Stupid, irresponsible gun owners

Steve

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/local.../02/24/gIQA2oZHXR_story.html?tid=pm_local_pop

This has been percolating around the periphery of my attention for the last few days. Essentially, as I can tell, the 9 year old boy was on a visitation at his mom's house over the weekend. While there, he picked up a .45. I am assuming that the handgun is a legally owned, registered weapon, either his mom's or someone she knows.

He takes the gun to school, and, when he drops his backpack on his desk, the gun discharges, shooting a young girl in the stomach. She's still alive.

First, I want to be clear that this isn't about gun rights. I am in no way suggesting that guns should be banned.

This is also not about whether guns are bad, evil, a right or anything like that.

What this is about is the lack of responsibility in this situation on the part of the registered gun owner. As I was driving in the car, listening to the news, the question was asked on the air, "A judge will decide today who is responsible in the shooting." WTF???

Is there any doubt that the registered owner of that weapon is 100% responsible? Seriously? That guy should be facing all of the charges in this case. Not the 9 year old boy. And, further, he should be paying for the medical bills, including counseling, to the family of the young girl who was shot.

There is an appalling disconnect in our country between responsible gun ownership and the responsibility for gun ownership. "Oh, I'm a responsible gun owner. Until my nephew gets my .45 out of my side table drawer and shoots my neighbor's kid or takes it to school to show it off and accidentally shoots another student, and then it's just a shame... not my fault, mind you, but a dang tragedy."

I know that there are lots of parents on these boards. What would you do if you got a call from your school telling you that your daughter was "accidentally" shot in the stomach?
 

Bill Mattocks

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I agree, with the exception of responsibility based on what a person either "knew, or should have known."

For example, in the case you cited above, the gun owner was clearly negligent IMHO.

However, if someone had broken into his home, stolen the weapon, and then used it in a crime, he would not be responsible.

So I can't give a blanket condemnation, but in this case, I completely agree with you.
 
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Steve

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I agree, with the exception of responsibility based on what a person either "knew, or should have known."

For example, in the case you cited above, the gun owner was clearly negligent IMHO.

However, if someone had broken into his home, stolen the weapon, and then used it in a crime, he would not be responsible.

So I can't give a blanket condemnation, but in this case, I completely agree with you.
If it was reported stolen, of course, he would not be culpable. Just as if your car is used in a bank robbery, but you've reported it stolen, you're not responsible.

That is not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the kid who is showing his friend his dad's gun and shoots him on accident. The kid, like this one, who takes the gun to school and it discharges accidentally in his backpack. These stories are not uncommon. They happen regularly. They're common enough that they are often not "news."

And the two facets of this that burn my *** are that, first, they're considering charging the child with a litany of crimes up to 3rd degree assault. Second, that the registered gun owner, as far as I can tell, isn't being held in any way responsible. Not financially and not criminally. The entire situation is, in my opinion, unjust.

When I talk about requiring gun owners to have liability insurance it's for exactly these situations. For those of you without medical insurance, if your child is shot in the stomach and will require ongoing medical care, probably (this is speculation) including counseling for an indeterminate amount of time, do you have any idea how much money you're talking about? And for those of you WITH medical insurance, you'll probably be okay financially, but should your insurance policy have to cover these bills? Shouldn't the person who is responsible be liable? And shouldn't that person be the registered gun owner?
 

Bill Mattocks

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When I talk about requiring gun owners to have liability insurance it's for exactly these situations.

I agree with your statements above until this point. Although I understand why you would want such a thing (and I agree it would be good; I have liability insurance with my renter's insurance), it can have unintended consequences.

First, how do we ensure that everyone who owns a gun has liability insurance pro-actively (before a shooting)? I can think of no way to do that without knowing who owns firearms; that's registration, which I'm against.

