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On one hand, no. On the other hand, if firearms training prevents one innocent child from being killed by stray gang banger bullets we should do it. For the children. We could start by training “at risk” youngsters without a criminal record. Instructors could direct some of these aspiring gunman into the police or the armed forces or the shooting sports. The kids that do neither and proceed to keep their noses clean could use their newfound skills to protect themselves and their community. The youngsters who go on to choose a life of crime would be able to hit what they’re aiming at—and do so with a greater knowledge of strategy and tactics (even less collateral damage). Would that be a good thing? You tell me.

30 Responses to Question of the Day: Should Gang Bangers Receive Mandatory Firearms Training?

  1. You cannot save everyone. You can’t direct kids into jobs like law enforcement when, using this Philly shooting as an example, they have such little regard for human life that to get to the one target they were “aiming” for to just open up on a bus full of innocents and children, collateral damage not being a concern. Removal from the gene pool is the only fix in this situation. They won’t care to get in the shooting sports when they are brought up in an environment where the “thug life” as they call it is glamorized to the point they are lost. Until there are fathers back in the home RAISING children, a portion of the population is just plain unreachable. You may think I’m writing them off, but I’m being a realist.

  2. What an insanely great idea! I know, let’s fund a new federal entitlement program to make sure these poor kids get all of the training they need. When they graduate (and I’m sure they will because they’ll be highly motivated), we can give them a nice shiny new G26 and a lifetime supply of ammo to go along with their diploma. Yep, that ought to fix it. I think that I’ll write a letter to my congressman right now. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Just imagine a gang armed not with handguns and the rare assault rifle, but with shotguns and hunting rifles. no we shouldn’t educate the reckless and gun ignorant.

    • What are these assault rifles of which you speak? Do you mean modern home defense sporting rifles?

      Anyway, there’s nothing to stop gang bangers from using long guns right now. Statistically, the number of long guns used in gang crimes is inconsequential. It’s not a skill issue. It’s a matter of concealability.

  4. HOLY CRAP !!!!! These fools should get life without parole. The victims were lucky that the BG had terrible aim and that no one was injured or killed.

  5. What kind of societal poison precipitated such an action? What species of mammal could conceive of carrying out such madness?

  6. Great idea Robert. Instead of shooting wildly during the commision of a crime they can expertly gun down their victims. I know a federal agency that has openings for bright young men like you — it’s called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

  7. W-T-F is wrong with those people!?

    Death penalty for the shooters

    Life for the mom and uncle

    Seriously, we do not want these people in our society.

    Of course we all know they will be paroled in 3-5 years and back at it in no time.

    • I agree…All would take would be to put them in a empty room and let the father of that 4yo on that bus have a utility knife and about 10 minutes to take care of the problem

  8. i feel the worst for that poor elderly woman, these criminal ***** should be happy she did not have a heart attack on top of all this.

  9. Holy moly… the “defense” actually argued… with a STRAIGHT FACE…. that it’s not assault if nobody got hurt??

    I laughed out loud at even the prosecutor’s comments, “the shots went into the passenger compartment… they didn’t shoot at the tires or the roof.” Ummm… why does that even MATTER?? They fired at a bus full of people! The point of aim is completely irrelevant!

    • “I laughed out loud at even the prosecutor’s comments, “the shots went into the passenger compartment… they didn’t shoot at the tires or the roof.” Ummm… why does that even MATTER?? They fired at a bus full of people! The point of aim is completely irrelevant!”

      My understanding of the prosecutor’s comments is that they were not just trying to scare people by shooting at the roof, or the tires. They were actually firing into the passenger area of the bus. Therefore, they are guilty of the crimes they are charged with. Goes to motive.

      • Hmmm… To my knowledge, it doesn’t make a difference whether they aimed at the tires or the roof or the people. Even if they had “aimed at the tires” (aka MISSING), they’d be guilty! Seriously… does anyone here really think that if they had “only shot at the tires or roof,” they’d be INNOCENT or guilty of a lesser charge?? SERIOUSLY??? I’m stunned.

        “We were aiming at the tires… jus’ tryin’ to scare da people. So, we are innocent.” You’d buy that??? For the prosecutor to point out some “distinction” between the different points of aim is to lend credence to the preposterous defense.

        • No, I don’t think there is a difference. But I’m not on the jury. It could mean the difference between them being convicted of assault or attempted murder. The defense is trying to say that since they didn’t hurt anyone, they aren’t guilty. I think the prosecutor is simply trying to point out that the intent to hurt people was there. I imagine it could also make a difference during sentencing if they are convicted. Like getting a max sentence as opposed to minimum. I think it’s a distinction that needed to be made.I really don’t see the problem here.

        • I don’t believe there is any distinction unless one can telepathically divine the intent of another person committing a crime. If anyone intentionally fires a gun even REMOTELY in my direction (they KNOW I’m standing there), then I feel perfectly safe in inferring that there is malicious intent to hurt or kill me (rather than “scare” me).

          I believe the criminal charges and punishment should be the maximum, with the “worst case scenario” assumed. I don’t believe we can read the minds of these miscreants and give them any “benefit of the doubt.” They fired guns at a crowded bus. It doesn’t matter if they meant to just “scare” someone, aimed at the tires, the ubiquitous banner ad for a legal firm on the side, or the exhaust pipe. They committed a deadly act. There is no degree of deadliness. Either it’s deadly, or it’s not.

