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Still-getting-paid-for-doing-nothing Marysville, WA police officer Derek Carlile got an early Christmas present this year. The Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s office announced yesterday that they will move to dismiss Carlile’s manslaughter charge, after the jury deadlocked 7-4 in favor of acquittal with one juror undecided. From the Seattle Times . . .

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said her office will file a motion today to have the charge of second-degree manslaughter dismissed against Carlile. In seeking the dismissal, prosecutors plan to indicate they do not believe a second jury will be able to reach a unanimous verdict following another trial.

We’ve been harsh (okay, I’ve been harsh) on Carlile around here, because he directly caused his daughter’s death by leaving his loaded .38 revolver unattended within reach of his three year-old son. Because he should have known better, and did know better. And because we know that as ‘civilians’ (i.e., not police) every man-Jack one of us would have been prosecuted in a heartbeat to the fullest extent of the law if we’d broken the same rule with the same results.

Perhaps he’s memorized that rule by now: don’t leave guns around children. No excuses, no exceptions. Perhaps he’s already paid a terrible price for his carelessness. But so do drunk drivers who crash and kill their own friends or family members, and they certainly don’t get to walk like Carlile will.

Still in question is whether Carlile will get to keep his job. My vote would be no, but my guess is yes. Police unions are obscenely powerful in the Evergreen State, where a member of the Thin Blue Line almost literally has to kill someone to earn a pink slip. And sometimes not even then. As reader G puts it:

So the question is… will he retain his job as an officer? I hate to say it, but his lapse in judgement was a HUGE one.  Not the sort of guy I’d want to be a cop in my neighborhood.

I’m right there with you, G.

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    • That would be too lenient.
      Let him live a long life not as a police officer reliving the death of his daughter
      due to his negligence. He should definitely not be allowed to remain on the job nor be allowed to hold any job that firearms are a part of.

    • It was an accident based on a careless deed. He lost his daughter and his mistake was the reason, which he will now have to live with. Wishing more on him makes you a worthless moron.

  1. I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand you’re right – average Joe would likely be prosecuted and convicted. On the other hand, it was his own kid that was killed, and my guess is that’s more punishment than we could ever give him.

    I guess what I’d say is he should have been fired immediately. We give cops way, way too much latitude and way too little accountability in general. Beyond that I don’t think it’s society’s job to prosecute him; the loss of his child is a harsher natural punishment than man could ever hand down.

    • On the other hand, it was his own kid that was killed, and my guess is that’s more punishment than we could ever give him.

      Bull. Spending 10-20 years in a federal “pound me in the ass” penitentiary would be much worse. It’s because of that logic that a teacher at my former high school killed her daughter in the parking lot (on camera!) and the scumbag prosecutor refused to press charges, despite the fact that she had a mile long record of people calling the police on her for child endangerment.

      He directly caused someone’s death – how is it NOT society’s job to prosecute him for that?

      • I don’t know what the story with your teacher is (and every case is certainly different), but there are a number of issues with your logic. One is that I’m not sure why he would be going to Federal prison, and another is that Federal prison isn’t generally “pound me in the ass prison”. Regardless, he’d likely be segregated from the general population, so ass-pounding wouldn’t likely be in the cards for him either way.

        Without getting semantic, I also want to point out that in legal terms, and probably by the interpretation of most reasonable people, he didn’t directly cause his daughter’s death. He was criminally negligent, showed indifference to human life (the statute is probably written something like that) and this caused his daughter’s death. It’s important to make this distinction as it separates 3rd and 2nd degree murder.

        I still disagree with you, and while I wouldn’t be heartbroken if this guy did time (as it’s nobody’s fault but his own) from a legal standpoint I understand why the jury was hung and why the prosecutor elected not to move forward with a retrial. From a moral standpoint, I stand by my assertion that the loss of his child is a harsher punishment than we could ever give him. I’d take butt rape in hell for all eternity if it would spare my child’s life.

        • And that is why we have the joke of a justice system that we have. No one wants justice, they want to make themselves feel good. Feelings have no place in law, whether creating law or enforcing it. Only facts matter, and the fact is that he killed his daughter through his own arrogance and stupidity. You know perfectly well any non-cop would be spending most of their remaining life in jail – this “cops are superior and shouldn’t be treated like us peasants” attitude needs to stop.

        • I think you’re the one who’s investing too much in feelings. Our justices system has flaws, but compared to many, many other countries ours is quite superior. I also think you’re cherry picking portions of my statements to disagree with. Example: I very clearly said that I feel cops need more accountability, and that an average Joe would likely have done time for this. That said, there are plenty of examples where they haven’t.

