recommend starting with sarcasm, which can be found under the S-es. The time spent reading and slowly moving your lips along with the words could be very soothing for you.
@26 But a felon cannot legally purchase a gun. For instance: a man leaves his gun on the coffee table. His toddler shoots himself in the face. The man is imprisoned for shooting a child. He can no longer possess firearms. If he is found with a firearm after that, he’s treated like any other felon in possession of a gun.

If someone shows themselves to be an irresponsible gun owner, why would we as a society allow him to continue to own a gun?

So, sure, the responsible gun owners will not be affected. The lazy gun owners may grow responsible for fear of the penalties. The irresponsible gun owners will not care, but if anything happens as a result of their irresponsibility, they lose their rights to own guns.
Speaking as a gun nut:

@4 - I agree completely.

@8 - No. Because you cannot legislate against idiotic actions. An idiot with a gun is an idiot, with a gun.

@14 - I agree.

@21 - The burglar would have to be fairly skilled in order to crack open a gun safe. But it should be possible to include criteria that would exempt the gun owner from responsibility. Such as if the burglar threatened the gun owner's child in order to get access to the safe and the crime was reported as soon as possible. But this is getting more into a movie script plot than real life.

@23 - It depends upon the criminal. They might be able to take your gun from you. If you aren't going to shoot it, you should not draw it.
All of Goldy's articles are not arguments for stricter gun control, but really for better education on gun safety. Of course, it seems that no amount of education would help the plain stupidity of keepign a loaded gun easily accessible around children, but stricter gun control would not have saved those children either, as it seems the gun was acquired legally, just stored and used incredibly recklessly.
@30: I understand your point to a degree, but why stop there? I can't think of a single state that punishes drunk drivers, even those that kill other people, as harshly as they should. I knew a girl who got killed in the middle of the road by a drunk driver at 4 in the afternoon, with witnesses. The driver served no time and, after a couple years, got her driver's license back. This is neither uncommon or unexpected. About 600 to 800 people die in gun accidents every year, according to the FBI and other sources - a number going down almost every year, incidentally. Over 10,000 die from drunk drivers every year. Over 3,000 of them AREN'T the driver, and over 1300 of them are kids under 14.

None of this is to say that this and any other gun accident are anything other than tragedy of the worst sort. The adult who let a 9yr old walk out the door with a loaded firearm should go to jail, plain and simple, and rather than taking guns away from them I'm thinking any and all custodial rights to children should go away, permanently. I'm more concerned with their influence on children in general than their weapon ownership. Every gun should be unloaded and locked up when not in use, and never in the presence of unsupervised minors. My point is there's a lot more people dying because of other people's irresponsible with heavy machinery than there are because of irresponsibility with firearms. And if people responded to the issue with rationality instead of vitriol the discussion could be a lot more civil and more effective. I, for example, don't know a single gun owner whose weapons aren't locked up, safe & secure. But I do know a number of people who have driven drunk and could have killed somebody. Hell, it includes me, in my younger and much, much stupider years. It's only a miracle I never killed myself or someone else. That's a problem that needs some serious addressing.
@6 How is gun education for children logical when the problem can be solved by mom – the alleged adult and most definite gun owner in this situation – could have prevented it with a lock and key? I have no problem with preserving peoples' right to own guns but it drives me fucking batty when people are more concerned with building a mile-wide fire wall around their 2nd amendment rights rather than some simple, common sense laws that place culpability where it's due and require gun owners to do so responsibly.
#6,yeah because it's such a good idea to bring more guns into schools. That's worked so well, up to now.

Gun nuts don't use the brains god gave them.
@33 Great points and I agree completely. I think that we as a society should hold people responsible for their behavior even when they’ve compromised their own judgment.

The automatic response for harming another person with negligence should be harsh and severe. That said, I think leniency is valuable and useful and should be used often. So instead of saying a judge ‘threw the book’ at a drunk driver for killing someone, a life term should be considered the reasonable sentence. If a judge wishes to grant leniency, then that’s the prerogative of the court to sentence the driver with ten years, twenty, one, whatever. And I agree that a drunk driver automatically loses his or her license, with forgiveness after several years, depending on the judgement.

