February 23, 2009

Lock up guns, not kids

Posted: 03:27 PM ET

NEW YORK–Another young child has been accused of picking up a gun and fatally shooting a member of his household. In western Pennsylvania, an 11-year-old boy has been charged in the murder of his father's 26-year-old girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant.

In Session anchor Lisa Bloom

As I read down the article yesterday, here's the underreported fact that jumped out at me: the boy had a shotgun that was specially manufactured for children. Let me say that again. The boy had been given a youth shotgun, smaller than the adult version, but apparently, just as deadly.

Are we out of our minds? I have long been saddened, as I interview one grieving family after another, that we lack the political will to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people, and even children, but now we're making special kiddie guns?

This fifth grader, charged as an adult, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Pennsylvania, my beloved home state, has the shame of having the highest number of juveniles in the nation serving life without parole sentences. And now they want to lock up another kid and throw away the key.

What are we doing?

I have a simple solution: lock up guns, not kids. It's so simple. Lock up guns, not kids. Let's prevent these crimes, and stop throwing away chidlren's lives.

Lock up guns, not kids. Can't we all get behind that?

–Lisa Bloom, In Session anchor

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southerndrawal72   February 23rd, 2009 3:56 pm ET

Are you fools? Locking up that will solve everything, won't it? Don't you think that if this kid wanted to kill, that he couldn't and wouldn't have picked up oh, say a knife to kill her while she slept? Or maybe a ball bat? No, let's just outlaw everything and lock it up. After that, shall we cut off hands? Use common sense. If people spent more time with their children and taught them values, this would not happen as much. But human beings will always get angered or jealous and will retaliate in one way or another. Oh wait, we now have drugs for that. Sheesh. People, get a brain. It is human nature to act out. However, good parenting would help the most.

Aric   February 23rd, 2009 3:58 pm ET

"If guns kill people, then forks make them fat."

I'll never understand why people try to shift blame from where it needs to be. For example, why aren't you blaming the parents who furnished the firearm, and apparently afforded the child access to it?

If he had stabbed the woman with a spoon, would you have written an article about locking up tableware?

On a side note, did you ever notice you never hear about the millions of other gun owners who own guns without incident?

Luisa   February 23rd, 2009 4:02 pm ET

I agree to an extent, simply because what 11 year old thinks of actually killing a pregnant woman? how normal is that? obviously this means that this is a disturbed individual as all serial killers, notorious murderers are, they start off at a very young age with disturbing thoughts..killing animals..doing all types of harm before they get older and put their thoughts into play..this 11 year old did not wait to get older he put his thoughts into play because he was obviously sick..mentally that is. now I agree with lock up guns...yes, now this was a shot gun, I'm assuming that this was used for hunting many, and I repeat many responsable dads/grandfathers do hunt with their kids/grandkids so, he most likely knew where it was kept, most likely knew that it was only to be used when hunting...BUT his disturbing thoughts overrided all of those rules.... only assuming here..BUT it makes a lot of sense...

Martin Wilson   February 23rd, 2009 4:11 pm ET

I believe it is a mistake to to place this ridiculous crime into an "either/or" situation. How about locking up the kid and banning gun ownership for children. Perhaps parents should be more concerned with giving their kids ethics than firearms.

Former Army   February 23rd, 2009 4:13 pm ET

Lisa your article is full of naiveté with a cute little phrase. Be realistic as “southerndrawal72” stated people who want to kill people do. A gun is just one weapon available. All the gun laws in the world do not keep criminals from having them, they only keep the law abiding people from them. What a bout vihicular homicide? Should we lock up cars???

Dennis   February 23rd, 2009 4:17 pm ET

You people are missing the point! The quote "If Guns kill people, Forks make them fat" is a terrible comparison. The fact is, guns are made specifically for one purpose, that is to kill. Forks are generally used to eat food, something that all humans require. The amount of food you eat with your fork, COULD make you fat, but forks are not made specifically to make people fat in the way guns are to kill. It makes no sense to give somebody the death peanlty for murdering someone while at the same time refusing to ban the murder weapon used (guns) in the vast majority of murders in this country.

Adam C   February 23rd, 2009 4:24 pm ET

The difference is, if a kid doesn't have access to a gun, then maybe he wouldn't try to kill a person with a knife or a 'ball bat'. And even if he did try, its not a guarantee that he is going to succeed.

With a gun, a deadly weapon, its as simple as point and click. I'll never understand how strongly people will defend guns while kids are killing their siblings on 'accident', killing themselves on 'accident'.

The entire purpose of owning most guns is for protection, right? Why can we not offer citizens other, less deadly forms of protection?

I'll agree that irresponsible parents/family members are 100% guilty, but since we obviously have such a large percentage of dumb/irresponsible people in this country, maybe we need to take more drastic steps to idiot-proof the things we are all allowed to own.

micahela   February 23rd, 2009 4:35 pm ET

I would say the mental stability of this child was questionable long before he picked up the gun. What is going on in the government school he attends? also the house hold?

If that 11 year old knew about guns and was taught that they kill, then he would have not picked it up and shot his mother. I would say something else is going on with the kid..

I wish that these liberal news agency's would stop trying to blame the guns and start looking at the crap that they dish out on a daily bases.

think.   February 23rd, 2009 4:35 pm ET

I thought this article would be beneficial and have some actual logic involved but I was dissapointed. I am Pro GUNS to the core, locking up guns could be a good thing in the sense that they are out of reach of children until an appropriate time IE: hunting, skeet shooting. the bigger question is where was the parental influence on gun safety and appreciation of life? from the articles ive read it might actually be better that the parental influence wasnt there. if the parent had provided a stable home this wouldnt be an issue. i wouldnt be happy if my dad was impregnating other women and letting them move into my house. we should put the parent in prison for his lack basic brain functionality and common sense.

Cocodrie   February 23rd, 2009 4:36 pm ET

No child should be allowed free access to weapons just as no child should be allowed to drink liquor, drive a car, or operate a chainsaw without goggles. Hello! A gun is not a knife. If any of you gun nuts had ever lived on a farm, you'd know that killing any critter with a knife ain't easy. Killing with a gun IS easy. Real easy.

And we don't hear about the millions of gun owners who own guns without incident (including myself) because when NOTHING happens, babe, it ain't news.

Quit being so defensive.

Okram   February 23rd, 2009 4:37 pm ET

50% of me dosen't see a problem with locking up any firearm from minors, But! the other 50% says if that kid shot an intruder who was raping his mother, he would be a hero now!. Guns are not bad, only PEOPLE are bad. This kid has issues, thats what letting your children play bang, bang, kill, everyone Video games gets you, it Dumbs you down to real world reality, I have seen Smart people get a rush from all the killing in those video games.
People will always be the problem, not guns!

rj   February 23rd, 2009 4:38 pm ET

it takes a lot more to kill someone with a knife than a gun...

jd   February 23rd, 2009 4:46 pm ET

If these lttle crappers who use guns today, had no guns tomorrow, they would use Knives, sticks, rocks or whatever they could get their hands on. Not only should we lock up the kids, but their parents as well for raising such little miscreants.

rub   February 23rd, 2009 4:47 pm ET

Let's stop and think for a minute. I myself have as a young child thought about doing something bad to my parents to prevent what they were doing to me. I was put through an unimaginable childhood and I just as easily could have commited the same crime as a child. Children are like a computer without any data and their enviroment inputs the data and then we put them in jail for the rest of their lives. Why would you give a child a gun, why would he want to kill his dad's girlfriend, these are the questions that should be answered before he loses his life also. This "America" is a joke and it will collapse. It's just like everything in the country if you have money and you murder someone somehow you didn't do it, but if you are a child and your parents rapped you and you kill them you go to jail the rest of your life give me a break.

thompson   February 23rd, 2009 4:51 pm ET

Lisa Bloom, is that a " simple solution?" Let's be sure that every criminal in the US knows that all guns are locked up. Where did you come up with that idea? Let's develop a constitutinal amendment that will ban alchol and that will stop drinking and traffic deaths due to alchol. OH, WAIT, hasn't that been tried? Yeah, with great positive results. Remember, Lisa, act in haste and repent at leisure. Come up with something other than that old tired blathering to do away with all guns.

Judy Statz   February 23rd, 2009 4:54 pm ET

Locking up guns is not the answer. anyone ever been killed with a knife? a hammer?

I'm sorry, but even though this child is only 11 years old, his victim is just as dead as if he were 45.

Please don't tell me that at 11, he didn't understand that loading a shotgun he had been taught to use, walking up behind her and firing would cause her death. BULL!! he understood, knew what he was doing and did it anyway. why? maybe he got yelled at or maybe even spanked for doing something wrong, maybe he wasn't getting enough of daddy's attention.

