Parents will be prosecuted

This is a discussion on Parents will be prosecuted within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by dldeuce You mean to tell me you think this 12 year old kid didn't know that? I'd say it would have to ...

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Thread: Parents will be prosecuted

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    You mean to tell me you think this 12 year old kid didn't know that? I'd say it would have to be only the most isolated five year old that wouldn't know that with or without "training" by the parents.
    I don't know about that.

    There are so very many people who have never seen or handled an actual firearm, these days, such that many kids are getting to double-digit years without appreciating that bullets poke actual holes in things. To have it said that occurs isn't the same thing as seeing it occur. Until that happens, for many it's not real. One of the many ills in a remote-control society. Good things don't happen by themselves. They need our active participation to make them so.
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    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  3. #47
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I don't know about that.

    There are so very many people who have never seen or handled an actual firearm, these days, such that many kids are getting to double-digit years without appreciating that bullets poke actual holes in things. To have it said that occurs isn't the same thing as seeing it occur. Until that happens, for many it's not real. One of the many ills in a remote-control society. Good things don't happen by themselves. They need our active participation to make them so.
    That's just an absurd thing to say. A 12 year old kid in rural Texas definitely knew the gun could kill. It doesn't matter whether he knew or not though under the law. That the parent left a loaded gun accessible, that the child got possession of it, and that someone got injured is all that matters. It would apply if the child was mature, normally responsible, well trained, and used the gun very deliberately in a first degree murder. That is of course unless the parents were farmers, then of course that would be fine.

    That's the way it's gone in this thread too, except for a couple of us. The story doesn't say anything about the kid or the parents. All it says is that the kid got possession of a firearm and someone was killed. It appears that no amount of training, skill, experience, and maturity would matter. All that matters is his age, and all the arguments you've been making apply equally well to someone who is one day shy of 17, one day shy of 18, and why stop there? I suspect you don't.

  4. #48
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    That's just an absurd thing to say.
    In Texas, perhaps. And even then, not always for all folks. (Yes, I realize this 12yr old and the act was in TX.)

    But 90% of the population lives elsewhere and most folks will have nowhere near the "gun smarts" that even kids grow up with, in TX, generally speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    All it says is that the kid got possession of a firearm and someone was killed. It appears that no amount of training, skill, experience, and maturity would matter. All that matters is his age ...
    With children, that isn't all that matters. It's why at 18 we mark the day when age IS all that matters, that and one's actions at that point.

    But prior to then, parental responsibility as contributing to what a child does is considered. As it should be.

    Now, in this specific case, was anything unstated by this single news article a relevant fact in regards to what occurred? Almost certainly, but we don't know because it hasn't yet been reported. Am making no assumptions. I'm simply saying that to write off a 12yr old kid as 'Lectric Chair Meat based on one article's non-specification of intent, non-specification of motive, non-specification of whether he criminally obtained it (ie, via lying to parents and then skipping out with the gun), or whether adults (who should know better) failed to take even basic precautions ... Well, opinions vary. I'll withhold any further ones, on this case, until the facts come in and are known.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  5. #49
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socal2310 View Post
    There is a big difference Nanny State wise between prosecuting parents after the fact and punishing people because something might happen. I don't even object to the laws regarding safe storage in the state of California (though widely misunderstood):

    Note that two things have to happen in order for prosecution to occur: the firearm must be left loaded and unattended AND it must be discharged in an unlawful/accidental/negligent manner.

    I didn't even know this for myself until recently. I thought (and the state of California does its best to convince you) that it was illegal to leave the firearm loaded and unlocked period. It's too bad that John and Tephanie Carpenter didn't know that.

    Ryan
    The California law is a little better than the Texas law in that the weapon has to be fired with an actual injury or carried out of the house. It also gives some semblance of a defense to a LEO and the military, and it gives the parent some room for not having the gun under absolute immediate control. Other than that, it's the same law.

    You didn't include if the law has a definition of a child or a loaded gun. In Texas, it says the gun actually has to have bullets in it with no mention that an unloaded gun can sit right next to a box bullets. In Texas, a parent can be held responsible for a "child" just shy of 17, when in the courtroom right next door, the "child" could be under trial for the same event as a fully responsible adult and both could be convicted.

