Hard Lesson Of The Walmart Tragedy: Bad Ethics Kills

5-year-old-with-a-gun

A two-year old sitting in a shopping cart shot his mother dead at point blank range in a Walmart, after finding a loaded pistol in the mother’s open purse. It is such a horrible story that journalists are reluctant to call attention to its obvious lessons. Veronica Jean Rutledge engaged in grossly irresponsible conduct as a mother, a citizen and a gun owner. If her actions, which constituted child endangerment of all four of the children in her charge, as well as a public menace to unsuspecting shoppers in a public store, were to result in anyone’s death or injury, she was the best possible victim. This was all her fault.

The analogy might be a parent who leaves an infant locked in over-heated car, but this is far, far worse. Carrying a loaded gun in public without observing gun safety principles—safety off, for example— posed a threat to everyone around Rutledge. (UPDATE: It is apparently illegal in Idaho to carry a concealed, loaded gun.) Leaving any gun accessible to children is criminal negligence. She was lucky—yes, lucky—that her toddler didn’t shoot one or more of the three girls, all under 11, participating in the shopping trip, or himself. Now the boy will live with the trauma of knowing that he killed his own mother. He will be lucky not to be psychologically scarred for life.

Who knows how many times Rutledge had left her firearm, safety off, within reach of children? I find it hard to believe this was the first time. I find it difficult to believe that she didn’t regularly leave her child in peril, if she would do this even once. Allowing a child access to a loaded gun ready to fire is the equivalent of leaving an open bottle of rat poison within reach of an infant, allowing a child to share a home with a pet wolf, leaving a child alone without supervision while the mother partied and got stoned, or perhaps letting a toddler run free in a home meth lab. If any of these resulted in the death of the child,  public outrage against the parent would be merciless and deafening. It should not be any less intense in this case, simply because moral luck took a relatively merciful turn.

Veronica Jean Rutledge was an unforgivably unethical gun owner, citizen, caretaker and mother, and it killed her.

If there had to be a victim, she was the right one.

UPDATE: From the Washington Post 12/31:

Rutledge isn’t just sad — he’s angry. Not at his grandson. Nor at his dead daughter-in-law, “who didn’t have a malicious fiber in her body,” he said. He’s angry at the observers already using the accident as an excuse to grandstand on gun rights.

“They are painting Veronica as irresponsible, and that is not the case,” he said.

  • That link from Post reporter Terrence McCoy comes right back to this post. I’d like to know where “gun rights” are mentioned or even implied above, much less used to “grandstand.” I can’t even figure out what gun rights point McCoy thinks I’m trying to make (I’m for them, by the way.)
  • VERONICA WAS NOT IRRESPONSIBLE????? This is res ipsa loquitur: if you get shot by a toddler because you left your loaded pistol, safety off,  where he could get it while you are in a public place with 4 kids under your care, you ARE irresponsible: negligent, incompetent, reckless, ignorant of gun and safety obligations, careless. The facts speak for themselves; no further proof is necessary.

233 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Ethics Dunces, Family

233 responses to “Hard Lesson Of The Walmart Tragedy: Bad Ethics Kills

  1. Wish I hadn’t missed this…

    • The shooting or the post? The debate here, although, frankly, it’s not really a debate, is still pretty lively, and the post has recieved some really dunderheaded responses elsewhere.

  2. “Carrying a loaded gun in public without observing gun safety principles—no safety on, for example— posed a threat to everyone around Rutledge.”

    Irrelevant. The gun was easily accessible to the toddler. That’s the safety issue, not whether or not a manual safety is “turned on” on the fire arm.

    When I carry, and I do, often with my kids around, they cannot easily get to it. IF I am engaging in a activity in which the interactions with my kids or even others may lead to a condition in which they both know I have a firearm and have reasonably easy access to it, THEN I don’t carry.

    • A layer, that’s all. Or, if you will, if you are going to carry a firearm where an inquisitive child should grab it, it would be best if it was made of cheese. Noe that this will still get the child suspended if he brings it to school.

      • Are you really going to snit about “on” versus “turned on”? I’ll fix it, since it bothers you. My wife objects to me saying “shut the lights” off too, but you know, I still know how to operate a lamp.

