A gun goes off in Dallas (courtesy khou.com)

“Dallas police said two children — ages 5 and 13 — found a handgun inside a home in the 1800 block of Maryland Avenue and started playing with it in the garage,” khou.com reports. “The gun discharged and a bullet struck the five-year-old, who was listed in serious condition Saturday evening at Children’s Medical Center.” What kind of gun discharges and shoots a five-year-old boy? An evil gun, obviously. Because there’s no way the media can blame gun owners for the potential death of their own child . . .

Or, say, a 13-year-old boy. That would be callous! Even if blaming the gun empowers gun control advocates we must think of the children! “We try to avoid these things and hope that parents are educated so they have their guns locked up in a safe place where their kids can’t have access to these kinds of weapons,” said Dallas police spokesman Sgt. Reginald Matthew. Police are still investigating, but so far there are no arrests.” Interesting.

Shouldn’t the 13-year-old face some kind of legal penalty for his negligence?

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18 Responses to Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge Story of the Day: We Try to Avoid These Things Edition

  1. There may well be legal consequences, particularly against the parents for making the weapon accessible to a child; but nobody can be arrested before the seventh day following the death, per Texas law. This allows the family to make funeral arrangements and grieve before contending with any criminal aspects of the event.

  2. The difference in generations. When I was 13 I had my own shotguns and rifles. They were not secured in a safe that my father controlled. They stood in my bedroom closet with the ammo on the shelf above.

    A 13 yo playing with a gun around his 5 yo brother is either completely ignorant of guns and mildly retarded or a wannabe thug.

    • I grew up in a similar manner. I had(still do) a Remington pump action .30-06 hunting rifle given to me when I was 12. It was in the gun cabinet but I had access to the cabinet pretty much whenever I wanted, but I always asked before I went into it. As the other guns in the cabinet were my dads I never touched them, especially the handguns. This story is what happens when you don’t teach your kids about gun safety.

  3. >> shouldn’t the 13-year-old face some kind of legal penalty for his negligence?

    Maybe. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where bad things didn’t happen to good people?

    We don’t live in that world.

    The lawful owners of the firearm should be held accountable for not securing the weapon. Period.

    The rest of us should double check our gun safes to make sure this type of thing never happens in our homes. My prayers are with the the family of this tragedy on this Thanksgiving.

  4. Guns were readily accessible in my house too. Fortunately dad took us kids shooting all the time. He was an instructor at the navy range, so we had access to anything and everything.

    I would think the adults should have some culpability here. This is just sad.

    • All our shootin’ irons were in the closet, and the ammo was in the basement on a shelf. I could get into it any time, but I knew better. Until I was at least 15 I got permission any time I wanted to use one, even the .22 I got for Christmas when I was 11. I don’t have it any more, but I still have the .30-30 I got when I was 14.

  5. If I had a 13 year old son he’d either know exactly where all of my guns were and how to use them or he’d be in a home for wayward children. One or the other.

  6. The legal owner of the pistol should be held primarily responsible:
    1)for failing to secure the arm against children in the home where he/she/they had not educated the 13 year old in proper firearm safety
    2) for not properly educating the 13 year old in firearm safety whether the firearm is secured or not in the first place
    3)for keeping a loaded gun accessible to children in the home and not educating the 13 year old in proper firearm safety.

    The 13 year old should be held accountable for exposing the 5 year old to a loaded firearm and failing to use his/her brain to recognize a firearm is potentially dangerous, particularly if you don’t know (apparently) how to verify if it is loaded or not, and especially if your Parent or Guardian has not provided any instruction on proper firearm safety. This kid is old enough to think for himself/herself about this kind of thing. The only exception would be if he/she is somehow mentally or developmentally challenged where he/she was not capable of recognizing the danger a firearm could pose to himself/herself or the five year old present. In that case you go twice as hard on the Parent or guardian.

    This incident was/is plainly preventable and should never have happened. Hope the five year old recovers fully. Another hoplophobe in the making….greaaaaat!

  7. 13 year old is a few years past the age of being capable to responsibly handle firearms. Also around the age where they should be smart enough to not fire it, then again… I know 20 and 30 year old people whose first reaction when being handed a gun is to jokingly point it at someone… People are dumb.

  8. I can never read one of these sad stories with out thinking of the Mark twain quotation. well over a hundred years ago these were going on and i bet in the age before guns that crossbows were going off andswords were swinging themselves
    Don’t meddle with old unloaded firearms. They are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don’t have to take any pains at all with them; you don’t have to have a rest, you don’t have to have any sights on the gun, you don’t have to take aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his mother every time at a hundred. Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been boys armed with old rusty muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their female relations. The very thought of it makes me shudder.
    – Advice to Youth speech, 4/15/1882
    http://www.twainquotes.com/Guns.html

  9. I’ve had long guns of my own since I was 12. Kept them in a soft case in my closet unloaded and an ammo can next to them full of .22 and 12 gauge. I had 3 .22 and 1 12g by then. I saved money from stocking shelves at the local convenience store and my paper route to buy my Mossy smooth bore (w 3 barrels) and a 10/22, the other two were gifts from my grandpa. My dad and everyone else I knew kept their guns on display in a glass case or a wall mount rack. We were educated enough to know they weren’t toys.

    Strange enough, nowadays all my guns are locked in a safe, including my kids guns. I still teach them how I was taught – to respect them and follow the 4 golden rules, but we have a lot of friends and family over to the house and I can’t trust that other people did the same.

  10. The way this is written makes it seem like a neighbors/stranger’s house. Either way, the 13yr old is mentally retarded or wanna be thug/cod commando. I knew from a very young age how to handle guns and never to other peoples stuff or guns, including family members. If it was a neighbor, I feel sorry for him because he is going to be railroaded for another parent’s stupidity and lack of parenting skills.

  11. Grief and guilt are powerful emotions, that should be allowed to be played out first before any legal action is considered. Then the courts should get involved!

  12. I guess this is why my Aunt decided to lecture me last night about how “dangerous” my guns are. This is literally 2 blocks from where i grew up. Before she could even finish the story my first words were “GUNS DONT JUST GO OFF”. At 13 a kids knows that you shouldnt play with guns but here we have a little kid in the middle of the ghetto that thinks its cool to screw around with a gun. By the time i was 13 living over there i had stared down both sides of a gun an still had enough common sense not to play with one.

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