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 I guess I'm still stuck on your training test in general though. ... It might be 8. It might be 18, ...

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  1. #76
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    I guess I'm still stuck on your training test in general though. ... It might be 8. It might be 18, 24, or never ...
    It might. Depends on the circumstances, doesn't it? Much like the "reasonable man" standard. It's real, like it or not. It's the basis of the self-defense statues in many (most?) states.

    Reality is, states generally make the decision for us at a certain age. Say, at 18. At that point, the state considers a young adult fully in control of his/her faculties and responsible to the degree a citizen should be held. That's as it should be, unless the child has a specific metal gap that precludes this recognition. Otherwise, as of 18yrs of age, generally, we as parents are officially absolved from a legal standpoint, since by that time a "child" darned well better be able to stand up and chew gum, at minimum.

    Sure, as a parent, the mere fact li'l Johnny has turned 18 doesn't make one's life any easier. It simplifies things, legally speaking. In the area we're speaking of, Johnny's on his own. But, age 12 is something else, something less than full citizenship and the responsibilities that go with that. Well, if Johnny's less than fully responsible, what else contributed to him going awry so badly? Training, education, morals, knowing where he was after school, knowing whether deadly weapons were kept track of if indeed his predilections were unspecified at that point, etc. With a 4yr old, it's absolutely heavily dependent on the parents' abilities to keep Johnny safe. By age 12, things are changing ... Depends on circumstances. That's all I'm sayin'.

    Define "reasonableness" for me. That's about as absolute as "training" and how much is enough. It would depend on the person and the training, no? It would depend on the community standards in question, and the specific family/parents' skills when it comes to helping family members become the people they're going to be. Can't do everything for a child, you're right. And, at some point, varying by child and circumstance, every child reaches a point when he/she is responsible for actions. At what point? Dunno. But I'd like to think that the circumstances will make it clear, generally speaking. Really, it's about all that a sheriff and D.A. can go on, when things like this shotgun shooting occur.

    It seems we agree that the Texas law doesn't give us that basis since that's exactly the wording we see in this story.
    Imagine that.

    Out.
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  3. #77
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    A car and a gun are two different instruments, as is knives, baseball bats and darts. All can be deadly but are separate instruments, each having their own degree of accessibility to a minor. Each have a different age at which a kid becomes proficient enough to be trusted with them. Each with a much different intended use. Of cars and guns one is a right and the other a privilege.
    The analogy is that cars are dangerous, guns are dangerous. They present a risk to children that parents need to address. If someone thinks it's irresponsible, even criminally negligent, to leave a loaded gun on the table, why wouldn't they feel the same way about leaving the keys in the car?

    It think it's pretty clear most people wouldn't call the parent irresponsible if a 12 year old stole her car and caused an injury while joy riding. There's no law in Texas specifically addressing car keys and kids. No one's going to wonder about how much training I gave the kid. Pretty much everyone is going to presume I taught him to know better than to take the car out joy riding without permission.

    I left a loaded gun on the table, and the keys in the car. Someone might say I'm irresponsible about the gun, but not the car. Why not? It's a fair question, and whether one is a right or privilege doesn't answer it.

  4. #78
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    A car and a gun are two different instruments, as is knives, baseball bats and darts. All can be deadly but are separate instruments, each having their own degree of accessibility to a minor. Each have a different age at which a kid becomes proficient enough to be trusted with them. Each with a much different intended use. Of cars and guns one is a right and the other a privilege.
    Gun on the table. Keys on the table. Same accessibility to let's say a twelve year old. Different yes, but both dangerous, both pretty big killers of children. I leave the house certain they won't touch either. If they merely touch the gun, in Texas, I could face a Class C misdemeanor. If they take the car and kill someone with it, I doubt seriously that anyone would blame me. Whether one is a privilege or right doesn't explain the disparity.

  5. #79
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    It might. Depends on the circumstances, doesn't it? Much like the "reasonable man" standard. It's real, like it or not. It's the basis of the self-defense statues in many (most?) states.
    Of course. Everyone's got an opinion. Who is anyone to say theirs is right?

    Reality is, states generally make the decision for us at a certain age. Say, at 18. At that point, the state considers a young adult fully in control of his/her faculties and responsible to the degree a citizen should be held. That's as it should be, unless the child has a specific metal gap that precludes this recognition. Otherwise, as of 18yrs of age, generally, we as parents are officially absolved from a legal standpoint, since by that time a "child" darned well better be able to stand up and chew gum, at minimum.
    You keep saying that, but there is no set date. This law in Texas says 17. A grand jury might never indict the parents of a 16 year old. A different grand jury might not have ever indicted these parents. Same grand jury might not have indicted these parents if it was the brother instead of a friend that got shot.

