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Kentucky boy, 5, fatally shoots 2-year-old sister with rifle given to him as gift

81 Comments
By TRAVIS LOLLER and DYLAN LOVAN

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81 Comments
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Seems like its taking a long time for the message on gun "rights" and proper gun control to sink in. Everyone's gotta learn things the hard way it seems.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think teaching kids about gun safety is a great idea, but seriously though. Selling an actual, no-crap weapon intended for kids? My first gun was a water gun. That is how I learned gun safety. I progressed from there to BB guns, and then to actual weapons. I am by no means an anti-gun nut, but I do believe there are certain people that do not deserve to have/handle/operate guns. In addition to the usual group of violent felons, punitive discharges from the military, and mentally ill I would also include FIVE year olds. I feel bad now.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What kind of cretin gives a five year-old his own rifle?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

A tragedy for the family. I actually got my first 22 at around the age of 7 or 8 and my first shotgun when I was 12 but I was taught gun safety. In rural areas the children are still often an integral part of supplying food, I have friends in Michigan that hunt year round rather than go to the grocery store for meat and their children help with the cleaning and prep.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This is not a gun control issue. This is a nauseatingly stupid parents issue for leaving the gun in their kid's hands, unsupervised.

But, hey, leave it to activists to turn an unrelated tragedy into fuel for their ends.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

"My first gun?"

This is pure insanity.

This gun company and the parents are totally insane.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

This is disgusting..as an American and a southern one at that I cannot believe a parent would do this! I don't know much about what goes on in Kentucky but where I am from this is not ok and any guns my family members had were kept under lock and key inside of fire proof safes out of children's sight and reach. This poor little girl died due to parental negligence..

12 ( +12 / -0 )

In most civilized countries the parents would be charged with neglect at the very least.

Incredible.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

'My First Rifle' my arse. My first book of animals, my first reading book, my first chemistry set are things we should be giving our kids. People like this belong in a zoo. The kids could write a report - My first freakshow.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is not a gun control issue

Of course it isn't. Can I have a pint of what you're on?

leave it to activists to turn an unrelated tragedy into fuel for their ends

Quick! Circle the wagons against those ignoble ends of stopping the mindless carnage!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Funny how this country bans Kinder Surprises yet has no qualms about giving a 5 year old a rifle..

from wikipedia:

The 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act contains a section highlighting that a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object, partially or totally imbedded within it, cannot be sold within the United States, unless the FDA issues a regulation that the non-nutritive object has functional value.[11] Essentially, the 1938 Act bans “the sale of any candy that has imbedded in it a toy or trinket.”[12]

In 2012 the FDA re-issued their import alert stating “The imbedded non-nutritive objects in these confectionery products may pose a public health risk as the consumer may unknowingly choke on the object.”[13]

Madness knows no bounds..

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is not a gun control issue. This is a nauseatingly stupid parents issue for leaving the gun in their kid's hands, unsupervised.

That's one opinion. I'd call it a gun control issue myself, as there are firearms companies that clearly think it's okay to market lethal weapons on the basis of them being used by children.

http://www.crickett.com/

http://www.crickett.com/crickett_kidscorner.php

Very young children, it would seem, because at a certain age (though probably several years later in Kentucky), kids start to reject products called "My First" anything.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Can I have a pint of what you're on?

What I'm on is rational thinking. My parents bought me a gun when I was ten. Do you know why I never killed anyone with it? Because whenever I used it, I was under their strict supervision.

Everyone crying that things like a My First Rifle are barbaric or terrible clearly don't live in rural areas, and therefore do not understand the very deeply integrated culture of hunting. For many families, mine included, hunting is a major bonding activity for families. I don't do it anymore since it's boring and I'm a horrible shot, but there is still a very devoted segment of the population who continues to be very devoted to it.

There's no problem with the rifles themselves. The problem, as I stated before, is that this kid's parents were MORONS. WHY they left a loaded gun in the hands of their 5-year-old is beyond me.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

"I'm obsessed with the mess that's America."

(Marina and the Diamonds, "Hollywood")

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

From the description of the place, it's rather amazing that a tragic accident happening in such a remote, quiet area becomes quick fodder for comment on an international scale. But that's the world we now live in, I guess.

