One More Time As A Child Finds A Gun And Kills: Prosecute the Parents

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This time the locale was Elmo, Missouri, and it was a five-year old pulling the trigger. The victim was a 9-month-old boy, but it’s basically the same tragic, stupid story….just like in the Idaho Walmart, where the two-year-old shot his mother, or the Albuquerque motel room where another toddler shot both of his parents, who were just lucky and lived. (They have been charged with child abuse. Good.) A gun owner negligently, recklessly, criminally leaves a firearm, loaded, where  young children are and a tragedy results.

Alexis Widerholt, the mother of the children, called 911, and when emergency crews arrived they found that her the baby had been shot in the skull with a .22-caliber magnum revolver.

Somebody has to go to jail for this, maybe several people. Authorities say the gun belongs to a relative, but not the mother. If she knew the gun was in the house, she’s accountable. Anyone responsible for putting the loaded gun where a kid might find it is accountable. Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them away. Unless the mother didn’t know about the gun (she originally told the police it was a paint gun, either out of panic, confusion, or ignorance), she needs to lose the right to parent them, at least for a while.

There are four irresponsible reactions to these tragedies that we should stop tolerating and immediately rebut whenever they surface:

1. “This is why we should ban guns.” Responsible people shouldn’t have access to a useful, sometimes life-saving, even democracy-saving tool because the tool is misused by irresponsible people, including criminals? Unfair, and fortunately prohibited by the Constitution, because gun-phobic hysterics bombard the public with propaganda like this nonsense:

Ant-Gun Cartoon

People, a lot of people, believe this is a cogent argument.

2. “This has nothing to do with the need for stricter gun regulations.” Of course it does. I would have no problem with a requirement that any gun being kept by a parent or someone living with children meet reasonable, legally enforced security requirements. I would have no objection to the state doing spot checks on the status of such weapons as a condition of ownership. I would have no objection to any individual who is found to have left a loaded gun within reach of a child being prohibited from future gun ownership, or losing custody of their children. Heck, give them a choice: a gun or a kid, but not both.

Sure, the NRA would fight all of these. That’s their job.

3. “We are big supporters of firearms around here. We live in a rural area. We have a lot of people who own weapons. They hunt. They shoot.  Most people are very safe with them, and this is one of those cases where everything went together in the wrong way.” That was the rationalization of the sheriff in Elmo, and the father of Veronica Jean Rutledge said something similar. Oh, shut up. I am beginning to believe that so-called “gun people” may be the worst and most reckless gun owners, because too many of them are insufficiently attentive to the potential dangers the guns present.  They are too used to them. I think the most responsible gun owners may be people like my Dad, who had fired guns (and shot human beings with them), could take them apart and assemble them, and who was scared to death of them, even though we had several in our home.

4. “The parents have suffered enough.” No, they haven’t. They need to suffer more, and their tragic fate, including dead kids, a trial for manslaughter and a long prison sentence, needs to make headlines and get the attention of every careless potential child-killer out there, and I’m sure there are many….so many, that we should be very concerned.

Because this has to stop.

_________________________

Pointer: Beth

Facts: CNN, KETV

99 thoughts on “One More Time As A Child Finds A Gun And Kills: Prosecute the Parents

  1. “I would have no objection to the state doing spot checks on the status of such weapons as a condition of ownership.”

    Really? What else would you be comfortable with having government officials just dropping by your home without a warrent to “spot check” on using whatever criteria they might come up with… or using no criteria if they so choose? How about “spot checks” for safe storage of medicines, or household cleaning supplies… both of which are quite lethal if ingested by a child or an adult… or back-yard kiddie pools, etc. etc. etc.? How many “spot checkers” are going to be needed for dropping in on these “randomly selected” homes in a nation of maybe 80 to a 100 million gun owners? Seriously, do you really want to go there?

    This is not to disagree with your main point: irresponsible behavior should
    always be held accountable.

