# Child shot dead while trick-or-treating on Halloween

1. Nov 2, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

This was the lead story on most of the TV stations in the area tonight:

http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=67437&catid=2

For the non-Americans who are puzzled by the circumstances: on October 31, Halloween (All Hallows Eve), children dress up in costumes and go from door to door begging for (usually) candy with the expression "trick or treat". That is, "if you don't treat us (to candy), we'll trick you" (with some minor vandalism). I did it myself when I was a child many years ago. Back then, we did it in small groups on our own. Nowadays, parents usually accompany their children out of fear for their safety.

2. Nov 2, 2008

### alligatorman

No words can describe how disgusting this is. I don't even know what else to say.

3. Nov 2, 2008

4. Nov 2, 2008

### cristo

Staff Emeritus
5. Nov 2, 2008

### misgfool

Although this was a tragedy, how many cases like this are there in US per year? When civilians have access to fully automatic assault rifles like AK-47 combined with a large heterogenic population, isn't this almost probable to happen? Large news coverage of this kind of isolated incident serves no purpose, leads to irrational conclusions and possibly regulation based on flawed facts.

6. Nov 2, 2008

### Alfi

A great sadness for all involved.

Tell me again and again until I believe.

Guns don't kill people.

7. Nov 2, 2008

### LowlyPion

I don't follow. What connection are you drawing between these random acts of violence?

8. Nov 2, 2008

### DaveC426913

I'm presuming "what's happening next week" is the election. I guess cristo is suggesting that the reporting of events is intended to influence voter choices. I don't think he was suggesting that the crimes were related to the election.

9. Nov 2, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

This latest tragedy is unrelated to the political environment.

In the case in Sumter, SC, the perpetrator had an AK-47, which he claims he used to avoid being robbed or assaulted. This guys is nuts, and unfortunately, the father and his children just happened to pick a house in which a nutcase had an AK-47.

The prevalence of gun ownership does increase the risk that guns will be used out of anger or fear. Certainly, more Americans die and will die at the hands of other Americans than from terrorists. Statistically, Americans are much more dangerous to themselves.

10. Nov 2, 2008

### LowlyPion

I don't see any correlation specifically with the election itself. These events are newsworthy in other cycles, irrespective of the idea that there is an election in a few days.

Random tragedies seem more the province of increasing chance as opposed to any ideology, and gun issues are not to my knowledge on the ballot to any great degree. (The more spins of the roulette wheel you see, the more you will see 00 come up.)

If there is any connection to be drawn then I'd say it is more statistical in nature based on ever increasing population, broader universal news coverage of local events, and perhaps fueled in small part by heightened tensions world wide, with shrinking economic activity placing stress on people's lives. But as to a child shooting himself at a gun show and a nutball firing an AK-47 through the door at trick or treaters and a South African going Charles Bronson, but missing - I don't see any real connection in the events or conspiracy afoot in the reporting.

I note that places like Physics Forum represent a magnified number of eyeballs drawing disparate news sources to the attention of the community here. As much as anything I think it's more a reflection of the nature of the interest in such topics here as opposed to any escalation in general reporting, that is not already driven by the rising number of such events in the world at large.

11. Nov 2, 2008

### edward

That much cash usually means drugs were involved.

12. Nov 2, 2008

So Patrick probably thought that someone was going to knock him over for the $7500 cash, which is very likely related to drugs. I hope the cops do a drug test on Patrick, who is probably a bit paranoid from drug use or illegal activities. 13. Nov 2, 2008 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor You people have got to start reading the articles. 14. Nov 2, 2008 ### chasely That's just deplorable. Who keeps a loaded assault rifle pointed at a door, on Halloween night, convicted felon or not? 15. Nov 2, 2008 ### Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus If this were Texas, the killer would not have had to face trial for murder, would he? After all, the trick-or-treaters were trespassing on his property, so he would have been fully within his rights to shoot them down. 16. Nov 2, 2008 ### mgb_phys If it were Texasa the front porch would have been rigged with claymore mines anyway. 17. Nov 2, 2008 ### Astronuc ### Staff: Mentor A drug dealer with$7500 in cash - and perhaps he had a stash.

I doubt he was waiting with his AK-47 pointing at the door. More likely he heard noise, went and got his gun, and started short when masked people came to his door.

And as Evo pointed out from an article - Patrick is a convicted drug felon. Now he's toast.

18. Nov 3, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
In the case that you linked, clear warning was given before any shots were fired. And a crime was in progress. In the case linked in the op, there was no warning, and the children obvoiusly were committing no crime. You are suggesting that it is trespassing to knock on someone's front door.

http://www.kennedyattorneys.com/criminaltrespass-TarrantCountyCriminalLawyers.html

19. Nov 3, 2008

### sirchasm

Interesting dynamic, the ownership of weapons and "right to use deadly force", that Americans want to believe so wholeheartedly is a founding principle of some sort.

But they also seem to want to believe wholeheartedly in the American military's right to use force, to take weapons from citizens in other countries, thus denying "others" any right to bear arms for "self defense".

I think it's interesting, anyways. Considering how many weapons are sold around the world every day.

20. Nov 3, 2008

### LowlyPion

Technically that's true. It is not criminalized.

But it is still an extortion racket.