Discussion: Chicago Police: 6-Year-Old Fatally Shoots 3-Year-Old Brother

Discussion for article #241863

Gun owner charged with felony child endangerment. Good. Much more of this please.

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I feel sad for the six year old. He’s lost his little brother and is now going to lose his stupid f’ing father for a few years.

But maybe that’s a good thing.

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“If only the 3 year old had been armed, he might have prevented this.” ___ The NRA

The NRA: Killing Our Children Since 1871

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We don’t hear enough about parents being charged with child endangerment for keeping a loaded gun where a young child can find and use it.

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Shorter Sperm Donor (to call him a father gives him far too much credi)t: I don’t see what I did wrong. Doesn’t everyone know that guns don’t kill people?

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A 3 year old dead. A 6 year old boy’s life ruined.

Thank you, Christian conservatives.

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It’s what Conservative Republican Jesus would want:

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Sure. The gun owner is responsible, but not the only culpable party here. Like the 1960s auto industry that wanted the public to take the spotlight off them for the unsafe vehicles they produced by focusing on bad drivers, the gun industry wants the public focusing on unsafe gun owners every time these tragedies happen.

If the goal is to stop children from killing children, the surest way to achieve this is to compel gun manufacturers to install existing patented personalized technology in the firearms they manufacture.

In the 90s, even the CEO of Smith & Wesson recognized that “if we can put a man on the moon, we can design a firearm that children cannot shoot.” The CEO also had the foresight to recognize that if technology existed to stop these tragedies, than gunmakers were legally obligated to produce these safer guns to prevent victims from suing them for the tragic harm the gunmakers’ products caused. S&W and other gun makers developed prototype personalized guns that fired only in gunowners’ hands. The NRA boycotted S&W because like the auto industry before it (Nader, Unsafe at any speed) NRA leadership recognized that if personalized guns reduced gun deaths, than only more safety regulation would follow.

The ensuing NRA boycott nearly bankrupted S&W, and then, 10 years ago the NRA pressured Congress to pass the law that shielded gunmakers and gun distributors from most lawsuits.

So, in this context, one may well ask who is the more culpable party… The gun owner whose negligence will tragically impact relatively few, or the gun industry whose unacted upon knowledge tragically impacts the many?

(Edit)
Also today this criminal suspect shot and killed a Minnesota law officer with the cop’s own gun, another example of a gun that would not have fired in the non owner’s hand if the gun’s manufacturer had acted responsibly.

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these shootings should stop being described as ‘accidents’ … because the cause is negligence, stupidity and laziness.

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You’re absolutely right. Fear of the so-called “slippery slope” stops implementation of common sense safety measures.

It will be said, “He has suffered enough”, and will get off. My guess, of course, but I think that is what will happen. Again.

Probably the entire family’s lives are ruined. Just because someone is unthinkingly negligent about gun safety, it doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t grieve about what happened or feel responsible for it. Oftentimes, schadenfreude is a dish best left in the freezer.

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Right. As long as human beings are human and there are as many guns as Americans, and these tragedies keep happening (mostly unreported) it does not take a brain surgeon gun CEO to recognize he/she is in the best position to make a safer product. Why are toys and toy guns regulated more than a far more inherently dangerous product- actual guns?

You are missing the larger point. Those Christian conservatives who call themselves pro-life are electing gun nut politicians whose policies and enthusiastic endorsement of the gun culture will inevitably lead to tragedies like this one.

Hmm…usually its easy to spot the point at which the “responsible” gun owner, becomes the irresponsible gun owner. Typically its the second the freedom projectile they unleash tears into the flesh of an innocent person, but this one is a little tougher to call. The NRA tells us we need to be armed at all times. They don’t like gun locks or safes because quick access to the loaded firearm is needed to carryout the fantasy scenario where the responsible gun owner thwarts the bad guy, whether its on the street or in the home. Bearing that in mind, technically storing the loaded weapon on the fridge may not have made him an irresponsible gun owner. It may be that the 6 year old accessing it was the second he became an irresponsible gun owner or it could be the second the bullet hit the 3 year old that changed his designation. We’ll never know for sure, all we know for sure is that a “responsible” gun owner became an irresponsible gun owner and a three year old is dead. Another day in America.

Let’s be honest. The purpose of charging the father with felony child endangerment is to satisfy our own need to find some form of solace. There is no criminological theory of incarceration at play here - criminally charging a parent for the death of their own child due to their gross negligence is just something we do so we can feel better about it.

It has no deterrent effect. It’s not like a parent who would otherwise place the life of their child at risk by negligently storing their firearm would, fearing criminal liability, decide to store it safely. Can you imagine a conversation between the mother and father? “Honey, don’t leave the gun loaded on top of the refrigerator like that. Johnny may get up on a stool and get it.” “It’s okay, he’ll never get to it. Don’t worry about it.” “But honey, it’s against the law. You could go to jail some day if Johnny gets it and kills himself or Bobby.” “Oh, right, I didn’t realize I could go to jail. I guess I better put it in the safe then.”

Parents fail to store guns properly not because there’s insufficient downside on top of the risk to their children (and therefore, the logic would go, we need to up the ante with the risk of criminal conviction). It’s that they fail to appreciate that there’s a risk in the first place. Throwing them in jail after the risk has materialized into a tragic event doesn’t do anything to change the calculus that shapes their behavior.

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The thing to consider is that if these deaths are classified as “homicide” instead of “accident” as occurs in many if not most states, than they become immersed in the larger pool of adult homicides and hidden from view for the child gun tragedies that they are. The NRA than cites the lesser number of child gun “accidents” as their “proof” that the number of child gun tragedies are less than child falls, a despicable lie that trivializes the deaths of children.

Read about it from the NY Times Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll

"BEARING ARMS
Examining the gun industry’s influence and the availability of firearms in America…

…A New York Times review of hundreds of child firearm deaths found that accidental shootings occurred roughly twice as often as the records indicate, because of idiosyncrasies in how such deaths are classified by the authorities. The killings of Lucas, Cassie and Alex, for instance, were not recorded as accidents. Nor were more than half of the 259 accidental firearm deaths of children under age 15 identified by The Times in eight states where records were available.

As a result, scores of accidental killings are not reflected in the official statistics that have framed the debate over how to protect children from guns.

The police investigation report in the Cassie Culpepper case indicates that her brother, Nicholas, shot her accidentally. But the state medical examiner classified her death as a homicide, a common practice for unintentional firearm deaths in which one person shoots another.
The National Rifle Association cited the lower official numbers this year in a fact sheet opposing “safe storage” laws, saying children were more likely to be killed by falls, poisoning or environmental factors — an incorrect assertion if the actual number of accidental firearm deaths is significantly higher."

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Is it even a crime before a child shoots somebody? Should be. Shouldn’t have to wait until someone dies. My sympathy to the six year old who will have to live with this his whole life.

You have more chance of being killed by a toddler than a terrorist

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