Second, it can have the effect of denying poor people the right to own guns if they cannot afford or obtain such insurance. Since gun ownership is a right and not a privilege in the USA, that would be (IMHO) an unreasonable intrusion. I do not believe you would use this as a form of 'defacto' gun control, but many would. The prohibitions on 'Saturday Night Specials' years ago was intended (and admitted as such by the anti-gun lobby) to restrict people from buying 'cheap' guns. Cheap guns are often all people can afford. By making an appeal to 'common sense' gun control, the function was to keep poor people from having guns; and that was actually the intent.

Forgive me for being wary of such proposals. Even when well-meant, as I am sure you intend, history has shown that 'common sense' gun legislation are often nothing more than back-door gun prohibition laws.
 

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The child should not be held responsible for the (accidental) shooting. The owner of the gun should be.
The old west was won with the gun. But you can probably bet your bottom dollar that there were a host of accidental shootings/deaths because of the gun. People were just as stupid and irresponsible back then as they are today. Oh sure, the gun was a way of life back then and yeah probably a LOT more people knew how to handle them better than most people today. Yet those are the positive stories we've heard about it.
It's when those who were prone to being anti-gun activists came into power (city, county, state, federal government) that all these anti-gun laws started cropping up. They stupidly blame the inanimate object called a gun for the problem when it is the owners of the inanimate object that should bear the burden. Same with cars.
Please don't drag the insurance companies into the picture, if they get into it by making new policies to cover stuff like that, and end up paying hundreds of thousands on claims, then they'll lobby even harder to get guns out of everyone's hands (including responsible owners) faster.
In this instance with the backpack, as a judge I would've held the owner of the firearm responsible for not having their weapon locked down and kept out of the child's reach. Nuff said.
 

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It's a tragedy, and definitely a simple case of negligence.

However, to insist that gun owners have liability insurance is not practical.

Should we require every person in this nation to have liability insurance for owning medicines? After all, there are far more children who have died from eating large amounts of fruit-flavored chewable aspirin, simply because they thought they were eating candy. A good number of these aspirin overdose deaths were from kids who shared bottles of fruit-flavored aspirin with their friends. Are aspirin owners liable as well?

Should we require every person in this nation to have liability insurance for having bicycles in their family? Far more children die in bike accidents than those who did from negligent firearm accidents. Should bicycle owners, or the ones who bought the bicycles be held liable when children recklessly ride their bikes?

In *any* of the above situations, it's up to the parents to provide the information to their children, to be familiar with things before handling them. Children should not touch medicine bottles until they know darn well what they are, and know of the consequences. They shouldn't be riding bicycles until they have demonstrated that they are responsible handlers, know the safety rules, and obey them.

However, it's up to the parents to make that choice. You can't legislate every kind of behavior, and to put an unfair mandate on lawful firearms owners (criminals who own guns will most likely thumb their noses at such a proposal) won't really make a dent in the overall picture, since the number of firearms accidents in this nation are miniscule compared to other causes.

If you are in favor of mandating such liability insurance for firearms owners, then you really have no choice but to do so for the above as well.
 
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I agree with your statements above until this point. Although I understand why you would want such a thing (and I agree it would be good; I have liability insurance with my renter's insurance), it can have unintended consequences.
I know. We've talked about it before, and I will readily admit that there would be consequences. But, in my opinion, the pros exceed the cons.
First, how do we ensure that everyone who owns a gun has liability insurance pro-actively (before a shooting)? I can think of no way to do that without knowing who owns firearms; that's registration, which I'm against.
It could be part of the purchasing process. You either bring in proof of insurance before you get the gun or you provide proof of insurance to the State where you are registering the weapon. Honestly, while this is something that would need to be figured out, it's not a serious hurdle. Off the top of my head, I can think of several working models that could be adapted.
Second, it can have the effect of denying poor people the right to own guns if they cannot afford or obtain such insurance. Since gun ownership is a right and not a privilege in the USA, that would be (IMHO) an unreasonable intrusion. I do not believe you would use this as a form of 'defacto' gun control, but many would. The prohibitions on 'Saturday Night Specials' years ago was intended (and admitted as such by the anti-gun lobby) to restrict people from buying 'cheap' guns. Cheap guns are often all people can afford. By making an appeal to 'common sense' gun control, the function was to keep poor people from having guns; and that was actually the intent.
Poor people are still legally required to carry liability insurance for their cars. Will there be an issue with uninsured gun owners, as there is with uninsured motorists? Sure. But that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do.