        • You really have no idea how things work, do you? Intent is incredibly relevant in a court case. However, what you or I think has absolutely no relevance in this case.

        • Oh yes… I’m quite clueless. 😉 But, pray tell how you divine the intent of those fine upstanding young men firing at the bus? How do you know what they were aiming at? Of course, I’m using the term “aiming” quite loosely. Had one of the rounds happened to hit that kid, does that change their “intent?”

          It’s not rocket science. And, I do understand the relevance of intent and motive when it comes to some crimes. But, when a gang opens fire on a crowded bus, I don’t believe there is any gray area.

        • You keep implying that I am on the side of the evil people responsible for firing on that bus. I’m not. I think they should be severely punished for putting all those lives at risk. What they did is completely unacceptable.

          Intent is proven in court all the time. In this case, you can prove they had intent to hurt or kill someone because they fired at the passenger area of the bus. If they had fired at the roof, or tires, I’m sure the defense would try to say that the intent wasn’t there. That could effect the verdict or the sentencing. We know that’s crap, but like I said, what we think isn’t relevant here.

          Juries can be unpredictable, so the better a Prosecutor can spoon feed evidence to a jury, the better.

        • You guys are arguing at cross urposes. Intent can be proven beyond a resaonable doubt by the actions. The gunmen fired into a busload of people, so I think we can put a check mark in the box labeled “Intent.” Shooting at the tires wouldn’t get them a pass if anyone was actually killed. That would likely be deemed homocide with reckless indifference to human life, ie., murder. Since nobody died or was injured by the weapons, the idiots will be looking at lesser charges, perhaps attempted murder and assault charges for scaring the shit out of the people. Had the jerks shot at the tires only, not hitting or injuring anyone, it would be hard to convict on attempted murder.

        • I agree with your last post, Margaret. But, I question Ralph’s version of if they had shot at the tires. How do we know they were AIMING at the tires. They may have HAPPENED to shoot the tires. But, now again, we can’t divine intent, as we are not telepathic. They may have shot AT the people, but have such bad skills, they ended up shooting the tires. Then they conveniently CLAIM to have intended to shoot the tires.

          EVERY time I go to the range, I see guys who shoot AT the paper, but come NOWHERE close to the paper. If I was to confront one of those guys, they could just as easily say, “I intended to shoot the ceiling light out.” Reminds me of the scene in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, when he crashes his bike. Then he pops up off the ground and says, “I meant to do that!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJXU7EVXs2A&

        • racer88, your post is on target, but missed the 10-ring only because the schmucks with the guns were standing right beside the bus. If they were firing from a greater distance and hit only tires, the likely conclusion would be shitty marksmanship and no pass for the goons. But standing on the curb and hitting only tires from a distance of three feet, one likely concusion is that they were shooting at the tires. Reasonable doubt, it is a bitch.

        • Hi Ralph,

          I understand about reasonable doubt. But, firing a gun at someone (or in their direction) is pretty cut & dried to me. As for firing from 3 feet away and missing… I’ve seen the equivalent MANY times at indoor ranges. I’ve seen guys that can’t hit the PAPER from less than 10 feet away. I’ve seen guys ostensibly firing at the paper and hitting the floor, the ceiling, and the walls. Not even close!

          To me… the notion or inference that these thugs were DELIBERATELY shooting AWAY from the people (as some form of intimidation) is simply far-fetched if not ludicrous. Deadly force is deadly force.

  10. After all, it’s really really really rare that gang bangers shoot up the neighborhood aiming for their enemies and only succeed in shooting some kid. I mean, how common could it be?

    August 6, 2011

    A 12-year-old girl was shot and seriously wounded Friday night when she was caught in gunfire between gang members in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side as she walked to a relative’s home, police said.

    Chicago Fire Department paramedics were called to the 2400 block of South California Avenue at about 7:30 p.m., said fire spokesman Quention Curtis. The girl was taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, Curtis said.

    The girl was in front of an elementary school walking when she was shot in the lower back, police said.

  11. Note to Robert: Be sure to include the [SARCASM ON] and [SARCASM OFF] notes in your future postings, so the irony-challenged will be able to understand your point. (Sample enclosed).

    For another example of the [SARCASM ON] lack of marksmanship training available for poor, under-privileged gangbangers [SARCASM OFF], type “Toledo bar shootout” into Google. Police estimate about 100 shots were exchanged during the altercation – no one was hit. Which was surprising, given the way the short guy was hopping around and shoving his gun forward with every shot, all the while shooting past one of his buddies. He even managed to miss his buddy!

  12. I’ve long advocated fire arms (safety and use) training in public schools. We teach kids about other risky behaviors and how to make them less so why not add a few days of gun safety, self defense indoctrination, some “range time” with high end airsoft weapons right along with the driver’s and sex ed. Heck you could even through in some scary videos of what happens if you’re stupid with a gun.

    Of course thugs like this probably didn’t attend classes regularly.

  13. No. Gangbangers should not receive firearm training. Because they shouldn’t own firearms to begin with.

    Odd that thepolice has a dociea of most known gang bangers, but can’t seem to hold them long once they are in custody for one crime or another. IMO, we should treat gangbangers the same way we treat terrorist. By allowing US Special Forces to eliminate them with impunity.

    And if it seems like an odd idea now, wait 10 years. With the rate that gangs and gang activities are growing, marshall law willl be here before you know it

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