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After the machine gun accident that claimed the life of a Las Vegas shooting instructor, there’s been a lot of talk about the appropriate age for introducing children to firearms. I think it’s completely down to the parents’ discretion. They are their children’s guardians, not the state. I’m more interested in a different question: when is it appropriate to leave a child with a firearm for self-defense? Again, that’s the parents’ call. Depending on the child, I reckon it’s long before most children reach the legal age of majority. Otherwise, this . . .

A Kentucky teenager was killed while trying to protect his mother from her estranged boyfriend, and the woman was abducted and later found dead in Ohio during a multistate police search, a sheriff said Friday.

The suspect, Terry Froman, 41, of Brookport, Illinois, was taken into custody in the Cincinnati area and faced murder and kidnapping charges back in Kentucky, said Dewayne Redmon, the Graves County sheriff in western Kentucky . . .

Froman’s vehicle was stopped along Interstate 75 by Ohio authorities, who found 34-year-old Kim Thomas dead inside, the sheriff said.

Earlier Friday, authorities found the body of her 17-year-old son, Michael E. Mohney, in the living room of his mother’s home in Mayfield, Kentucky, while checking on Thomas after she failed to report to work, Redmon said. There were signs of a struggle, he said.

“What we believe, apparently the son intervened and tried to protect his mother, and it cost him his life,” the sheriff said.

The teenager suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and an autopsy was scheduled, said Graves County Coroner Phillip McClain.

As with all homicidal examples of It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use I’m not saying that the victim would be alive today if he’d had a gun to defend himself. Although there appears to have been a struggle before Mr. Mahoney’s murder, the article reveals that police found no signs of forced entry. It’s entirely possible Mr. Froman caught Mr. Mahoney unawares, and then escalated the violence too quickly for an adequate defense.

And maybe there was a gun in the teen’s house to which he had access. Again, a gun does not guarantee survival against a murderous attack. But it gives the intended victim the best possible chance of defending themselves. Both Mr. Mahoney and his mother may have been alive today if they’d been armed when Terry Froman went postal. That’s not good enough for the antis, but it’s more than good enough for me.

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  1. Sadly, I think in most states I believe it is illegal for a minor to possess ammunition (even a single round) or a firearm. The parents could loose their 2A rights completely.

    I wonder if the anti states would prosecute the parents if a minor acquired a firearm in the house and used it defensively. I bet many of them would.

    • BZZZZT!

      Can’t speak for the rest of America, but it’s okay for minors to possess ammo and firearms (in IL) so long as they aren’t used for unlawful purposes. (Oh yeah, and junior has a valid FOID card).


      • It seems that the incident happened in Mayfield Kentucky which is very gun friendly. This all happened not to far away from my neck of the woods.

    • That’s wholly incorrect. Many of us had firearms before age 10. I’d purchased ammo at that age.
      Kim Rhodes won National, International and Olympic championships as a minor. Pretty had to do when you can’t posses a single round of ammo.

    • I don’t know if the law has changed since I was a kid, but here in Alabama, I could regularly be seen tramping though the woods and along the country roads around my home carrying my favorite .22 Glenfield under my arm, at 8 years of age, along with two or three of my buddies of the same age with their rifles. This was circa 1968. At my house, we were given three rounds apiece, and were expected to bring back meat for the table. If you came back empty handed, then your rifle privileges were taken away from you and passed to one of your brothers who could get the job done. So you always did your dead level best to bag at least two squirrels to bring home so you didn’t loose your rifle for a week. It was a very common sight to see a stack of .22’s by the front door at the general store while we were inside getting us a cold drink or some candy. Guns were just a part of everyday life when I was kid. It was like a fishing pole or any other tool you used to help your family put food their bellies. I can’t tell you how many times while I was walking down the road during those days, that one of the local sheriff’s deputies would stop to say hey and ask me how the squirrels were doing, because he had his old .22 in the trunk of the squad car and was aiming on getting in a little hunting after work his self. It was a great time to be alive in the South! Hell, any time is a great time to be alive in the South!

      • Maybe its just me…

        I could sit around for hours listening to old guys telling stories like this. Makes me feel like throwing another log on the fire and roasting a marshmallow or two.

        This is the America I want back. For keeps.