    I don't think it has to do with morality or responsibility. I think it's just a sense of public outrage, blame game and retribution. It's certainly not justice. It's ok for you, you're a farmer. Now you. You've got to go to jail. You're a welder. Literally, that's what this law says. If I was ever a juror on a case involving this law, I doubt I could ever convict anyone.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    The analogy is that cars are dangerous, guns are dangerous. They present a risk to children that parents need to address. If someone thinks it's irresponsible, even criminally negligent, to leave a loaded gun on the table, why wouldn't they feel the same way about leaving the keys in the car?

    It think it's pretty clear most people wouldn't call the parent irresponsible if a 12 year old stole her car and caused an injury while joy riding.
    I don't know where you got that idea. I think it's very clear that the parents are partly negligent in your hypothetical, as well. A twelve year old is a little child. The parents are responsible for everything concerning the child.

    No one's going to wonder about how much training I gave the kid. Pretty much everyone is going to presume I taught him to know better than to take the car out joy riding without permission.
    You're joking right? You teach a preteen that he can take the car joyriding with permission? Pretty much everyone will consider you partially negligent for 1) not teaching your child properly and 2) providing easy access to a car, especially after not teaching him properly.

    I left a loaded gun on the table, and the keys in the car. Someone might say I'm irresponsible about the gun, but not the car. Why not?
    Because the gun is immediately deadly, the keys are not. The concept is similar to a bizarre rule that requires three 'moves' to access a gun in a car without a CCW permit.

  7. #81
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    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.
    I keep hearing how things are "Different in TEXAS!!" and how normal use of force rules don't apply in TEXAS!! or how you can use the "He needed killing" defense in TEXAS!!

    So. Why the charges against the kid's parent's if that's true?

  8. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    A car and a gun are two different instruments, as is knives, baseball bats and darts. All can be deadly but are separate instruments, each having their own degree of accessibility to a minor. Each have a different age at which a kid becomes proficient enough to be trusted with them. Each with a much different intended use. Of cars and guns one is a right and the other a privilege.
    I would feel a lot better if you would have placed the right and the privilege in the correct order in your last sentence. The reason cars are brought up is because cars are a privilege, whereas guns are a right. And yet, there are more restrictions on our 'right' than our privilege. More people are killed every year based on the privilege of driving than the right of gun ownership, and yet, when one kid dies because of something that was protected by a constitutional right, everybody gets up in arms.

    Today, when somebody is out driving and they run a stop sign and get T-Boned, the passenger is probably going to die. I think we should arrest the driver for negligent homicide. I think it should make national news and people should debate it for days in the media and on forums.

    That's not going to happen, because we accept the privilege of driving as a necessary risk. Well, I accept my right to keep and bear arms as a necessary risk.

    The 'car-thing' is a very valid analogy, if just to allow people to see how they are so willing to sacrifice their rights, and not their privileges, for the 'greater good'.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  9. #83
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    I keep hearing how things are "Different in TEXAS!!" and how normal use of force rules don't apply in TEXAS!! or how you can use the "He needed killing" defense in TEXAS!!

    So. Why the charges against the kid's parent's if that's true?
    I do not agree with the charges against the parents, but to answer your question;

    Texas has very good laws to prevent liability in a justified shooting. Our range of justified is broader than most other states. For instance, the 'criminal mischief during the nighttime' clause.

    But Texas, now, and historically, is very strict on unjustified shootings. It wasn't but a hundred years ago or so, that the kid would have been hung within the week.

    In Texas we have a very different set of views regarding justifiable homicide and murder. For the first, we usually respond in a good riddance sort of manner. For the second, there is no pity.

    That is what has made Texas great in the past. We, as a rule, have no sympathy for criminals, and the greatest of sympathy for those that have had to dispatch those criminals.

    As always, when a child is involved, the lines shift, and it is mostly because people do not want to believe that a child really can be a rotten apple. For these reasons, our children are now getting away with more and more because, 'it's not their fault', and we are making new labels to define bad behavior.