        • Wait–nowhere in the post did I commit the unspeakable “turned on” gaffe. Who are you quoting, and why are you quoting them in a reply to me?

          • Misunderstanding Jack. I put quotes around it because, embarrassingly enough, I couldn’t think of the appropriate terminology mysef… “Turned on” didn’t sound right for a mechanical device, so I put quotes around it.

            I wanted to say “activated” but that sounds off too. For the life of me I still can’t think of the right phraseology. It was a late evening with a croupy toddler and an infant on her first night in her own room.

      • And to be fair, you are right, it is an additional layer of safety. I’m a fan of active and passive safeties. One reason why I believe the 1911 is by far the superior paradigm for automatic pistols. It possesses an active safety that must be flicked by the user’s thumb to take the weapon off safe AND it has a passive safety in the grip that unless the user is actually holding the pistol properly, there is no way the trigger will pull (barring excessive wear and tear on the internals).

  3. Pingback: Idaho Walmart Accidental Shooting Death Seized Upon by Ideologues

    • I just posted this comment to this silly commentary that criticized the post:

      The criticism that “the comparison of an Idaho mother, who was an upstanding citizen and graduate of the University of Idaho, to a willful producer of highly illegal drugs, effectively dehumanizes the event and is likely done so to allow the existential angst felt in the face of a tragedy be rendered amorphous enough to plug into an existent narrative” is pompous, misleading and irrelevant nonsense That intentionally distorts the context of the comparison. I wrote…

      “Allowing a child access to a loaded gun ready to fire is the equivalent of leaving an open bottle of rat poison within reach of an infant, allowing a child to share a home with a pet wolf, leaving a child alone without supervision while the mother partied and got stoned, or perhaps letting a toddler run free in a home meth lab. If any of these resulted in the death of the child, public outrage against the parent would be merciless and deafening. It should not be any less intense in this case, simply because moral luck took a relatively merciful turn.”

      The author should recognize that by choosing three completely diverse analogies, the only relevant factor is “endangering children,” and the point of using the meth lab is to remove exactly the bias expressed by Whittemore, which is classist claptrap. It doesn’t matter to a child killed by outrageous negligence what degrees the negligent parent has, nor should it to us, and to call anyone who endangers children and innocent shoppers by exposing them to potential injury through recklessness like this is NOT an “upstanding citizen.”

      My point, and it was spelled out, is that if the child was shot by this outrageous carelessness, the mother would have been condemned and rightly so. She was just lucky, that’s all. Her conduct was just as irresponsible. The author would have us miss that lesson in the name of “existential angst.”

  4. Kristian Andersen

    Stupid Americans! This couldn´t have happened anywhere else (exept any crazy, mulsim country where children are soldiers from they are 3). It must be terrible to be so scared that you have to carry a loaded gun on a shopping trip with your child! I feel sorry for you crazy gun loving hillbillys!

  5. Peter Jones

    “They are painting Veronica as irresponsible, and that is not the case,”. Sorry, dude, but she’s dead because of her own stupidity. Look up the definition of irresponsible in the dictionary.

  6. Willy

    Glad the kid shot his mother and not some poor customer at Walmart….

    • That pretty much summarizes the post, I guess.

    • Of all the options that had to have someone get shot…but glad?

      I think the best option in this scenario would have been the toddler pulling out the pistol, notifying his mother, giving her a ad hoc class on firearm safety, proper handling of a firearm and a brief admonition not to let it happen again, then directing her to the part of wal mart that sells on the body holsters compatible with her firearm just before screaming for a snack and stuffed animal..

  7. Torill Olsøy

    Only in America. Best regards from Norway.

  8. I’ve seen no indication that the safety was off. Safeties are designed to be taken ff easily, so the child may have inadvertently flicked it off digging it out of the purse. I question why the purse wasn’t made child resistant, that could be done without slowing access to the sidearm.

    • You don’t think the fact that the gun fired doesn’t qualify as an indication that the safety was off? That’s what we call prima facie evidence.

      • Michael Ejercito

        What if the safety was defective?