    • Now, see (Liberal Dan), THIS is the Slippery Slope logical fallacy! Of course, making periodic spot checks on safe storage of handguns a condition of gun ownership when kids are in the house is unrelated to any of those horribles J. mentions. Sure, bad parents will get children hurt too many ways to count, and it’s not the government’s job to child proof a home. Just as not being able to fix everything is a dumb excuse for not fixing anything, so is making spot checks on guns in homes with kids a reasonable, unobtrusive and voluntary feature of gun ownership. Or, I guess, we can just let idiots get their children killed (or others) every month because they are “gun people.”

      • No way, Jack. You’re talking registration, and registration is every gun-grabbing politician’s wet-dream, because it’s always been the last step before confiscation wherever it’s occurred. There have been so many attempts at this, in so many different guises. Look at what happened here in CT. They haven’t started kicking in doors yet, but they’ve threatened to, and they just may if they can figure out a way to do it without triggering a potentially violent backlash. Prosecute careless parents to the fullest extent of the law, but no spot checks; no way, no how.

        • Registration, however, is not unconstitutional. And continuing with our tutorial for Liberal Dan, the arguments against “what it would lead to” ARE the Slippery Slope Fallacy (as distinguished from the Slippery Slope rationalization. Those horribles don’t necessarily follow and shouldn’t. There’s no reason you can’t draw the line at registration.

          • (reply to Jack Feb 12, 9:02 am)
            This case is one where it seems a “gun-stowage tax” might slip through the legislatures – and might succeed in inducing even many Republican governors to sign it into law. That would impose an unfunded mandate on gun owners to prove ownership of “approved” equipment for securing of their firearms. If the gun purchaser cannot provide such proof at the point of sale, then the gun would not be made available unless and until such proof was provided (I almost said “submitted” there). Providing simultaneous sales receipts for (1) the firearms and (2) the approved corresponding stowage equipment, would also suffice for compliance, as the “tax” is the required expense to acquire the stowage equipment.

            That kind of regulation, of course, would neatly set the stage for the Fourth Amendment-busting inspection laws.

            But I look at it this way: If people would just obey laws such as a “gun-stowage tax,” then we could feel more assured that the kids who get shot like we have seen lately would more likely be the dependents of (or be in temporary custody of) people who are probably already criminals.

          • You may or may not be right, but I have to say that this is one issue where I simply wouldn’t leave that to chance. I’m not even interested in constitutionality anymore, since so many legislators have already run roughshod over that. Nobody in our hierarchy has earned that kind of trust. They’ve made it abundantly clear what their ultimate goal is (I could send you a 27-page long list of direct quotes), and I firmly believe that if it weren’t for the “evil” gun lobby and other groups, we’d have nothing but sharp sticks by now. My motto, therefore, is “Not Another Inch”. They could dump the bodies of every man, woman, and child killed with guns on my front lawn tomorrow, and that honestly wouldn’t change my mind.

          • Jack, that’s precisely what happened here in CT. I agree that it doesn’t and shouldn’t necessarily follow, but people have pretty much no reason to trust that it won’t.

      • He presents his gripes as a slippery slope (which is fallacious), when in reality his gripes should be presented as “wait wait wait, you want to invade the privacy of a vast majority of law abiding and responsible people because of the TINY TINY TINY percent who end up with dead children….when there are dozens of other situations that VASTLY greater death rates for children due to irresponsible behavior that you don’t seem to care about? This leads me to doubt your motives…”

        • A 2008 stat from 2 decades of data shows that deaths due to accidental poisoning was steadily on the rise, and as of 2008, has 14 per 100,000, applying the 59% of the stat which represents children, you get about 8.26 children dead from accidental poisonings per 100,000 in 2008 (a number that was, at the time steadily increasing).

          From another source:

          http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/10/08/cdc-accidental-poisoning-death-51-times-more-likely-than-accidental-shooting-death/

          If we are really out to “make it safer for the kids”, then why no calls to address these dangers?