    I don't think either law is reasonable because it doesn't give any recognition of the accountability of a "child" as an adult. Some might have missed it, but this "child" was arrested on negligent homicide charges. The grand jury apparently disagreed, but the law should allow for the fact that it's not a black and white issue that everyone agrees on. Again, why stop at twelve? Sixteen? Twenty-one? Twenty-six? What day between 10 and older, even much older, does someone become independently responsible for their actions with a gun, and why is that a different day than for knives or a car?

  6. #50
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    Again, why stop at twelve? Sixteen? Twenty-one? Twenty-six? What day between 10 and older, even much older, does someone become independently responsible for their actions with a gun, and why is that a different day than for knives or a car?
    Because not picking one would make everything fuzzy, with respect to accountability. Society's got to pick one at which it's generally agreed a person has had plenty of time to acquire the faculties and appreciation of how to avoid being anti-social. Gotta pick one, else holding someone accountable for their actions would forever be a game of legal waffling. (Funny, but even with the hard-and-fast legal cutoff age, it's that way. Go figure.)

    Still, the point is, a child grows into full responsibility. It varies by child and situation. Who's to say, in this case? For my money, age 12 is plenty old enough to appreciate that bullets poke holes, and that guns are intended to be fired AT things and break/kill/stop them. If indeed this firearm was fired in violence at someone, then (at least the bulk of) the responsibility for the action is clear. If indeed this firearm was left without regard to its use by whomever next walked by, even if that would be an untrained/unknowledgeable or unstable) child of the household, then at least some of the responsibility on the part of the owners of that gun is clear.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  7. #51
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    In Texas, perhaps. And even then, not always for all folks. (Yes, I realize this 12yr old and the act was in TX.)
    It's a Texas incident we're talking about, and that didn't matter to you when you jumped on the bandwagon of condemning the parents as irresponsible.

    But 90% of the population lives elsewhere and most folks will have nowhere near the "gun smarts" that even kids grow up with, in TX, generally speaking.
    It's an absurd thing to say that any 12 year old anywhere wouldn't know that a gun can kill someone. Where does this population live that doesn't know which end of a gun the bullet comes out of? Fantasy land? Like I said, it's just an absurd thing to say.

    With children, that isn't all that matters. It's why at 18 we mark the day when age IS all that matters, that and one's actions at that point.
    Like I said, there is no magic day even under the law. The state can and does find children well under 18 as fully accountable under the law for their actions as an adult. In this case, they arrested the 12 year old on negligent homicide.

    But prior to then, parental responsibility as contributing to what a child does is considered. As it should be.
    Unless of course the parents are farmers.

    Now, in this specific case, was anything unstated by this single news article a relevant fact in regards to what occurred? Almost certainly, but we don't know because it hasn't yet been reported. Am making no assumptions. I'm simply saying that to write off a 12yr old kid as 'Lectric Chair Meat based on one article's non-specification of intent, non-specification of motive, non-specification of whether he criminally obtained it (ie, via lying to parents and then skipping out with the gun), or whether adults (who should know better) failed to take even basic precautions ... Well, opinions vary. I'll withhold any further ones, on this case, until the facts come in and are known.
    Nothing was unstated. Parents left a 12 year old child with access to a loaded gun, and someone was injured as a result. That's all the relevant facts that are needed under the law and on this forum of "gun rights supporters."

    Who said the kid has to be "Lectric chair meat" if I don't want to hold the parents responsible. Somebody died. I guess we have to have someone to blame. It can't just be a terrible accident? If one child injures another in any other way besides with a firearm, we don't hold the parents criminally and morally responsible.

    Also, in Texas, it's not just basic precautions. It goes so far as to say you can't possess a loaded firearm in the home period unless it's under your immediate and direct control. Otherwise you could be convicted.

    At the same time, it doesn't have anything to do with precautions at all. You're allowed to leave a loaded firearm for a 12 year old for self defense or any other reason. It's perfectly acceptable in society and perfectly legal. What the parents apparently did was perfectly legal right up to the instant the 12 year old put his hands on the gun for non-self-defense. It doesn't have anything to do with locks, safes, precautions, training, trust, or expectations. It only matters how old the kid is and what he decides to do with the gun. Can you think of any other decision a child can make that the parents would be held responsible in the same way?

