Guns for four year old children

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  • #1
Evo
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This is sick and twisted. A rifle for a four year old child?

BURKESVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.

The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and "she heard the gun go off," Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it.

White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift.

"It's a Crickett," White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children. "It's a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy's used to shooting the little gun."

The shooting, while accidental, highlights a cultural divide in the gun debate. While many suburban and urban areas work to keep guns out of the hands of children, it's not uncommon for youths in rural areas to own guns for target practice and hunting.
http://news.yahoo.com/5-old-boy-shoots-2-old-sister-ky-161229579.html [Broken]
 
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  • #2
Monique
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Aren't there regulations on how old one must be in order to hold a gun? Like for alcohol or driving?
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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". . . the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it." That's an example of a family that shouldn't have guns in the house. They have payed a high price for their negligence.


Interesting webpage - PRODUCT CATEGORY - CRICKETT TOYS & BOOKS :rolleyes:
http://www.crickett.com/index.php?cPath=12

Somehow I don't think guns and toys go well together.

Aren't there regulations on how old one must be in order to hold a gun? Like for alcohol or driving?
Apparently not in Kentucky, or the laws are insufficient. A child could not purchase a gun, but that would not preclude a parent from providing a gun to a child.

This appears to be the Ky statutes on guns.
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/237-00/chapter.htm
 
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  • #4
Borg
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My favorite comment at the bottom of the article:
All the gun laws in the world can not cure stupidity.
So true.
 
  • #5
Borg
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". . . the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it."
When I was in my twenties, I had a friend who pointed an empty shotgun at me and pulled the trigger. I have seldom been angrier at anyone. Although it wasn't over this particular incident, we aren't friends anymore.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Right. Gun safety rule #1: Always treat a gun like it is loaded.
 
  • #7
Astronuc
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Right. Gun safety rule #1: Always treat a gun like it is loaded.
I knew that when I handled guns, and also to make sure any gun I handled was empty unless I was preparing to use it. I shot 0.22, 0.3006, 0.303 rifles, 0.22 pistol and 20 and 12 gauge shotguns. I'd keep the rifle/shotgun down or vertical, and safety on if the gun had one, when carrying it. I never pointed a gun at someone.

I'm not sure a 4 or 5 year old understands that it's inappropriate to point a gun at someone.

I'm sad for the family.
 
  • #8
Borg
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Same here. When handling a weapon, I am always aware of where it's pointed. That includes paying attention to whether it's pointed at hard surfaces w.r.t. potential ricochets. A five year old can't be expected to think like that.
 
  • #9
FlexGunship
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Ugh, this is awful. I don't know how much I'm repulsed by the idea of a "gun for a child" (honestly, if you want to teach your kid to handle firearms, that's your business) but the fact that the parents essentially left if up to a four year old to make safe decisions about a firearm is the worst kind of negligent parenting! I wouldn't trust a four year old with scissors without close supervision.
 
  • #10
cobalt124
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Right. Gun safety rule #1: Always treat a gun like it is loaded.
Basic common sense (and natural fear?) surely, as would be not giving a gun to a child, loaded or not. Does the availability of weaponry in America make people complacent about this or have peoples attitudes in general (not just in America) changed? Is common sense (and natural fear?) in decline?
 
  • #11
FlexGunship
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Basic common sense (and natural fear?) surely, as would be not giving a gun to a child, loaded or not.
I think the issue of instructing your child in the use of a firearm is strictly a personal one. You and I might think it's dangerous and stupid, but it's no more illegal than telling your child about intelligent design. Furthermore, a four year old is certainly incapable of understanding and practicing firearm safety, however, a child may also be incapable of reading, but that doesn't mean you forbid them from reading or being read to.

So, I don't know if "common sense" indicates that you shouldn't instruct your child in the safe use of a firearm... but common sense CERTAINLY indicates that you don't leave a firearm, loaded or not, just lying around... ever.

Is common sense (and natural fear?) in decline?
Evidently so.

EDIT: Also, I don't know is "natural fear" is fair. I don't have a "natural fear" of firearms. My heart doesn't race when my friends compare rifles; I don't panic when a buddy shows off his new handgun; and going to the firing range doesn't fill me with dread.

That being said, there are plenty of things that I do have a "natural fear" of: flying stinging insects, lightning, heights, and people wearing excessively baggy clothing.
 
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  • #12
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Is this a "toy" gun or a real gun? Whatever it may, personally, I don't like giving kids' toys that can inculcate the value of "brutality". And it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child's safety. They should have checked if the toy is safe or not before they give it to the kids...
 
  • #13
jim hardy
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I'm not sure a 4 or 5 year old understands that it's inappropriate to point a gun at someone.
He'd have to be taught that it's inappropriate.

He's doubtless seen plenty of people shot on TV.