          Because the motivation has nothing to do with safety…that’s a smokescreen. Until one entire side of the political debate can demonstrate that it isn’t a visceral disgust for firearms and their role in empowering the citizen, sorry, I cannot support any controls on firearms.

          • That’s my position, as I think I made clear during the Sandy Hook debacle. I support reasonable gun regulations, but as long as those calling for them do so using fake statistics, scare tactics, appeal to emotion and sentimentality, brain-damaged Congresswomen reading words programed by others, and elected officials who know nothing about guns spouting nonsense, I’m opposing it all, because I don’t trust them, or their motives.

            Now, as a Rationalization List scholar, I’m sure your question about poisons wasn’t a de facto #22, right?

        • Right.

          You’re still dangerously close to making a #22 argument…

          The fact that its impossible to fix everything does not make it unreasonable or unethical to fix some things that need fixing, without unreasonable harm.

          • Irresponsible parents with firearms ARE unethical, so are irresponsible parents with common household chemicals. Just as unethical…reckless endangerment of a child.

            It’s just that if “Safety” is the *actual* motivation of the gun regulators (it isn’t, by the way), then it is just very odd that they fail to recognize FAR easier ways to increase the aggregate safety of children.

            But they focus on guns because safety actually ISN’T their motivation…

            • That is to say, as you explained in the other response…as long as I question their motivations and it really looks like they are merely concealing an intentional slippery slope, then sorry, I’m gonna oppose any “slip” in that direction.

      • But firearms only result in the deaths of ~100 children/year. Poisoning kills ~15,000. Why would you check for safe gun storage if you weren’t going to check for safe storage of medicines and household toxins? About 700 die from drowning. Why don’t we have mandatory checks of pool safety? There is no logical reason to have inspections for firearms if you aren’t going to inspect pools or for poisons. The only ‘reason’ to do so is an irrational fear of firearms.

        http://www.poison.org/stats/

        The real problem is that DHS is set up to never punish mothers. I was going to go on a rant about how abusive/neglectful mothers are rewarded by DHS and how nothing will change until we actually care about children as people and not as an extension of their mothers. I think the real problem is that, as a society, we reward irresponsible people and punish responsible people. We bail out people who decide to have more children even though they are on public assistance for the children they have. We bail out people who bought houses they couldn’t afford, even though these people are in the 80%ile or more of household incomes. We help bankrupt Social Security by giving vast amounts of money to people because they never bothered to buy life insurance. We seem to think the IRS needs to get a bigger budget because they wasted so much of this year’s budget on union support and crooked software deals that they can’t do their actual job. The list goes on and on and this is no different.

        If your child died because of your negligence, you should be punished and any surviving children shouldn’t be allowed to live with you. You should lose custody and if no family member will agree to take the children, those children should be eligible for adoption. This won’t happen because, as a people, we cannot seem to punish people for irresponsible conduct.

  2. Jack, exactly how is that “voluntary” thing going to work? I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time following this logic. Sorry.

    • Voluntary? Nobody says you have to have a gun, you know. Kids come first. I know many gun supporters who think guns should never be in a house with young kids. I let the meter man in. I’m not afraid of the gun man. “Sure, it’s right here.” OK? Fine. Bye. Big deal. What are you afraid of?

      • But do note: I’m not advocating any of those measures..I said I wouldn’t object to them. I wouldn’t mind a mandatory gun safety course for everyone in a household where a member of it wanted to buy a gun, including children 4 and up. I wouldn’t mind a mandatory refresher course every year or two. There’s lots of things I’d consider.

      • But do note: I’m not advocating any of those measures..I said I wouldn’t object to them. I wouldn’t mind a mandatory gun safety course for everyone in a household where a member of it wanted to buy a gun, including children 4 and up. I wouldn’t mind a mandatory refresher course every year or two. There’s lots of things I’d consider.

  3. Here’s a question: the proximity of these stories is alarming. Does this REALLY happen this frequently? Is this an abberation? Or IS it this frequently that children get hold of their firearms and wound someone… and we haven’t been hearing about it until now, for whatever reason?