      • joed68

        To be fair, it’s not entirely impossible that the child was able to take the safety off. It really depends on the pistol. There are so many variations of semi-autos these days, you can easily lose track. It also may have been a double-action only with a relatively light trigger pull (or a strong toddler). These have no external safety. Like you said, though, the worst part of this was the mom leaving it accessible to her children.

        • I have no qualms with trigger pull IN GENERAL…I certainly prefer my rifles, if I’m out for sport (depending on the sport), to be one notch harder to pull than a light breeze caressing the trigger.

          But for self protection carry pistols? Where adrenaline of the situation will more than offset a harder than casual trigger pull, I want a heavy pull for all the reasons discussed – a pistol carried on the body during multiple kinds of interactions runs the risk of having it’s trigger pulled inadvertently…

    • Traveler

      Really? A child/gun proof purse is the answer? How about not having a loaded gun in the first place? I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life. Visited countries like Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Papua New Guinea. Never owned a gun and I’ve never felt the need to do so. Only pathetic, ignorant and insecure morons need to feel the need to keep a loaded gun nestled up to them everywhere they go. It’s a state of mind which is seriously in need of mental help and this woman’s gun fetish only shortened her life. Good riddance!

      • Michael Ejercito

        So then President Obama’s Secret Service security detail are “gnorant and insecure morons need to feel the need to keep a loaded gun nestled up to them everywhere they go”?

        Maybe you should let him know so he can fire them.

      • Insecure people also install security systems, hire body guards, learn martial arts,and more. And in a free society, nobody should be able to stop them from doing what they feel they need to do to be secure. Of course, letting your kids get a hold of loaded handguns should make everyone involved feel LESS secure.

      • joed68

        Of course you don’t feel insecure. You have yet to be mugged or assaulted in any of these toilets.

      • pushkin

        I agree to all the above, except the last sentence. To say “Good Riddance!” about the death of a human being, a mother – albeit an irresponsible one – is purely incomprehensibly horrible.

        • pushkin

          A great pity you had to end your blog as you did,

          • Why? I ended it consistently with the rest of it, the facts and the truth. I’ll repeat it here:

            Veronica Jean Rutledge was an unforgivably unethical gun owner, citizen, caretaker and mother, and it killed her.

            If there had to be a victim, she was the right one.

            Do you have a better candidate?

  9. Steve in Australia

    A shame about U.S. gun laws. Americans kill each other, on purpose, more often than the citizens of Afghanistan. Stricter guns laws would surely help?

    Ref: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5

    America is a fine country in many ways. Hope you can solve such problems

    • The violence is one unfortunate side-effect of the aggression, self-reliance, independence and freedom that makes the US a uniquely “fine” country, and believe it or not, it’s worth the trade-off.

    • Michael Ejercito

      Chicago used to ban handguns.

      did that make it safer?

    • dragin_dragon

      This is the second and last time I am going to respond to a foreign commenter who clearly knows little or nothing about the United States. I don’t know what that chart you posted was supposed to prove, but I note with some amusement that it refers to “Intentional Homicides”, not shootings. I also note that India is in a virtual tie with the US. Guess they must be getting REALLY creative in India, since guns are virtually banned there. Bolo’s, maybe?

  10. Powerline has a strong essay today responding to an extreme anti-gun rant in the New Yorker…it’s relevant to many of the comments here, if not my post itself. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/liberals-cant-argue-they-can-only-bully.php

    • Andrew Wakeling

      I hope you read the New Yotker article Jack Marshall and not just the criticism of it. You want to encourage discussions on ethics, which you say is about ‘right and wrong’? For me the key words in the article are: “it ought to be very, very difficult, as it is in every other civilized country, to get your hands on a weapon whose only purpose is to kill people quickly”. To my ‘ethics alarm’ that sounds very ‘right’. How you get ‘there’ from ‘here’ is however immensely hard.