It's also evident from the article that, with nearly every household having guns, and with kids getting their first one at a young age, one shooting death every 4-5 years should be taken as a lot of folks doing things the right way.

The cemeteries have no shortage of gunshot victims where someone thought "the gun wasn't loaded." The boy never should have been cleaning the gun without permission and some supervision, and the gun should never had been handed to him for cleaning without an adult first checking, and checking again, that it contained no bullets. Such a simple procedure neglected and this family pays an extremely heavy price. That poor boy is going to have one hekuva burden to carry for the rest of his life.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There's no problem with the rifles themselves

Guns don't kill people. Five-year-olds do.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The parents must be giving junior a thrashing for that stunt. Or else so proud of the tyke for winning the county its first ever Darwin Award. His research into natural selection looks set to win a blue ribbon at the science fair.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is a tragedy.

They're parents are to blame for not teaching the kid proper gun safety. Hard to teach a 5 year old though. Although, since it seems to be the norm down there to give kids guns at such a young age, but we don't hear about similar cases, people can do it.

I'm pro gun. But, I don't think anyone under 15 should be allowed to use one unsupervised.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This poor little girl died due to parental negligence.

She died due to parental stupidity.

My parents bought me a gun when I was ten. Do you know why I never killed anyone with it?

Sheer luck. Same reason you didn't end up shot by your infant sibling.

Everyone crying that things like a My First Rifle are barbaric or terrible clearly don't live in rural areas, and therefore do not understand the very deeply integrated culture of hunting.

Living in a rural area is a reason to teach little kids to kill? No. Shooting bambi for fun is barbaric; teaching children to shoot bambi is beyond barbaric, it's wicked and depraved.

That poor boy is going to have one hekuva burden to carry for the rest of his life.

At least he has the rest of his life, which is more than can be said for his sister.

This story - and the ain't niffin wrang wi' givin a kid his own raiful posts - makes me so angry I want to spit.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

@wipeout Thanks for the link but the sight of children holding lethal weapons is pretty depressing. Give me the boy and I'll give you the man, eh? Perhaps we should give kids monster truck licenses. Better to get them used to road safety at an early age, no?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@wipeout Sorry, I hope you don't think my comments were directed at you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They're parents are to blame for not teaching the kid proper gun safety. Hard to teach a 5 year old though.

No really? I prefer to think of 5 year olds as young adults.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Living in a rural area is a reason to teach little kids to kill? No. Shooting bambi for fun is barbaric; teaching children to shoot bambi is beyond barbaric, it's wicked and depraved...At least he has the rest of his life...

Wow, you can muster up some faux compassion for a deer but not an ounce of it for a 5-year-old kid? (A 5-year-old kid!)

It's faux and foolish compassion because anyone who knows anything knows that "bambi" has many ways to meet an early death in nature. And, among those ways, being taken out quickly and cleanly by a bullet has to rank higher on the kindness scale than watching oneself being torn to shreds by a predator or slowly starving to death. That nature can be extremely cruel clearly means nothing to someone who is supercilious.

Done properly and well, hunting is an honorable undertaking.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

you can muster up some faux compassion for a deer

Not compassion for a deer. Disgust and odium for those who get their jollies killing for fun - and think what they're doing is honourable??.

but not an ounce of it for a 5-year-old kid? (A 5-year-old kid!)

A 5-year-old kid whose moronic parents thought it would be a good idea to give him a loaded gun.

being taken out quickly and cleanly by a bullet has to rank higher on the kindness scale than watching oneself being torn to shreds by a predator or slowly starving to death

...or being raised to be a mouth-breather by moronic parents who think it's a good idea to give your 5-year-old brother a loaded gun. Maybe you think the little girl was luckier than most bambis, because she got to go quick and clean?

Poor little mite never had a chance. If her gun-totin' brother didn't get her, her moronic parents' child-raising skills would have done for her.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If it's any comfort, even strong pro-gun people here in Tennessee are calling the parents idiots. No one thinks a 5 year old should be handling a gun at all, with or without supervision.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...or being raised to be a mouth-breather by moronic parents who think it's a good idea to give your 5-year-old brother a loaded gun. Maybe you think the little girl was luckier than most bambis, because she got to go quick and clean?

Thinking that she might have turned into a vile and supercilious "mouth-breather", those left behind to sort things out are actually the lucky ones.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So we can't market happy meals to kids but guns are OK.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

those left behind to sort things out are actually the lucky ones

At least they're alive.