    • Oh, trust me; the left-wing media will leave no stone unturned. What you won’t hear are stories about how many thousands of kids are killed every year in car accidents because we don’t adapt TRUE “common-sense” laws about rear-facing child seats. Do you realize that children are 5 times more likely to be killed in a head-on collision (the most common and deadly collision, by far) if they’re forward-facing than rear-facing? Where’s the hue and cry, especially since adapting such a requirement doesn’t run directly afoul of what many regard as the most important part of the Bill of Rights?

      • Hooray for spot checks on child seats and which way they face!
        Oops! Gotta check for that mandatory “Child On Board” plate/sticker first.
        (/sarcasm)

      • I’m confused. Are you suggesting that lefties DON’T put their children in rear-facing child seats?

        As for the gun stories, they are happening. As Jeff mentioned though, I don’t know if this is a new phenomenon or if the media has decided to cover it more.

        For me, I hate these stories and whenever I see one the headline makes me want to vomit.

        • No, I’m suggesting that one of the many ways that lefties justify their intrusions into the second amendment is that they’re just “common sense”, especially the ones that are supposedly guaranteed to save more children. Well, here’s a measure that has been ACTUALLY statistically proven to save children’s lives, rather than these hair-brained lefty schemes which do nothing but intrude on the law-abiding (and anyone with a lick of actual common sense can tell that THAT is their actual true intent). So, if what we’re trying to do is “think of the children, why are we not doing what other commies in Europe are doing with child seats?

          • This is rationalizing at best, akin to “guns are not the worse thing” so let’s change the topic. Yes, it is awful when children die from inappropriately handled car seats, bathtub drownings, and getting caught in blinds and choking to death. It’s horrible, it sucks, and every “leftie” on the planet would say so. None of those things, however, cause OTHER kids or innocent bystanders to die only the person using it. They are also commonplace necessities of life. I need to get my kids to school each day, I need to bathe them, and I think everyone in my neighborhood is thankful that I have blinds.

            Guns only serve one purpose — to shoot bullets at people to potentially maim or kill them. So it is perfectly logical for the government (whether it be local, state, or federal) to say, “Hey gun owner, please keep this away from kids” and “Hey, you do know HOW to use a gun, right?”

            In order to get my driver’s license, I had to take a course and then take a test administered by the State (those commie bastards!) because of the potential danger to myself and others. I also have to periodically pass eye tests, and a certain number of tickets, or a DUI violation would eliminate my right to drive entirely. Why is there no uproar over this scrutiny — especially when the DMV is located on that special ring in Hell?

            I support the Second Amendment, but the die-hard-pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands crowd that leads this fight will eventually turn me to an “anti-gun” person. Because if people will not agree to reasonable scrutiny, than the only answer is to eliminate them entirely … unless a gun owner agrees to be sterilized and offers proof of no previous pro-creation.

            • There is no uproar over cars, because there isn’t an entire half of the ideological divide that would just as soon get rid of all cars if they could, and therefore there isn’t a countering viewpoint that is worried their car will eventually go away if they give an inch on regulating that…

            • By the way, it’s interesting when the accusation of “not giving reasonable scrutiny” (also translated to – “not willing to agree to reasonable regulations”) is brought up. The last century has been a slow steady creep on behalf of the pro-regulation crowd – ever concession made is followed by a quiet lull in politics followed by voracious claims for new regulations and demands that the anti-regulation crowd needs to make “reasonable compromises on regulations”.

              Well, the anti-regulation crowd feels the gig is up based on attitudes and rhetoric of the pro-reg crowd that implies they really don’t care about safety but rather about disempowerment of the citizenry.

              The digging in of heels by the anti-reg crowd is the fault of the hyper-hating pro-reg crowd. No one else.