      • “it ought to be very, very difficult, as it is in every other civilized country, to get your hands on a weapon whose only purpose is to kill people quickly” is a fatuous, emotional, unsubstantiated statement, a lie, and a silly one too. Any law abiding citizen in a free society should be able to purchase a weapon to protect his or her family, person, property or home if that is his or her wish and assessment of need, when it is needed. “A weapon whose only purpose is to kill people quickly” is a disingenuous and pejorative cover-word for “gun.” If someone needs a gun, it shouldn’t be “very very difficult to get one,” not in the USA. The tip-off to the article’s foolishness is the “every other civilized country” junk, the same “everybody does it” rationalization for socialism, national health care, limits on free speech, and so much else. The US became great precisely because it isn’t like every other nation. That’s no argument; that’s just anti-American bias and ignorance.

        • Andrew Wakeling

          The author Adam Gopnik is as entitled to his opinion as to ‘right and wrong’ as you are to yours. It is worthwhile (and what I thought you were trying to encourage) to delve into why you disagree. Is one of you mentally retarded, or simply silly? I doubt it. You simply have different underlying beliefs. Is there room for compromise? I hope so. Isn’t that what you should be seeking to do? Wouldn’t that be the ‘right’ thing to do?

          • Opinion without basis is worth exactly nothing. This guy is gun-phobic; he does not acknowledge the superior and Constitutionally enshrined right of self defense and self-determination Powerline characterizes it correctly: forget the “liberal” label–there’s no argument there. Americans do not hand their freedom over to an armed police state and a military: that’s the country, that’s the culture. Too bad if Gopnik doesn’t like it. His argument is nothing but emotion. I don’t have to respect opinions like that: no one should.

          • joed68

            I’m going for silly. As far as compromise, merely for compromise’s sake, too much of that has been done already, and it’s availed us nothing. Like petulant children, you want more and more and more, and when we finally put our feet down and say “enough”, you screech about how unreasonable we’re being, and accuse us of reveling in the bloodshed. At this point, I could give a rat’s ass what people like the author of that article think. He is a caricature of everything that’s wrong with modern liberalism.

          • joed68

            The modern liberal says: “we have different beliefs, and all beliefs and standards have equal merit, except that mine are superior and you are a stubborn, inbred, backwater rube that doesn’t care about the children. You are a bully if you don’t submit to my way of thinking.”

            • Michael Ejercito

              Gopnik’s article was about this lawsuit .They are suing Bushmaster for negligent entrustment.

              “The military and law enforcement have a legitimate need for a weapon as lethal as an AR-15…the same is not true for the entrustment of AR-15 rifles to civilians.”

              According to the plaintiffs’ theory, Bushmaster should not have entrusted their firearms tio dealers who sold to civilians. To my knoeledge, this is the first negligent entrustment suit on the theory that it is negligent to entrist objects to a class of persons.

              It could be argued that entrusting firearms to young black men is negligent entrustment, but most courts would not interpret negligent entrustment in that manner due to equal protection implications. Similarly, the plaintiffs’ theory here implicates the Second Amendment…

              • And the lawsuit is almost certainly banned by federal law. And should be. You cannot sue a product for operating properly.

                • Michael Ejercito

                  They claim negligent entrustment. that sort of thing applies if you give a loaded rifle to a gorilla. Those sort of suits are not precluded

                  But the plaintiffs’ theory is that Bushmaster is liable for negligent entrustment because they sold arms to dealers who in turn, sold them to civilians because civilians have no business having such weapons.

                  One could argue that, because black males are more likely to commit murder than the general population, selling or giving firearms to black males is negligent entrustment. But no court would interpret negligent entrustment that way,. because it implicates equal protection and courts generally do not interpret laws in a manner that would raise constitutional questions. Similarly, interpreting negligent entrustment to include selling arms to dealers who in turn sell to civilians would implicate the Second Amendment.

                  • It’s a disingenuous way of avoiding the statute. Claiming that it is negligent to sell a product to the market it was designed for and that is legal to sell to under the law is tantamount to arguing that it is negligent to sell the product at all—in other words, claiming product liability when the product has not been negligently made. It should be thrown out.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      I’m sure you must point out in your ethics classes that just because it’s ‘legal’, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ‘right’. It was useful to bring up the Sandy Hook / Bushmaster case (the Gopnik article in the New Yorker) alongside the Rutledge tragedy. It seems to neatly reveal your position. You hold Veronica Rutledge 100% responsible (‘bad ethics / wrong’) for her death and damage to her family; and you hold Bushmaster 0% responsible (100% ‘good ethics/ right’) in their involvement in the Sandy Hook mass killings.