If poor people choose to purchase a gun, they will need to also purchase liability insurance. And if they don't carry the necessary insurance, they'd be breaking the law just as uninsured motorists break the law.
Forgive me for being wary of such proposals. Even when well-meant, as I am sure you intend, history has shown that 'common sense' gun legislation are often nothing more than back-door gun prohibition laws.
I get it, and I'll make a couple of things clear. I go down this path because if I stick to a purely emotional level and something like this happened to one of my daughters, I'd at the very least track the gun owner down and beat them to within an inch of living. I find that it helps me to try and think of a more constructive solution.

Second, I know that there are problems inherent in increasing regulation, requiring registration of all weapons owned and a legal requirement to carry insurance on them. I get that. I just flat out think it's the right thing to do. Nothing will be perfect. What we have now... the situation as it stands... is the opposite of perfect. It's unjust. That a 9 year old boy is potentially facing criminal charges and a 9 year old girl is still in the hospital lucky to be alive while the registered gun owner hasn't even to my knowledge been identified is just wrong. Flat wrong.
 
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Grenadier, is the gun owner responsible? It's that simple. In your opinion, in this situation, should the gun owner be held responsible? And if so, what does that mean to you?

I'm not talking about bikes or aspirin, although I'd like to see the mortality stats on those out of curiosity. I'd bet when you get into the percentage of homes where bikes exist or aspirin exists, they're safer than homes with guns, but that's anecdotal. I'll check it out if I get a few moments today. All of that aside, a slippery slope argument doesn't hold water. Slippery slope is a logical fallacy for a reason. The idea that requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance has no bearing on bikes or aspirin.

Here's actually a better analogy. If my son goes over to your house and your son gives him a lethal or near-lethal dose of your prescription oxycontin. Would you be liable? I should think so, although it's still not a perfect analogy.

I'm talking about something that not everyone is legally allowed to own. And I'm talking about something that is easily preventable, and where it does happen is a clear case of negligence. There is no circumstance I can envision where your pre-adolescent son shoots mine with your gun and it's not your fault.
 

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I know. We've talked about it before, and I will readily admit that there would be consequences. But, in my opinion, the pros exceed the cons.It could be part of the purchasing process. You either bring in proof of insurance before you get the gun or you provide proof of insurance to the State where you are registering the weapon. Honestly, while this is something that would need to be figured out, it's not a serious hurdle. Off the top of my head, I can think of several working models that could be adapted. Poor people are still legally required to carry liability insurance for their cars. Will there be an issue with uninsured gun owners, as there is with uninsured motorists? Sure. But that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do.

I think a lot of people are not aware of the fact that most states do not have any form of registration, so there is no "when you go to register your gun." Also, it's perfectly legal for me to buy a gun from my neighbor or at a garage sale or via a classified ad. When private sales occur, there is no background check, no registration, etc. All your proposal would catch would be people who buy guns in gun stores or gun shows or who live in states where registration is required.

As to people being required to carry insurance on their vehicles; quite true. But owning a car, or driving it on public roads, has not been shown to be a civil right. Owning a gun is. It does complicate things.

Not to belabor the point, but there would be no reason one could not require a person to carry insurance before being allowed to speak; in case they should incite a riot or something. I know, slippery slope. Just sayin'.

If poor people choose to purchase a gun, they will need to also purchase liability insurance. And if they don't carry the necessary insurance, they'd be breaking the law just as uninsured motorists break the law. I get it, and I'll make a couple of things clear. I go down this path because if I stick to a purely emotional level and something like this happened to one of my daughters, I'd at the very least track the gun owner down and beat them to within an inch of living. I find that it helps me to try and think of a more constructive solution.