Life in prison!!! 11 or 45, the victim is still just as dead.

ThinkAboutIt   February 23rd, 2009 5:05 pm ET

Granted, it is senseless why these children resorted to murder. However, I do need to agree with my colleges that locking up ones firearms is not going to solve the problem. A gun is a tool, just like a knife, hammer or even a car. It was designed for a specific purpose. How we use these tools is what determines our criminal intent.

If you truly want to curb the crime, then we need to look at the root cause of the problem. Everyone can start by first looking in the mirror and ask themselves what they have done lately to show their children that they love and care about them. It starts with “Self”, then “Family” and ends with “Society”.

As individuals, we need to set aside our selfish behaviors and put others before ourselves (especially our children). As families, we need to work at staying together. As a society, we need to start holding one another accountable for our actions; especially, those within the public spotlight or those holding public office. We need to get back to what is right and what is wrong and what is ethical verse unethical.

You need to ask yourself, why does Pennsylvania have the highest number of juveniles in the nation serving life without parole? You can start by asking his parents, his family and then society as a whole.

In conclusion, it appears this young man came from a broken home. Well, so did I. It appears, he was probably angry about his biological mother being replaced by someone else. We’ll so was I. His father most likely didn’t spend ample time with him in lieu of the new arrival. Neither did mine. He had ready access to a youth shotgun. Growing up, so did I.

RUTH   February 23rd, 2009 5:05 pm ET

I live pretty close to where this happened and belive me everyone is in shock to think that an 11 year old could and did kill 2 people. To think he killed them and then just went off to school like nothing happened. Do our young people think they can do things like this and have it not affect a whole family and many more people. You can not solve something with violence, and people do not come back to life like they do on TV. The boy does need help. Belive me I would not feel safe knowing he was let out on bail. I guess it is time to lock up your home and keep youeself inside like we were in jail just to be safe.

Orangello   February 23rd, 2009 5:12 pm ET

Well, the boy could've stabbed her or given her the ole Drano cocktail. I received a gun when i was too young to drive, but i also received proper instruction on how to safely use the gun. When i shot my first squirrel, my father had me take a good look at it afterwards, so that i would understand what guns do to things that are shot. I don't think we should really blame the gun for killing the woman, the boy shot her. Had the boy never hunted & seen the results of a gunshot wound? Maybe we should limit minors to plastic cutlery & safety scissors, too. {sarcasm}

momto3   February 23rd, 2009 5:15 pm ET

I am so tired of all the guns don't kill crap. We can barely go outside in our yard because of all the idiot kids shooting their bb guns (illegally) at birds, dogs, houses, people. All the gun nuts give their babies a bb gun, their ten year olds a shot gun, and then their teenager a super gun. All of them waving their right to own fire arms flags in your face, while you are hostage in your own house. These are the kind of people that own pit bulls and are very surprised when it attacks one of their children. Where is my right to be safe in my own neighborhood?

LLCOOLK   February 23rd, 2009 5:16 pm ET

Ok first of all "Aric" yes, if there were as many kids killing people with spoons as there are with guns the you bet I would right an article about locking them up. Don't try and use some stupid senerio to try and prove a point.

And as for everyone who thinks that guns should not be locked up but rather values should be taught to our kids...yeah you are right...but the sad fact of the matter is some parents don't do that and sometimes its just up to society as a whole to make the rules when the individuals can't do it.

Brittany   February 23rd, 2009 5:17 pm ET

I cannot get behind that, it is unconstitutional.

Many children are taught firearm responsibility by their parents and go on to practice their 2nd amendment rights with out ever hurting someone.

I agree, the blame lies with the father, not the gun, not the child. Why wasn't the child's shotgun kept in a safe? What were the surrounding circumstances?

Triggers don't pull themselves. Law abiding people shouldn't be punished for the crimes of idiots like this father from Pennsylvania.

Catherine   February 23rd, 2009 5:18 pm ET

I have to agree. If this child had not been allowed near the gun, chances are, his father's girlfriend would still be alive. It's sick how many people can get their hands on guns–and I am the daughter of a nationally ranked silhouette shooter! I won't go near them, won't own dad owns many, but he taught me the dangers of them and not to 'mess' with them as this child did. It's probably not entirely the kid's fault...his dad should have taught him better and watched him with a sharper eye. Yes, it's true that people kill people, but it does happen that people who don't know how to use a gun properly do kill. Banning or enforcing stricter gun ownership rules would not prevent crime and murders by people who disregard all laws, but it would help prevent MANY accidents like this.

Ryan D   February 23rd, 2009 5:20 pm ET

The recreational use of firearms by properly supervised children can be an enjoyable and educational experience for families. The small stature of children often renders adult firearms too large to be handled properly and/or safely, hence the need for firearms built to a reduced scale. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the manufacture of what the author derisively refers to as "kiddie guns".

However, I must agree that most 11 year olds are not responsible enough to have ready, UNSUPERVISED access to arms and ammunition. The blame squarely belongs on the parents here, not for buying their child a gun and teaching him how to shoot (a noble pursuit), but rather by leaving it and the child in such a manner that the boy could access it and arm himself in an uncontrolled environment.

Tyler   February 23rd, 2009 5:21 pm ET

sure, lock up guns.
thats great.

but if a kid thinks its okay to pick up a gun and shoot somebody then i think he or she needs to sit in jail awhile i think that over again.
killing a human being a very seriouse crime. and to me, it just doesnt matter how old you are, or what it takes, they need to learn that it is not okay to take another mans life. bottom line.

merith   February 23rd, 2009 5:29 pm ET

A youth shotgun should have been accompanied by a hunter permit, given only after XX # of hours are spent in a hunter's safety course. And as with all firearms, the shotgun should have been locked up separately from its shells.

The fact that the child had free access to both is negligence. The fact the parent purchased the weapon for the child is not. Many pre-teens enjoy hunting with a like-minded parent (or sponsor). Most do not use firearms in a reckless manner.

I would rather have hunting weapons made specifically for a child's hands than have a child attempt to use an adult hunting rifle or shotgun. What I think your focus on this piece should be is more on educating parents on locking up the weapons, educating their children about the dangers of using those weapons for means other than hunting, and for legislation that calls for mandatory incarceration for murder.

But, regardless of the age, if a child commits a crime, the child should have to pay for that crime regardless of the age. And if the child commits the crime that could have been prevented with minimal care and preventative measures by an adult, then that adult should share some of the burden of that crime.

liZa   February 23rd, 2009 5:30 pm ET

guns kill! thats that! the kid was curious with a gun. these type of weapons are glamourized. not a bat, not a knife. if he didnt have a gun, the thought would of never crossed his mind. lock all the guns up and take these killing hobbies away no matter how much the people cry. save a hobby or kill a person? oh thats a though one! duh. guns kill! thats that!

Dede Brunson   February 23rd, 2009 5:31 pm ET

It is apparent that Lisa Bloom grew up in the city. You have to understand that for some kids owning guns is just part of life. Most that have guns hunt with their dads and have a VERY NORMAL life. My son is 8 and has a 22 rifle that he uses to hunt or just target practice in the yard. It is a way for most fathers and sons to spend time together. My husband also coaches baseball and soccer so guns are not all he is into but teaching him how to shoot and how to handle a gun safely is just a part of life in our community and not knowing is more abnormal here. It is all about parenting and supervising your children. Too many people have children and have no idea how to raise them to be morally responsible and I think that is the bigger issue in our nation.

Chris   February 23rd, 2009 5:33 pm ET

Guns are a toll, just like baseball bats, cars, knives, hammers, axes, etc...pick your poision. Maybe they should register axes and basball bats, then again, hockey sticks are pretty dangerous too, you may need a permit to have one!

Bobby   February 23rd, 2009 5:39 pm ET

I agree with them. Better parenting over taking away the 2nd amendment

Michelle   February 23rd, 2009 5:41 pm ET

I'll make it unanimous! Eminem said it best, "...and they blame it on Marilyn...Where were the parents at? Now it's a tragedy. Now it's so sad to see..." Is there a legal way to charge parents, and as punishment, have parent and child serve time together? The child would have never had a gun if his parent hadn't bought him one.

The one responsible for the shooting is the parent who made sure the child had a gun and ammunition. The one responsible for carrying out the act, the child who was able to wrap his mind around the fact that it is OK to take a life, but again, aren't values taught by parents?

Jesse   February 23rd, 2009 5:47 pm ET

southerndrawal72 you are a fool, it is much less likely this child would have had the strength to beat this women to death witha baseball bat.. and even would have had much more trouble stabbing her as it does take some force to plunge a knife deep into someone... and whats to say this child would have even had the guts to stab her or beat her to death, it is much easier to point a gun and pull a trigger then any of the ways you mentiond. I'm not sayin outlaw guns, im saying there need to be much stricter rules surrounding them and i could not agree more with Lisa about how crazy it is to have a child size version of a shot gun.. and if you think any different mabey you need to take a good look at what's been going on in this country.