How do you 'sort out' a dead two-year-old?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

bfg4987: Everyone crying that things like a My First Rifle are barbaric or terrible clearly don't live in rural areas, and therefore do not understand the very deeply integrated culture of hunting.

So if I just understood the situation better I'd come around to giving a 5-year old a gun? Incidents like this should make you guys understand that it's just never OK. It's a senseless death.

And supervision? Would it be OK if I gave my 5-year old nephew a katana as long as he only swings it when I'm around, then puts it back on his shelf? Or do we need a deeply integrated sword culture to make that OK?

It would be nice if you guys would just be honest and say, "If we want guns in our culture, we're going to sometimes have to pay the price with kids shooting themselves or kids shooting other kids." I would respect that more than telling me I don't understand hunting. Just look me in the eye and tell me that incidents like this are just going to be a part of gun life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Would it be OK if I gave my 5-year old nephew a katana as long as he only swings it when I'm around, then puts it back on his shelf?

It's kinda funny, but it's actually much, much easier to hurt yourself with a katana under a supervised situation. You can trip and fall onto a sharpened katana very easily. A rifle pointed towards a proper target in a proper target range with proper seating, etc., is way, way harder to hurt anyone with. You not knowing this proves your lack of knowledge on the subject of guns and gun safety, despite your eagerness to make judgments on the issue.

It would be nice if you guys would just be honest and say, "If we want guns in our culture, we're going to sometimes have to pay the price with kids shooting themselves or kids shooting other kids." I would respect that more than telling me I don't understand hunting. Just look me in the eye and tell me that incidents like this are just going to be a part of gun life.

Yabits said it very well:

It's also evident from the article that, with nearly every household having guns, and with kids getting their first one at a young age, one shooting death every 4-5 years should be taken as a lot of folks doing things the right way.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm Just over 200 children die in a year from unintentional firearm accidents.

http://www.poseidon-tech.com/us/statistics.html More than 3000 children die per year in accidental drownings. Ban pools?

This kid's parents were, for the millionth time, MORONS. They gave their kid A LOADED GUN and LEFT HIM UNSUPERVISED WITH IT. We should not restrict the activities of intelligent, careful people just because some morons screwed up.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

only in america would a five year old have a rifle, and as a 'gift' too.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

bfg4987: It's kinda funny, but it's actually much, much easier to hurt yourself with a katana under a supervised situation. You can trip and fall onto a sharpened katana very easily.

Pretty funny.

This kid's parents were, for the millionth time, MORONS.

Well keep fighting the good fight that guarantees morons have cheap and easy access to guns. And I hear this all the time....the problem isn't you, it's always someone else. You feel absolutely no connection at all by having guns marketed to children and the accidental deaths that can happen. Because someone else did it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Parent were terribly neglectful with lack of supervision. 5 yo child....will grow up with this and reputation. Yes, he may be teased. Gun is an object. It can kill or sit on a shelf, just like a knife. All depends on who's us sense it and how. 5 yo is way to young to be responsible for a gun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You feel absolutely no connection at all by having guns marketed to children and the accidental deaths that can happen

And my status as an outside observer ensures my stance is grounded in ration and logic, not flippant emotion. Dumb people will always find ways to kill/injure themselves or others with things that more intelligent people have zero issues with. With the care this kid's parents displayed, their son was much more likely to kill himself or his sister with a stray kitchen knife. Had that happened, you probably wouldn't be calling for a ban on kitchen knives. Since it's about guns and you have an axe to grind, however, we find ourselves in the current discussion.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My god! What insanity!! Poor little girl and BOY to have some of the stupidest parents on the face of the earth!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These stupid stupid stupid people bring shame to the U.S... RIP little Caroline.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Personally me I believe that the parent that was home at the time should be charged with negligence, maybe both parents should be charge with negligence. Here in Minnesota several months ago we had a similar incident in which a father kept several guns around the house and one of his children got a hold of the gun and shot his sibling to death. Father was charged with keeping a dangerous object within reach of a child.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

bfg4987: With the care this kid's parents displayed, their son was much more likely to kill himself or his sister with a stray kitchen knife.

Except he shot her with his own gun.

Had that happened, you probably wouldn't be calling for a ban on kitchen knives.