                      I haven’t misunderstood you, have I?

                    • Do I hold the GUN responsible? No, of course not. 0%. And if he stabbed everyone with a Ginsu knife, I wouldn’t hold the knife responsible. And if he clobbered every kid’s skull with a bowling ball, of sliced them to death with paper cuts, or ran them down with a Ford Broncho, or had them mauled by his pack of abused and vicious rabid Yorkshire terriers, I wouldn’t blame the balls, the paper, the truck or the dogs, either. Obviously. What you need to do is look deep into yourself and ask why in the world you are inclined to blame a machine for how it is used.

                    • joed68

                      That’s how I see it, at least until the day that I can hold a silverware company responsible for making me fat.

                    • At least this version of Art Hawley is better behaved. I can tolerate him.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      Slippery as ever, Jack Marshall. Of course I’m not into blaming inanimate objects and me and my soul talk regularly thanks very much. It is the designers, makers, marketeers and promoters who deserve at least consideration as to whether they should be accorded an ‘assist’ and take even just a slither of responsibility. I’m sure Victoria Rutledge’s husband regrets buying his wife a fancy purse with a ‘secret compartment for the gun’. I bet he feels some responsibility and must be suffering dreadfully. (I understand his father’s reported anger.) I hope the designers and promoters of that wretched purse are pondering. I hope the gun shops and manufacturers have a good think about safety catches and trigger tensions. Some guns and gun practices are safer than others. It isn’t good for Walmart’s business to have 2 year olds firing guns from shopping trolleys: what if anything can they do to make a reoccurence less likely?

                    • I’m sure Victoria Rutledge’s husband regrets buying his wife a fancy purse with a ‘secret compartment for the gun’

                      People in his position are often irrational. The purse didn’t get her killed. Rhett Butler shot the pony that his daughter was riding when she died. It was Rhett’s fault, not the pony’s.

                      There was nothing slippery about my answer at all: that’s your excuse for setting a trap you fell into. You said,

                      “You hold Veronica Rutledge 100% responsible (‘bad ethics / wrong’) for her death and damage to her family; and you hold Bushmaster 0% responsible (100% ‘good ethics/ right’) in their involvement in the Sandy Hook mass killings.”

                      Now you say, “Of course I’m not into blaming inanimate objects.” Sure you are. Your comments have reflected that position from the beginning. Now, since you can’t prove you’re position (because it’s absurd) you are moving the goal posts. Sorry—can’t get away with that here.

                    • joed68

                      What indeed. Do you have anything in mind besides further restrictions?

                    • dragin_dragon

                      It’s already been done. Wal-Mart, at least in Texas, has opted to ban concealed weapons from their stores.

                    • Michael Ejercito

                      Not only that, but the argument raises serious constitutional questions just as surely as an argument that it is negligent to sell guns to black people raises constitutional questions.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      I’ll decide my position thanks, as you decide yours. I don’t blame inanimate objects: guns, cars or anything else. But in ethics, as also to some extent in the law, we all potentially hold some responsibility for outcomes from our actions – be it designing the atom bomb, selling a gun to someone who is mentally ill, buying a last drink for an an already aggressive drunk, or giving a power tool with a damaged cable to a neighbour. You know all that. There is plenty of room for differences of opinion on the extent of that responsibility. There are few unambiguously right positions. You hold Veronica Rutledge 100% responsible for her shooting, and Bushmaster holds no responsibity for Sandy Hook. I think I understand why you hold those positions, and of course you are entitled to them. Your apparent ‘certainty’ of your ‘rightness’ is however for me quite scary. As must be clear, I think differently, with fewer blacks and whites, and more pondering over shades of grey. I hope you provoke plenty of opposition in your ethic classes and that your steamroller has a reverse gear.

                    • Michael Ejercito

                      The thing is, the Bushmaster suit is equivalent to suing a dealer for negligent entrustment on the argument that, because black males commit murder at a higher rate than the general population, it is negligent to sell guns to black males.