Barbara   February 23rd, 2009 5:51 pm ET

What a horrible tragedy! My deepest sympathy goes out to the loved ones, those who are innocent.
I will never understand why parents allow the kids to have guns. The adults are guilty here.

Dan   February 23rd, 2009 5:53 pm ET

This article just goes to show that the American media today is full of ignorance.

To all reporters, journalists, and anchors:

Spending ten minutes covering a story doesn't qualify you as "informed and educated" on the subject.

Read your lines, report the facts, and if you're forced to state your opinion, get a brain first and THINK ABOUT IT.

Michael   February 23rd, 2009 5:57 pm ET

Get a clue Lisa... Obviously you aren't a gun owner

Me   February 23rd, 2009 5:59 pm ET

I shoot high power rifles in competition and i'm only fifteen. I havn't killed anybody. Mine is an AR-15. It's an exactly like the military's M-16, just without the rapid fire. What idiots write this stuff?

Cecilia   February 23rd, 2009 6:01 pm ET

Those of you who say, "Oh, he would have found something else to kill her with if he hadn't had the gun" seem to be missing a very salient point – - this CHILD had his own GUN!! Does that really seem appropriate to you?! I think it's absolutely outrageous, and I agree with Lisa. Maybe if his father hadn't taken him on little trips to kill animals for fun and given him his own weapon, he wouldn't have developed such a callous disregard for life in the first place. And would he really have killed this woman if it hadn't been so easy?! Yes, "bad parenting" is certainly probably to blame here, but let's not act like it's cool for eleven-year-old kids to have firearms in their toy collections. And Aric...the primary purpose of a spoon is to eat with it. The primary purpose of a gun is to shoot and kill with – - no, wait a second – - that's the ONLY purpose of a gun!! I hate the disgusting things and I'll never have one in my house, I can tell you that. You own a gun and you're far more likely to have an injured or dead child one day than you are to ward off an "intruder."

Charles   February 23rd, 2009 6:05 pm ET

When you have people that do not discipline their children, bad stuff can happen. Guess what? People are born sinful. They are not born good. The Bible says train them and they won't grow up wild and crazy. Today you have excuses. You set them in front of a TV and send them to a school that teaches them there is no God and we evolved from ectoplasmic residue. Go figure, they act like animals.
Don't be lazy in the rearing of your children, you will live to regret it!

Deb I   February 23rd, 2009 6:09 pm ET

Yes, lock up guns. But, there is something wrong with a gun-educated 11 yearold who deliberately shoots a pregnant woman, goes to school, lies about the shooting and tries to blame an innocent person. There are a certain number of people who have no conscience and no sense of responsibility towards others. Could this be one? There is something significantly wrong with this child. For the record, there is also someone who gave that child a gun and ammunition and left both in the child's hands. He is someone else I would like to see punished severely as well.

MayBlue   February 23rd, 2009 6:11 pm ET

I don't believe that Junior suddenly had issues. I think there had be a string of bad behavior in the past and Junior didn't just decide to pick up a gun and kill his step mom on a whim. Clearly, this kid had problems. I think whoever bought him the gun and let him have access to it, should be punished. Don't be appalled by the fact that guns are made for kids. My daughter has a youth model 20 gauge shotgun she uses for sport shooting. I would never have given her a firearm if she displayed any troubled behavior. Yes, lock up your guns in a safe so that children don't get a hold of them, but don't assume that guns have feet and arms making it capable of loading shells and shooting pregnant women. A kid, who needed a lot of help prior to this incident, shot her.

Matthew   February 23rd, 2009 6:34 pm ET

The "Youth" Model shotguns are not "special kiddie guns". A quick trip through google would have made that clear.

They simply have a 1" or so shorter length of pull (basically the distance from the butt to the trigger) and a lighter weight by a few ounces to make them easier to handle by shooters with shorter arms and less upper body strength.

Many, if not most, users of "Youth" shotguns are actually adult women and small framed men.

Replace the shorter buttstock or add a spacer and the gun would be indistinguishable from a standard model from the same manufacturer.

As always, the problem is with the user, not the gun. Hundreds of thousands of kids that age have free access to firearms and don't commit murder. The plural of anecdote is not data and making policy decisions based on incidents notable primarily by their rarity is ridiculous.

For that matter, I'm not sure when people stopped making distinctions between ages of minors, perhaps it sounds more shocking news-wise or makes it easier to sway public opinion to lump every minor from 1-18 into the "child" label.

It certainly isn't useful when it comes to actually dealing with criminal issues. This incident of a troubled child misusing a legally-owned firearm has little to nothing in common with, say, a teenage or pre-teen gang member with a criminal record using an illegally possessed firearm.

Gary   February 23rd, 2009 6:35 pm ET

I totally agree. Let's get rid of everything that can be used to kill. Let's start with Alcohol, then move to Cars. After these two, let's outlaw tobacco because these three kill more times more Americans than guns. Then let's get rid of Kids. Without the Kids, there will be no killing. I believe our logic is aligned. Nice work Lisa!

Val   February 23rd, 2009 6:48 pm ET

Yes, an 11-year-old may still attempt murder without a gun, but just how much success do you think the average kid would have, killing a grown man or woman without the help of shotguns and pistols? People kill people but guns help. Ms. Bloom is absolutely right-lack of gun control is a big part of this issue. Guns, like sex, are being introduced to our nation's children, and glamourized while they are still too young to fully understand. That poor family would not have been torn apart this way had it not been for the special shotgun.

tim   February 23rd, 2009 6:51 pm ET

Are the other comments serious?? A spoon? A bat? If the kid stabbed her with a spoon she could have woken up and defended herself. Same with a bat. It would take several really strong hits with the bat to do her in, and she could have woken and defended herself. With a gun there isn't that chance. You people are morons.

xxxx   February 23rd, 2009 6:58 pm ET

I agree with your statements – there is always somebody to blame. The parents need to be jailed in this case.

HOWEVER, if the kid didn't have a gun, and only a knife (or a fork)there is a significantly lesser chance that the woman would be killed. What about her right to live? Why not protect her through regulation? YEAH guns kill people.

I'm not saying that people should not have guns – BUT KIDS!!! If he is not competent to vote, he cannot smoke or drink – he should not own a gun. This should be regulated.

Alawyer   February 23rd, 2009 6:58 pm ET

We love guns more than children, perhaps.

While I would not advocate gun prohbition for responsible hunters, it seems that responsible hunters should recognize that children today are not the same as they once were – they are exposed daily to television shootings and video games that deaden the responsiveness to death.

This is not the first time that a very young child has been charged as an adult in Pennsylvania for "murder" – there was the Cameron Kocher case almost 20 years ago – where a 9 year old shot another child off a passing snow mobile. He claimed to have been "playing hunter." Ultimately he pled guilty to manslaughter, which, assuming that this child pulled the trigger here, is the correct offense.

And let's not forget the infamous Jonesboro School shooting. The 11 year old in that case committed mass murder – he had been taught to use rifles to shoot at hard targets. Funny, but we have few cases of children that young who kill with weapons OTHER THAN GUNS AND RIFLES.

Adults should lock up all weapons and keep them locked. Children should not be permitted to use guns and rifles without adult supervision until age 16. Times have changed. The world is more complicated. Our safety should come before the rights of a 10 year old hunter.

Day   February 23rd, 2009 7:03 pm ET

The absolute real issue at hand is the poor / negligent influence that "adults" are having on the lives children in this day. Children are constantly bombarded by advertisement for violent video games. When is the last time you've seen children just outside playing together. Problem number 2 is that adults must spend all there time at work in order to be able to afford the violent video games. Well when you are a single parent and never there to raise a child, problem number 3.

Basically adults have been negligent for the past 20 years (or whatever) and children are now paying the price. So sad.

Patrick   February 23rd, 2009 7:15 pm ET

That same detail in that story struck a chord in me too, with having a kid-sized shotgun. As a commentor above mentioned the comparison between guns and "tableware", you might want to consider the difference between stabbing someone and shooting someone. A trigger takes only a little pressure to activate, but stabbing someone takes physical effort and as a result is a lot harder to go through with. You hear about people accidently shooting themselves but have you ever heard about anyone accidently stabbing themselves to death?
Guns are too easy to kill with, a pregnant woman would have a chance against a knife-wielding 11 year old, but anyone wielding a shotgun it matters not what age they are.

Tom   February 23rd, 2009 7:38 pm ET

Please keep your socialist urban thought in your socialist urban utopia where it belongs.

"Now we're making special kiddie guns?"

