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Boy, 8, shoots himself to death at Mass. gun show

  1. Oct 27, 2008 #1

    LowlyPion

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    Boy, 8, shoots himself to death at Mass. gun show

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081028/ap_on_re_us/boy_shoots_himself [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2008 #2
    When I saw the thread title, I thought he must be an American.

    And yes, he was...
     
  4. Oct 27, 2008 #3
    Just read about this. They better put dad on suicide watch.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2008 #4

    Evo

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    The proud father pulling out his camera for a snapshot of his 8 year old firing an uzi.

    SICK.
     
  6. Oct 27, 2008 #5
    It's horrible particularly because it was so preventable.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2008 #6

    russ_watters

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    How could they not have predicted this? Handguns kick. Automatic handguns kick a lot. The best they could have expected was for him to smack himself in the head with the gun.
     
  8. Oct 27, 2008 #7
  9. Oct 27, 2008 #8

    Astronuc

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    That is the first thought I had. An 8 year old should not be in a position to fire an automatic weapon like that (first time!) without an adult with hands nearby to catch it if it recoils - just like it did.

    And the dad was reaching for a camera instead of paying attention to a potentially dangerous situation - or fatal in this case.

     
  10. Oct 27, 2008 #9

    Why should a 8 year old get hands on any weapon regardless of an adult presence?
     
  11. Oct 27, 2008 #10

    LowlyPion

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    It's a little young perhaps. But I had a .22 pump action rifle at the age of 12 that held about 30 shorts or about 21 long rifles. I was hell on snakes and frogs and turtles and cans.
     
  12. Oct 27, 2008 #11

    Integral

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    Why not? I was about that age when I first shot a gun.

    The very least they should have had the Uzi in single shot mode. (Never seen one, am assuming it HAS a single shot mode.) The kid had fired other weapons, but no mention of caliber.

    Automatic weapons are notorious for 'walking" up as they fire, this boy simply did not have the strength required to hold it down.
     
  13. Oct 27, 2008 #12

    You must be really old then.

    Letting children play with guns is an indicator of bad society. If they grow up with weapons, they will be more dependent on those weapons which is unhealthy. Whenever there's a problem, they would think of guns and assume that every problem can be solved with them! It's just my opionion and I realize that I am going with the extreme cases ...
     
  14. Oct 28, 2008 #13

    LowlyPion

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    I can't speak for others, but I have no sense of ever thinking that a gun is a solution to anything but pests. I always held my barrel down, always had the safety on unless prepared to fire, never fired until I was certain of what it would hit, never looked down the barrel unless cleaning it, and then only from the ammo end out. It's only a tool. And even as a kid I never had anything but the utmost respect for it's potential for misuse.

    The gun came to me from my father and it had a gouge in the stock that was a constant reminder to me whenever I handled it that came from the story behind it. The gouge came from when my father was carrying it, when he was younger, and he was out hunting with it slung under his arm. It was struck by a bullet from another hunter on the other side of a hill - out of line of sight. Every time I handled it I was reminded by the blemish of the power of chance, and the responsibility of the person pulling the trigger, and the thought that there but for that blemish I might never have been.
     
  15. Oct 28, 2008 #14
    sorry, but this isn't quite right. sure, he shouldn't have adults teaching him to treat guns as toys the way these guys were doing. i believe in gun ownership, and own one, but don't understand some guys' fascination with blowing up pumpkins. not that i didn't go through such a destructive phase, but i was about 12.

    but in general, a gun culture, at least in the traditional rural hunting sense, doesn't imply violence. the normal way of going about it is to give a kid a toy gun and teach him not to point even the toy at people. when he shows he can handle the toy responsibly, he can upgrade to a low-power BB gun. then a pellet gun, and eventually a .22, etc. raised properly, he doesn't think of it as a weapon, it's a powerful tool that demands responsibility.

    4-H even used to do this in high schools: http://www.4-hshootingsports.org/
     
  16. Oct 28, 2008 #15


    For hunting:

    I am strongly against killing innocents (all living beings), thus against weapons that are used more for aggression than for defense, but in here I mentioned earlier that

    I should also mention (before someone else points this out) that there's a difference between hunting animals for fun and huting them for food and I am non-vegetarian.

    P.S. I haven't touched any impacts on society in this post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  17. Oct 28, 2008 #16

    Integral

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    I am sorry this is udder nonsense. A gun is NOT a toy, just because you teach a child to handle a gun does not mean it is a toy. Quite the opposite, children taught to safely handle and respect fire arms are not going treat them like toys. It is kids who are NOT taught proper firearms safety that get into trouble when they happen to get thier hands on a weapon.

