Gut Rumbles

December 24, 2003

sheer stupidity

I keep loaded firearms all over my house. I also have a soon-to-be 10 year-old boy who visits here with a friend every other weekend. They both know to keep their hands off those guns.

Quinton also knows that you NEVER point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot that person. You NEVER "assume" a gun is unloaded, even if you think you know damn good and well that it is. Treat every gun as if it were loaded, all the time.

My boy absorbed those lessons. this boy obviously did not. What happened as a result is a tragedy, but it damn sure isn't Beretta's fault.

The kid made three critical mistakes. First of all, he had no business dragging out his father's pistol to show to a friend. The boy should have known better than that. Guns are tools, no different than chainsaws or hammers. You don't wave them around just to be showing off.

Second, the boy obviously did not understand how a semi-automatic pistol works. The bullet in the chamber does NOT fall out when you drop the magazine. You have to reject that one by hand to get it out of the chamber.

Third, he pointed an "unloaded" gun at a friend and pulled the trigger. Why the hell did he do that? If I ever see Quinton even CARRYING his BB gun without the barrel pointed at the ground, I am on his ass like white on rice. Treat EVERY GUN as if it were loaded, and ready to go off, all the time. Even when I clean mine, I'm careful about where the muzzle is pointed. I treat THAT gun as if it were loaded.

I had those lessons pounded into my head from the time I was a kid in Kentucky. I'm trying to teach Quinton the same rules. Guns are NOT dangerous in the right hands, but if you fuck up with one, they are damned well unforgiving. You can't take a bullet back once you fire it.

This kind of crap is pure fodder for the gun-control activists. They love stories such as this one. I hate them.

If a kid fucks up with a gun, don't sue the manufacturer. Horsewhip his daddy for not teaching his boy how to handle a gun.


Unfortunately, that happens alot in Alaska. A good percentage of folks here keep loaded guns in the house for bear protection. It's not unusual to hear of those things happening. Typically it's little kids, 5 to 10 years old that get their hands on their daddy's gun and shoot and kill a younger sibling. Tragic.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on December 24, 2003 04:33 PM

Your nuts. You placing your sons (and his friends) lives in danger by giving him more credit than any ten-year old deserves. You find it incomprehensible that your boy would touch a gun after all the teaching you have done... can you be as sure about Jack? Or his sister? Or some other kid they might bring over?

You probably taught him about playing with matches from a young age also, and didn't he just almost burn the woods down?

I'm not getting it. You talk about how safe your neighborhood is, you talk about how you all look out for each other... yet feel the need for loaded guns all over the house. If it's so damn safe wouldn't one or two conveniently located provide you with the protection you feel you need, while minimizing the risk to others?

I'm not saying your wrong, and you certainly know your boy better than I, but it seems a foolish chance to take and a terrible price to pay if your mistaken. BTW, for someone with a vindictive ex who was fired from his job over a weblog, carrying on about how many loaded guns are within the reach of a ten-year old (and his friends) may not be the brightest idea.

Posted by: Some guy on December 24, 2003 05:17 PM

Dear Glenn:

One word: "Amen!" The rest is detail:

I, like many others, was brought up in a home with firearms. I learned how to handle 'em at an early age at my father's knee (yes; the selfsame Air Force Colonel everyone 'dissed' a few days back) -- if I picked up a firearm; I knew how to handle it. If I wanted to go 'plinking', I bought ammo with my own money.

Guns were a tool; like a garden-rake or a shovel.

And, contrary to the statement by "Some Guy", above, owning firearms has deuce to do with safety. In fact, if I needed a gun to guarantee my safety, I'd move. Some of us like firearms simply because we like them. No other explanation is needed. We're permitted to own them, and if (as I do) you collect them like some folks collect art, then so much the better.

Someday, if all this continues, Ames is going to get sued because someone decided to use a pitchfork to kill someone, or Ford is going to get sued because someone used one of their products to run another person down intentionally.

When that happens, I suppose I'll move to New Zealand or Pitcairn's Island - -but that's the topic of another rant.

Happy Holiday!