        • You said cops need more accountability, unless they kill a family member, then they should get off the hook. I’ve gotten to experience out justice system – I’ve personally sat in court, watched people that I know 100% for a fact were innocent (because I was with them when the supposed “crime” happened – the real “crime” was that they pissed off a cops friend, so cop and friend decided to make a bogus claim), no evidence at all but the claim of one person (hell, there was no evidence any crime ever existed), and be convicted. My brother in laws are both cops and admit that innocent people are arrested and convicted every day in our joke of a “justice” system. Only someone with no knowledge of it thinks it’s even remotely fair or superior to other countries.

        • You need to learn to form a coherent argument for your point of view with out carpet bombing your opponent with emotional napalm. Since you don’t know me personally, insinuating that anyone that doesn’t share your outlook on our court system isn’t familiar with it is nothing more than a generic insult.

          For the record, I’ve sat in quite a few court rooms. I was a bit of a law bender in my younger days, and I’ve been there for things I did do and things I didn’t.* I got pulled out the window of my car once because there was an orange squirt gun in the back seat – that’s a by product of living in a small town with a bored and over-sized police force. I’ve seen friends get charged with dumb shit, and convicted of things they did when they wouldn’t have if they’d have had money for a decent lawyer.

          There are plenty of issue with the justice system, but because of the Bill of Rights, it has a lot more accountability and has to follow much stricter rules than most. In America it’s more likely that a guilty person goes free than an innocent person goes to jail. Does that mean it never happens? No. But it’s a better place to start than say, the UK or Italy, or certainly Singapore.

          *For the record, I’ve never committed or been charged with a violent crime or felony, or anything involving drugs or firearms. Full disclosure – I am not a crook.

        • Since you don’t know me personally, insinuating that anyone that doesn’t share your outlook on our court system isn’t familiar with it is nothing more than a generic insult.

          No, since you were supporting our corrupt system, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you were merely ignorant. Now you admit that you know damn well that it’s a farce and we send more innocent people to jail than guilty and you support that system. You mention a Bill of Rights that the government has almost entirely voided and courts routinely ignore as why we are “better”. *Sigh* There’s no point in trying to argue with you. Statists will always support the State over justice or peoples rights. You keep supporting our crooked system and smile every time an innocent person goes to jail and a guilty POS like Carlile goes free. I’ll be over here wondering what the hell happened to the citizens of this country.

        • See the first sentence of my last comment. When you’ve done that I’ll engage in open, adult debate with you. Until then find someone else to insult.

        • Well said, BlinkyPete.

          Our justice system has problems, but I’d take trial in America over trial in any other country. Most people who have done any empirical study of the American justice system feel the same way, in my experience.

          Anecdotes are not evidence, they are anecdotes.

      • He made a horrible mistake and now has to live with the fact that his momentary carelessness caused the death of his daughter. Case closed. People wanting him to spend the rest of his life in the slammer (at taxpayer expense) are morons. Hell, people dont get that for premeditated MURDER. If it was another persons child then one could see manslaughter and wage garnishment. He will also have to deal with the insident at his job and the ramifications of that.

    • And here’s a wrench to throw in the “well if it was me I would have gone to jail” line that we’re all (myself included) towing. I believe this story was actually covered here some time ago, but it’s about a 12 year old boy that was accidentally killed by a friend who had found his parents (carelessly un-secured) firearm.

      Both the child and his father were charged with crimes (2nd degree murder for the child); the child was not convicted and placed on probation and the father agreed to plead guilty and serve no time. Apple to apples? Hardly, but it’s clear that negligent deaths don’t automatically equal heft prison sentences for the average Joe.

      And just a note – I generally err against cops, so please don’t label me as though I’m biased in their favor. I gots no love for the police. 🙂

  2. I am sure the reason this idiot gets to walk is because most of the jury thinks ‘he’s suffered enough’, but that is so much bull. People who cause the death of another shouldn’t walk because their victim was family, if the child that died had been someone else’s he would be making nice with the residents of cell block C so fast that his new roommates would barely have time to sharpen their shivs.

  3. If armed citizens are said to be held to a higher standard, then where does that line fall for cops? If the argument that police are better trained and know better, then why is he not in jail? If police are suppose to have good judgement, why will this guy still walk the streets in a uniform?