              • What is this reg creep of which you speak when it comes to guns? If I have a mental disorder, it is still “self-reporting” on my part when I choose to purchase a weapon. So if I really want a gun, I will check “no” for that box. If a family with small children want to buy a gun, there is no requirement to take a basic gun safety course. If the regs are too tough in my state, I can just drive to another state and buy a gun there.

                It’s easy to throw around this “regulation” rhetoric because it fits easy on bumper stickers and drives donations, but the fact is that anyone in this country can get guns if they want to — and there are many people who should not own them.

                Plus, this “reg creep” is a circular argument. Take Joed’s argument here — “you shouldn’t ask for gun regs because you don’t demand car seat regs.” Well, if I demanded car seat regs then the right would scream about additional government regs and dig in their heels even more if the left asked for rational gun legislation.

                More importantly, the gun rights movement (although still hugely funded) is losing steam because fewer people are choosing to own weapons with each new generation. Once you start losing the rational liberal vote like mine, you will be in a bad position in the near future.

                • Bad position? I think you underestimate this country’s martial culture. Do you actually think people would go “boo-hoo, they took our guns” and line up to turn them in, like in Australia or the UK? They tried that here in CT; about 1/6th to 1/8th of the “assault weapon” owners turned theirs in following Stuttering Dan Malloy’s ban. No, what you would have is millions of extremely pissed off Americans who would see that as a declaration of war, and you would see a thriving black market in basement machine-shop weapons.

                • Oh, for fuck’s sake, are you joking? Where’s the reg creep? It’s not reg creep unless the regs are actually being followed? Are you saying that if the tens of thousands of regs aren’t followed, you won’t incur penalties of any sort? And no, I’m not saying “you shouldn’t ask for gun regs because you don’t demand car seat regs.”. I couldn’t care less how many regs that statists want. What I’m saying is that the “think of the children” thing is bullshit.

                    • Well, I was going to say “for Pete’s sake”, but then I realized that everyone’s always worried about Pete. What has Pete done to warrant everyone’s concern? Maybe Pete should stop being such a complete screw-up. Maybe it’s time we quit enabling him. From now on, it’s “for Joe’s sake”. I need all the help I can get.

                • We have seen how reasonable gun regulations were enforced in Chicago, Illinois?

                  Chicago required handguns to be registered. No problem, right? What is wrong with requiring registration of handguns? All you do is fill our a form and mail it to the appropriate address?.

                  Except that they refused to provide new registration forms. They refused to process new registrations. Of course, for some reason, rich, white people with political connections to the Daley junta somehow managed to be able to register their handguns. Not that they actually needed those forms- one of them had actually been pulled over for suspicion for drunk driving, spat at the arresting officer, was found with a unregistered pistol with the serial numbers filed off (a federal offense), and was later allowed to walk- with the gun.

                  Can you imagine if voting was treated like this, if officials refused to accept registrations of new voters (especially if huge numbers of the “wrong” kind of people recently moved into the precinct). Would any civil rights organization (let alone voting rights organizations) tolerate a government’s refusal to accept new voter registrations (let alone refusing to provide the forms in the first place)

                  It is the height of chutzpah to require registration of anything as a condition of ownership, and then to go on and refuse to accept new registrations. that any politician would defend this is inexplicable by anything except hostility to private gun owners.

                  • Well, I agree with you there — assuming what you reported was accurate. But those people have redress in Court, and I’m not suggesting that the system should be run in such a fashion.

                    • True, and I suspect that most rank-and-file supporters of reasonable gun regulations would require that these regulations be enforced in an even-handed manner, and not to make it impossible to comply with the regulations.

                      But the rank-and-file are not the ones who will enforce such regulations.

            • First of all, driving is neither a constitutional or existential right; being armed to preserve one’s life is. Set aside the carseat thing; I really don’t care if there’s no such analogy for me to make. What matters to me is that the “common-sense” crowd has been incrementally common-sensing this FUNDAMENTAL right to pieces since 1934, to the tune of at least 50,000 laws. Enough! Not another goddamned inch!