Sensationalist journalism and anything to sell copy – par for the course. No, as a matter of fact, youth firearms have been manufactured for the last hundred years, more or less. In fact, when my grandfather taught me to shoot at 7 years of age he bought me my own rifle. My three younger siblings all had firearms as youths, as well. None of us ever killed anyone.

An 11 year old apparently MURDERS a person and you think the problem that this highlights is firearm availability? When Lionel Tate killed a Tiffany Eunick "wrestling" did you call for a ban on wrestling How about when someone dies or kills imitating a video game or a television show. Is the problem really video games and TV? Every time someone dies by means of homicide do you use your media voice to call to limit the freedoms of others to save the life of just one person?

Approximately half of all US households have firearms to the tune of an estimated 223 MILLION firearms in this country. Most of them were not used in any unjustifiable homicide today. You still think the problem is guns? Really? Honestly? You think that a perfectly healthy and normal 11 year old was transformed into a cold-blooded killer by picking up a 'kiddie gun?" You might want to cogitate a bit more about all this before you bloviate next time.

JAK   February 23rd, 2009 7:40 pm ET

I carry my gun everyday, if it's not on my hip it's in the gun safe locked away were little hands can't get it. Punish the idiots that leave their guns out and unprotected. Leave the rest of the responsible gun owners alone!

Elizabeth   February 23rd, 2009 7:46 pm ET

There's nothing wrong with keeping guns under lock and key. That doesn't interfere with anyone's 2nd amendment rights. Kids should only have access to firearms under certain conditions (if at all) and the first one of those conditions should be that they be under the watchful eye of a responsible gun owner. I am for restricting the age that children get to begin shooting guns. There's no need for an 8 year old or an 11 year old to have access to a loaded weapon. Their minds have not developed the ability to see beyond the present, as far as consequences for their actions are determined. The ability to see consequences should be a prerequisite for using weapons that kill.
I taught 11 year-olds for 13 years. There were very few of them that could have figured out how to get a gun to kill their stepmom if there wasn't already one in the house.
Get a gun safe or a trigger lock. Keep your kids and the rest of the people in your family safe.

momofthree   February 23rd, 2009 7:48 pm ET

I would hope that parents would lock up their child's gun. Yes, I have an nine year old that has a 4-10 and another gun that he hunts with. But when he and his daddy are not is locked in the gun safe. He nor the other 2 know the combination of the safe and it is hard to get in. But whether we blame the guns not being locked up, I am not so sure. I just think parents need to quit blaming everything or body else for their child's bad behavior. If we would spank them and let them know right from wrong, it would be better. You did not here about all of this way back when there was spanking in the house or other punishment for theur actions...I think that if you start by showing them the little things that are wrong and what is morally correct, they would have a better chance of being a good child. All i can say is PRAY...this country and every parent out there needs it.

renee   February 23rd, 2009 7:50 pm ET

Every person has a choice that choice is right or wrong at 11 years old this boy new right from wrong . Just because it was a gun that was used does not mean that we should lock up all the guns. Should we lock up all the steak knives all the clothes line cord all the blunt objects? Where there is the decision to do wrong that has been made a way will be found. Don't fool yourselves the gun didn't jump out from the closet and say I think I'll kill someone today... If this kid had told someone else that he wanted to do this which I read in a article then someone should have let the parents in on his plan.....

Twonk   February 23rd, 2009 8:08 pm ET

So yeah, lets throw away all the guns that good, lawkeeping red blooded American citizens should have and make it where only criminals will have guns, then with no citizens with guns because we can't parent our kids good enough, the criminals will triple their efforts and this great American nation will be overrun by gun toting criminals. Great idea....NOT... BOOOOOOOOO!!!!

As far as I'm concerned this boils down to natural selection, I know that sounds inhumane and insensative, I don't want children to be killed or locked up any more than the next, but if our parents today can't respect our right for guns enough to save their kids from them, than maybe it will take a few of these unfortunate instances to jumpstart the rest.

teecee   February 23rd, 2009 8:09 pm ET

Lisa Bloom- Tell that to the victim's 7 & and 4 year-old who will never see their mother again! Obviously a child should not have access to firearms, and especially have his own firearm with unlimited access!
The father should share some of the responsibility for allowing access of the weapon, but ultimately it was the eleven-year old who calculatingly approached a resting pregnant woman and shot her in the back of the head! Step out of the 11yr old/5th grade box and see the big picture! He still should be appropriately accountable for his actions.

jorge   February 23rd, 2009 8:16 pm ET

the boy was a hunter and more than likely so was his dad.
you can buy a youth shotgun for most young hunters and
they dont shoot people with them,the kid clearly had intentions
maybe he thought the new woman was going to replace his old mother and the kid didnt like it so he got rid of her.

Nick   February 23rd, 2009 8:16 pm ET

"Don’t you think that if this kid wanted to kill, that he couldn’t and wouldn’t have picked up oh, say a knife to kill her while she slept? Or maybe a ball bat? "
That is definitely not true. Killing something with a gun is completely different than stabbing to death or beating with a bat. A gun only requires a pull of the trigger, just a twitch in the finger – that's it.
Killing someone with a gun is much less an "ordeal" (for lack of a better word) than is with any other object.

Guns are a huge problem in the US, especially among younger people. Should we therefore outlaw all guns because some idiots can't use them properly? Or don't understand the responsibility needed with them? I'm not sure that's the solution, because the US is a free country. But the fact is, they are incredibly dangerous, and as we have seen in recent news, they cause so many stupid deaths.

What Lisa Bloom said about locking up guns can be taken in two ways: outlaw them and take them away, or physically lock them up, safely, where a child will not be able to grab one so easily.
The latter is a given.

This is an example of terrible parenting, and it's sad to see how many cases demonstrate this (the kid who killed himself with the uzi).

I cannot believe this 11 year old kid is being charged as an adult. It's sickening to do this. He needs help, he needs better parenting. Wasting away in jail is to no ones benefit.

Uncle Whitey   February 23rd, 2009 8:25 pm ET

Manufacturers have been making weapons for children for years. There was a time when kids helped put meat on the table for the family. Some today still do that. Remember guns are tools. Like all tools they should be used responsibly.

Juli   February 23rd, 2009 8:27 pm ET

True, people kill people, but have you ever heard of a drive-by knifing? Having a gun makes it so much more convenient. What good could possibly come out of marketing a gun for children and teaching them to use it? Giving children guns and showing them how to shoot desensitizes them to killing and teaches them not to value life. For those of you that think having a gun in the house makes you safer, just look at the statistics. You or someone you love are more likely to be injured or killed by having a gun in your house, then you are to use it in self defense. When is America going to wake up, this is the second well publicized killing by a child using a gun found in the home, that the child was taught to use!

Jack   February 23rd, 2009 8:33 pm ET

Last time I checked, that kid made a decision to murder the girlfriend. The gun did not jump into his hands and force him to do it. Clearly the kid is a murderer and since he fully understands what he did, he deserves to be in jail. "Can’t we all get behind that?"

Ame   February 23rd, 2009 8:34 pm ET

Quote–"Pennsylvania, my beloved home state, has the shame of having the highest number of juveniles in the nation serving life without parole sentences"

I think the parents need to be looked at. It's obvious that they are failing their children. I think the parents need to be held more accountable. It's not the guns causing a problem. It's poor parenting.

john   February 23rd, 2009 8:36 pm ET

It's more difficult to kill someone with a knife or a spoon than a gun. Period. You need to come close to your potential victim with a knife, unlike a gun which allows you to shoot from a safe distance.
A gun is usually far more lethal than a knife or a spoon.
Moreover, you can argue that the primary purpose of a knife is to cut bread, or meat, or a pie, while the primary purpose of a gun is to kill.
With the standard argument "guns don't kill, people kill", you can justify anything: for instance, why not legalize hand grenades too ?
A gun is not a toy, it was built to kill. A child should not have access to a lethal weapon. We don't trust teenagers enough to let them vote, why would we trust them with lethal weapons?
I agree with Lisa Bloom: lock up guns to prevent children to use them.

Antoninio   February 23rd, 2009 8:37 pm ET

Its the Parents fault why is the father buying an 11yr old a gun , And the Step mother was ok with it also, not thats real stupid, u dont buy a gun for an 11yr old boy, stupid idiots, its not the kids fault i blame the parents for buying him a gun, They should charge the father with murder for giving him a shot gun...Guns dont Kill people , People kill and they should charge the father with murder

jeff   February 23rd, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Yep I agree, lock up guns. That way when kids commit murder they do it the old fashion way; with knives, pointy sticks, and rocks. Wow, 'lock up the guns' could the answer to child violence be that simple? Maybe if we took away guns terrorists would stop crashing planes into buildings, muggers would stop mugging, theives would stop stealing, crime would just END, WOW!