I thought most people had retired this argument by now.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Put that little boy to adoption.

White said the shooting had been ruled accidental,

It's not accidental. The kid aimed a gun and shot willingly. He is not responsible, but it's not an accident. The boy didn't get the idea "by accident", he was trained at it and he didn't find a gun by chance either, he was given it and had it at home. A child under school age. The 2 persons in charge taught him to aim, to shoot, maybe to refill the gun. They provided the gun, didn't lock guns and ammunition. They didn't supervise. So that makes many totally abnormal actions.

With the care this kid's parents displayed, their son was much more likely to kill himself or his sister with a stray kitchen knife.

I might be wrong, but they didn't train him at attacking with a knife.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Would it be OK if I gave my 5-year old nephew a katana as long as he only swings it when I'm around, then puts it back on his shelf?

My 3 yr old nephew's birthday is coming. I'm shopping for a pressure-cooker and fireworks,,, But just for when I'm there playing with him.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yabits,

Done properly and well, hunting is an honorable undertaking.

By what convoluted logic do you attempt to explain that killing an animal just for the "pleasure" of the killer is honorable?

If you needed the meat for food and there was no other source, it would be understandable.

I just don't see how honour gets into it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

By what convoluted logic do you attempt to explain that killing an animal just for the "pleasure" of the killer is honorable?

No need to try to put words in my mouth. Nowhere did I claim that killing an animal just for the "pleasure" of it is proper. But Cumberland County, Kentucky, is a very economically depressed rural area, where hunting is overwhelmingly done to put meat on the table. Anybody who is eating squirrel isn't choosing it because it's preferable to beef or pork.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Cumberland County, Kentucky, is a very economically depressed rural area, where hunting is overwhelmingly done to put meat on the table

I wouldn't send a 5-year-old to the local conbini to buy a loaf of bread on his own, never mind give him a loaded gun and tell him to go out and shoot himself a squirrel for dinner.

I cannot understand how anyone can take this story and use it to try and justify gun ownership/hunting. A toddler is dead and her brother killed her, because people with single-digit IQ who were obviously not fit to own guns themselves were stupid enough to give a loaded gun to an infant. The law apparently allows them to do this. And it comes out there's a company that specialises in putting cute, multi-coloured loaded guns in the hands of little children. How can there be any justification at all for any of this?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As much of a tragedy as this is, it is hardly surprising. Until the next senseless act.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought most people had retired this argument by now.

Why would they? You just want them to because it's the logical counter to your stance: A child was harmed by a _. __ are dangerous. Therefore, we should restrict access to _ for everyone.

Since you've stopped responding to my arguments and have stooped to name-calling, I'll just assume you've got no more to say on the subject..

If you needed the meat for food and there was no other source, it would be understandable.

Hunting is the most cost-efficient way to obtain meat. It varies by size, but an adult deer will probably give you 40-50 pounds of meat. A Michigan hunting license (firearm season) costs $15. So, you can expect to get your meat for about 40 cents per pounds or better. You can't beat that.

Plus, the number of licenses issued is limited based on deer population. If they didn't have hunting seasons, more deer would be killed by cars, also resulting in more injury (physical and financial) to humans.

I might be wrong, but they didn't train him at attacking with a knife.

From the looks of things, they didn't train him at all. Again leading to my conclusion that the problem lies with the parents for being idiots.

The law apparently allows them to do this.

The law requires them to keep their guns in safe locations, i.e. not loaded in their living room with unsupervised children. I'm pretty sure child protection services will be having a long, court room chat with the parents,a judge, a prosecutor and state-appointed defense attorney.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Yabits So you'd agree that hunting for what some call 'sport' ( I personally hate the use of that word here - it completely debases it ) is 'dishonorable'? I prefer the word 'depraved'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The law requires them to keep their guns in safe locations, i.e. not loaded in their living room with unsupervised children.

The gun was 'kept in a corner of the mobile home'. Yet 'a police spokesman said it was unclear whether any charges will be filed. “I think it’s too early to say whether there will or won’t be,”'

How can that be? The child could not have access to the gun unless there was a violation of the law. In this case the violation led to the death of an innocent baby. How can there be any lack of clarity as to whether or not charges will be filed? These are not poor bereaved parents who need to time and room to grieve, they are people who gave a loaded gun to an infant. Why on earth would they not be prosecuted? Why would it have to be down to child protection services instead of being a straightforward criminal case?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How can there be any lack of clarity as to whether or not charges will be filed?