              The reason that we’re digging in our heels is, for one thing, we know you all will NEVER be satisfied. We know this from prior experience, we know this because most of the laws you pass show that you don’t know dick about guns, we know this because the idiocy that you legislate has ZERO impact on gun violence, and we know this because of the HUNDREDS of times politicians have been quoted as saying that their ultimate goal is complete disarmament!

              Those of us with a lick of actual common sense have learned from history that 262 MILLION people were slaughtered by their own governments since 1900, and in every case, these events were preceded by disarmament, and disarmament was preceded by registration, and registration was preceded by a slew of “common-sense” gun laws. How’s that for a sobering statistic, Beth? How many of those 262 million were kids, I wonder? Beth, I want you to know that I could give a rat’s ass if you and half the country become anti 2nd amendment. I can promise you that the other half of us don’t care. Nor would we care if you completely outlawed everything but slingshots. Never, Beth NEVER!! Yes, “Cold, dead hands”, surrounded by a mountain of empty shell casings.

              • 1. Hope you don’t mind: since the Guidelines officially say no to rants, I thought at least I could make it LOOK less like one. I almost took out the exclamation points…

                2. 99.9999999999999% certain that this country would never tolerate or elect the kind of government that would require armed citizen resistance (there was another 9 or so there before Obama), but I agree that the SEcond Amendment is vital to keeping the risk and probability at zero.

                3. Guns aren’t going anywhere, and its a nice test of how ignorant and estranged a citizen is from his or her country to hear someone assert otherwise. It’s like Justice Ginsberg saying that the ACA is wonderful because the rest of the first world has socialized medicine, so we should to. How does a woman who think like this get to the Supreme Court? A policy must be good because the rest of the world thinks so? I guess that’s why we have a king…oh, wait…

                4. Always good to hear Chuck quoted.

                • Don’t mind at all. Every now and then, there are times that I’m mashing the keyboard with my 2 stubby index fingers faster than I can think, and I wish I had an editor. One thing I wish I could figure out; italics. Not the pasta kind, but the things that allow me to tilt my words instead of scream them.
                  I’m maybe not quite as certain as you (I give us about 75-80%), but I promise you I’m not one of those idiots who masturbates to Red Dawn with his cammy pants around his ankles, having seen war, and asking God every night to spare my wife and kids the sight of it. I pray with all my heart and soul it never comes to that, but I think this quote sums up my take nicely:
                  “All too many of the other great tragedies of history – Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few – were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.
                  My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history.
                  The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late.
                  The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.
                  However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
                  Judge Alex Kozinski dissenting in Silveira v. Lockyer, 328 F.3d 567 (9th Circuit 2003)

                • I apologize to you, by the way. I hope you know I have the utmost respect for you and what you do here, and I’ll be more mindful about your vision for this site.

                • Guns aren’t going anywhere — at least in my lifetime — but I think we are on a track in the next 100 to 150 years to eliminate anything other than shotguns, hunting rifles, etc.

                  Constitutions can be amended. While the gun culture is incredibly vocal in this country, it is diminishing. That day absolutely will come if we continue on this track. I always find it amusing when the gun nuts scream at me because I actually support gun owner’s rights and am trying to help them see a little reason. If they continue down this ridiculous path, their rights will go away.

                  The idea that an armed US citizenry (and a small minority at that) could take on the US military is fanciful. Putting aside whether or not the armed revolt is just or treasonous (and who gets decide that — hopefully not ranting Joed), it would not work. The only reason it did work in the 18th Century was that the rebels had the same weapons as England, England had to sail here to fight us, England was preoccupied in other conflicts, and France took care of the British Navy. In 2014, the US (I believe) has the 8th largest military in the World — what other countries are going to intervene to stop the US government (however tyrannical) from crushing a home grown rebellion? Does Joed have an air force, a navy, missiles? Joed won’t even die with bullet casings around him, a drone would just take him out.

                  In my downtime today, I am going to ponder who would make up Joed’s army. Certainly, there would be a fair percentage who know their way around weapons and possibly served, but how many are like the Walmart mom and other idiots who simply own a gun but don’t know the first thing about using one? And, what percentage of gun owners would even care?