Istari   February 23rd, 2009 8:56 pm ET

Why do so many Americans have a problem with locking up guns?

Why can't you see that giving anyone- and too often that means children- access to weapons gives people (who so frequently lack the emotional intelligence or family support) the ability to act out their hatred/anger/sadness with deadly consequences rather than get help?

'Guns don't kill, people do'? well duh! People kill with guns. Is life really so cheap in America? Is that what the land of the brave and free means? Is the right to bear arms really about the right to act on your worse impulses? Do you really have a consitutional right to blow people away simply because they annoy you or hurt your feelings or break up with you?

Search your SOULS America. You scare the hell out of the rest of the world.

Joe   February 23rd, 2009 9:00 pm ET

The child version of the gun was intended for children to learn to hunt animals with. The child obviously had other issues besides owning a gun. The story said he evidently had threatened the woman and her daughter before. The 8 year old in Arizona had threatened to kill his father if he beat him again. Then did it. That is mental issues not gun control issues. How about we teach our kids how to deal with real life issues without resulting in violence....

eidolon   February 23rd, 2009 9:17 pm ET

I do not think that kids should have unsupervised access to guns. However, in lieu of any 'normal' motive, a kid executing a pregnant woman is indicative of serious psychological problems, such as sociopathy. There is something to be said for some types of gun control, but gun control itself will not miraculously make these problems go away.

whatsgoninon   February 23rd, 2009 9:32 pm ET

I have four children and they all know that killing is wrong! I have a 9yr old and she saw the news on the 11yr old and said "What is wrong with him, why would he do that?" She knows better at 9! And I have always told my children that when they are older and by that, I mean 16 yrs old (old enough to drive a car) then they will be taught how to use a weapon. . The old saying "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" It is true. This child obviously has mental issues, and all kinds of red flags were there. That is if the reporting was correct and the child did tell a family member that "he wanted to do this". Why wasn't his gun locked away; there were younger children in the home.
I agree with the above statements that if you take away guns then you better prepare to take away most everything else. Anything can be used as a weapon. Even your hands. It will never work, because it doesn't make sense. Teach your children and most importantly listen to them.

Paul   February 23rd, 2009 9:43 pm ET

The parents, in their capacity to raise their child, chose to give him a gun. It's not the guns fault he was raised wrong. The child and the parents are to blame here, not the gun, and certainly not the manufacturer. I was given my first gun at age 14, not much older. I never murdered anyone. I must be some sort of fluke...

Bill   February 23rd, 2009 9:44 pm ET

The sad thing is that tragedies like this are used as tools to outlaw firearms. What about the alcoholic with 4 dui's that finally kills somebody? Why do bars have parking lots? Are we going to outlaw automobiles or alcohol because of the 20,000 deaths caused by drunk drivers each year? What about the fact that a child is 100 times more likely to be killed by a swimming pool than a gun in his/her home? You never hear about that statistic either. Should we outlaw pools for families with children?

At some point and time, parents have to be accountable. We can't keep using these tragedies to try to push our own political agenda.

VentureSister   February 23rd, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Correct me if I'm wrong, Aric, but isn't he blaming the parents for not locking up their guns? How is that different from your argument? Also, I wonder how many "incidents" need to happen before we can start implementing more education to children and parents about firearm safety without people freaking out that we're taking away their right to bare arms. He's saying 'lock them up', not 'get rid of them'. People are so touchy about this stuff.

Also: handgun = pull trigger. Person dead. Spoon, bat or even knife = upper body strength and motivation. Person probably still not dead.

MaCayn   February 23rd, 2009 10:12 pm ET

Locking up guns doesn't fix mentally disturbed children. What about the girl who killed her foster mother with a hammer? Maybe we should lock those up too? Stop blaming the tools because at the end of the day, that is all a gun is, a tool. Neither good nor evil, it is just an object. What makes it evil are the people who use it.

Lucian Creel   February 23rd, 2009 10:30 pm ET

So once again, someone has done something heartbreaking that should have us all wondering "How did this person come to the point where THIS was the option they selected? What is wrong with this child that killing a family member seemed like a good idea? Why did this happen?" Instead some want to blame the inanimate object that was used. Some want to interfere with basic Constitutional rights in regard to firearms, when we should be more concerned with the circumstances that led to this tragedy. More laws about gun ownership, security, and storage (which, BTW will only be followed by law abiding persons) will never stop tragedies like this one, and tend to allow tragedies like this one...

Punish the offender when needed, fix the offender if we can. Either way, get the politicians out of my business.

Sean   February 23rd, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Maybe I have some kind of photographic memory that many people do not, but I remember when I was 11(I'm 39 now) like it was yesterday. I not only remember faces, experiences etc., I also remember my EXACT mind-set and my WILL to do things that I wanted to do AND knew the consequenses of doing such. If I really hated somebody so much as to want to kill them, I would have found a way to obtain a gun even if it meant breaking into my father's locked gun cabinet/safe. If I could not obtain a gun, I would have(like southerndrawal72 mentioned) , used a knife or baseball bat. I know this poor girl would have been dead today regardless of want kind of weapon was used. THE KID IS A PSYCHO with no regard for human life or common sense!!!

Kevin - Ft Worth   February 23rd, 2009 10:56 pm ET

Locking up the guns is the most backward way of resolving this problem that could ever be expressed. To say that, is almost more careless than the parent in this case that did pay enough attention to his child and recognize the signs of stress in his own child’s life and address it before this all happened.

Little boys and youth shotguns have been around for many years and are not the problem. It shocks me someone did not know they were made. Of course parents paid attention to their kids a little more back then and did not pawn off their responsibilities and depend on the government to discipline their kids. It’s called raising a child, not having a child for a reason.

Responsible kids are taught to be responsible at a young age. Responsible gun owners are taught at a young age too. Notice it is a learned behavior, just like many other things in life. If they are not taught, you can bet the government will not be there to help them, look around and stop thinking the government is the answer for poeple's own selfish and ignorant decisions.

Viktor   February 23rd, 2009 10:59 pm ET

This kid obviously had severe problems long before he chose to murder someone. Taking guns away will not and would not have stopped this kid from being the way he is. Why don't we try and figure out what caused him to develop into an 11-year-old who is capable of murdering an innocent woman instead of focusing on the method used in his animalistic behavior. In countries where guns are banned, knife murders and assaults are sky high. Stop focusing on the means and start focusing on the why or these types of heinous crimes will continue regardless of age. But no, all that will happen is this kid will get some "counseling" while everyone blames gun ownership instead of him. I guarantee he will have killed someone else before he turns 18. By all means, let's just keep making excuses for him so he learns nothing.

Jay   February 23rd, 2009 11:20 pm ET

"Lock up the guns."

So many people look at a single tragedy and fall into that trap; and the fact is that for every single one of the tragedies like this I can find at least a dozen stories of people (including children) who have used guns effectively to defend themselves from criminal assault, saving their own lives.

Do people misuse guns? Yes, and that is horrible. People also misuse knives and axes and beer bottles. A whole lot more people use guns for positive things than use them for evil.

Some people condemn the idea of children being taught how to use guns. Well, the fact is that our Founders believed in children understanding firearms.

"To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the
people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when
young, how to use them..." RICHARD HENRY LEE, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic

Why? Because they knew that a child, fully cognizant of how guns work, was safer around them than a child kept ignorant. Children who do not understand guns are accidents waiting to happen. Teaching a child about guns keeps them safer; this tragedy was an aberration, and stripping people of their unalienable rights in hopes of effecting the actions of the violent and the mentally unbalanced is a policy doomed to failure.

Guns are our birthright as American citizens. They protect us, and keep us free. Many thousands of people who die every year would not die if only they had the means and the will to defend themselves effectively. Gun control, on the other hand, has been proven to be utterly ineffective in improving public safety. Even so, as Benjamin Franklin said: "They who would surrender essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Marvin   February 23rd, 2009 11:25 pm ET

I agree, guns should be locked up and if not, then the owners of these guns should be held responsible. I don't believe that just by teaching our kids values or spending more time with them will eliminate the temptation of picking up a gun that is easily accisible and perhaps shooting someone. Especially a child at 11 years old, what do they really know about consequences? Even teenagers now live in the now, and don't think about repercussions.

phil   February 23rd, 2009 11:31 pm ET

you obviously did not read the article, this child knows right from wrong, who won a shooting contest with the same shotgun awhile back, and also has been threatening the victim in the past....banning weapons is a ridiculous statement when the facts show that this child had premeditated thoughts of murder

weapons do not commit the crimes, people do

LAUREN   February 24th, 2009 12:29 am ET

The article also claimed the child had threatened this woman's life for about a week. He obviously sounds like a very troubled child and as much as I hate to say it, he should without a doubt be tried as an adult. Would you want him to serve a lesser sentence if it were your daughter and unborn grandchild? Guns don't kill people. People kill people. And these ridiculous gun laws dont protect anyone but criminals who don't register them in the first place. The kiddie sized gun is a tad ridiculous, but the parents should have had some better judgement. But as I said, he killed her, not the gun. Anyone willing to play God with that much hate in their heart deserves to pay for it.