                    • joed68

                      I suspect your position has less to do with the rightness of holding Bushmaster responsible, and more to do with wanting them to eventually go away. If you want to know why many of us are no longer willing to “compromise”, there’s your answer.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      Yes Michael Ejercito, I agree. Finding a line to draw on ‘negligent entrustment’ looks hard, but that is what judges get paid for. Hopefully selling a gun to a young child should be held ‘negligent’, but selling a car to a young unlicensed driver not? Selling truckloads of fertiliser to an Islamic looking guy with a long beard is also worth a thought.

                    • Michael Ejercito

                      The argument in this case, though, goes against the Second Amendment. also, interpreting negligent entrustment to encompass selling fertilizer to Muslims would raise First Amendment implications. Courts are not going to interpret negligent entrustment in a manner that would raise constitutional questions.

                      As an aside, dealers are required to do background checks. When the purchaser passes a background check, it is presumably not negligent entrustment to sell the firearm.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      Joed68 – you ask “Do you have anything in mind besides further restrictions?” If I ran Walmart ….. or maybe just the store or region where Veronica Rutledge was shot – I’d want to find out how many customers were carrying guns, concealed and otherwise, how many of these guns were loaded ready to fire, how many in secure holsters, and most crucially how frequent was it for mums with young kids to have a loaded gun in a purse or handbag in the shopping trolley. (The Rutledge experience seems to suggest this is appalling dangerous: how many people realise?) Commissioning a bit of research shouldn’t be too hard. From that I’d want to ask how the store could make the store safer. Would a safe place to leave your gun while shopping help? Would a creche help and what would have to be done so that parents could be confident to leave their kids there? I’d be very interested to establish if increasing security in the store (more readily visible and armed guards) could increase shoppers’ confidence sufficiently that they didn’t feel the need to have a loaded weapon close by. Of course some of this might cost money – but maybe worthwhile gains could be made at relatively low cost? I’d want to investigate with marketing experts as to whether ‘family safety’ could be more powerfully promoted to increase sales and offset the costs of safety programs. I’d expect to be able to promote the idea at least that ‘Walmart cares’, and at least show some positive response – even if only some safety posters and managers on the floor showing a healthy interest in the safety of all customers. At the very least I’d hope Walmart was talking with its staff about what could be done.

                    • joed68

                      Actually, I believe that Walmart and other commercial establishments reserve the right to prohibit concealed weapons on their premises, if I’m not mistaken. After this incident, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. I for one am not opposed to this, insofar as I’m also a firm believer in sovereign property rights. Whether this is good business practice might be a matter for further debate.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      joed68 – yes which presents a further hazard to mum shopping with young kids and a determination to carry a loaded gun as is arguably her Constitutional right. She has her loaded gun hidden and strapped to her person, holding baby and dragging two squirmy toddlers. At the entrance she sees the ‘no concealed weapons’ notice. She rips out the loaded weapon and puts it …… where? Isn’t it becoming clear that carrying a loaded weapon safely with young children is almost impossibly hard? Isn’t that the dreadful lesson from the Rutledge tragedy?

                    • 1. No one contends that she has a right to carry the gun. The Bill of Rights contains no such provision.

                      2. Isn’t it becoming clear that carrying a loaded weapon safely with young children is almost impossibly hard? Isn’t that the dreadful lesson from the Rutledge tragedy? Oh for god’s sake—the lesson isn’t that it’s hard, the lesson is that it’s reckless, dangerous, and impossibly stupid…as I wrote in the first place.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      Jack, I might be wrong (ya’ never know, has been known to happen) but didn’t SCOTUS address that question a couple of years ago? And find that “concealed carry” laws were not unconstitutional, under the “keep and bear” phrase? Obviously not an attorney, and don’t follow SCOTUS’s decisions as closely as I should…and it’s quite possible my memory is failing.

                    • joed68

                      Not at all. The first time she visits Wal-Mart and sees the sign, she returns her properly holstered weapon to her glove box. She traverses the parking lot the way she came. Or, Walmart can do what Cabelas does; they have a safe and tag system for people who want to leave their guns. Is your argument that a mother with children shouldn’t be allowed to carry?