    Should not the police be held to standard above armed citizens? If the answer is no, we are doomed. Emotions like “he suffered enough” are BS because it makes the law meaningless. When police who are agents of the state are given lienency it will just make it easier and easier for they and the state to abuse their authority and power. Stuff like this just emboldens police and politicians to believe they can do whatever they want.

    If this had happened to me, I am certain that procecutor would not have spared a dime to make sure I ended up in jail.

    I know a lot of people say many of comments here bash cops, but I am not bashing as much as I want to be treated no different. I would have lost my job, would have lost my house and savings defending myself while simply because this person wears a badge he will be given a pass. I hope he moves on and does something constructive with his life but from the stories I have read about this case and this guy I doubt it.

  4. Well he just got the mother of all Hail Mary plays right there. Whether he was directly or indirectly at fault he caused the death of a child, his own child!
    Any of us would be doing 10 to life for this same crime. Just because he is a cop he shouldn’t be given any special treatment.
    I have a lot of sympathy for the family, I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a child.
    But he, being an Officer of the Law, should be held even more responsible. Isn’t that why they go through all the training at the Academy? So they can have the knowledge and training above us civilians. If you have higher training standards then you should be held to higher standards.
    Just my opinion but he really skated free on this one!

  5. The fact his actions led to the death of his daughter. He should have been convicted and spent some time behind bars. It doesn’t matter that he has to live with it for the rest of his life. It doesn’t matter that his incarceration would be a financial burden on the family. Those considerations have no place in law.

    But the system worked. He was indicted, tried and a jury of his peers could not convict him. I suspect the DA is absolutely right another jury wouldn’t convict. Some of the jury seemed to have felt the same as a few posters here. Living with his actions after such a simple mistake is a harsh enough penalty.

    As I posted before, maybe there is something to said about the old adage of trusting ones fate to 12 people too stupid to get off jury duty.

  6. TTAG will blame the LEO for criminal negligence, and so will I.

    Here’s the flip side – the JURY acquitted the officer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, juries are largely composed of a dozen folks without sufficient intelligence to escape jury duty. There are civic minded and intelligent people who will occasionally serve, but they are in the minority. Even if I personally was not exempt from jury duty, I would immediately be sh!tcanned be the defense attorney during jury selection – mostly because I believe that 95% of the people in court are guilty. The officer, criminal though he was, made a savvy decision in selecting a jury to decide his fate. I am confident that the defense attorney showed heart-breaking photos of the children, said “hasn’t this family suffered enough,” etc. Why? Because I’ve seen defense attorneys do that. And jurors buy it.

    The child is dead because of the negligence of the officer, and the officer is free because of the decision made by the jury. LEOs are certainly not the only people who benefit from such decisions – jurors have been duped in the Casey Anthony case, Michael Jackson, etc. One of my defendants wasn’t served his third DUI because the jury came up with “we were just hassling him because he was black.” Seriously. We had chemical tests with him over the limit, and he drove through a construction closure.

    Further, he may return to work because there is no legal precedent to deny him from employment. You may think that you have a slam – dunk case until a jury hears it.

  7. I have mixed feelings about the case, but I’m definitely no cop hater… I have friends who serve as LEO. I have friends who serve in the military as well. And I think we all know that people who serve in law enforcement and the military are held to a high standard when it comes to proper use of a firearm – as they should be. But as any WA state resident can tell you, in the past 5 years or so, there’s been some serious F’ups by local cops, including this Marysville one.

    A good point brought up on TTAG and on Seattle Times website by other commentators is what about the 2 year old brother who accidentally shot his sister? With his father walking away from this crime basically “innocent”, that kid now has to grow up with probably the notion that HE is responsible for his sister’s death, not his father. And that’s the real shame.

    A criminal sentence for his father, even if it was negligent, would have sent the message to both the public AND his family that neglecting the responsibilities of your rights as a gun owner bears a heavy cost in more than one way.

  8. What I take from this is that the prosecutor isn’t very good at their job and knows it. Seriously, it’s sad that they would let a cop off who should be held to a higher standard.

    • Not necessarily true. I’d buy that if there was one hold-out on the jury, but 4 with one undecided tells me the case itself was genuinely flimsy, or the charges didn’t fit the crime somehow. It could be that they’re in very cop-friendly area, though, and cop unions are notoriously generous in paying to defend their own.