That's a typical police answer. It's not up to them whether charges get filed or not, that's the prosecutor's job. I don't recall any time where I've seen a police officer say in a news conference "X charges have been filed" or "No charges will be filed," because it's not up to them.

Why on earth would they not be prosecuted? Why would it have to be down to child protection services instead of being a straightforward criminal case?

Child Protective Services are the law. They investigate instances of parental negligence, abuse, neglect, etc. That's their job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hunting is the most cost-efficient way to obtain meat.

I don't see the relation. Adult hunter is one thing. But kids ? Why ? You mean the people in Dumberland Kentucky are so busy that they need to send kids hunting their meat ?

The law requires them to keep their guns in safe locations

They live in a caravan, so they have no possible safe location. The law still lets them purchase and keep an arsenal. In Osaka, they come to check that you own a parking to let you own a car. What is done about gun storage ? Who checks ? Hunters in my hometown (they do it to regulate forest population) don't keep their guns at home. It's not a national law, but they agreed to stock them in safes at the gun store, so no worries about their small kids, crazy teens or suicidary relatives. They don't see the need to have the gun under their bed. Like policemen and soldiers don't bring their guns in holidays. Now Americans are different...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I see a lot of people ragging on hunting in these posts. Do you have the same feelings about fishing? I know a lot more "sport fishermen" than I know "sport hunters". But for some reason people seem to feel more attachment to mammals, so it somehow seems more wrong.

Most hunters, especially those in rural areas, hunt because it is a primary food source. Hunting in rural areas is also a very important means of wild game population control, curbing accidental killing due to motor vehicle accidents. When raising a child, it is customary to teach them how to hunt and fish, to pass these skills along to the future generation.

I taught my daughters to shoot when they were 7 and 9 years old, plinking cans out in the desert with 22 rifles. The first rule I taught them was that they were never to handle the weapons unless I was present to supervise. If they wanted to show their gun to a friend, they came to me and asked that I remove the gun from the cabinet. Second thing I taught them is muzzle control, you never point a gun at a human being whether it is loaded or not, unless you intend to shoot that person to defend yourself.

Is 5 years old too young? Maybe. But properly supervised/stored weapons are not a danger to children. Ignorant gun owners/parents who are complacent and negligent are...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They investigate instances of parental negligence, abuse, neglect, etc.

Surely leaving a loaded gun lying around in an unsecured location - a corner of the mobile home - is a criminal offence regardless of whether or not there are children around? Any malfeasant bypasser could nip in and steal it.

I cannot get my head around anyone wanting to stick up for these morons.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So you'd agree that hunting for what some call 'sport' ( I personally hate the use of that word here - it completely debases it ) is 'dishonorable'?

Yes, I would agree.

I wouldn't send a 5-year-old to the local conbini to buy a loaf of bread on his own, never mind give him a loaded gun and tell him to go out and shoot himself a squirrel for dinner. I cannot understand how anyone can take this story and use it to try and justify gun ownership/hunting.

I think you should put a lid on it. Nobody needs to justify anything to you. Those people haven't done anything to hurt you or their neighbors. And they certainly weren't put on this earth to live according to your standards -- and thank heavens for that.

Guns are viewed as an important part of life and growing up in many parts of rural America and this tragic accident is not going to change that. The vast majority of people in those parts are generous and soft-spoken and wouldn't stoop so low as to cast aspersions on others out of total ignorance the way that you have done.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I see a lot of people ragging on hunting in these posts. Do you have the same feelings about fishing?

For the fun of it? Yes.

Most hunters, especially those in rural areas, hunt because it is a primary food source.

At five years old??

Is 5 years old too young? Maybe.

How does that maybe get in there? Don't you mean absolutely, without a doubt? And we are not talking here about properly supervised/stored weapons that are safely locked away, we are talking about a loaded gun bought for an infant and left lying around like a toy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nobody needs to justify anything to you

The gun crowd seem to be trying pretty hard.