Of course, I think that rapists should be castrated, so I tend to judge harshly.

Yes, I understand sarcasm. I also understand that you're an idiot.
You're against education about something rampantly prevalant in society?

Should we also not teach driver's ed because it will only encourage more car crashes? Should we not teach sex ed because it will only encourage more sex?

Burying our heads in the sand and simply hoping that guns will disappear is foolish. We teach kids about fire safety and safe driving and somehow completely ignore or condemn educating kids on one of the deadliest things out there. Idiotic.
I don't understand why gun safety isn't taught in normal public schools.
@37: Awww, muffin. Your disdain cuts me to the core.
Not to speak on a null point, however, even when I was nine I was smart enough to not bring guns to school, even if I found an AWESOME one.

I just mean, someone that is dumb enough to bring a gun to school, flash it around and shoot someone, even if they are nine; please don't let this kid reproduce, that's all I'm saying.

I mean, even if my dad left his gun on the table and said, that guns so cool you'd be so cool if you took it to school, I would still be like fuck that that sounds like a terrible idea.
Guns should just be illegal, they are stupid and the 2nd amendment was made right after the people took over the reigning Brits with their civilian army with guns etc so obviously they thought it would be a good idea to keep that as a possibility.

Let me point out at that time the Government didn't have nukes, spy drones, wire tapping, etc you get it.

So, unless we are all going to be armed with nukes I don't see any point in anyone needing a gun. And if someone attacks you with a knife, use a knife to protect yourself.

And furthermore all the people I know who own guns are rich white suburban assholes WHO ARE never going to need to use them because they are paranoid creeps that are never going to be robbed or attacked because they are boring and no one cares about their stupid pitiful lives.
@39: For much the same reason mechanics, plumbing, electrics, etc. aren't taught in anything other than trade school, I think, plus of course the almost gut level resistance to weapons that a lot of people feel in general; it's too low class. Kids get out of (suburban and upper class) high schools thinking they're all going to be astronauts, world famous writers, politicians, etc. No one wants to admit that most of them are going to be the help. Kids in general would be better off knowing how to change their own oil, replace a fuse or an outlet, clear a plugged sink, and for the love of all that's holy cook themselves a meal than they would be with yet another English class taught by an embittered, failed writer or critic.
And I just read his potential sentence.

Honestly: 30 days of Juvy, probation and 150 hours of community service is not going to hurt this kid. He is being tried as a child and they aren't releasing his name.

Frankly, this is how the system should work and is an indication that we have less of a problem here with these issues than they do in MO or TX where they would have tried him as an adult.

His mom SHOULD be charged, but the kid could also learn a valuable lesson from the 150 hours of community service which would be something like, "maybe I shouldn't bring guns to school... even if they are just lying there saying 'grab me' 'grab me'."
I say if we're even going to have a 2nd Amendment at all then we should do it right.

Everybody get's one handgun once they turn 21 - for free - from the government. (You may own one rifle and one shot gun for the purposes of hunting or target shooting - but these are bought at your own expense. In order to obtain any other sort of hand gun you must go through a rigorous screening process and pay through the teeth for the ammo. Right to carry must be reviewed, case by case, by relevant legal authorities and mental health practitioners as well as additional mandatory firearms training.)

You have the option of selling your gun back for double the wholesale cost payable in college, vocational tuition or placed into a interest bearing savings account that matures in 20 years.

Once you accept your gun you go an intensive safety and defensive firearms course. The gun can only use ammo coded with an ID specific to you.

If your gun is used in the commission of a crime you lose your write to any sort of firearm and you are fined. If YOU use it negligently or criminally you automatically qualify for maximum sentences.