    I firmly believe that every boy under 14 has ADD, as it is being defined today. When I was a kid, we were sent to the principal, got our swats, and went back to class and paid attention. We also had rifles and shotguns in our gun racks in the parking lot.

    When you treat bad behavior as an 'illness' rather than a behavior, and you teach the kids that their actions are not their fault, well, things like this happen.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  10. #84
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    I would feel a lot better if you would have placed the right and the privilege in the correct order in your last sentence. The reason cars are brought up is because cars are a privilege, whereas guns are a right.
    I continue to hear this but there is no evidence of any difference. I have a right to travel between point A and point B. I choose to do that by car. It is not a privilege.

    I have a right to self defense. I choose to accomplish that with a gun. It, too, is not a privilege.

    In the final analysis there is NO DIFFERENCE between a right and a privilege. Philosophically they may be different but in practice they are identical.

    The analogy between cars and guns is spot on.

    And no, Texas is not significantly different. Most places treat justifiable self defense very differently than murder. Nothing special there. Texas is different in the fact they don't allow open carry, which other states allow. I don't necessarily want to dispell the myth, only that the some differences aren't all positive.

    Every state is different than every other. That is exactly what makes this country great!

  11. #85
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    How do you not know of any evidence of a difference? It's one of those amendment thingies.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  12. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    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?
    IMHO -- that is the crux of the issue.

    Would the law or legal action make sense or otherwise be acceptable were one to substitute the word "car", or any potentially dangerous tool, for the word "gun", etc. ?

    If so, the law or legal action is reasonable.

    If not, the law or legal action is blatantly anti-gun and likely anti RKBA.

    For example, see the following LTE in today's RT:

    Boones Mill has its own Mayberry characters at council meetings - Roanoke.com

    A nicely argued point, but wrong

    Congratulations to Kent Cartner on his effective use of irony in "Ban vehicles to end drunken driving" (Jan. 28 letter).

    After the Jan. 21 murder by kitchen knife on Virginia Tech's campus, I wondered if consistency requires me, as a handgun control advocate, to support a ban on kitchen knives as well. My conclusion: no.

    Kitchen knives are designed and primarily used to prepare food. Vehicles are designed and used to transport people. Handguns are designed and used to injure and kill people.

    Cartner's letter is well written, but his logic is lacking.

    SHARON DILLER
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    This LTE captures the essence of the antis so called logic. She doesn't like guns, because they "are designed and used to injure and kill people." Therefore, she and other antis see them as bad.

    To the antis, items that are seen as inherently bad need to be banned, or at a minimum be treated differently than [in their opinion] good or useful or acceptable items.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

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    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

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  13. #87
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Or, how about the knife rampage in a day care in Belgium? In 2006, a man bought a 30-30 rifle in a gun store, and minutes later he shot a toddler and two women on the street with it. They then virtually banned all firearms through onerous registration laws.

    No mention of any outrage over banning knives now after the knife rampage where two or three children were stabbed to death along with like 10 injured.

  14. #88
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Here's something interesting I read from a Texas DA. He's commenting below on a case where a five year old shot his three year old brother with a .22 rifle. He also commented that since it's a Class A misdemeanor, it's at the DA's discretion to refer it to the grand jury at all. This is a 1997 comment from Barry Green, District Attorney for the 271st Judicial District.

    "So the law, in all likelihood, has been violated. Why not prosecute?

    Because, in my opinion, it's not the right thing to do.

    Unquestionably, Bob was irresponsible for not placing the gun out of reach. However, I always take a good, hard look at any case referred to me wherein the allegation is that someone committed a negligent act. Ninety-nine percent of the crimes in the State (excluding DWI) involve a result which was intentional. For example, someone desired to rob, steal, or rape. On the other hand, when someone acts in a negligent (read "stupid") manner, it behooves the prosecution to take a second look at the case before setting the machinery in motion to brand that individual a criminal.

    If Bob's case were referred to me for prosecution, it would not be unusual (after a careful review of all the facts) for me to simply decline it.

    Critics would say that to prosecute Bob would send a message about how dangerous guns can be when carelessly handled or stored. My response: if Joe Blow doesn't know that a loose gun can kill a child, he probably will not suddenly become enlightened due to the prosecution of Bob. Besides, isn't the headline of the child dying enough of a deterrent? After all, do those of us who responsibly keep our guns out of reach of young children do so because we fear a misdemeanor prosecution or because we don't want someone to innocently die? The answer is obvious.