Prodip   February 24th, 2009 12:32 am ET

we're bunch of morons in this country. why fire arms so easy to get? and who can manufacture guns for kids and get the permit to market them? lock up the parents. children don't know seriousness of many crimes. that's why they are children. we give them fire to burn down the house and blame them for doing it.

mary   February 24th, 2009 1:11 am ET

the two other comments are right.
If he wanted to kill her he would have had found another method.
but on the other hand what kind of parent gives a child a gun?

Cady   February 24th, 2009 1:17 am ET

Lisa Bloom needs to read the details of this story more carefully. This boy planned this cold blooded murder, he made threats months in advance. He hid the shotgun in a blanket and killed her while she slept. Gun or no gun he would have killed that woman. I don't know if he deserves to be tried as an adult. That is a really tough call.

In many parts of the country it is typical for children to be given their own rifles or shotguns for hunting. I still have the .22 my dad gave to me in the fifth grade. But he always kept it under lock and key . . . I never had access to it without his supervision.

Where on earth was the boy's father as this was happening?

We should not impinge on the rights of law-abiding citizens because of a few criminal cases. This boy is an anomaly, you can't legislate the crazy out of people. There is no age limit on the second amendment, as well there should never be.

ME   February 24th, 2009 1:22 am ET

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE. A gun is safe the people arn't. Keep the guns out of uneducated peoples hands. That is the simple truth.

No Name   February 24th, 2009 1:41 am ET

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

It's. That. Simple.

Jake B   February 24th, 2009 2:15 am ET

I understand your thinking that guns are dangerous, because if not used properly they can be, but don't be ignorant and think that "locking up" guns is the cure all to accidents like this. What if a child accidentally poisoned this woman with a household cleaning product? Should we ban all chemicals that if ingested could cause death? Guns can be dangerous and even deadly if used irresponsibly, but so can a pencil. And just for your information, smaller sized guns are not kiddie guns. Also, when i was growing up i used a smaller sized gun to spend time bonding with my Dad as we went sport shooting and hunting. So before you go ranting about how guns are only meant to kill, check into some of the other more practical uses people have for them, and then think about the many different ways someone could kill a person with any other object laying around the house like a pencil, or as mentioned in the other comments before a spoon or fork.

Nick Turner   February 24th, 2009 2:18 am ET

I would like to point out that gun manufacturers aren't producing "Kiddie-guns". However they are sometimes marketed to the parents of youths. They are hunting weapons so that young adults can go hunting with their father (or mother).

A 20-gauge shotgun is primarily a bird gun. Any gun is dangerous in the wrong hands. I am not sure I entirely agree with holding parents completely responsible for their children's actions, however, I am not for blaming gun manufacturers, or entirely blaming children either.

The problem as I see it, is that we (as a society) always have to assess blame on somebody or something, get a pat answer, and a pat solution, and then move on to the next thing that entertains us. Life unfortunately is not so simple.

I think that for all of its imperfections, the US Justice system does a pretty good job of looking at things on a case-by-case basis. And that is exactly what needs to be done here. Sometimes parents are negligent. Sometimes kids are bad seeds and choose at an early age to be evil. Sometimes tragic accidents happen.

In this particular case it sounds to me if the kid had a temper control issue, and poor guidance on appropriate outlets on how to handle emotional outbursts. I don't think the kid was evil. Nor do I think that the kid fully comprehends the finality of death. I think that the father has already been handed the worst punishment of losing his mate at the hands of his own child. So no need to punish him further. It would not serve society to do so.

The child should be punished harshly for a short period of time, and then put into an environment of strict structure. Children are a little like your pet dog in respect to punishment. After your dog does something bad, you want to act quickly and sternly, but you don't continue to punish your dog six months later for chewing up the couch. You'll just end up with a mean dog if you do. (And for all the clueless people I am not inferring that the kid deserves less than six months punishment or that you treat children like pet animals. I was making an analogy to demonstrate a point.)

If it were up to me the kid would get mandatory intensive psychological treatment while being detained in a boy’s home; then off to regimented structure like youth boot camp. If he continues to improve, offer military service at 17, if not off to adult jail until 21.

Dad needs some psychological counseling, and parenting classes. Mandated. Not as punishment, but as preventative measure. (Has another child, remember.) Then some oversight for a period of time.

Robert in Anaheim   February 24th, 2009 4:44 am ET

the young boy who killed his father's girlfriend,maybe the hunter in training,could he have mistaken her for a deer in the house?? maybe just trying to impress his gun toting father that he too can KILL!!! shame,that's all just a shame, our society is breeding and teaching younger and younger kids to kill,shame SHAME !!!

Billy Reese   February 24th, 2009 6:07 am ET

Why doesn't any one ever hear the media or any politicians call for the banning of alcohol or automobiles. There are far more lives lost each and every year from the negligent use of cars and beer than the total number of the precious and heroic men and women we've lost in Iraq and Afghanistan to date. Why are some attacking the last real manufacturing industry we have in America? Could it be a systematic dismantling of America? Put the blame for gun deaths where it lies, on the people who misuse them.

Johnielee3   February 24th, 2009 6:35 am ET

I agree, Guns should be locked up & in a secure place where no kid of any age can get at them. i dont think kids should even know that there is a gun in the house or around anywhere near the house. adults should keep this infomation from the kids. I'm really against guns myself. i do not think children should have a gun or even be taught how to use a gun. no matter what kind of gun it is. no one under 18. Also After they do everything they can to find out why a kid does this kind of crime & if they are still gonna take them to court & try them, then they should do what i say below.
There should be set sentences given to children who commit these kinds of crimes. and they should be sent to a place for kids & after they turn into adults then sent to a special place for kids who are now adults but arent done serving their sentence. not to a Regular adult prison. the amount of time they should be given should be half or less of the time they would give an adult for the same crime. they need to change the laws & stop trying & sentencing these kids as adults & throwing them away. Our country needs to start caring more for our children.

arya   February 24th, 2009 7:43 am ET

i agree with lisa . why should kids lives be torn apart with guns? but i also agree with aric and southern drawl. does this mean we should lock up everthing that could be a weapon? the blame is on the parents mostly. why would you get an 11 yr old kid a gun?

Baker   February 24th, 2009 7:47 am ET

I agree with the two people below me..... Just because someone shot someone doesn't means guns are bad... it means parents need sit their kids down and explain that they are not TOYS and shouldn't be touched...

mark   February 24th, 2009 7:55 am ET

Guns Dont Kill People; People Kill People. What difference woud it have made if the kid used a gun, knife, bat, shovel etc........... The fact remains he committed a hanous crime and should be punished accordingly. I completely agree that gun control is, and should be, a major issue of debate in this country, but just as people try to blame music or video games for disturbed peoples acts of violence, the problem lies within the individual not the weapon of choice.

ronald percy   February 24th, 2009 8:15 am ET

Aric, is correct, the parents should have locked the weapon up, and only let the child have access to the weapon, when dad is around. But making a weapon for a child is totally ludicrous, and any parent who buys such a weapon, should be sent to an parenting classes. Yes, children will act out, but when a weapon is easily available, some very bad things will happen. But to equate using a fire arm to spoons just go's to show just how ignorant, you are about child developement. May God help this family and PA.

RichP   February 24th, 2009 8:26 am ET

I guess you come from the city or suburbs, where hunting and fishing are just news items when someone gets shot or drowns. Both my kids grew up around guns, both started off with youth models, both my daughter and son shot trap and skeet, both compete in various small bore and large bore competitions in addition to hunting on a regular basis. Both my kids have contributed to the family larder over the years, both will be graduating from college in two semesters [thank god]. Ban the object does not work, hows the war on drugs going. There were bigger issues here, jealousy comes to mind and having a new brother to compete with. The sad part is no one picked up on it, neither dad or other family members. Both my kids also have concealed carry permits and carry, they have for the past 2 years.

Alicia   February 24th, 2009 8:28 am ET

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

If the other two commentors knew anything about criminology, they would know that guns are an opportunistic weapon. they are impersonal and convenient. knives, bats, and 'forks' would all be far too personal from most children to use to commit a crime. this recent spike in children committing homicide is in direct relation to the access of guns. how often do you hear of a child stabbing his mother to death. don't get me wrong, it happens...but not this commonly. if these guns were locked away, it would take MUCH more for the child to commit these homicides than just being pissed off.