  8. #52
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Gee.

    I thought things like this only happen in the liberal states.

    I figured Texas wasn't like the rest of the USA...

    Maybe Texas is more like New England than some people want to believe.

  9. #53
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    When I was twelve, growing up in west Texas, I had my own 20 gauge single shot shotgun and a Ruger .22. I took them hunting for birds right around the house and rabbits and quail out in the pasture right behind the house. I hunted by myself, with my brother and cousins, as well as with my father, grandfather, and uncles.

    I hear that's against the law nowadays. Instead, we have people here on this board advocating mandatory government training for adults they presume have no clue how to handle guns. I get a kick out of that mentality. How do you think people get to be adults without knowing how to handle a gun?
    Me too, I was shooting at 8, and had my own gun at 10, and was out shooting on my own by 11 or 12, with a shotgun and a .22 rifle.

    In Ks.... you cannot be tried as an adult unless you are at least 14 and the crime was murder, etc. ...... or 16 and 3 previous felonies.

  10. #54
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Because not picking one would make everything fuzzy, with respect to accountability. Society's got to pick one at which it's generally agreed a person has had plenty of time to acquire the faculties and appreciation of how to avoid being anti-social. Gotta pick one, else holding someone accountable for their actions would forever be a game of legal waffling. (Funny, but even with the hard-and-fast legal cutoff age, it's that way. Go figure.)
    We don't have to pick one, and we don't pick one. You're not responding to the point I've made that both the parent and the child can be held fully and independently responsible as adults for the same event at long before the magic date of 18.

    Still, the point is, a child grows into full responsibility. It varies by child and situation. Who's to say, in this case? For my money, age 12 is plenty old enough to appreciate that bullets poke holes, and that guns are intended to be fired AT things and break/kill/stop them.
    Now you're contradicting yourself. Before, you were saying that a 12 year old quite possibly wouldn't know that that bullets poke holes in things.

    If indeed this firearm was left without regard to its use by whomever next walked by, even if that would be an untrained/unknowledgeable or unstable) child of the household, then at least some of the responsibility on the part of the owners of that gun is clear.
    Now we're getting somewhere. Let's stop talking about children. Now you're talking about adults. Now you're holding gun owners to play nanny to not just children but any other adult. Surely you recognize that gun owners aren't really qualified to do that. Giving unqualified people that kind of responsibility is just irresponsible, right? Now tell us who you think needs to play nanny to the gun owners?

  11. #55
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Gee.

    I thought things like this only happen in the liberal states.

    I figured Texas wasn't like the rest of the USA...

    Maybe Texas is more like New England than some people want to believe.
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I get a kick out of people saying that Texas is gun friendly if that's what you meant. It hasn't been gun friendly since 1868, when they amended the constitution and gave the legislature the power to regulate keep and bear at their whim.

  12. #56
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    The parents of an East Texas boy accused of accidentally shooting and killing another boy with a gun that had been left accessible to him at the family home will face criminal charges.

    There is not a lot of info for me to have a real opinion on but rather a question pops up in the first sentence.
    To me it implies that the gun was left for his access on purpose not by accident. Maybe he had some training even though he was young. I don't remember the exact age but I was 11 or 12 when I had my fist .22. Several guns by the age of 16. The kids my age that didn't have them knew darn well what they were for and what they could do. It's reasonable to believe that with t.v. and movies kids know at a young age guns can kill.
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  13. #57
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    Me too, I was shooting at 8, and had my own gun at 10, and was out shooting on my own by 11 or 12, with a shotgun and a .22 rifle.

    In Ks.... you cannot be tried as an adult unless you are at least 14 and the crime was murder, etc. ...... or 16 and 3 previous felonies.
    At some point in that 12 age group, my brother and I (one year younger) were hunting by ourselves with my grandfather's 870 12 ga shotgun. It was almost as big as we were. At 13, I had a deer rifle and I was left to hunt independently with that.

