2 South Carolina Boys, Ages 8 and 9, Facing Involuntary Manslaughter in Shooting Death of 62-Year-Old Farmer is the headline for an article I read earlier today. The link above will take you to the story. The authorities are about to charge these children with a felony that can result inj the destruction of the rest of their lives.
Do you think these children mature enough to take responsibility for their actions? We have seen this story hundreds of times, yet we fail to address the responsible parties. So who is responsible for the killing of this old farmer? Well?
- The Gun Owner has the true responsibility for this crime. Any gun owner that fails to properly secure his weapon should be held accountable for its use.
- Who is responsible for the child? A parent? Babysitter? Neighbor? Do you mean to tell me that two little boys are out running around with a loaded rifle unsupervised?
The persons not responsible for this crime are the two boys. Why? Because they were doing what boys do. They are not mature enough to consider the outcome of their actions. Ansd even in a rural or country area boys this young should not be allowed firearms without supervision.
Prior to anyone be allowed the ownership or use of a firearm, they should receive training adequate to ensure the proper use of the firearm. I do not necessarily mean a formal training session. It could just be an experienced father that teaches the basic operation of the firearm so long as he has taught the child how to safely use the firearm. Regardless the training, no 8 and 9 year old boys need to be out running around with a loaded rifle.
If the children came into possession of the firearm because it was left unsecured the owner of the firearm should be held accountable for the offense.
The parents of these children should be the party charged for this crime, along with charges for child endangerment, child abuse, and whatever other charges they can be held to answer to were the children to have come into possession of the gun by the failure of the parents to secure the weapon and supervise its use.
A 22 caliber bullet may be small, but the round fired from that rifle could possibly travel a full mile were it not to find a target prior to that. And as the story tells, it can kill a man. Did these children know their bullet found a target? Did they even know the farmer was out there?
Life would be so much less dangerous were children not allowed access to unsecured firearms and unsupervised use. School shootings, kids shooting kids, even kids accidently killing themselves, and of course people killing others could all be avoided by simply securing your firearms. The “Constitution” gives us the “Right to bear Arms” but does it give us the right to our negligence destroying lives.
Firearms are not toys and contrary to all of the youngsters out there killing people, nobody needs have possession of a firearm without being trained in its use. The day Gun Owners and Parents are held responsible for use of the firearm, I’d wager a significant amount of these people would properly secure their firearms and supervise the use. It should be illegal to sell a firearm to anyone not an adult and properly trained in its use.