“The parents of a 9-year-old girl [Amina Kocer-Bowman above] who was accidentally shot in a Bremerton classroom in February have filed a $10 million claim against the Bremerton School District as well as a lawsuit against the family of the boy who brought the gun to school,” seattletimes.com reports. “According to the lawsuit, the boy told police he’d brought the gun to school to protect himself from bullies. He said he’d gotten it while visiting his mother . . .

The boy was living with his uncle, who is his legal guardian, and his father at the time of the shooting, but he had visited his mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, 34, and her boyfriend Douglas L. Bauer, 50, at their Allyn-area home where police said there were several loaded, unlocked weapons lying in open view.

Chaffin and Bauer were charged with assault for what prosecutors described as their negligence in leaving the loaded gun where the boy could find it.

And here’s the kicker:

In a plea deal, Chaffin, a felon, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and prosecutors dropped the third-degree felony assault charge. She has not been sentenced.

Bauer pleaded not guilty to assault and unlawful weapons possession and is awaiting trial.

And here’s the other kicker:

According to the claim against the school district, the boy who brought the gun to school had been acting out and fighting. The claim also says the boy had told several other children he planned to bring a gun to school.

“It wasn’t a surprise he had a handgun at school,” Campiche said. “He had announced his intentions to bring a gun to the school to a number of people. Unfortunately the people who are responsible for the safety of the school did not have a system in place that picked that up.”

A system like, I dunno, telling a teacher?

While it would be easy to dismiss this story—due to the fact that the boy got the gun from a felon—I doubt the outcome would have been any different if he’d taken the gun from law-abiding parents. Something to think about.

And while we’re at it, it might be worth having a word with your kids about what to do if they hear similar statements from a classmate.

Also worth considering: what’s to stop a kid from lying to a teacher, claiming a classmate’s got a gun? If the school administration is hysterically anti-gun and takes any firearms-related accusation at face value (“to be on the safe side”) all hell could break loose.

I bet dollars to donuts the cops would be at the accused child’s domicile in a New York minute. If it’s your kid that’s been smeared we could talking about your doorstep.

Another reason why a gun owner should never allow the police into his or her residence until and unless they have a search warrant. And keep all their guns under lock and key, no matter how much safety instruction they’ve given their children.

11 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Lock Up Your Guns

  1. Self-Defense Tip: Teach your kids about guns.

    I had access to my father’s sizable arsenal when I was a kid. I didn’t do stupid crap like this because said father and associated mother did their effing job and raised me properly.

    Children don’t need to be raised in a padded cell. They need to be taught responsibility, and where necessary, discipline.

    • Amen to everything you said…dont know how or why but people nowadays seem to lack responsibility and accountability for their actions…makes me rage hard as hell

    • Thanks for that response. As a firearms retailer we have very educated children (now in their teens) who are quite well trained in gun safety and handling. They even have some of their own but they are not allowed to keep them in their possession/rooms until legally of age.

      Being raised properly around firearms leads to a child that will grow up into a more responsible adult owner.

      Like sex education .. gun education is something taught best by the parents who aren’t afraid to openly do so.

    • I have to agree. My dad was a cop and a gun collector, and all the long guns were kept in a gun cabinet. Not a gun safe, a furniture-grade gun cabinet. His CCW was kept loaded in a nightstand drawer, his loaded duty weapon was in his holster—and I could have accessed anything I wanted to. But I never went on a shooting spree.

      No, instead, I could grab my .22 rifle whenever I wanted and go plinking in the woods.

  2. I am pissed that Chaffin didn’t get charged as a felon. She and Bauer should get the book thrown at them. Small wonder she didn’t have custody. I’m tired of paying the price for people who commit gun crimes or are negligent regarding the possession of weapons. Throw the bitch back in jail and her boyfriend with her.

    And the school is as complicate as Chaffin and Bauer. Weak excuses about protocol is B/S. If “officials” can frisk a kids lunch back to check nutrition requirements they can keep a kid from bringing a loaded gun into school.

    Was any complaint made to anyone about the child being bullied? To adults a gun is not the answer but to a 10(?) yo it is terrifying to face humiliation and abuse day after day. Again the school has it’s freekin nose in everything else, what, if anything was done about the cause of the shooting, before the shooting? Bulling was stated as the root cause for the Columbine tragedy. Were any teachers a witness to adverse behavior towards the boy? It was noted that he was acting out and fighting, so he was under some sort of “watch”. Nobody has the sense to ask “why are you behaving like this?”

    With the exception of Chaffin and Bauer, it is regretful that the taxpayers should bare the expense of a law suit against the school because of inept management of that institution. Please note I would sue as well. Chaffin and Bauer should be sued into oblivion and do some hard time as well as an additional 5 years for Jackassery.

  3. Ok let me get this straight.
    Felon has a gun illegally.
    Child threatens to bring gun to school but no one tells a teacher.
    Felon who is in charge of a kid, leaves his illegally obtained gun out, probably on the coffee table.
    Child shoots someone at school…

    So really it starts with where did he get the gun no?
    After that we can say he left it unlocked laying out where ever.
    Then last but not least we have children didn’t tell a teacher.

    Normally I would be up in arms about some sort of frivolous law suit or something, but in this case I think it is justified. The adults should have not have had a firearm to begin with. Beyond that they were stupid in their handling of said firearm, can say I am surprised, and finally the kids didn’t speak up.

    Of course being in CA, I can be charged if my kid shoots an intruder thus saving the lives of his or her brothers and sister. Just because he is under the age of 18. Nice huh! Doesn’t matter if the dude braking in was waring a hockey mask and carrying a machete, no, I let my kid get to my gun.

  4. I hope the issue of the kid being bullied and fighting and acting out gets addressed and doesn’t get lost in the whole issue of bringing the gun to school. I introduced my son to firearms when he was eight years old, buying him a Daisy Red Ryder. He is now 13 and is familiar with every firearm I own, knowing how to clean, load and fire them. I also taught him how to defend himself using his hands and to inform school personnel if a situation ever arises he cannot resolve peacefully if possible. What disturbs me…if somewhat off topic….I want to get him a Henry Rifle for Christmas….he would rather have an airsoft gun that looks like one of the assault rifles he uses on Call of Duty….sigh….

  5. I live in the area

    The Mother did NOT have the gun! She was in Chaffin’s home. They belonged to Chaffin. The boy stole the gun from him while visiting. She should (?) have informed Chaffin she was a felon. It is not clear if he knew. He should have controled things better when the kid visited. As I understand the gun was taken fron a bedside night stand.

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