    A persons approach to problem solving in completely independent of their familiarity or in familiarity with firearms.

    The simple fact is, any house with a firearms and children, the children should be taught firearms safety and respect.
     
  18. Oct 28, 2008 #17
    In general I'm not so hot on the idea of guns, for reasons like what happens when they're handled carelessly like in this story, but if someone is going to have access to and use them during the course of their life it makes sense to me to start exposing them to it at a young age.
     
  19. Oct 28, 2008 #18
    Congratulations on having your prejudice confirmed.
     
  20. Oct 28, 2008 #19

    Borek

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    I don't think it is a prejudice, I think it is statistics. My first idea was that it happened in US as well. I can be wrong, but I am not aware of any other country in which "gun culture" is as strong as in America.

    I am not judging it - this is just a statement of fact.
     
  21. Oct 28, 2008 #20

    cristo

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    Is that because the thread title includes the word "Mass." which is short for Massachusetts? :rolleyes:
     
  22. Oct 28, 2008 #21

    russ_watters

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    That's just nonsense. I was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout and my family farmers and I grew up occasionally shooting guns. I'm not sure how old I was, when I started. That is a pretty normal thing.

    There is significant virtue in learning proper respect for guns (giving an 8 year old an Uzi does not qualify imo).

    This complete aversion to guns people have today is a relatively new thing and indicates more about the people who hold the opinion: they are overly sheltered and naive about guns.
    Yes, you are. Basing an opinion soley on an extreme case is not a reasonable way to generate an opinion.

    [edit] Fyi, I'm 32 and I probably started Cub Scouts around 3rd or 4th grade, so I would have been 8-10 the first time I shot a gun too. I don't imagine it is any different for Cub Scouts today.

    I wonder what fraction of people who use guns for murder started off firing guns in Cub Scouts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  23. Oct 28, 2008 #22

    Kurdt

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    Does it really matter? I doubt it is the cub scouts teaching people to be responsible with firearms that turns potential murderers into nice citizens. I'd be willing to bet that the background circumstances that turn the majority of people into murderers would be such that they'd never go there in the first place. In which case that is not the success of the cub scouts, but rather the failure of society.
     
  24. Oct 28, 2008 #23
    What statistics are you refering to? On 8 year old boys shooting themselves to death? Where did you get this statistic. Or did you apply some other statistic?
     
  25. Oct 28, 2008 #24
    I think these two posts sum up my opinion on the subject. I was also taught proper handgun and rifle safety at a very young age. I can't remember exactly, but it must have been somewhere around seven or eight. Started off with a .22 rifle, then stepped up to a 30-30, then a .308, then various shotguns, and then later on to higher caliber pistols. I was also taught how to properly maintain them and most importantly, what not to do. I can't even think of the number of times that i've winced while watching someone handle a firearm;... swinging it around carelessly, not keeping the barrel pointed down or up, not checking to see if there is a round in the chamber, ect.

    IMO, the majority of gun accidents can easily be tied to nothing but pure ignorance, carelessness and inattention when it comes to proper safety. If you're not taught to respect weapons, you're just asking for something bad to happen if you're ever presented with a situation where you will use one. This sad accident about the 8 year old boy, is a prime example.
     
  26. Oct 28, 2008 #25

    Astronuc

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    Certainly letting children 'play' with guns would be reckless and irresponsible. As far as I know, most adults with guns do not let children play with them. On the other hand, children do play with toy guns, water pistols, cap guns, and there is some theory that letting children play with toy weapons is not conducive to a more peaceful society.

    I think one learns violence (including use of guns) by watching others use violence (including guns), and that does unfortunately happen in some families and communities. However, given the prevalence of guns in American society, there is remarkably a low rate of gun violence.
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/weapons.htm [Broken]

    The US has a moderate homicide rate (and apparently leads G7 and industrialized nation in that statistic).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_murder_rate

    I'm not sure where one would find statistics on accidental shootings or deaths on an international basis, but there are stats of US.
    http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/guns.htm

    I was about 10-11 when I fired a real gun. My family visited another family who lived on a ranch. We got to go out and shoot targets with a hand gun and rifle. During summer, I attended a church camp, and target practice (with pellet rifles) was one activity. I participated in Boy Scouts, and we occasionally went out in the countryside and did target practice with rifles and shotguns (skeet shooting). My brother had a BB-rifle. I got pretty good at hitting small targets from a distance.

    However, as an adult, I do not own a gun, nor am I inclined to own one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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