I have to say this is first in the series of axe-grinding gun posts where Goldy even attempts to be a journalist and mentions actual legislative stands and solutions rather than his usual moralizing. So he get points.
@45 So the uneducated would be armed and the educated would be unarmed?
Everybody get's (sic) one handgun once they turn 21 - for free - from the government.

@45: Okay, now I see. You and I weren't having a debate in the previous post on this topic. You're just insane.
It is absolutely disgusting to use this child's shooting to push your political views:

All of you, not just Goldy, but those that support gun rights, you too, even though I also support gun rights, am deeply offended that you all are using this as your political fodder.

Absolutely terrible. Anything goes, right, so long as it supports your politics or your defending your politics. You all make me sick.

Meanwhile, I'll pray for these two children and their families, and that's what you all should be doing instead of using these children to further your end.

So gross, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
@47 Sorry. I don't remember having any sort of debate with you at all. In fact I don't remember you.

Sure, it's a pretty out there idea. No question. Just spit ball'n, here.

But is it that much more out there than banning guns in the US completely?

And certainly no more out there than than current violent status quo.

I mean if we're (we as in SCOTUS) going to operate from the assumption that the 2nd is "enshrined" in our constitution, then make the so-called right to bear arms a real citizen proscription and treat it seriously.

Or get rid of it entirely.

But I'd be interested to hear what's so insane about it?

On second thought. No. Not really.

If what ever you said before didn't make an impression last time. And all you got to say this time is ad hominem insult. Then no. I'm actually not interested what you have to say.
@ Allyn . . . I don't know. We don't charge people if their stolen car was used in a bank robbery, or a hit and run.

I'd feel better about your proposal if it had some kind of reasonable precautions clause. The use of a trigger lock, gun safe, regular safe, etc., should be sufficient to show that the owner took reasonable precautions, and cannot be liable.
@49: It wasn't meant as an ad hominem attack, though that's an easy way to read it. I meant it as a statement of observation in response to someone seriously suggesting that the federal government hand out free(!) deadly weapons to every citizen on the same day that they're legally allowed to get drunk.

To refresh your memory, it happened yesterday. And it was peppered with your ad hominem attacks against Dominic. But I guess it's okay for you because Jesus.

I'm still waiting on your attempt to reconcile those contradictory terms you incorrectly used, by the way.
Man, I came in late on this one. Spent the day on a knife forum I moderate.

Whole lotta libtarded kookery going on here, as usual. But that's what Goldy was going for. God you people are suckers.

Also as usual, Urgutha's about the only guy making sense. What a shock.

Well, back into the trenches. Have fun now.
@51 Good point on the drunky-thing. I never thought about that. Funny. Admittedly it was just some random marker of adulthood I pulled out of my ass. Not my best work.

Okay. Move the legal drinking age to 12. The legal age of consent to 32. The driving age to 9. And the free gun thing to 25.

I mistook Holden's post for the series of posts by Goldy. Posts that are inflammatory emotional grand-standing.

If you honestly believe the The Stranger is merely "reporting" in good faith about these gun tragedies with these completely editorialized and inflammatory headlines and inferences? Well. I don't know what to say. I expect better.

I don't understand what your talking about with the Jesus references or what you talking about from yesterday. And I'm not much interested in going back and reviewing what ever argument you think you're having with me. You should let that go.

Why you seem to have such hostility to me personally is weird. I don't remember you exist after I hit post. I got real stuff to worry about. It's nothing personal.
@48, ah, yes, we should pray (read: do absofuckinglutely nothing) for the individuals involved. Because discussing how to better prevent horrible tragedies like this one is wrong, wrong, wrong. Failures of the system should never inspire the citizens to ask if the system needs changing, that is downright un-American.
That pop-economics book "Freakonomics" made the observation that backyard pools were more dangerous to children than guns, if you look at rates of child deaths in America and the cause.