Gun control is essential in preventing deaths.

Jordan   February 24th, 2009 8:30 am ET

southerdrawl72 and aric make a good point. The kid obviously has problems and if there wasn't a gun, he would've used something else.

Rick   February 24th, 2009 8:34 am ET

It is totally ignorant and misplaced to direct blame on inanimate objects.

ee   February 24th, 2009 8:35 am ET

Amen. Get rid of the guns!! Immaturity (not necessarily age-related), impulsiveness, and anger combined with easy access to weapons are a lethal combination, no matter how you look at it.
Good point above with respect to parenting, but let's face it, although good parenting is the anti-drug, anti-violence, anti-you-fill-in the-blank-with –whatever-evil, we don’t require good parenting in this country. I’m not blaming society (that’s too easy and produces no positive results), I’m just saying we are not proactive, an example of which would be requiring a minimum standard of good-parenting and holding parents accountable. Mandatory parenting classes /tests would also be a part of the program.
I have four children and definitely feel the job of parent is not an easy one, but I didn’t expect it to be. With respect to parenting, I’m not looking for the easy way out or to win a popularity contest. I want the top prize – happy, loving, healthy children who grow up to be happy & productive members of our society. Overall, I feel the rewards far outweigh the challenges. Having said that, I would never arm any of my children!! I often have to make unpopular decisions, why set myself up as a target for a child whose executive reasoning capabilities are still underdeveloped? Lock it up you say? How is it many “locked up” guns still wind up in the wrong hands? Besides, children are very intelligent, just when you think they can’t get into something, they prove you wrong!
Bottom line: we need good parenting and a disarmed country.

Missy   February 24th, 2009 8:37 am ET

Maybe for once we could just place the blame where it belongs. The gun didn't kill her... HE DID! 11 years old is more than old enough to make senseable decisions. He made the decision to kill and now he must pay for it. If that means being charged as an adult, then so be it.

Chris   February 24th, 2009 8:38 am ET

Interesting. Why haven't we outlawed cars after all of the cases of vehicular manslaughter by children (16 and 17 year olds)? Oh, that's because the guy who wrote this (and people like him) use cars everyday! Why haven't we made kitchen knives illegal...after all they can easily be used as a weapon. Oh, that's because the guy who wrote this (and people like him) use knives everyday! No one eats meat or cuts vegetables until we resolve violence! many kids do we lose to drowning? That’s it! Shut down all the water parks! No more pools...fill them all in! We have solved the issue. Oh, that won't happen because the guy who wrote this (and people like him) enjoys relaxing next to a pool. Can we please think for ourselves?! Stop being a sheep and following the rants of people like this. If some 16 sixteen year old stole a car and ran over a relative of this guy while running from police, I wonder if he would be against them being locked up? Because he certainly wouldn't want cars outlawed.

CTone   February 24th, 2009 8:41 am ET

The vast majority of the kids of which you speak – the ones society "lock[s] up. . .and throw[s] away the key" – are murderous teenage gangbangers that have forfeited their right to live among us.

But what you're saying is that because you have read a story in the paper about a non gangbanging youth who decided to murder someone, that everyone else that isn't crazy should lock up their firearms, thus making them useless in defense agains violent gangbangers? Hello unintended consequenses!

I gather that a large portion of the teens spending life without parole in Pennsylvania came from one particular city that is known for violence. Making the thousands of responsible citizens there defenseless for the benefit of one innocent person is a bad idea.

Robster   February 24th, 2009 8:47 am ET

Yeah, blame the guns, they are eeeevil...... evil inanimate objects. Have you ever though of how many cars kill people?!?!? LETS BAN THEM!!!!!

Michigan Hunter   February 24th, 2009 8:52 am ET

There are allot of hunters in the US.
in Michigan it’s a family activity, I know a family that takes their daughters out hunting every deer season. Why wouldn't they make guns for kids.
It is the parents responsibility to teach the child gun safety.
Can't believe your shocked about this. Why don't you get out of your apartment for a weekend and drive to the country and get back in touch with your roots. do you not think your ancestors had children that hunted.

Lisa   February 24th, 2009 8:55 am ET

This is crazy. This is a CHILD we are talking about. It doesnt matter what weapon he used. He is still a CHILD. Children LEARN from the adults around them. Im betting he does not fully understand what he has done. Children do not process thoughts like adults do. He obviously had no one to talk to and no one to give him any attention (or they would have noticed something was wrong).

LNader   February 24th, 2009 8:56 am ET

I agree. The Government alone should be allowed access to guns.

What can possibly go wrong?

a1ccatback   February 24th, 2009 9:18 am ET

Amen to both of the comments posted before me. As mentioned, guns dont kill people. People kill people. The fact hat a gun was involved has nothing to do with the situation. Almost anything can be used as a weapon. If the parents allow regular access to dangerous objects then these things will keep happening. Someday hopefully the liberal media will realize that taking away our constitutional rights is not the answer.

omar   February 24th, 2009 9:21 am ET

Why a child 11 years old would ever need a gunshot? and not any gunshot but an specially made for children!! I'm sick of people saying that fire arms are not the problem. I agree with lisa's comment , the goverment should do more to restrict the use of firearms specially prevent the access to menatlly ill people and kids.

K8WMA   February 24th, 2009 9:29 am ET

It seems to me that an 11 yo who was willing to commit murder, would have found a way to do so, with or without a gun. Perhaps the gun should have been safely locked up and the kid only allowed to use it under the supervision of an adult, but you simply cannot blame a gun, which is inanimate. Based on other facts of this story not presented here, it sounds like that kid belongs in prison for the rest of his life. Based on the same reporting, it also sounds like his family should stop breeding.

real   February 24th, 2009 9:30 am ET

Locking up guns will solve a tremendous amount of issues, it goes with being a responsible adult/parent. Kids and even young adults don't understand the "finality" of things and access to guns just makes killing too easy.

LKF   February 24th, 2009 9:35 am ET

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. If someone wants to kill someone else, then they'll find a way, gun or not. You'll never be able to safeguard everyone from everything. There are probably thousands of children out there that go hunting with their fathers, and have had no problems with abusing guns. But the responsibility falls on the parents. If parents spend time with their children and teach them properly, this wouldn't happen; although there are no guarantees.
It's my Constitutional right to bear arms, and I'm proud to have that right. Denying me that right would put my family more in jeopardy.

D. McKay   February 24th, 2009 9:38 am ET

Locking up guns won't fix anything! If a criminal want's a gun they will get a gun. Yes, it is sad that this little boy would do such a terrible thing but let's hear about his background. Was he mentally ill? Was he abused? We don't know because those questions aren't being asked. By locking up guns, the only thing you are doing is taking them away from regular hard working citizens who then have to find something else to protect there home with from the criminals who are aquiring guns illegally. Next time an armed robber walks into a house and kills innocent people, write an article about about how to protect your home and family with a kitchen appliance. Get a life lady!

Miriam   February 24th, 2009 10:01 am ET

I so agree with southerndrawl and Aric – there is a thing called "Personal Responsibility", involving parents being held responsible for their young children's behavior. It is sad that apparently the father who's son shot him and his "friend" was shot by his own son – why would a child shoot his own father and his "friend". Makes you wonder what on earth was going on behind the closed doors of these houses!!!!!!! There are some parents who need to be in jail serving the sentence with their children – alot of parents!!!!!! Sadly many chiildren were something parents did to have something to do. Children are like putty in a parents hands and how they turn out is the way the parents shaped them, early in a child's age. How someone got dead is irrelevent, they are dead and whoever caused it is responsible – so many excuses are made for supposidly mentally ill people being "excused" and the medical system "failing them". This is such bunk – Naveed Hacq executed innocent people due to severe "hate" – he committed a hate crime – all murders are hate crimes......hate is a cancer and will drive you to murder!!!!!!!! Even in children!!!!!

RSL   February 24th, 2009 10:02 am ET

Usually I just read all the articles and comments and just keep my opinions to myself, but this time I'm going to have to pipe up. I agree with southerndrawal and aric. Where are the parents of these kids. My son, who is 23 years old, has had a gun since he was 12 when he took hunters education. We lock up the guns when not in use and my children have always been taught gun safety. Furthermore, they have always been taught right from wrong and the consequences of wrong choices. There is something dreadfully wrong with these children that shoot their fathers, their friends or their fathers girlfriends. Lisa Bloom should probably delve into finding out a little bit of the background on these children and their families before spewing her "liberal views" on gun control. Lets find some ways to improve the Dept of Human Services, Dept of Families and Children and all the other agencies that are supposed to be working for the protection of our children. My daughter is 11 years old and I guarantee that she knows it is wrong to kill (shoot, stab, drown, or hit) another human being. Who was teaching this 11 year old boy right from wrong? Our children are being overlooked and then when something horrible like this happens lets just blame the guns instead of trying to figure out what was going on with this child to make him feel like he had to shoot that poor woman. Teaching kids morals and right from wrong, "can't we all get behind that"?

scott   February 24th, 2009 10:06 am ET

"Shotguns manufactered for children?" Are you serious... I cannot believe the authors ignorance. Youth model firearms have been around for a long time. These are not being marketed as toys. Blame the father, not the manufactuer.