                  • I find it amusing that liberals, who have managed to take a mental illness and turn it into the modern-day political equivalent of The Black Plague,call other people nuts (usually anyone with the temerity to disagree with them). Nice can-do spirit, too. I understand the mentality, though. It’s roughly analogous to the left’s equality of outcome dream. Why fight if the odds aren’t 50-50? It’s not fair, and you’ll only die tired. I mean, did those Jews in the Warsaw ghetto really have to be such difficult pricks?

              • My favorite thing in the World is when people throw around Constitutional arguments on this blog like they know what they are talking about.

                Since post WWII, how many citizens in Western First World countries have been slaughtered by their governments? None. That stat holds true in countries with strict no gun laws as well as ours.

                • Presumably you are, for the sake of that statement, declaring that Soviet Russia, and the Iron Curtain countries, and China, of course, don’t qualify as First World countries?

                  I’d check the facts again.

                  • Don’t Jack! We can’t set up our No True Scotsman arguments if you expect us to look at countries other than those who 1) Burned out Centuries of pent up energy in WW2 and 2) Who benefitted directly from the half-century Pax Americana!!! NO!!!

                    • To be fair to her, she did say “Western First World” countries. The Slavic eastern European countries, and Russia, do not qualify, nor does China, as they are not considered Western.

                    • Well thats just it. It’s a dirty trick pretending like the only comparison is to western europe (which is currently *peaceful* for the reasons I stated. It’s a dishonest tactice.

                      European culture right now, is not much different than in 1912…

                    • Europe is not that different now than it was in 1912? Did you really write that? I need to give back my history degree ….

                    • As a matter of clarity, since you are being subtly obfuscatory, I said, European culture isn’t much different than in 1912. And it isn’t. Their economy is almost as integrated and reativey free as in 1912. Their governments are as seemibgly benign as they were in 1912…

                      Their leve of secularism on the surface has changed but in practice is similar to 1912…

                      They hate jews just as much as always, just jow their guilt for what happened is waning. They are beginning to hate Muslims again.

                      But by all means, keep believing Europe isnt the same monster it’s always been.

                    • I just want to know how she thinks geographical boundaries or the span of a few years changes human nature, or that of governments?

                  • The Soviet Union is still not a First World Country — China is getting there. Note I said “Western” above — I’m not a geography expert, but I don’t seem to recall the Iron Curtain, Russia, or China ever being referred to as a Western country.

                • By the way, since when is the Constitution not accessible or analyze-able by the Common Citizen? It was designed specifically for the average American to understand it and voice his/her opinion on it.

                  Or would you have us rely on a Priesthood of Lawyers who can only read the language and keep the Average American relying on the central interpreters for the rest of time, like the medieval catholic church and it’s refusal to translate the Bible to the vernacular for fear the average parishioner might see what is being hidden from them?

                • My favorite thing is when people reveal themselves to be smug, arrogant, and condescending, and keep on mentioning what they find amusing or what their favorite thing is, as if the world revolves around them and anyone gives a shit. As far as ” I am trying to help them see a little reason”, that’s very magnanimous of you to be willing to bequeath your wisdom and simplify everyone’s life, but I think I’m going to go it alone on this one, thanks.

                  • I’m sorry in advance, Jack. I’ll understand if you need to give me a time-out period. You’ll probably recall why I’m a bit testy about this subject. No more on this from me.

  4. This would never happen to me. It is entirely possible to prevent this from happening with 100% certainty, that doesn’t involve government intrusion, or leaving yourself less prepared for that day you hope and pray never comes. I would never let it happen, but I can tell you that if it did, if one of my precious babies, who I live and breathe for, died because of my carelessness, I would blow my brains out on the spot, or have to be locked up in a lunatic asylum for the rest of my days. I can’t understand how people could be so careless. I obsess over snow tires, car seats, air bags, proper nutrition, and on and on and on about my kids. A loaded gun within their reach? Chop off my arms, so I can never handle one again.