    In Ks.... you cannot be tried as an adult unless you are at least 14 and the crime was murder, etc. ...... or 16 and 3 previous felonies.
    I'm not sure what the rule is in Texas, but that fourteen year old could go to jail as a fully independent adult and the parent could go to jail for up to a year for the same event. They could both be held independently and fully responsible. That's pretty contradictory.

  14. #58
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    To me it implies that the gun was left for his access on purpose not by accident.
    Left accessible is just repeating the wording of the law. That's all you have to do and you could be convicted. Yet, at the same time, it's perfectly legal to do it on purpose. The legality of it is decided after the fact, depending on the actions of a child.

    Maybe he had some training even though he was young. I don't remember the exact age but I was 11 or 12 when I had my fist .22. Several guns by the age of 16. The kids my age that didn't have them knew darn well what they were for and what they could do. It's reasonable to believe that with t.v. and movies kids know at a young age guns can kill.
    They could easily not have enough experience and training to follow the four rules, but yeah, of course a twelve year old knows better than to shoot his friend with a shotgun. The training doesn't matter though. Even here on this forum of "gun rights supporters," quite a few people condemned the parents without knowing anything about training. Just like the law, that they left the gun accessible to a twelve year old, and someone got killed is all that counts to them.

  15. #59
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    ... of course a twelve year old knows better than to shoot his friend with a shotgun.

    The training doesn't matter though.
    Someone with training will find it tougher to go against training. It's a main point of learning. A 12yr old that had been trained to ALWAYS handle firearms as if they could kill would, unless homicidal, almost certainly handle them that way. (After all, that's why we train, no?)

    Even here on this forum of "gun rights supporters," quite a few people condemned the parents without knowing anything about training.
    Nothing is absolute. Gun rights don't exist in a vacuum. Much like your gun rights stop the moment they butt up against my property rights, the right failure to ensure a 12yr old child is going to be safe around firearms stops when it butts up against another person's right to life. In short: competing goals must coexist. It's called civilization.

    Just like the law, that they left the gun accessible to a twelve year old, and someone got killed is all that counts to them.
    Shouldn't be the case, I agree. Nothing is absolute.

    We are, all of us, basing what little we're opining on a spartan list of facts and impressions noted in a single, brief news article. NONE of us has hard evidence about any of it. Not about whether it was homicide or murder. Not about whether he had parents who give a darn. Not about whether he was a "typical" Texan who popped out of the womb with an I.V. karma drip full of knowledge about drinkin', stompin', shootin' and cowboyin'. Who's to say. This wrangling is ridiculous, given the paucity of facts at this point, as it's all supposition. All of it. None of us were there. The writer of that story, too, I'll warrant.

    ... investigators said the Browns' son was handling the shotgun ...
    That's all we've got, as to motive, method or madness. He was "handling" the shotgun. That leaves open an entire universe of possibilities. Must've been a murderer, yes? Must've had negligent parents, of course! Must've wanted a better newspaper in town, one that communicated more facts. Yup, couldn't hurt.

    Suffice to say: responsibility is also not absolute, at least when we're speaking of children. It's why the absoluteness, if you will, occurs at a higher, agreed-upon age limit (ie, 18, or 21). Can't say, in this case, what the facts are, since they haven't been made known to any of us. We may know in time. Until then, wrangle in vain.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  16. #60
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Let's not forget the point made earlier about cars. If I leave my keys in the ignition am I going to get a Class A misdemeanor? Do I get one if a four year old backs over another kid? Do I get one if a 12 year old takes it for a spin? Do I get one if a trained and registered 16 year old has an accident and someone gets hurt? CCW9mm has said I would be responsible if I left a gun accessible to any adult as well. If a 24 year old borrows my car without asking, am I responsible even if I knew he'd never driven one?

    Many people in this thread have righteously condemned the parents in this story as irresponsible just for leaving a gun accessible. They may have presumed the parents left it loaded, but the story doesn't say. According to the strict wording of the Texas law, if the kid loaded the gun, the parents aren't criminally responsible. No one seemed to ask that question before they condemned the parents.

    I'd appreciate if any of those people would respond to the point about cars. Why do you dole out all this extra responsibility for gun owners as compared to car owners?

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