    • I will never figure out what is which with these silly laws. At the National Matches at Camp Perry (I was a volunteer 2002-2007) competitors in pistol as young as 12 were “in possession” of handguns, from all over the country. Kids, while only predominant in smallbore (.22 rifle) were represented in all areas, pistol, highpower, even long range. First couple years I was there we had black powder just before the matches, and kids were there, too. Whether there are exceptions, or loopholes, or nobody cares, I don’t know, but that kid should have been armed. Obviously.

  2. No guns, the boy should have urinated, deficated and vomited on himself to fend off the attack. Oh, wait, my mistake, rape victims should do that. Anyway, it is a shame the boy had to die because his mother had a relationship with a piece of $hit turned killer.

    • ” Anyway, it is a shame the boy had to die because his mother had a relationship with a piece of $hit turned killer.”

      Wow, blame the victim much? Walking pieces of crap often hide their smell.

  3. Minors are allowed to hold (and even carry) firearms within their household in most states.
    Minors using guns defensively is legal. The only question you need to ask is when will your children be mature enough to have that responsibility, and where/what/how will they access the firearm? Also, teach them defensive handgun use at the very least. Might have to wait until they are teens to properly understand what you are teaching them, but it’s the parents call.

  4. I have a 9 year old cousin id trust with access to loaded firearms unsupervised, I have a 17 year old cousin id not trust with nails unsupervised lol depends on the individual, not so much age.

    • I was somewhere between the ages of 10-12 when I had full (acknowledged) access to the firearms in my home. Prior to that keys were left in cabinets and while it wasn’t talked about, I knew where every weapon in the house was located. Hell, at that point I could clear and break down nearly half of them.

      My baby brother is legally an adult and still doesn’t have access to firearms in the same house. My (nearly) 7 year old is more mindful of the four rules than most adults I know, but her air rifle is all she gets for now. She can clear, strip, and clean my carry piece but she just isn’t ready. Sucks for me, she’s begging to go hunting. I’m not ready for my baby to be a killer yet. 🙁

  5. I’d rather the young man be alive and possibly prosecuted than dead and legally correct, whatever that may be in his home state.
    If this is a ‘bloody shirt’ event, I cannot say as I much care for it, and wonder how the Antis can stomach it. :'(

  6. My childhood BF had to shoot and kill his own father, who was in the process of beating the sh!t out of my pal’s mom. It was a very sad situation. Neither my friend or his mom, who also shot the guy, we’re charged with anything.

    Kids can defend themselves and their families. They can.

    • Coincidences. My friend and neighbor shot his father while he was beating his mother, didn’t kill him. Parents split, the kid was “encouraged” to join the Army (as in, to have the case dismissed), which he did. KIA in Vietnam. Good kid, IMHO, not the best of luck. I wonder if that judge realized he died in Vietnam.

  7. Capital murder of 2 or more should mandatory death penalty with the jury having the option of voting for life in prison, not the other way around. Of course the left will portray the murder as a lost and confused ex acting out in an abnormal fit of misguided love.

  8. The ideal: It’s the job of a parent to know his or her child, to know how much responsibility the child can shoulder, and as a child grows in responsibility to carefully, watchfully give the child the opportunity to exercise an appropriate degree of responsibility. With specific regard to firearms, skills and safety can be taught, under good supervision.

    Reality: humans, like this mom, are awfully fallible, and vulnerable. Life is hard for many of us. We make mistakes and get hurt. But we can still have ideals, and still try. Btw, prayer helps.

    Noting this was the mother’s “boyfriend”, which these days probably means “lowlife shackup lover”, she bears a share of the responsibility for what happened. It cost her all she had, including her son.

    If you could eliminate these shackup lover crimes (they seem to be in the news daily), the whole country’s crime stats might look significantly lower.

    • Children who live with mom’s boyfriend have tremendously higher rates of abuse (of all kinds) than children who live with their fathers.

      Get married and stay married, POTG.

    • ” . . .The ideal: It’s the job of a parent to know his or her child, to know how much responsibility the child can shoulder, and as a child grows in responsibility to carefully, watchfully give the child the opportunity to exercise an appropriate degree of responsibility. . .”

      Yep. Well said. I think one way of knowing when your child is responsible enough to handle a firearm in self-defense is to use an inverse measurement. Just ask yourself if, in the event a Really Bad Thing happening, you’d wish your child had a gun to defend himself or herself. If the answer is “yes” you know your child is old enough to learn how to use a gun for self-defense. None of us wants anything like that to happen. But neither do we want our children to be vulnerable when being armed would let them protect both themselves and their family members. That kid did a damn brave thing, trying to protect his mom. That must have been some fight if he’d been shot several times. He was a good guy. If only he’d had a gun.