                    • Michael Ejercito

                      I support safe and tag systems. Even iof people are willing to enter a place unarmed, they may still want to be armed between their home and the presumably secure place.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      Her right to carry is no longer “debatably Constitutional”. Review the SCOTUS decisions regarding that right.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      No Joed68. I’m not holding that a mother with children shouldn’t be allowed to carry. She should however be aware that if she is carrying ‘unsafely’ – ie with a loaded weapon not securely holstered, that she may be liable for recklessly endangering her children and public safety. The practical message should be be that carrying a loaded weapon while caring for young children is prima facie ‘reckless, dangerous and impossibly stupid’ (Jack Marshall’s words though I hate to agree with him!)

                    • joed68

                      I think we almost agree, except that I would say that carrying a loaded weapon unsafely while caring for young children is all of the above.

        • Michael Ejercito

          Jamaica has strict gun control laws.

      • Michael Ejercito

        “Civilized” countries, eh?

        when people compare America to “civilized” countries with respect to things such as gun control or the death penalty, what they really mean is pussified countries.

  11. I didn’t read all the other comments, but Idaho is a shall issue state regarding concealed carry permits. It is legal to carry a loaded gun that is not visible in Idaho with the proper permit. Also, the handgun could be a revolver and may not have a safety. Some people depend on a hard trigger pull to be the safety around children.

  12. joed68

    I’m ashamed that I ever could have held an opinion contrary to this. It’s as self-evident as the fact that all men were created equal. May God have mercy on my eternal soul. Great bard of the keyboard, I hunger for more of your sagely pearls of knowledge and wisdom. Your humble servants await you with bated breath.

  13. Tom F

    Your claim and or link to another site that claims that carrying a loaded weapon is illegal, is FALSE. the person that you linked to is ill informed. I wrote him an email explaining how he did not investigate or read the statues correctly. The only reference to loaded or unloaded in the idaho statutes is in reference to carrying a gun in your vehicle and concealing it in your vehicle(aka under the seat or in the trunk etc) WITHOUT a Concealed carry permit.

    here is a link to the actual statute:
    http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH33SECT18-3302.htm
    (search the doc for unloaded and you will see what i mean/am referring to)

    In reference to your claim that people should not walk around with one in the chamber or safety off… I can tell you as someone that has been in situations that require you to fire and kill or be killed, you want one in the chamber and you don’t need a safety if a gun is properly holstered. split seconds matter. under the strain of a threat/attack or in the middle of an assault how are you going to rack a slide when one of your arms has already been shot or is pinned down. Even if you have both hands free it takes time and are you going to remember under the mental panic and strain? thus pulling the trigger is the only thing you should need to do. thus many handguns don’t even have safeties except where required by law , and most of those carriers don’t put the safety on for that reason. So with that in mind you talking about her not even having the safety on is likely a mute point as there is a good chance the gun did not even have a safety.

    all of that said I do think it was irresponsible for her to leave her purse which contained a gun in it alone with a child of that age if even for a second. Granted she knows her child better than I do , so maybe the kid has never looked in any purse of hers before? maybe her kid doenst know or didnt previosuly exhibit the ability to use zippers? and thus she thought it was secure? we will never know… But in reality and in hindsight ,Her actions were not criminal just dumb. Also ,They don’t have CAP laws in Idaho and nor should they.

    You seem like a half intelligent human being heck, you are able to write effectively to convey your side of an issue, kudos. So If you want to be anti-gun, cool that is your right. Ironically that right is protected in a round about way by of all things the 2nd amendment. But let’s not put out false or ignorant information claiming it as fact. Be anti gun but at least have some knowledge of the subject matter and not just emotional “this feels right for me” rhetoric and sudo factoids.

    Thanks. And Happy New Year!

    • I view this as a gratuitously snotty and condescending comment from a commenter who evinces an inability to read.

      1. “Your claim and or link to another site that claims that carrying a loaded weapon is illegal, is FALSE.”

      That has already been pointed out earlier. Since the source is a reputable publication, I’ll wait for it to clarify, since I still can’t determine whether the victim was in fact licensed to carry a loaded concealed weapon, and what she did, and that’s all the post covers, may have still been illegal. I am not interested in the legal questions, particularly. The post was about her ethics.