The vast majority of people in those parts are generous and soft-spoken

No one has said anything about the vast majority of people in those parts. No one is casting aspersions on others out of total ignorance; comments are being made based on the factual information provided, namely that these moronic parents thought it was a good idea to let a 5-year-old have a loaded gun as a toy and were generous enough to buy him one of his own. Soft-spoken has nothing to do with it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Our local media journalists reported this and advised 'Don't ever go to Kentucky'. I wonder Toyota plant in Ky is regretting now to made plant in Ky. It is their custom to give rifles for preschool children,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We all have opinions. To me 5 yo is to young. But many comments here say "why give a 5yo a Loaded gun"? Which is presumptuous. Most likely the boy either found the round or stash of ammunition. Either way, tragically neglectful of the parents. No excuse for that.

As for young children handling guns, they do need to learn to handle them at some point if it is a gun ownership family but responsibly and respectful of what a gun can do. This is why accidents happen with loaded guns. They are dangerous is if handeled irresponsibly, and as safe as anything else if handeled responsibly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Cleo.

If anyone has difficulty understanding why a five year old should not be in possession of an implement whose only use is to kill other life forms, they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near any kind of arms. Whether they are in the military or not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How does that maybe get in there? Don't you mean absolutely, without a doubt? And we are not talking here about properly supervised/stored weapons that are safely locked away, we are talking about a loaded gun bought for an infant and left lying around like a toy.

@Cleo - I guess you either don't understand what I'm saying or you are just trying to be argumentative on the subject, because we are basically saying the same thing. My point is, I would have no problem with someone teaching their 5 year old how to safely handle and shoot a weapon. I purchased rifles for my daughters when they were 7 & 9 years old, but they were not left laying around and they were not loaded until we were at the shooting range. I believe children can and should be taught how to safely handle weapons, but each parent has to decide whether or when the time is right. It helps to remove that taboo. Ever tell a child to not touch something?

The real issue here is that the parents treated this weapon as a toy. They left it lieing around to be played with by their son as he would any other toy. It should have been stored properly and the child should have only been allowed access to it only under supervised conditions. The parents should be charged with negligence, involuntary manslaughter, etc...I'm not a prosecutor, so I don't know the letter of the law, but they should be held responsible for the death of their child...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

one shooting death every 4-5 years should be taken as a lot of folks doing things the right way

Denial that kids shoot other kids dead every month, shows the gun lobby's obscene disdain for human life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bfg: Why would they? You just want them to because it's the logical counter to your stance:

The argument has been retired because people slowly realized that it's a silly argument to make. I'm sure the sister was more likely to die in a car accident than from "Lil Joey's First Knife Throwing Set" but I'm not expecting that to be on the shelves this Christmas.

I'm still waiting for you to just come out and say that because guns are available we're just going to live with some 2-year olds getting shot from time to time. You are saying everything but that and I suspect it's because you don't want to come out and say the words.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Tizalleymam The parents treated this weapon as a toy. True. I just wonder how a 5-year-old treats a firearm. As a mechanism for firing potentially lethal high velocity projectiles? As an invaluable, but last resort defense against the government in the event it turns tyrannical? Sick business people are marketing weapons with cute names and in cute colours. There was a shocking clip on YouTube which showed idiotic parents allowing a child to drive a car, of course under supervision. Would you be comfortable with that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tizalleyman: The first rule I taught them was that they were never to handle the weapons unless I was present to supervise.

People come on here and say how safe they are with guns in order to pretend that their positions aren't part of the problem. I think it's great that you teach safety. But two things: 1) They're kids, and you can't guarantee safety and 2) not everyone is you.

It points to the problem where gun owners always tell others that the problem has nothing to do with them, just other people. Kid shot his sister? Bad parents. Kid shot his school? Drugs or mental illness. Guy shot his ex? Wackjob. At what point does the list of "other people" get long enough where you start to feel they are collateral damage from your position? And does telling me how safe you are change that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Company founders began making for young shhooters in mid-1990. It had 4 employees. Now, it has about 70 employees. In 2008, it produced 60,000 Cricket and Chipmunt rifles for kids. Terrible custom there. Our locas TV stations still report this news. CNN and all FOX keep commenting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although some comments are interesting and show common sense (i.e. BertieWooster, Cos, Cleo, etc.) , a few comments are about as welcome as a cockroach on a wedding cake.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

When I was reading this my jaw literally dropped... what sort of people buy a CHILD a GUN? Why would a child want one? To go huntin' bear n deer with pa in the wilderness? Oh yes, it's family bonding isn't it? Not like, say, going camping, hill-walking, or other non-lethal activities. Killing wild animals for fun isn't the way to bring up well-adjusted kids with a respect for ALL life.