      • Children need to be taught integrity and personal responsibility in every aspect of life. How they handle guns and respond to threats will be a result of that overall training and acceptance of responsibility.

        Unfortunately, if the parents do not demonstrate that integrity and responsibility, the chances for the child to learn it is slim. Sometimes they learn the hard way, through life experience…. and sometimes they die. Really sad.

    • “Noting this was the mother’s “boyfriend”, which these days probably means “lowlife shackup lover”, she bears a share of the responsibility for what happened. It cost her all she had, including her son.”

      With all due respect, you know nothing.

  9. Doesn’t Kentucky have relative “good” gun laws? I don’t see how this is a “should have been DGU” situation, unless we’re saying that each and every person should be armed because there is the chance that we are dating a murderous psychopath.

    • People may not have expected this to end exactly the way it did, but that it would end badly was probably pretty clear all along. A kidnapping and multiple murder spree isn’t typically a first time offense, after all. Should have been armed and ready for the inevitable battle.

  10. Texas law is a little tricky on this point. Sure, minors of any age can possess firearms while engaged in sporting events, hunting or other lawful purposes, but that’s only with adult supervision.

    However, simply leaving a readily dischargeable firearm unsecured and accessible by a child under 17, unsupervised, is itself a class C misdemeanor (traffic ticket level) for you. If that child then shoots someone, now that’s a class A misdemeanor (year in prison) for you. Here’s the tricky part: it’s a legal defense for you if that child uses that readily dischargeable, unsecured firearm in lawful self defense.

    So making a gun available unsupervised is itself a crime. If they hurt an innocent with it, the unsecured unsupervised access is now a worse crime. If they shoot a bad guy, though, we walk back the entire event and original unsecured access is no longer a crime.

    So you take a real chance leaving a gun around, but it’s a chance that could either save your kid’s life or cost him his life, and your legal consequences depend on how it all plays out. Know your kid and make a wise decision, folks.

    • Something is wrong. That law as you explain it makes perfect sense and is perfectly acceptable to me, AND, I live in TX. That can’t be right.

  11. This account leaves out the killer used a gun as well.

    But I don’t like one specific example to talk about general gun policy.

    For example, all the guns used by Adam Lanza were owned by his mother. Only if she locked them up…

    • More reading is good. She did lock them up, he murdered her to get the key. If that wasn’t possible for some reason, perhaps he would have murdered a cop to get the officer’s AR. UBC would have no effect, why is it being pushed as a response?

      • Good point, and not at all just speculation. The Boston Marathon bombers, as I recall the case, already had a gun, but ambushed and murdered an officer to take his gun; affording them that much more firepower in their subsequent crimes. Existing Massachusetts laws, among the most draconian in the nation, were nevertheless powerless to prevent that acquisition.

  12. Something’s missing here, shouldn’t we take the child’s thoughts into consideration? If they don’t feel comfortable at 9 (or whatever), maybe you should wait a few years.

    • While it has not been specifically addressed, I don’t think anyone would teach a child toshoot unless the child asked. OTOH, most children will ask before their parents think they are ready. My son fired a .38 snubbie at 4, is about to turn 40 and doesn’t seem to have suffered from it.

  13. you have to give them a chance. as in all games of chance, it can still go either way. may the odds be in your favor.

  14. I closed my eyes and gave a moment of pause and silence for young Michael Mohney. I salute you Mike.

    He died fighting for his mom and himself.

    The piece of S*it boyfriend needs to be executed. Feet first, into a woodchipper. that is turned off half way in. Then slap his face and call him a little b*tch. Then restart the chipper.

    F*cking Piece of S*it

  15. I think there are pretty clear lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Giving a fucking automatic weapon to a twig of a little girl was the line. I don’t give a fuck what any parent decides. Parents aren’t infallible. Laws exist for a reason, and the state has the right to at least “encourage” responsible behavior through the creation of laws.
    That aside, in theory the household could have held firearms he could have used legally to defend himself. And much like our community often says, the current laws in place didn’t really prohibit the kid from having a firearm to defend himself. So while he would have stood a better chance with a weapon, that chance wasn’t impacted by any lack of freedom on our part. Even the loosest of laws probably wouldn’t have increased his chances of having a weapon on his person and being able to use it.
    I’d chock this up to either shit luck on the part of this brave young man, or a lack of a good plan for security. Not any lack of liberty. But that’s just my uneducated opinion.

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