    • Don’t blame you, buddy. I still worry about my 3 sons, ranging in age from 47-40. Just a wild guess, they’re not as cute as your daughters, but they may be the best thing I ever did.

        • Don’t expect them to like it, though. You and I are both more or less responsible gun owners, and only rarely does my house contain anybody under the age of 45. When it does, Old Slab Side goes into the locked gun cabinet, which my 2 year-old great grandson cannot get into. But, there are obviously a fair number of people out there who can’t find their butts with both hands, help and a road map, folks who probably shouldn’t even own a gun. So yeah, I’m in favor of some regulation, just not sure what it should be. Damn sure shouldn’t make it a law that everybody has to follow MY lead. I make WAY too many mistakes.

          • By the way, there’s a really good chance that I will be purchasing the legendary, iconic Thompson Submachine Gun! That’s right; the gun that made the 20’s roar! Doug Richardson has essentially been the caretaker of the Thompson name, and its leading expert; a PhD engineer with over 70 years of work on making design improvements (37 of them to date) on the guns, as well as manufacturing parts, tooling, and display receivers of the highest grade. By buying his machines, tooling, drawings, and patents, I would be inheriting all of his work and expertise at well below cost. I would pick up where Col. Thompson left off in 1942. For now, I would be manufacturing tools and parts, but I’m hoping to get some things cleared up so I can sell post-samples to class II and III’s and to law enforcement. Trying to work it out with the VA now. Hooray !!

            • I forgot to mention that he’s been going blind for a while now, which is why he’s selling. He owns a Land Rover business, so this has been nothing more than a hobby to him. He grilled me for over 2 hours the other day, wanting to know how much of the history behind this gun that I know. He’s been refusing to sell to anyone that lacks real knowledge and enthusiasm, as well as the machining talent, for this for the last few years that he’s been trying to sell it.

            • If you ever have a reason to give one away for free or an extremely discounted price, don’t forget your internet friend from Fort Worth!

              If it hasn’t been disclosed yet… that’s me.

  5. Unfortunately I agree with the majority of posters here. The 2nd and 4th amendments probably prohibit any kind of random spot-checking of citizens’ homes, actually this kind of spot-check is more unconstitutional than others, since there is a fundemental right at stake. The Bill of Rights wasn’t written with an asterisk next to it saying that these rights are subject to revocation once one breeds.

    • The government is empowered to make health and safety inspections, not “spot checks.” I’m not at all certain one couldn’t write a law that would meet 5 justices’ standards for 4th Amendment compliance.

      • Health and safety inspections are of course normal for businesses and transfers where the government, licensing, etc., are involved, any penalties involved are administrative, and fundamental rights are not at issue.

        There is a lower standard for regulation of economic activity than there is for Bill of Rights protected activity. Not that any protection is absolute, but there is a big difference between health inspectors checking a restaurant’s kitchen for cleanliness periodically under threat of economic sanctions and police randomly popping into people’s residences to check on protected activity.

          • Gotcha. I guess I am throwing out a few of the good faith arguments that could be raised to oppose same. Too often the difference between a bad law and an unconstitutional law is five votes.

          • I can see this too. What I’m guessing actually happens is that some frosh congressman says “hey, why aren’t we doing gun safety inspections?”, and his mentors laugh, and say “you want a shooting war with 150 million pissed off Americans? Time, young buck, time; this second amendment thingy must die from a thousand paper cuts, not one fell blow.”

            • If safety inspections for guns can be justified, why not random inspections to ensure parents are not sexually abusing their children? Child sexual abuse is perhaps more common than accidental shootings. I mean, if we want to throw away the 4th Amendment, why not have monitoring of family life to ensure that sexual abuse does not happen?

    • I’m hoping that one day our wise and benevolent busybodies get around to outlawing sickness and death. These things have been plaguing humanity for far too long.

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