Will Goldy point to the next senseless death of a child in a backyard pool as a demonstration that we must ban pools?
I'm convinced we will never have reasonable gun laws in this country, for two reasons:

1. Gun rights advocates are hard-wired to be the dimmest of dim dumbshits about anything regarding their precious guns. Owning a gun makes them feel like a MAN, and ain't nobody, no how, no way, nowhere gonna take it away. Ain't no such thing as a "reasonable" gun law to these rigid zealots.

2. Politicians and lawmakers have basically shown they are cowards who pander to these lowest of the low, dimmest of the dim among their constituents.
scratchmaster joe @48:

You go ahead & keep on prayin' ...yeah, that'll do a lot of good. Where was your imaginary God when the shot went off?
Interesting. @55 makes a point with facts. @56 makes no point with insults.

I'll probably never own a handgun, but there are lots of things parents do that endanger their children's lives more than handguns.
@53: Well, I would distance myself from my own statements too, were I in your position. But if you want a refresher without that arduous single-click, just read what scratchmaster joe said @48. It's almost a verbatim copy, to the point that it makes me raise an eyebrow.

Since you "don't remember" what you say after you hit the post button, I don't see the point in perusing the discussion, or in reading anything you post in the future for that matter, as apparently you only visit SLOG while in a fugue. I guess I'll take your sanctimony-drenched advice and let you off the hook, then.
Damn. I think the most valid point in the comments here is the one about treating the 9-year-old like an adult felon. WTF? That's a kid. How in the fuck can adult society seriously consider a fucking 9-year-old to have the legal capacity required for this? And by "this" the most we could be seriously considering is the lack of foresight and gun safety training to be carrying a gun in a backpack. Is anyone seriously even arguing that the kid purposely injured anyone?

There is culpability here, but it's not with a fucking 9-year-old. Look in the goddamned mirror, Bremerton. Imprisoning a young child for impulsively taking a dangerous, widely-fetishized device that he had no idea how to safely handle, what does this say about you? Do you expect this to exorcise your demons or something? Some growing up is definitely in order, and I'm not talking about the kid, who by the way holds the god-damned job description of growing up. What's your excuse, Bremerton?
@55: There isn't a lobby in this country dedicated to opposing any and every proposed pool safety regulation.
@55--But pool owners have been held accountable for negligence or creating an attractive nuisance by not adequately protecting children from their pools:…

And to others who have mentioned the education solution, there's little evidence that education programs are effective: the best research seems to suggest that the only way to significantly reduce children's death from guns is to remove the guns from the home:…
@61, those are civil cases. Several people have put forth an argument here that gun owners who leave loaded guns unsecured around children should face criminal penalties.

I think the parents of the little girl could have a strong civil case against the mother of the little boy. I'll bet she has no assets, though, and a lawsuit would gain no money.
@59 I'm already regretting this reply to your puzzling collection of hostile adhom's and implications towards me; but let dispel some misconceptions you seem to insist on reiterating Ad nauseam.

#1 I remember what I say, most the time... I don't remember you specifically because what you have to say is either unimpressive or just blends in with all the other silly noise on SLOG. Clearly this stings you to the point of following me around.

#2 I know you have nothing to say the second you resort to accusing me of being another poster who, after even the briefest comparison of posting history, one could immediately tell I have nothing in common with stylistically or politically.

or in reading anything you post in the future for that matter

Well. Thank god for small favors.

HAH! There is the infamous 'Association of Pool & Spa Professionals!' No. Really. It's a thing.

But I have no idea what they lobby against or for, specifically. But, as you'll recall, swimming pools were not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

Not until the 27th Amendment outlining our right to have naked hot tub parties.

As far as I can see there aren't any safety regulations regarding children for private pools at all (other than for the general kinds of safety stuff surrounding electrical elements, etc. I think all the safety stuff is voluntarily adopted by various manufacturers. I could be wrong).

I bet there's not enough money or out-cry over swimming pools to motivate the creation of an extremist NRA-like pool lobby.

And I think that was his point. People (in terms of public attention) get way more emotional over gun deaths than they do over drownings or car accidents. And where opinions polarize emotionally there arrise groups to exploit them.