Second, I know that there are problems inherent in increasing regulation, requiring registration of all weapons owned and a legal requirement to carry insurance on them. I get that. I just flat out think it's the right thing to do. Nothing will be perfect. What we have now... the situation as it stands... is the opposite of perfect. It's unjust. That a 9 year old boy is potentially facing criminal charges and a 9 year old girl is still in the hospital lucky to be alive while the registered gun owner hasn't even to my knowledge been identified is just wrong. Flat wrong.

I understand your basis, and although I don't agree with you in this case, I absolutely understand how you get to your conclusion. And sadly, I don't have a better recommendation to make. Not doing anything (which would be my position on the gun control/registration/insurance requirement) would mean this sort of thing continues to occur. Of course, I do favor prosecuting the idiot who left the gun accessible to the child. And I also favor gun safety education. One of the sad side-effects of an anti-gun movement in the last generation has been that all public-school education about gun safety has been stricken. One must not only not own guns, one must not talk about them. That's a bit sad. I think I've mentioned that I was given my first shotgun as a Christmas present when I was 10, and kept it, along with the shells, in my bedroom closet. I commonly hunted with my dad before school, and then took my gun with me into the classroom and hung it in the cloakroom with my coat, taking it home at lunchtime. And our school itself had an old (unused) 22 caliber rifle range in the basement; marksmanship was once taught in public schools, along with gun safety. It's a shame basic firearm safety cannot be taught in the public schools anymore.
 
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I think a lot of people are not aware of the fact that most states do not have any form of registration, so there is no "when you go to register your gun." Also, it's perfectly legal for me to buy a gun from my neighbor or at a garage sale or via a classified ad. When private sales occur, there is no background check, no registration, etc. All your proposal would catch would be people who buy guns in gun stores or gun shows or who live in states where registration is required.
Right. I've outlined before how I'd do it, and it would be based on the working model of car ownership. You are licensed to drive. In addition, you register every car you drive. It's in your name and when you sell it to a friend, you transfer the ownership through the State. And you are required to carry liability insurance in order to drive it. It's not a perfect system, but it works.

I'm suggesting to you that, in my opinion, the current laws are broken or inadequate.

At the same time, I think that we waste our time restricting ownership to certain kinds of weapons. If you want to own an "assault rifle" fine, get an endorsement on your license, just as you would get a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. If you want to get a grenade launcher, great. Just do it legally, get the appropriate endorsement after demonstrating that you've got the experience to handle it. Just as the guys who drive 40ft trailers commercially get specific licenses to demonstrate that they can handle those.

Point being, I realize I'm talking about legislation that will likely never go further than myself. But telling me what the laws are now isn't all that relevant when my entire point is that these exact laws are, in my opinion, unjust, if they lead to situations such as the one in the OP.
As to people being required to carry insurance on their vehicles; quite true. But owning a car, or driving it on public roads, has not been shown to be a civil right. Owning a gun is. It does complicate things.

Not to belabor the point, but there would be no reason one could not require a person to carry insurance before being allowed to speak; in case they should incite a riot or something. I know, slippery slope. Just sayin'.
And yet there are people who are denied the "right" to purchase a weapon. It's a constitutional right. I get that. I'm not talking about impinging upon that right. I'm talking about requiring people who choose to exercise their right to own a gun to be held responsible for any damage to person or property caused by negligence on their part. Insurance is, frankly, just one way to do this. I'm open to hearing some alternatives.
I understand your basis, and although I don't agree with you in this case, I absolutely understand how you get to your conclusion. And sadly, I don't have a better recommendation to make. Not doing anything (which would be my position on the gun control/registration/insurance requirement) would mean this sort of thing continues to occur. Of course, I do favor prosecuting the idiot who left the gun accessible to the child. And I also favor gun safety education. One of the sad side-effects of an anti-gun movement in the last generation has been that all public-school education about gun safety has been stricken. One must not only not own guns, one must not talk about them. That's a bit sad. I think I've mentioned that I was given my first shotgun as a Christmas present when I was 10, and kept it, along with the shells, in my bedroom closet. I commonly hunted with my dad before school, and then took my gun with me into the classroom and hung it in the cloakroom with my coat, taking it home at lunchtime. And our school itself had an old (unused) 22 caliber rifle range in the basement; marksmanship was once taught in public schools, along with gun safety. It's a shame basic firearm safety cannot be taught in the public schools anymore.
Thanks, Bill.