Rednecks buying a lethal firearm for a little boy who should be playing with action figures and toy cars... not killing his little sister because he didn't know what he was doing. America really has to wake up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Most likely the boy either found the round or stash of ammunition.

Read the article. The gun was the child's own, one manufactured by a company that sells guns specifically for children and purchased as a gift for the child, that was left lying around the place loaded because the stupid careless parents didn’t realize a bullet had been left in it.

I believe children can and should be taught how to safely handle weapons, but each parent has to decide whether or when the time is right. It helps to remove that taboo.

I don't understand what you're saying. Why is it up to the parents to decide when a child should have access to lethal weapons? Most people go on to drive and so should be taught to drive safely and responsibly, but that doesn't mean they need to be given their own SUV at age five, nor do we allow parents to decide that their 5-year-old is old enough to drive on the roads. If we can put off teaching people to drive until they're considered legally responsible - and then we require them to earn a license before they're allowed to drive alone - how come we should teach young children to handle lethal weapons? If they must handle guns, why can't it wait until they're adult and hopefully responsible? Would the 5 year-old have been terribly deprived if he'd been given a toy gun to play with, instead of a real one?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Make a law prohibiting 5-year-olds from shooting 2-year -olds.

Seriously, legislation can't correct poor parental judgement.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Each States in USA have different laws. In Nevada, there are gun related homicides and murder-suicide every few days in Las Vegas City. Some people own guns after background checked and they were supposed to keep their guns in a locked safe. However, a majority of people do not own guns. I have been wondering why Henderson City is on national magazines as the safest city, best city, etc in the United State when we had one murder suicide last year. Maybe the city must be compared with Ky?. Its custom to give a gun as a present to a child who hasn't began school. One official of Ky stated that every house has at least a gun in there. Terrible state. Worse than Texas or Mass.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is not the company, it is the idiot parents that gave a rifle to their child with incomplete training and even after that training they should have only let the child handle the rifle under very close supervision. Until they are responsible and knowledgeable enough to go on local hunting/camping trips alone with a hunting license provided to the child by their state they should not be handling the weapon on their own. A 5 year old handling a weapon with loose enough supervision that they are able to point the thing in anyone's direction? Parents should be up for involuntary manslaughter! The gift was last year, that means a 4 year old with a rifle, ridiculous! I can see buying a child sized rifle and holding it with your child at the firing range to teach them early to help prevent accidents like this but I would never let them handle it at those young ages without having my hands on the weapon and or the child at all times and the child better have safety gear; Ear plugs + ear muffs and eye protection. When not with your child, teaching them, firearms should be completely inaccessible to the child until they can be responsible for locking it up in their own safe/locker and have qualified with their local authorities gun/hunter safety course. Leaving firearms leaning against the wall in the living room as a way of storage is completely irresponsible. First thing I learned about firearms was that they are always to be treated as if they are loaded.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

News media stated every parents give their children rifles as a present in Ky. Is there a shooting range in that area? What is safety gear on these child oriented rifles? Are there gun/hunter safety course in Ky? It is Ky tradition, media reported. It said a trailer home. It did not say firearm was leaned against the wall in the living room.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In any other states in USA, parent(s) are charged when similar case occurs. Not Ky, I now know. .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BertieWooster, Cos, Cleo. Looks like a took a hit of negs for supporting you, but I stand by my agreement with your comments. Keep on writing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is safety gear on these child oriented rifles?

Your good question points to a troubling aspect of the story for me: "In this case, the rifle was made by a company that sells guns specifically for children... in colors ranging from plain brown to hot pink to orange to royal blue to multi-color swirls."

It does trouble me that the design suggests the idea of a frivolous toy. Multi-color swirls? Nice, harmless sounding names like Crickett and Chipmunk. Things that people have to see through, with children far less able to, to comprehend the potential danger involved. (The first paragraph of the story states that the boy was "playing" with the rifle.)