This one falls directly on those parents.
Who knows why they left a five year old, a two year old and a loaded gun together nsupervised. Presumably it's a case of terminal stupid but you cant rule out something worse.
 
  • #14
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Some states here in the US just keep reinforcing the negative perception the rest of the US has of them.
 
  • #15
turbo
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When I was 10, my family moved to a shamble of a house across the road. My father bought a new Rugger .44 magnum carbine, and I inherited his .30 cal M1 carbine, which I had trained on extensively under boot-camp dad. After our first hunting session with our "new" guns, I tore down my carbine, cleaned, oiled, and reassembled it as I had been taught. My father was outside talking to an uncle that had stopped by, so I tore into his gun, too. When he came back inside, he was shocked and asked if I knew to put that thing back together. There wasn't a problem, but he had me feeling nervous for a bit. Just don't have any spare parts when the puzzle is built.

BTW, 10 year-olds in Maine can hunt big game with supervision, though you have to be 16 to hunt on your own.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Does the availability of weaponry in America make people complacent about this or have peoples attitudes in general (not just in America) changed? Is common sense (and natural fear?) in decline?
No, I'm pretty sure it is incidents like this that are in decline , the just get a lot of publicity due to the tragedy factor. I'll look up stats though....
 
  • #17
ImATrackMan
Some states here in the US just keep reinforcing the negative perception the rest of the US has of them.
Some states here in the US just keep reinforcing the negative perception THE REST OF THE WORLD has on the US.

Immediate edit: Sometimes I wonder if we even deserve our independence (Hey, someone needs to keep us in check).
 
  • #18
FlexGunship
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Immediate edit: Sometimes I wonder if we even deserve our independence (Hey, someone needs to keep us in check).
You can certainly give up your's if you like. I'm going to keep mine, thanks.
 
  • #19
ImATrackMan
I'm not saying we should give it up, I'm just saying a bit of regulation may help... juuuuuuust a tad.
 
  • #20
FlexGunship
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I'm not saying we should give it up, I'm just saying a bit of regulation may help... juuuuuuust a tad.
You regulate yourself, and I'll regulate myself.
 
  • #21
cobalt124
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...Also, I don't know is "natural fear" is fair. I don't have a "natural fear" of firearms. My heart doesn't race when my friends compare rifles; I don't panic when a buddy shows off his new handgun; and going to the firing range doesn't fill me with dread...
I wasn't clear there. By natural fear I meant "natural parental fear", like you wouldn't leave your child wandering near a cliff edge unsupervised. Having said that, being from the U.K. and not used to firearms I do have a fear of them.
 
  • #22
BobG
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I think the issue of instructing your child in the use of a firearm is strictly a personal one. You and I might think it's dangerous and stupid, but it's no more illegal than telling your child about intelligent design. Furthermore, a four year old is certainly incapable of understanding and practicing firearm safety, however, a child may also be incapable of reading, but that doesn't mean you forbid them from reading or being read to.

So, I don't know if "common sense" indicates that you shouldn't instruct your child in the safe use of a firearm... but common sense CERTAINLY indicates that you don't leave a firearm, loaded or not, just lying around... ever.
I don't think comparing firearms and books makes a good analogy.

A better analogy would be firearms and baby walkers.

When my kids were young, they had very lightweight walkers. Just prior to learning how to walk (at which time the walkers were unnecessary) they could tear through the house at high rates of speed and really enjoyed them.

I was looking for one for my grandson, but it turns out they don't make the lightweight baby walkers any more. The ones you buy now are very bulky. They have to be wide enough that they don't fit through a standard width doorway, since one of the doorways you have to worry about is the basement door, which often lead to catastrophic results. The ones you buy now also have to have brake pads that catch the floor if any of the wheels roll off the edge of any raised surface (with stairways being the raised surface people are concerned about).

The old walkers worked fine with proper parental supervision. None the less, the industry had to enact safety measures to protect children even when there wasn't sufficient parental guidance. The new walkers are safer, but also have less utility - a baby can't walk from one room to the other, even when the rooms are on the same floor.

You're very unlikely to see something like that happen to guns - even guns designed for children too young to be depended upon to use the product safely. With guns, there's a lot more resistance to providing safety measures that may make the product less effective.
 
  • #23
ImATrackMan
You regulate yourself, and I'll regulate myself.
No need to make a personal argument out of this. It was a matter of opinion that needed no other external input.
 
  • #24
WannabeNewton
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Who the hell gives a 4 year old a gun? What the hell is wrong with people? They're kids, does no one care about preserving their innocence? Destroying their cherubic nature by corrupting them with weaponry ugh it makes me sick.
 
  • #25
ImATrackMan
Who the hell gives a 4 year old a gun?
A better question would be "Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to create a faction of the company solely devoted to making guns especially FOR childen?".


EDIT: Apparently Bill and Steve McNeal
 

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