As an aside, my kids' high school does have a marksmanship team on their JROTC program. My kids are both doing drill, but it's there. Anyone who wants to join the team learns gun safety and all of that.
 

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Grenadier, is the gun owner responsible? It's that simple. In your opinion, in this situation, should the gun owner be held responsible? And if so, what does that mean to you?

As I stated, the gun owner is indeed negligent. It's up to the jury to decide whether or not criminal and / or civil charges should stick, once they get all of the facts of the case.

For example, did the child break into a gun safe? Did the child intentionally disable a trigger lock (like Handgun Control Incorporated once showed everyone how to do in a commercial)? Was the child aware of what he was doing? It comes down to a matter of whether or not the gun owner took precautions in the first place. If he did, and if the child intentionally and knowingly defeated those precautions, then I'm not sure that you can charge the gun owner. Again, this is for a jury to decide.

I'm not talking about bikes or aspirin, although I'd like to see the mortality stats on those out of curiosity.

This article is a bit dated, but it does bring some chilling statistics regarding children:

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/25407198

Compare this to firearms deaths in children:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvacci.html

You're looking at 150 deaths per year from firearms, assuming that we count 24 year old adults (and younger) as children.


I'd bet when you get into the percentage of homes where bikes exist or aspirin exists, they're safer than homes with guns, but that's anecdotal.

Reverse causation arguments do not hold much water at all. Otherwise, one would think that diabetes is caused by insulin, simply because there's a high percentage of people who own insulin who have diabetes...

The idea that requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance has no bearing on bikes or aspirin.

You're trying to essentially force undue burdens on law abiding firearms owners, thinking that it can ease the financial burden on others in the case of misuse. It's no different than forcing such liabilities on aspiring or bike owners, only that you would have a much better response doing so on the latter two, given the number of deaths that come from such things.

I assume that your goal is to help ease the pain of others financially, in the case of misuse. Am I correct? If that's the case, then your energies aren't being spent as efficiently, since there are greater targets to be shot at.
 
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As I stated, the gun owner is indeed negligent. It's up to the jury to decide whether or not criminal and / or civil charges should stick, once they get all of the facts of the case.

For example, did the child break into a gun safe? Did the child intentionally disable a trigger lock (like Handgun Control Incorporated once showed everyone how to do in a commercial)? Was the child aware of what he was doing? It comes down to a matter of whether or not the gun owner took precautions in the first place. If he did, and if the child intentionally and knowingly defeated those precautions, then I'm not sure that you can charge the gun owner. Again, this is for a jury to decide.
So, what I'm getting from this is that you think the current laws are adequate. Let the system work it out. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. I'm trying to understand. If so, that's fine. I disagree.
This article is a bit dated, but it does bring some chilling statistics regarding children:

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/25407198

Compare this to firearms deaths in children:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvacci.html