Posted by: Will on December 24, 2003 05:40 PM

After the horsewhipping his daddy gets, go after the boy. If daddy tried to teach him right and he still did such a fool hardy thing, then double the lashes.
We never owned a gun while I was growing up, but my dad was a vetran, and STILL taught us gun safety. Same thing, it is a tool and you damn well better know how to use it right. Cause it don't care who is on the receiving end.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on December 24, 2003 07:24 PM

I often amused by people who think that children of a particular age cannot be trained to handle firearms but think nothing of letting the same age child use equally dangerous tools and implements like motorcycles, etc.

In the case of this lawsuit, these kinds of lawsuits are usually encouraged by gun-fearing weasels ( aka gun control organizations ) because they want to win in court what they cannot win by the political process - an effective ban on guns. The gun control organizations have cloaked themselves in the false-flag of "gun safety".

Posted by: Robin Roberts on December 24, 2003 07:42 PM

When I was ten, my father gave me keys to the weapons that were locked up, and made certain I knew where those which were not (and were loaded) were at all times.

He trusted in his ability to educate me on the respect firearms require, and he was quite right to do so. I never had a single incident.

And yes, I did handle them often and show them off to a few friends. I did so after making damn certain they were unloaded, and even then never pointed a weapon at anything I didn't intend to shoot, even though I knew it wasn't loaded.

I was no different than any other ten year old. The blame here lies with the father, who did not properly instruct his son, and the kid for fucking up. It has jack to do with Beretta for making a pistol.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on December 24, 2003 08:07 PM

I don't give a shit what you have taught YOUR kid about guns. If you let other children in your home (as is apparent from previous posts), you are courting disaster by leaving loaded firearms around the house. You recently posted about how your kid and his buds almost burned down the neighborhood when you weren't watching them.

I have a loaded .357 S&W Model 66 in my nightstand, a loaded Remington 870 12 gauge in my bedroom closet and a loaded Steyr M9 tucked into a closet near the front door. But I don't have any kids.

Bottom line: It's your choice to leave loaded weapons around the house. Maybe your kid is responsible around guns. How about when there is a group of kids in the house? Or a group of kids building a fire in the backyard?

Posted by: rightisright on December 24, 2003 08:46 PM

I made a similar post months ago. We always had guns around the house. I received my first gun on my 10th birthday (the legal hunting age in maine), a 20ga shotgun. I'd taken several hunter safety courses before then, though.

In all honesty, I don't believe I needed those courses. My family taught me more about guns growing up than I ever learned in that course. By the time I was ten, I could have taught the course. It's all about education. A child educated about guns wouldn't do that.

Posted by: Geoffrey on December 24, 2003 08:58 PM

I grew up in a house full of guns.

What would have happened to me, had I mishandled even one of them, ever, would have been WAY worse than getting shot.

"My" gun was a pellet gun- not a BB repeater, but an actual pellet rifle, single shot, fairly accurate. It put a lot of squirrel and quail on the table. I have it still. I don't have anything else right now, that I had when I was eight.

Posted by: mark on December 24, 2003 09:22 PM

An Alameda County judge declared a mistrial Tuesday after a jury deadlocked in a high-profile lawsuit by the parents of a Berkeley teenager accidentally killed by a loaded Beretta handgun.

Note the phrasing: "Killed by a loaded Beretta handgun.

The gun had nothing to do with it. Killed WITH, yes, but not BY. Damned typical Chronex slant.

Posted by: bear, the (one each) on December 24, 2003 10:47 PM

I grew up in a household with loaded guns all over the place. I didn't touch 'em because I knew better. We ALL knew how to handle them. My kids grew up in a household with loaded guns. They all knew how to handle them. They knew better than to touch them.

My kids grew up in a rural environment where they had a lot of responsibility from a young age. Their chores were done and the animals fed, or they didn't eat. (Oh, so you didn't think the cows didn't need to be fed today? Tell me how you feel about it at breakfast. ) They were doing their laundry as soon as they could reach the controls on the washing machine. They had important jobs in the family that only they could fulfill, and we depended on them to do it. They knew about responsibility and consequences (and a lot of that was from making the wrong decision). A farm is a dangerous place. The bull will kill you if you ain't careful. So will a cow protecting her calf, or a murderous sow with piglets (who will kill you and eat you). Heavy equipment will kill you. Chemicals improperly used will kill you.

Do city kids have as many responsibilities as rural kids? I know people that are still doing their kids' laundry when they are in their late teens or early 20s, something that my kids mastered before the age of 10. This Mama was workin' and didn't have a lot of time for foolishness.

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