Karen Talarczyk   February 24th, 2009 1:01 pm ET

I don't know if anyone caught this (I have been listening every day), but when J.T. took the stand for the prosecution, he said that about two weeks before the insident, that someone had tried to breake into his house, so he now was sleeping in his recliner against the door so that no one could get in or out without his knowing. The man that lived with J.T., Bill Bill,and Ray Allen later took the stand (I can't spell his name, but I think that it started with a K), and he said that he fell asleep on the couch, and so did Ray Allen, and J.T. was asleep in his recliner. In the morning he said that he was awaken by Bill Bill knocking on the window, and then he was asked what did you do next, and he said that he opened the door, and let him in, and that J.T. was still asleep in his recliner. Mr. K, and Bill Bill then went to another room to talk, and he saw Ray Allen in a bedroom asleep, and he recognized him by his strech marks (didn't he have any cloths on? Did he remove them because they have blood on them? When did he get off the couch?), and if J.T. was still asleep in his recliner then how did Mr. K open the door without moving J.T., and his chair?Wouldn't that wake him up. Did J.T. move his chair, and open the door for his son Ray Allen sometime in the night, and is Mr. K lying about Ray Allen's where abouts that night, because J.T. took him in when he needed a place to stay, and he felt obligated to cover up for J.T.'s son?
The most of them seem to be lying, about the whole terrible thing.

Tracy   February 25th, 2009 11:21 am ET

Children who would kill at such a young age should be locked up . More states should have these laws . If you're capable of shooting someone , no matter what age you are , you should be locked up . This is what can happen when parents and other people don't pay attention to threats young children make . Parents need to be made more accountable for what their children do , no matter what age . Unfortunately too many people don't know how to bring up children properly or the child was born with a problem . Thats when the state must step in to protect the rest of the public . Get real Lisa Bloom !

Kuy   February 25th, 2009 1:16 pm ET

Very sad...alot of lives destroyed by one emotional kid. I agree, the parent is at fault. Children should never have free access to firearms, this is not the frontier nor was the child protecting the homestead. I think gun ownership should be regulated similarly to driving, must pass the test and prove mental stability, then renew every couple of years.

As for this kid...he's got problems. I hope he recieves the help he needs to process what he's done, and resolves never to do such a thing again, but frankly I would not want such a person as a neighbor.

doreen   February 25th, 2009 3:48 pm ET

Lisa, Lisa, it is not the guns. What about the Dad's poor judgement to give his son (child) the gun.

emach   February 25th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

What scares me is after he killed that poor woman he lied to the police and sent them on a wild goose chase...what a scary, manipulative, twisted kid.

Without or without the gun this kid clearly does not belong in society. He'll probably just get a slap on the wrist though since he's 11.

Uncle Whitey   February 25th, 2009 7:48 pm ET

I taught my daughter to respect firearms from the time she was a young child. I told her that they were very dangerous and kept them in a safe. I promised to teach her how to use them when she got old enough to handle them responsibly. When she became a teenager, I taught her how to shoot several of my pistols. When she turns 21, I will give her my Smith and Wesson 9mm.

I once had to defend myself with a firearm.
I want my daughter to have the same right if she chooses to use it.

Willy   February 26th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

At age 11, my father gave me my deceased Grandfather's shotgun. I went squirrel hunting a couple times, didn't enjoy hunting, so I just stood the gun in the corner of my bedroom. I am 61 yrs. old now, and the gun is still standing in a corner of my bedroom. All the boys carried pocket knives to school. There were lots of times we were angry at a teacher, or a classmate, but no one ever thought about using a gun or a knife to settle our disputes. I just don't understand what is happening today? What changed?


Miriam   February 26th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

OK, think people, countries that are disarmed are controlled by terriorist! Take away the guns from citizens and who will have them, the criminals – they will take over and you would be really terrified. Weak minded people always blame others and inanimate objects for why something happened. Weak minded people won't take personal respnsibility for their actions or hold the person responsible for their actions. So all you weak minded people out there who fall into this catagory and you are in these comments as well as in the media – I hope you are never get any further than voicing your opinion in this forum. I am sure your children appreciate you never holding them reposible for their actions. I am also very sure that their teachers so appreciate that well as coaches and potential employers. If you could go to juvenile court and just listen to parents who complain their kids are misbehaving, blah blah blah, again most parents need to be sentenced for their kids crimes and serve sentences with their protoeges/children. Kids magnify our negative and positive behavior as this has been their models to live by.

Viv   February 26th, 2009 7:14 pm ET

Willy ...I'll tell you what changed today. Parents !
Most are so busy with cell phones and giving more attention to their work and friends and not bothering to make time with their kids. Kids are left alone playing video games, TV, computers, texting, etc. They end up hanging with the wrong crowd of other kids with parents doing the same things . Parents just don't deal with them. They don't come home on time to sit down and have a family dinner. I remember seeing a little boy trying to talk with his mom and she told him to leave her alone while she's on her cell just blabbing about senseless stuff and this was everyday. I felt bad for the boy. Technology while a good thing has also divided families.

apryl   February 27th, 2009 8:13 am ET

how many children get shot for just being around the house

kimberly   February 27th, 2009 4:26 pm ET

i dont think that kids should be locked up for littke things like drinking and driving if they havent hurt anyone then thiers no harm if some one or them self is in danger then thats a different thier just kids that like to have fun..thiers no crime in having fun if some thing or some one is or has gotten hurt then thats a crime..people are to busy getting kids in trouble for thier mistakes then they should be watching them selfs and would they like if they were kids and couldnt do anything... as for people having guns they shouldnt sell them if they dont want people to get hurt guns dont kill people people kill people...

josh   March 3rd, 2009 12:46 pm ET

thats about the stupidest thing i've ever heard. if he wanted to kill her he would've done it somehow, he just happened to have access to a gun. now, that being said, i have a small child in my home and am in the process buying a few guns. will he have access to them? hell no he won't. this kid needs to be in some sort jail or prisson or institution or something. probably not for the rest of his life though. you make a mistake at 11 yrs old and pay for the rest of your life? that would be like stealing something and going to jail for the rest of your life when. in the eyes of people murder is worse than theft, but in the eyes of god no one sin is greater than the next. to god lying to you parents about where you went last night is just as bad as going into their room at night and shooting them. the kid needs help, but i don't think he needs a lifetime of punishment.

sanju   March 20th, 2009 7:04 pm ET

this was a great article. were you ever a reporter..............this helped me with a report on gun safety. i guess one day i'll look back on it for reference for my future years.
great comments........hope life gets better for you josh.

meme   April 11th, 2009 4:37 pm ET

Apparently many of these people don't care to much about their own kids to just leave guns lying around their homes, negligence of children is a crime in the US and so should be the negligence of GUNS!

Jackie   April 17th, 2009 10:11 am ET

Please give me a break this is disgusting its no less then pediphile I have male friends that never get over a kiss never mind anything else . I have gay friends . This is a double standard we have a right to know if they are M/F stop making light of this situation Do not compare to black or white or married it is not the same thing. Lisa you should know better.

Honestly you and your mother cannot be truthful with this situation you do not have reason your to one sided

Jamaican1   October 30th, 2009 9:40 am ET

I can definitely get behind you on that, however a crime was committed here, and it seems as though you're trying to make the whole "lock up guns not kids" the main point of the story. So what are we to do in a case of juvenile rape? are we to lock up all rapist ?

Skyla   October 30th, 2009 1:12 pm ET

If the child was properly taught about guns, the gun would have not been used in a careless manner. I grew up around guns, never had a problem.

I personally feel that it is the media's goal to take our guns, by using articles like yours. Remember what this country was founded on. Those guns were in the hands of 7 year old children to protect the farms.

You promote violence through the news, tv, music. Parents purchase toy guns and treat them as a toy. If my child has a toy gun, I treat it as a real loaded one. Do not point it at anyone, do not sweep anyone. Act responsible with your children and stop listening to others. Maybe the ad you have written should read. " take the tv's, Lets stop polluting our children's minds"

Cullen   April 25th, 2011 7:59 am ET

I beilieve this makes sense, about locking up guns for children, but not for adults who are mentally stable and can be trusted. It is neccessary to either teach the child about guns, or to have never purchased one to begin with. The choice is ours, it is in our hands.

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