You're looking at 150 deaths per year from firearms, assuming that we count 24 year old adults (and younger) as children.
Thanks. I'll check those out, and I'll also look at the actual stats on the CDC website. It's going to have to wait until I've got more than a minute or two at a time, though.
Reverse causation arguments do not hold much water at all. Otherwise, one would think that diabetes is caused by insulin, simply because there's a high percentage of people who own insulin who have diabetes...
As I said, it's anecdotal. And as I also said, it's irrelevant.
You're trying to essentially force undue burdens on law abiding firearms owners, thinking that it can ease the financial burden on others in the case of misuse. It's no different than forcing such liabilities on aspiring or bike owners, only that you would have a much better response doing so on the latter two, given the number of deaths that come from such things.
I'm not. As I said, I'm looking for a better way. I am saying that our system is broken and I believe that we (collectively) can fix it. As I said to Bill, "I'm talking about requiring people who choose to exercise their right to own a gun to be held responsible for any damage to person or property caused by negligence on their part. Insurance is, frankly, just one way to do this. I'm open to hearing some alternatives."

So, what's your alternative? Once again, if you think things are fine the way they are, we can just agree to disagree. If, however, you agree with me that this situation and others like it are unjust, what would you do about it? What's YOUR suggestion?
I assume that your goal is to help ease the pain of others financially, in the case of misuse. Am I correct?
At the VERY least. At the bare minimum.
If that's the case, then your energies aren't being spent as efficiently, since there are greater targets to be shot at.
Pun intended, I presume. But I'd like to hear from you more on this. If your son shoots mine with your gun, where are my energies better spent?
 

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So, what I'm getting from this is that you think the current laws are adequate. Let the system work it out. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. I'm trying to understand. If so, that's fine. I disagree.

Exactly. Give the system a chance. It's not a perfect system, but until something better comes along, I'll stick with it. Hmm, did I just steal a line from Magnum Force? ;)

As I said, I'm looking for a better way. I am saying that our system is broken and I believe that we (collectively) can fix it.

I do agree with you, that there are probably better ways. I simply don't agree with your proposal, that's all. Your heart is in the right place, though.

But I'd like to hear from you more on this. If your son shoots mine with your gun, where are my energies better spent?

If my theoretical son shoots yours, and if he did so after intentionally defeating all of the safety precautions that I would have theoretically taken (guns locked away, etc), then no, it's not my fault. The odds of my theoretical son doing such a thing would be almost non-existent, since I would have educated him on firearm safety very thoroughly.

Otherwise, you would have to hold the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold liable as well, since they certainly did not allow the construction of pipe bombs in their houses, yet those two cold blooded murderers did so.

Now, if I carelessly left my firearm loaded, and in plain sight and never educated my theoretical children on firearms safety and responsibility, then yes, there could certainly be charges, and if a jury thought that I should face such charges (whether criminal or civil), then that's what should happen. Let the system do its work.

The issue, though, isn't a very significant one, since there are very few firearms-related accidental deaths of children in this nation, and especially miniscule compared to other causes. Forcing such insurance ownership would be like crafting legislation that adds extra punishment on the abusers of super exotic designer drugs. While what they're doing is wrong, and certainly illegal, it's of very little impact, since such abusers are extremely rare, and there are already laws on the book that address this.
 
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Just to put some information out there, because it came up in the course of the conversation.

According to the CDC, there were 114 unintentional, firearm related deaths for kids ages 0-19 in 2009. There were 89 unintentional pedal cyclist deaths in the same age group.

In 2010, there were 3019 non-fatal, unintentional, firearm related injuries for kids ages 0-19 in 2010. Just to make the point that we're not talking about just the children who are killed.

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html
http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html
 

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Just to put some information out there, because it came up in the course of the conversation.

According to the CDC, there were 114 unintentional, firearm related deaths for kids ages 0-19 in 2009. There were 89 unintentional pedal cyclist deaths in the same age group.

In 2010, there were 3019 non-fatal, unintentional, firearm related injuries for kids ages 0-19 in 2010. Just to make the point that we're not talking about just the children who are killed.

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html
http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html

I strongly question the CDC's stat gathering, especially since they've been known to fudge things (see the Kellerman fiasco that made them the laughingstock of the research world for a while).