Again, the prevalence of guns in the region combined with such accidents being such a rare thing indicates that the vast majority of adults are responsible. You can take it to the bank that the community will rally around and support this family in their grief -- as all good communities do. The folks in the outside world, many of whom seem only too glad to kick the family -- even the 5-year-old -- when they are most down, helps me understand why the locals are right to be suspicious of outsiders generally.

There are a great many dangers in our world, and I have a renewed appreciation for living in a country which affirms that adults have the freedom to bring risk and responsibility into their own lives to manage and teach as they best see fit. I would not want to live in country controlled by people who judge and condemn without mercy or understanding.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A terrible tragedy. One that could have been prevented by the parents. One that would not have been prevented by any of the legislation proposed in recent years, much less since the Newtown shooting.

For the record, I didn't get my first gun (a .410-ga. shotgun) until I was nine. Which, coincidentally, was also when I was taught to drive the family pickup and tractor. Had to help out on the farm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A terrible tragedy. One that could have been prevented by the parents. One that would not have been prevented by any of the legislation proposed in recent years

You mean there is no legislation in the US that prevents people leaving a loaded gun lying around the house where an infant can pick it up in the absence of parental supervision? Don't you think legislation preventing stupid people giving loaded guns to infants, legislation allowing for spot checks on how and where registered guns are being stored, legislation preventing companies making guns specifically for children would have stopped this 'accident'?

I didn't get my first gun (a .410-ga. shotgun) until I was nine. Which, coincidentally, was also when I was taught to drive the family pickup and tractor. Had to help out on the farm.

Methinks maybe it's time the richest country on the planet got itself a few child labour laws, as well as a bit of common sense when it comes to lethal weapons.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You mean there is no legislation in the US that prevents people leaving a loaded gun lying around the house where an infant can pick it up in the absence of parental supervision?

Some states or counties do, yes. One wouldn't think such a law would be needed. But then we have warning labels on everything, and trial lawyers rule the courts and the lobby industry.

Don't you think legislation preventing stupid people giving loaded guns to infants, legislation allowing for spot checks on how and where registered guns are being stored, legislation preventing companies making guns specifically for children would have stopped this 'accident'?

Could have, yes. Would have, no. Enforcing such laws would be problematic at best. Just look at the DCS overloads, if you want to get an idea what it would be like. And there are 4th Amendment issues, private property rights, etc. Not to mention defining "stupid". As for manufacturers making guns for children, could such a law be found constitutional? Especially in a country where 15-year-old girls, who are under the age of consent in every single state, can buy the "morning after" pill?

Methinks maybe it's time the richest country on the planet got itself a few child labour laws, as well as a bit of common sense when it comes to lethal weapons.

Richest? How, in debt or deficit? Family farms have always been exempt from child labor laws. Sure, there were days I would rather be watching cartoons or bicycling with my friends, but it instilled a sense of work ethic that I carry to this day. So no harm done.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Kentucky Derby must have lost huge tourists now. People in other states now know Ky is not like their states.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits,

a country which affirms that adults have the freedom to bring risk and responsibility into their own lives to manage and teach as they best see fit

Or should that be

a country that protects its children through regulations covering toys, clothing, bedding and confectionery, but whose politicians are too beholden to the arms industry to legislate on lethal firearms aimed at kids

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can see buying a child sized rifle and holding it with your child at the firing range to teach them early to help prevent accidents like this but I would never let them handle it at those young ages without having my hands on the weapon and or the child at all times and the child better have safety gear; Ear plugs + ear muffs and eye protection.

You said that the company's not at fault. So how is it that the company in question marketed rifles for children, and kept a gallery on its website - unsurprisingly, no longer accessible* - of young children posing with rifles? Most of those pictures were of children standing without an adult in sight - presumably the adult was taking the photo. No adult in shot means no adult with, in your words, "hands on the weapon and or the child at all times". The company had no problem with posting such pictures on its website.

(*except via the Wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20120925065030/http://www.crickett.com/crickett_kidscorner.php)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good thing he was armed and able to protect himself from the jackbooted government thugs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What kind of cretin gives a five year-old his own rifle?

The same cretin that leaves a bullet in it and leaves it out for his child to reach. THAT is the issue. An unloaded empty gun may as well be a plastic toy. The only difference is that a real one can be loaded and fired and when you have morons leaving LOADED guns within reach of a small child, tragedies happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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