      2. It’s your job to read the comments before yours so as not to be redundant. The statute was already linked, with my thanks.

      3. “In reference to your claim that people should not walk around with one in the chamber or safety off… I can tell you as someone that has been in situations that require you to fire and kill or be killed, you want one in the chamber and you don’t need a safety if a gun is properly holstered. split seconds matter. under the strain of a threat/attack or in the middle of an assault how are you going to rack a slide when one of your arms has already been shot or is pinned down. Even if you have both hands free it takes time and are you going to remember under the mental panic and strain? thus pulling the trigger is the only thing you should need to do. thus many handguns don’t even have safeties except where required by law , and most of those carriers don’t put the safety on for that reason.”

      And completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Is shopping at a Walmart with children a situation “that requires you to fire and kill or be killed”???? If so, why did she expose her child to such peril? Ridiculous.

      4. “So with that in mind you talking about her not even having the safety on is likely a mute point as there is a good chance the gun did not even have a safety.”

      The word is “moot,” sport. A mute point is one that can’t talk.

      5. “all of that said I do think it was irresponsible for her to leave her purse which contained a gun in it alone with a child of that age if even for a second.”

      Which was the point of the post. “All of that”you said just now is spin and deflection.

      6 “Granted she knows her child better than I do , so maybe the kid has never looked in any purse of hers before? maybe her kid doenst know or didnt previosuly exhibit the ability to use zippers? and thus she thought it was secure? we will never know…”

      You’re embarrassing yourself. “Gee, my toddler never drank poison before when I left it within her reach—you can’t blame me if she did it this time: how was I to know?”

      7. But in reality and in hindsight ,Her actions were not criminal just dumb.

      Wrong. They were absolutely criminal: child endangerment and negligent homicide, if the kid had shot himself, one of the girls, or anyone else. It is criminal under the law to be that dumb with a loaded gun.

      8. You seem like a half intelligent human being heck, you are able to write effectively to convey your side of an issue, kudos.

      You can bite me. I don’t need your approval of my writing: you don’t even know the difference between “moot” and “mute.”

      9. So If you want to be anti-gun, cool that is your right. Ironically that right is protected in a round about way by of all things the 2nd amendment. But let’s not put out false or ignorant information claiming it as fact. Be anti gun but at least have some knowledge of the subject matter and not just emotional “this feels right for me” rhetoric and sudo factoids.

      All I ask from commenters is they read and comprehend the posts, not skim and cherry pick things to fake expertise and thought by attacking, show some basic intelligence and not misrepresent my positions. You failed miserably on every count. I am not, you dolt, “ant-gun.” There isn’t anything anti-gun in the post, which you either didn’t read or couldn’t comprehend, despite my writing “effectively.” Here, read what I’ve written on this issue, if you can. I challenge you to find anything that suggests that I am anti-gun. You, on the other hand, are the kind of mouth-breathing ignoramus who give responsible and thoughtful gun rights supporters a bad reputation.

      10. It’s the FIRST Amendment, not the Second, that gives me the right to be anti-gun, if I were anti-gun. While you’re reading what I really think on the topic, why don’t you read your Bill of Rights, which you obviously understand no better than you grasped my post.

      11. The word is “pseudo,” not “sudo.” Buy a dictionary while you’re at it.

      • Is it wrong to enjoy these responses every so often?

        You anti gun zealot…

        • Well, screw it. In this very stiff profession, I’m sure the tone here counts against me and probably costs me jobs. I can’t write a blog and not be myself. That just wouldn’t be ethical.

          • And I almost feel bad about mocking the guy for his spelling and rhetorical gaffes, but you know what? If you’re going to tell me that I’m “half intelligent” and give me back-handed praise on my writing, you sure as hell better know that “pseudo” isn’t spelled “sudo.”

      • joed68

        If it means anything to you, we all think your kinda smart too. I mean, not state university smart, but smart enough. Sudos!

      • wyogranny

        This is why I write briefly and carefully on this site. There are few sites where the owner can and does defend himself and his positions as well as this one.

        Tom F you just got pwned!

  14. joed68

    “Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.” — L. Neil Smith

  15. Pingback: A Tale Of Two Children - The Truth About Guns

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