  9. You can lay this at the feet of the FOP, or whatever union controls the Marysville, WA Police Dept. If you don’t realized that there was back room pressure to let him go for “time served” (the death of his son) your nuts. BUT, I cannot imagine his heartbreak. I hope fore everyone’s sake he is relieved of duty. I also believe he should be given as much mental counseling and appropriate help and support he needs. I don’t pretend to be in the camp that says cops can do no wrong and I believe a minority of them are a bit out of hand. It’s just on a human level that I feel for him. Basic compassion dictates that he cannot be kicked to the curb. The tragedy is now irreversible and the here and now must be dealt with. Neglecting this man will only lead to further sorrow. Ridicule is superfluous. As a parent I cannot help relating to Mr. Carlile and cringing at idea of such a thing happening in my family. Oh, And never, never, never, should he have any type of gun again.

  10. I don’t get it. The officer’s criminal negligence killed a child. Because it was his own child and not someone else’s, that means he gets to walk? What a load of h0rsesh!t.

    Has the officer been punished enough? The answer to that question is another question: Enough for what? If you mean “enough to assure that justice is equal,” the answer is no f^cking way. If you mean “enough for Jenna Carlile to receive justice,” the answer is the same.

    This case isn’t about guns. It’s not about Derek Carlile. It’s obviously not about Jenna Carlile or daddy would be behind bars. This case is about the typical American’s slavish devotion to one of the most obviously corrupt classes in American society.

    Oh, well. Maybe it wasn’t the worst kind of negligence. Maybe Jenna made a furtive movement.

  11. Wow this is a sad story.
    I have to agree with Chris here. Since he was acquitted he will probably keep his job. Not from his remorse about the accident, but because his union will make sure he stays employed.
    I do feel LEO’s need to be held to a higher standard and as a blanket statement, they are clearly not. Loosing a child is never easy, and sure that in and of itself is punishment, but like many have said if he hadn’t been a cop he would probably have been convicted, and tossed away.
    I would like to stray a little here and ask the question.
    If it were you in his shoes, what would you feel to be appropriate punishment?
    I ask this for a reason. You can’t fix stupid, but was this a legitimate mistake, or was this something that was chronic behavior? Sure it was his kid, but it could have been someone else’s child. Even if he would have gotten off criminal charges he more than likely been sued into non existence in a civil suite.
    While I believe the punishment should fit the crime or be as much of a deterrent, and justice, we need to look at how our system works as a whole. Lady justice is blind for a reason in our courts. Unfortunately it doesn’t always play out that way.
    While I believe there are certainly bad people out there that should be locked up forever, I also wonder… What if I made a mistake. I have kids and a family. I am not sure what that mistake might be, but I am a nice guy, law abiding contributing citizen. Does locking me away for 20 years, or what ever make sense?

    • I suppose the jury viewed this in much the same way that you thought through the scenario. I know that it is very easy for all of us to say what we believe should be, but would we feel that way if it were us?

      I believe that a LEO should have known better. I know that I always know where my weapon is and that it is secure. I would have expected no less from a LEO.

      I believe that he is just as negligent as if he had been driving while intoxicated and killed someone in a car.

      I really believe that the only way to take the “child deaths” argument from those who would use it to limit/eliminate our 2nd ammendment rights is to make sure that those who negligently cause the death of a child in such a manner are publicly brought to justice.

      Having said that, it is a jury of peers that determined the LEO would not go to jail. Since I still believe that our justice system is better than any other (not perfect), I will accept this, though I don’t like it.

      Thank goodness it isn’t “me”.

  12. There have been several accidental shootings of children involving cops in Washington state the last couple of years. At least in this case the officer was charged and prosecuted. In one case in Sept. 2010 a Clark county detective Ed Owens left a loaded gun in an open safe and his son got a hold of it and killed himself. The slime ball tried to blame his stepdaughter! He actually coerced her into confessing to the crime to investigators! By coerced I mean she was beaten with a belt until she agreed to confess. No charges filed! None. The fabricated confession alone was enough to put him behind bars but no charges were filed. That’s justice?

    This last spring a Spokane police officer by the name of Barry O’Connell left his service weapon available to his daughter who shot herself in the leg. No charges filed.

    The odd thing was at around the same time of the Derek Carlile incident there were two incidents in western Washington involving civilians giving access to guns to children. One of the cases was remarkably similar to the Carlile case. In both of those cases the civilians were immediately charged. It took forever for them to bring charges against Carlile, so much so people were writing the prosecutor’s office and asking what the hell was up and wondering if is it a two tier justice system.

