Discussion: Police: Child Accidentally Shoots, Kills Playmate

Discussion for article #225805

The price of “freedom.”


I know we’re trying to be all grammatically correct with our use of “accidentally” on these stories, but we can’t determine from the information given if this was an accident or not. For all we know, Child A pointed the gun at Child B and intentionally pulled the trigger.

Kids that young watch TV and know that guns are used to shoot people. If that’s what happened, then the death might be accidental, as it wasn’t intended, but the shooting may have been intentional.

Just pondering the grammar here. Discuss.

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Accident: I knocked a glass off my kitchen counter.
Not an Accident: I was juggling glasses and I dropped one.
Accident: My chainsaw kicked back and I received a nasty bruise.
Not an Accident: I took all the safety guards off my chainsaw, was juggling it when it was running, and cut my arm off.

Not an Accident: I left my loaded gun where a five year old could get to it, and he/she killed someone with it.

Yeah, I read what Josh posted about this. I respectfully disagree with him.


Honest. You never know. When my daughter was five she ran into the kitchen and asked for a knife. I asked her why and she blurted out, “To stab Hannah!” Thankfully, since we talked, she’s not brought anything like this up again…


Well, if it was Hannah Montana, then it could have been justified.



Guns could be made child resistant. They aren’t made that way, because you fight against it.


More like “freedumb”.

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Well, you can’t make up your own definitions for a word. But if you can explain how this kind of thing doesn’t fit the definition, below, then you may have a valid point.

accident |ˈaksidənt|
1 an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury: he had an accident at the factory | if you are unable to work owing to accident or sickness | [ as modifier ] : an accident investigator.
• a crash involving road or other vehicles, typically one that causes serious damage or injury: four people were killed in a car accident.
• informal used euphemistically to refer to an incidence of incontinence, typically by a child or an animal.
2 an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause: the pregnancy was an accident | it is no accident that my tale features a tragic romance.
• the working of fortune; chance: my faith is an accident of birth, not a matter of principled commitment | he came to Harvard largely through accident.
3 Philosophy (in Aristotelian thought) a property of a thing that is not essential to its nature.

I’m not disagreeing as much as pointing out that you have to make a valid case for your argument that incidents like these fall outside the definition of the word “accident”.

If your point is that one can draw a direct line between policy and outcomes like this, I would agree. But that still wouldn’t make the incident in and of itself an intentional event.

Sure as heck hope that the parents of the dead kid sue the crap out of the gun owner. Unless, the gun owner is the parent of the dead kid. In which case, too bad, sucker. You get what you pay for.


Sorry, I’m not going to argue by the book semantics of the English language. To me anyway, using the word demeans the event. You are obviously correct in the strict definition though. Oh, and I can make up words and definitions. I text therefor I garble. :wink:


Just another day in 'Murica.

Accident vs. negligence vs. intentional

As much as I’d like to read about irresponsible or negligent adults every time one of these shootings occurs, a reporter pretty much has to go with statements from police when the event is fresh.

“Accidental” covers pretty much all of the possible natures of the act, including even a case where a 5-yr old intentionally seeks a gun and intentionally shoots a particular relative or acquaintance. We as a society presume that a person that young doesn’t understand the consequences of an act well enough to “intend” the act.

Using the term “negligent” or even “irresponsible” in the reporting might be a legal risk.

Maybe TPM needs to see if there has been any study of these shootings by young kids that attempted to categorize the events. There might be a paper out there that would allow TPM to close a pieces with a statement like: “a study by Hohns Jopkins University researchers found that 40% of cases where kids under 5 injured a person with a firearm were the result of negligence by a parent or relative.”

How sad for everyone. A child is killed and another child has to live with it.

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I share your passion and understand how you feel. But I’ll stick with the traditional meanings. I don’t like texting too much. :slight_smile:

Josh posted an e-mail on his blog from a reader who accidentally shot and killed his best friend as a kid. Harrowing story. Those scars never fully heal, I suspect. So much pointless suffering…


Accidental manslaughter is no accident when adults allow children to access firearms.

A five-year old girl is dead because unthinking adults didn’t secure a loaded gun, another child of five will be haunted by this event when he’s old to understand what he did, there will be arrests, maybe lawsuits, families ruined,and you YAWN. Don’t you have some place to be?


I just can’t get myself into the mindset of parents who keep loaded weapons in their homes when they have kids. So what if you like guns? So what if you pound your chest and announce that you have a right to that weapon? As parents, we give up a lot of what we like, want, prefer, are entitled to, etc. in deference to what is good for our kids. How can you be pro-life and call this an accident, or unfortunate incident, or any worded justification you choose and then still keep a gun around your kids?

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from time to time the tree of the 2nd Amendment must be refreshed with the blood of innocents and children.

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