Thursday, May 2


WON'T someone please overlook the children?
“Down in Kentucky where we’re from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. “You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything.”
What is more unusual than a child having a gun, he said, is “that a kid would get shot with it.”
Y'know, there're more seat belts than there are people thrown headlong through windshields, too.
Phelps, who is much like a mayor in these parts, said it had been four or five years since there had been a shooting death in the county, which lies along the Cumberland River near the Tennessee state line.

Let's holster the self-congratulations, Your Honor. The population of Cumberland county in 2011 was 6,832. That gives a death by gun rate of 0.0037%. In 2011 New York City's was 0.0072%.
“The whole town is heartbroken,” Phelps said of Burkesville, a farming community of 1,800 about 90 miles northeast of Nashville, Tenn. “This was a total shock. This was totally unexpected.”

Not by the rest of us it ain't.
White said the shooting had been ruled accidental, though a police spokesman said it was unclear whether any charges will be filed.
“I think it’s too early to say whether there will or won’t be,” Trooper Billy Gregory said.
You leave a kid in the car here while you run in the 7-Eleven for smokes, and not only will she be in the custody of Child Protective Services by the time you get back, and you in handcuffs, you'll be the lead story on the local news.
“It’s a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun,” White said.

Let's be fair: you can't expect a five-year-old to distinguish between proper and improper targets every time.
The company that makes the rifle, Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms, has a “Kids Corner” on its website with pictures of young boys and girls at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts. It says the company produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles for kids in 2008. The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

The only five-year-old who needs to kill birds or deer is one who needs to eat them, too.
According to the website, company founders Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s and opened Keystone in 1996 with just four employees, producing 4,000 rifles that year. It now employs about 70 people.

So much for "generations" handing down cherished weapons. The real tradition here is Jab It In Your Fucking Eye, which dates to 1964 or so.

There's nothing about sensible gun regulation that would take one bit of "tradition" away from you people. And nothing is what will bring back that little girl, or repair that family. You have been sold a load of shit, with a free side order of cultural resentment. Will anything teach you any different?


R. Porrofatto said...

Sparks paid little attention as her 5-year-old son, Kristian, played with the rifle he was given last year.

Which means they gave it to him when he was four. Jesus. We don't even trust 4 year-olds with the TV remote control. But a fucking .22, bullet of choice for Mossad hitmen? No problem.

millsapian87 said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "traditionally" the age at which one got his first gun was 12 years of age. At that point you could really impress upon the li'l bastard the finer points of gun safety. I cannot imagine any rationale for giving a four-year-old a goddamn .22. I wasn't even allowed to mow the lawn until I was 12. I could sure rake the leaves, though.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If that little two-year-old had been armed, too, none of this would have happened.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

teh only thing that stops a little kid with a gun is another little kid with a gun.

Kathy said...

I sure hope "Child Endangerment" charges are filed. It will be insane if they aren't. But the, its already insane. How can it be OK to give a toddler a firearm?

grouchomarxist said...

In southern Kentucky, where children get their first guns even before they start first grade, Stephanie Sparks paid little attention as her 5-year-old son, Kristian, played with the rifle he was given last year.

It's a long time since I've read so much wrong concentrated in a single sentence.

Aside from the gibbering lunacy of giving a child that age a .22 rifle, how stupid do you have to be to let him treat a deadly weapon as a toy? Yet it clearly implies -- and for her sake, I hope I'm mistaken -- that the mother knew her son was playing with it.

I grew up in a family of hunters, and that's just unbelievably contrary to everything I was ever taught about firearm safety, let alone simple common sense. I remember target shooting with single-shot .22s at summer camp when I was 10, but in the gun culture of my youth, 12 was the traditional age for owning your first real gun, usually something like a .22 rifle or a .410 shotgun.

[C]ompany founders Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s ...

Encouraged, no doubt, by the success of their "Bag o' Broken Glass" and "Bucket o' Medical Waste" line of children's toys.

bob_is_boring said...

An armed five-year-old is a polite five-year-old.

Anonymous said...

But don't you see? If we prevent 4-year-olds from owning firearms, we've set the stage for tyranny!

The really horrible part of this, beyond the death and trauma for the family, is that the gun-promoters will somehow figure out a way to make this yet more evidence for more guns in the hands of more people--and toddlers, too.

Porlock Junior said...

Well, as already mentioned, you can't expect a 5-year-old to distinguish proper from improper targets every time.

No more than a Vice President of the United States.

Seriously, who could take the honesty and good sense and early training of the zillions of Responsible Gun Owners with any seriousness at all after hearing the vast cry of outrage that went up when it came out that Cheney had broken pretty much every possible rule of gun handling? I mean, apart from those who couldn't hear the outcry in all the noise of the crickets.

Fiddlin Bill said...

Another implicit "argument" in the story is the fantastic "success" of the Gun Manufacturer--from 4 to 70 employees. This is all the current Right Wing needs for justification.