    I was one of those that wrote and not only did they respond to me by e-mail, the prosecutor called me and explained what was going on. They were not sweeping it under the rug. Snohomish county just gets all their ducks in a row before charging, at least that is what he told me and he seemed sincere. I will have to say he did his job. It isn’t his fault the jury could not come to a decision. I remember a famous trial lawyer, I don’t remember his name, the one that dresses like a cowboy, saying that people that think a trial is about justice are fooling themselves. It is really two gunfighters going at each other and the best wins.

    I think the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did their best. At least they prosecuted which is much better than what Clark and Spokane counties did. How do I feel about it? I don’t know. The loss of a child is one hell of a punishment but then that should apply to civilians too. One thing that most people do not know about this case unless they followed it closely is that Carlile was in the habit of leaving loaded guns around his children even though the toddler was fascinated with them and despite his wife telling him repeatedly not to do it. So it was not a one time lapse in judgment.

    When I talked to the prosecutor he was amazed that the child even had the ability to pull the trigger. It was a .38 double action revolver. Obviously the child did have the ability. I guess if one is going to have a gun in the car with children an autoloader in condition three would be a better choice. I don’t think many 3 year olds can rack the slide of 1911. Not that I advocate having unattended guns around children at all in any state. It may not seem possible for a toddler to pull the trigger of a .38 but he did. So maybe with enough child ingenuity one could figure out a way to rack the slide on a 1911 even though my full grown girlfriend has a hell of a time doing that.

    I think of my own childhood and remember the best Christmas ever. I got a 20 gauge shotgun. I was 13! There was never a thought given about it, at least that I heard. I mean it was my gun. I kept it in my room and yes, I had ammo for it. I guess my parents were crazy but then so were all my friends parents because we all got shotguns at about the same time. I never shot anyone nor did my friends. I think it was just a different era.

    • I have a 3 1/2 year old grandson and I don’t believe he could press the trigger of any revolver, with the hammer down. I know he could not hold it and press the trigger, his hands are too small to reach the trigger with the hammer down. He has trouble with some smaller scale toy guns.
      I do believe ( although I have never tested him ) that he could fire a revolver after putting the trigger in single action mode by using one (1) or both thumbs to cock the hammer and then press the trigger.

      I purchased a .22 cal. semi auto rifle at age twelve ( 12 ) with money earned from mowing lawns. Also ammo, case and cleaning kit. Kept everything in my room, which I shared with my nine (9) year old brother.
      Your parents were not crazy.
      It WAS a different era.
      A much more sane era.
      We are living in the crazy era at present.


    “And because we know that as ‘civilians’ (i.e., not police) every man-Jack one of us would have been prosecuted in a heartbeat to the fullest extent of the law if we’d broken the same rule with the same results.”

    My blog us full of exceptions to this.

    • know in your little heart that an average guy or gal, not a public official,cop,fireman, or politician, just an average blue collar worker would have spent everyday from the accident to the end of his trial in jail. No exceptions. And at trial he would Stan about a 99.9% chance of being found guilty of the crime. Why? Because justice is not blind but it is biased.
      Being an officer ofte law not only should he be held to higher standards but if he breaks the law then once his guilt is proven he should be convicted to those standards.
      As a licensed concealed carry guy I can tell you the first thing told to every class is that as a CHCL holder you will be held to an even higher standard than an officer of the law.
      This officer make the ultimate mistake. And by his own hand has caused the death of his daughter. Yet the jury found him not guilty? I have all the sympathy in the world for the family, I can’t imagine losing one of my kids or grankids.
      But he committed a crime, whether of negligence, homicide or murder he got off a hell of a lot easier than the average citizen would have.
      I can tell you from personal experience that when an average citizen goes to court in a DGU case that citizen will be hounded and persecuted and if found guilty of a crime prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No exceptions.
      I got lucky in the fact that the BG’s parents in my case actually told the court and the jury that they felt I should not be prosecuted for defending my family. If they had not spoken up I more than likely would still be in prison because the prosecutor and the DA’s office kept calling up te fact that I shot and killed a man armed only with a knife. Even the judge would not allow my attorney to tell the jury that it was a 12 inch butcher knife an that even after he had been warned repeatedly to leave and the police had been called he still charged me and caused his own death.
      No cop would have ever been brought to trial in a case like that, so yes the justice system is biased and discriminatory against the average joe.

        • My apologies Jim and Mikey. I stand corrected but whether he had a hung jury, was found not guilty or anything else the fact still remains that he caused the death of his child and whether from sympathy, indecision or just plain luck he got away with it.
          My condolences go out to the family but he needs to be fired at the least for such gross negligence.