Fair enough, but at the same time, we can also look at other statistics from the NHTSA:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811156.pdf

Even with the great drop in deaths from cycling, we're looking at a total of 93 deaths in 2008, for children up to ages 15 (instead of the 70-ish reported by the CDC for that year), and 13,000 injured. Both figures are higher than their firearms counterparts when we look at the same age groups, especially when you count non-fatal injuries, where the cycling crowd has a 4X+ greater level. Again, it basically makes the firearms-related accidental casualties quite miniscule in comparison.

I'll be frank about these stats... I really don't like the idea of considering 18+ year olds as "children."



In the end, our statistics war here still will not change the fact that bringing forth requirements for liability insurance for firearms, bicycles, pogo sticks, etc., will not make any significant impact at all on this nation.
 
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No problem. If you want to mess with the stats, you can restrict the results by custom age groups. I included 0 to 19 because they use a 15-19 age group.

Regarding this being a war, believe me, my intent isn't to use them in that way. I posted them for three reasons. First, because you brought up stats and I said that if I got a minute to look it up, I would. Second, because I was surprised to see that bicycle related deaths were actually lower. And third, to emphasize that I think it's important to also include non-fatal injuries. We're not just talking about kids who are killed.

I'm pissed off and I'll readily admit it. This entire situation is so stupid it makes my blood boil. But I'm still not anti-gun. I'm not ranting about banning anything or amending the constitution or anything overly extreme.

I'm interested in seeing whether I'm the only one who thinks this situation is unjust, and to hear what you guys think can be done. What's the solution to holding gun owners responsible for being responsible gun owners?
 

billc

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Isn't the parent responsible, financially, for any damage a kid does, from breaking a neighbors window to accidentally shooting a girl in the stomach? Also, there are millions of gun owners whose children don't accidentally shoot their classemates, it wouldn't be right to burden them for the few who do. At this point I don't believe we know if the firearm was legal or not. For all we know the firearm could belong to the drug dealer boyfriend of the mother. Is there anymore info. on the situation?
 
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Steve

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Isn't the parent responsible, financially, for any damage a kid does, from breaking a neighbors window to accidentally shooting a girl in the stomach? Also, there are millions of gun owners whose children don't accidentally shoot their classemates, it wouldn't be right to burden them for the few who do. At this point I don't believe we know if the firearm was legal or not. For all we know the firearm could belong to the drug dealer boyfriend of the mother. Is there anymore info. on the situation?
Why isn't that right? How many auto accidents have you been in, Bill? Do you carry liability insurance?

And again, by "few", you mean thousands each year. Right?

Finallye, if the gun belongs to a drug dealer boyfriend of the mom, is that drug dealer boyfriend any less culpable? Conversely, if the gun doesn't belong to the parent, why would the parent be responsible in this case?
 

Cryozombie

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Licensing and insurance requirements for a RIGHT are inconceivable to me. Should you have to carry a million dollar liability policy in order to speak in case someone feels bullied by your words and kills themselves? Should you need a permit to be free of unlawful search? What about paying a fee to Vote?

It all amounts to the same thing, IMO. As far as I am concerned, the answer does not lie in restricting a right (at which point it is no longer a right, is it?) but rather in holding people accountable for the misuse of said right:

Don't deny me the Right to Own a firearm because you are afraid a criminal might commit a crime with one, penalize the criminal for their use of the firearm in the crime.

And Yes, Steve, I recognize that you say you are not trying to Ban guns but when you go on to say that we should have to have insurance, you are IMO putting restrictions on that Right. And, Comparing it to say, Driving, which is NOT a constitutionally protected right is really really NOT the same thing.

As far as the Shooting itself is concerned, without more info it's hard to chime in. Was the gun lying in the open? Was it tucked away in a forgotten shoebox in the back of some closet the kid happened to find and no one knew it was missing? Was it taken from a bedside drawer where it is kept for home defense because the family lived in a dangerous area? How long did the kid have it, was it gone long enough for someone to even know? All of these questions would, to me, go a long way twords being able to formulate anything other than a gut opinion on the case.
 
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