    Finally, if prosecution of Bob is for the sake of punishment, it seems that he has suffered enough. The government should not add hardship to the pain that has already been inflicted. His memory of a misdemeanor conviction would, over the years, fade. His recollection of the death of the child, however, will not. "

    He made some very good points. The case he's talking about was where a sibling was shot. He didn't comment on a case where it's a friend that is shot. I suspect that has a lot to do with it. That's where you get the outrage.

    I also read another case where teenagers were involved, and the teenager responsible was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was tried and convicted in a juvenile court. The parent wasn't prosecuted. It's interesting to see that the very same act by a parent is treated so differently after the fact.

  15. #89
    Ron
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    I think that this thread has produced a very interesting intellectual discussion regarding the issue raised, and I have very much enjoyed following the different positions, with which I agree for the most part.

    But, the reality is that we don't have well financed and organized groups advocating for the banning of cars each time a child is killed because they were not in a proper car seat, or were killed by a drunken driver. Nor for the banning of knives each time a knife is used in a killing.

    But, we do have these groups, who are not only well organized and financed, but also politically connected, arguing for and lobbying our politicians for more onerous gun control laws.

    So the pragmatics of all of this is that we need to be outraged each time a child, or adult, is killed because some gun owner was careless. Yes, it represents a very small percentage in terms of the number of guns lawfully owned, and certainley when compared to car deaths, but that doesn't matter to the gun control groups. Nor, do they care that their reasoning and logic is flawed. They are on a mssion.

    So, I guess my point is that we need to lead the charge to try to get gun owners to exercise greater care, lock up their guns if not on their hip or in their pocket, because like it or not folks, if we don't do it, you can bet the farm that under the current administration, it is going to be done for us.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

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  16. #90
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Which side are you on?

    I did some research on this, and I found that this law in Texas was passed in 1995. This was the year Texas passed the CHL law after a ban on public possession since 1871. This law was in direct response to the likely passage of the CHL law in the same legislative session. Read the legislative history yourself and see if you can figure out which position was promoted by the anti-gun lobby, and which side was promoted by gun rights advocates. Now compare it to your own position. Which side are you on?

    http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/h.../74-0/HB44.PDF

    In favor:

    "CSHB 44 would force gun owners to recognize and deal with the inherent danger of having firearms around children. Children are becoming more and more fascinated with guns, as reflected in the rising rate of youth related shootings. It has become commonplace for children to gain access to loaded weapons and kill either themselves or someone else. Approximately one child a week died in an accidental shooting in Texas in 1993. If the concealed handgun bill becomes law, guns will become even more accessible to children."

    "Penal Code sec. 22.04 now imposes a penalty for recklessly or with criminal negligence causing bodily injury to a child age 14 or younger. But this provision fails to penalize negligent storage and does not protect 15 and 16 year olds, who are especially vulnerable to accidental shootings."

    Originally, it was a Class B misdemeanor if a child got access, and a 3rd degree felony if someone was injured. Note that their claim of one child per week in Texas is probably pure BS. Note that they were particularly concerned about 15 and 16 year olds. You know, the age group that are killing each other over drugs and gangs. It's an age group that would very likely be tried as adults for their crimes.

    Opposed:

    "The vast majority of Texas gun owners store their weapons safely out of the reach of their children. This is because the greatest deterrent to leaving a loaded weapon lying around the house is the thought that one’s child could be fatally wounded. At the same time, those few gun owners who irresponsibly risk the lives of children by improperly storing guns would not be deterred by the proposed misdemeanor penalty. In the tragic event that a child was injured or killed by a relative’s gun, it would be cruel to compound the family’s anguish by prosecuting them as criminals.

    Furthermore, the state already imposes penalties on those who endanger children. Since most people keep guns in their houses as a form of protection, how could people be expected to protect themselves if they had to store their guns in a hard-to-access locked box? Passage of this bill would give notice to all criminals that law-abiding citizens could no longer readily protect themselves. In addition, this bill would be a violation of civil rights, especially since it regulates possession inside the sanctity of the home. Rather than disarming Texans in their own homes, a more practical solution to keeping guns out of children’s hands would be to make the bill’s education provisions mandatory and expand the provisions to involve
    parents as well as children."

    Note that under the Texas constitution, the legislature only has the legal authority to regulate the wearing of arms. Seems like I'm not the only person that has recognized this law is an unconstitutional equivalent of the DC gun ban, which applies to probably half of the households in Texas.

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