  14. I absolutely agree that he should be fired. It wasn’t just one incident of carelessness but an ongoing problem that he refused to correct despite his wife warning him about the danger of leaving a loaded gun around the children. Will he be fired? Who knows? In Washington it is crap shoot on that. Owens was fired but O’Connell was not. Maybe Carlile will have the decency to resign or be forced to resign like Ian Birk, the Seattle cop who murdered a man for no reason whatsoever. Birk shot him four times in downtown Seattle at rush hour! Birk claimed the man was carrying a knife. He was but it was folded! The slime ball got away with murder. Google the incident. It’s disgusting.

    That is only one of many incidents we have with Seattle police. The problems are so bad that the Feds had to step in. They are a disgrace and I think very few people, no matter their respective political beliefs, have respect for police here any longer. They have to do something to clean up their act but they seem incapable of doing it.

  15. I don’t believe the fact that Mr. Carlile was (is) a LEO had any bearing on the outcome of the trial.
    While I was not present, I would be willing to bet the house the voting went like this:
    7 Said ” The poor guy was responsible for killling his own kid. He will have to live with that the rest of his life. That’s punishment enough.”
    4 Said ” The hell it is. He was responsible for ending a human life . Who the person was is irrelevant. He should serve time just as he would had he killed any other person.”
    1 Said ” Gee guys, both sides are really strong arguments. I just can’t make up my mind.”
    (Similar to what’s transpiring at this site at present.)
    I believe given the same jury and same evidence, the outcome of this trial would have been the same regardless of whom the defendant was.

    Still there is more to this story than most seem to realize.
    Yes Mr. Carlile will have to live with fact that he was responsible for the death of his child, but he will also have to live with much more.
    He will have to face his wife every day of his life (or the remainder of their marriage) with the shared knowledge that he was responsible for the death of HER child.
    He will have to face his surviving children with the shared knowledge that he is responsible for the death of their sister.
    He will have to face his parents, siblings, in-laws and all those who loved this child and are now deprived of seeing her grow into adulthood and live a full life because of her fathers foolish action.
    And as I stated at the time of incident, he will have to face the person I consider to be the real victim in this case, the child who fired the fatal bullet.
    This child will forever live with the knowledge that he shot and killed his sister, his mother’s daughter, his sibling’s sister and the child loved by so many others.
    This is the person I feel for.
    I only hope as he becomes more aware of what has transpired he is able to console himself in the knowledge that, unlike his father, he was too young to realize the consequence of his actions.
    Mr.Carlile will have to live with the knowledge that he is the one responsible for the burden of guilt so unfairly placed on his son.
    No Mr. Carlile did not go free.
    Mr. Carlile’s punishment is having to return to the people harmed by this one foolish act that has forever changed their lives.

    One last thing to consider.
    While Mr. Carlile was not convicted, he also was not exonerated.
    He knows there are and will always be many who believe he is guilty and should have been punished more severely.
    Perhaps in his own family.

  16. Ron, Yes, that the child was able to discharge the weapon bewildered the prosecutor too but he did it. I never learned the make or model, only that it was a .38 revolver. When the incident was first reported there was no mention of the type of gun involved and I assumed it was an autoloader. Kids can do all sorts of mischief given enough time.

    And yes again it was a different era. Nowadays if you let a 12 year old have his own gun and ammo and the authorities found out I bet there would be repercussions, at least in most states. No one thought anything of that back when I was a kid. Really all my friends had guns too, if not their own guns they had access to that belonged to their fathers. It was almost mandatory to have your own gun by the age of 13. It was kind of part of growing up. We did go to hunter safety classes where it seemed the main purpose was to scare the kids into being safe which was not a bad policy. All of our fathers were hunters and WWII war vets too who grew up with guns. However, also what made it a different era is that were no assault rifles in gun stores which more mostly sporting goods or hardware stores and there were very few handguns. The only time I remember people carrying handguns was when they were in the boonies using them for plinking or shooting grouse. I have no recollection of anyone carrying a gun for protection but I am certain some did. I think back then they would have been made fun of for carrying a gun if they were a male.

    Really guns weren’t anything special. They were readily available to everyone, young and old. Hell, you could mail order them. Well maybe they weren’t available to everyone. I was too young to know for sure but they might not have been sold to racial minorities. I am not sure about that. When you’re a kid everyone is the same. Sometimes it is too bad we grow up.

    Oh, and cops carried .38 revolvers; autoloaders being considered too ‘military’ looking. Now cops try to look military it seems.


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