Comments about ‘Teen shot Wednesday wouldn't want friends charged, family members say’

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Published: Friday, June 6 2014 6:25 p.m. MDT

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K
Mchenry, IL

A group of teen boys don't need supervision inside someone's home. They are not small children.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

"Baxter said she believes some responsibility for her grandson's death lies with the adults who were upstairs at the time of the shooting. The teens were "not being properly watched," she said."

I'm also sorry to hear about this tragedy, but sixteen and seventeen year olds do not require the same constant supervision as toddlers. It's neither practical nor reasonable to have an adult with them whenever they're in the home. Blame the parents for not teaching them enough about gun safety or about choosing their friends more carefully (don't hang with kids who steal), but anyone who's had teenagers knows there are limits on direct supervision when they're with friends.

Rustymommy
Clovis, NM

This is a sad situation. Condolences to the family.

If it was truly a senseless accident, then no charges should be filed. But without further information, that is hard to believe. If the friends were older, they were adults. If they were a couple of years younger than him, they were certainly still old enough to know the dangers of guns. Blaming it on the adults upstairs seems a little harsh. Most kids in this age group get minimal supervision from parents during free time. These kids were old enough to babysit, date, get a job, drive a car, go to an R rated movie, etc. Parents are not with teenagers every moment. The parents could be partially responsible if the gun should have been better secured according to state law.

Instereo
Eureka, UT

First of all, let me say I believe in the second amendment but with this sad case I sometimes wonder about the ease of access to guns in our society is a problem.

I don't think it was the fault of the adults in the house who were upstairs. How many of us adults would have been partying with our high school senior child and their friends. That would be weird.

Let's play it out another way. If they had gone to a neighbors, stole a knife, and were showing it to friends at a party, would that knife accidentally gone off and struck someone in the head. No, and we wouldn't be talking about this sad tragedy.

You can't blame the neighbors who had their gun stolen. Nor, the adults whose house the party was in because they didn't have a gun or if they did because it was locked up like it should be. You just have to wonder if we have 320 million people in the USA and 280 million guns if maybe the problem is we've gone overboard with our love of guns and the second amendment as a society.

Stringer Bell
Henderson, NV

These comments are amazing.

"If it was truly a senseless accident, then no charges should be filed." - if the gun was stolen, yes they should be filed.

"You can't blame the neighbors who had their gun stolen" - yes you can. The gun was obviously not securely stored and as a result a young man was killed.

And obviously, teenagers with a loaded gun do indeed need some type of supervision.

ronnie
sandy, utah

If charges are not filed it will irresponsible. Unfortunately Utah has this reputation of expanding the definition of "accidental gun deaths". In the recent past two two-year olds were killed while playing with hand guns, and no charges were filed against the responsible adults. This all points to the fact that we still do not recognize the seriousness of gun ownership.

Frank Fourth
New York, NY

Stealing a gun is not a senseless accident.

Cav Pilot
St George, UT

Whoever stole the gun, needs to be charged. Unfortunately for them, the death of their friend should be included in the charges as a death in conjunction with theft.
Blaming the parents because they were not keeping a close enough eye on their teenage son in his room in their basement???? I assume that you keep your teen leashed to you and sleep in the same room?

To Instereo, your logic is flawed. Annually, there are about 600 people killed, by another person, with rifles in the US. yet there are 34,000 people killed by cars. There are about 850 people killed every year by unlicensed hammers. By your own rational, we should ban cars and hammers before we ban guns. Cars are way more dangerous. What is your rational for not wanting to ban cars and hammers? I am guessing it is because you want one.

Cav Pilot
St George, UT

Stinger bell,
1) the gun was stolen, therefore it is safe to assume that the adults did not know it existed.
2) yes, when teens have a loaded gun, they should be supervised, but see item 1.
3) as a teen, the closest thing I had to supervision, sometimes for days at a time, was that my parents/grand parents knew that I had it in my possession.
4) there is no valid reason for having a loaded gun laying around in your house, but see item #1
5) what is the age that we should make a law where a person is permitted to have a gun unsupervised.....oh we already have those laws. Making more laws won't make a difference if they ones we have are ignored.

SKT
Pleasant Grove, UT

First of all....what about the gun being stolen??? Why aren't charges being filed for that? Did I miss something here? If it hadn't been stolen, then it wouldn't have happened. And if the boys had stolen the gun, do you think they would have come home to the adults and said "Hey, we are going downstairs to check out this gun that was just stolen" I don't think teens need to be watched 24/7 like a small child. I wouldn't blame the adults, but the teens should be charged for stealing a gun! Reminds me of the phrase, "You have the right to make a choice, but not to choose the consequences"

100%TruePAtriot
cincinnati, OH

While a sad situation, there is no blame for a freak accident.
No charges should be filed.

Abour ease of access to guns - that is a constitutional right under the 2nd and 9th amendments.

Now it begs to question - at what age do people get any constitutional rights?

Soldiers as young as 14 were purportedly fighting in the revolutionary war.

To enjoy freedom, risks must be taken. And those risks include the occasional accidents unfortunately.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Theft of a firearm is a serious crime and charges must be filed, preferably as adults.

If anything, the parents are to blame for not teaching their children basic gun safety.

Did their schools bother to teach the state approved curriculum for basic gun safety- essentially the NRA "Eddie Eagle" message? While aimed at younger kids in elementary school, the basics still apply.
"If you see a gun, Stop!
Leave the area.
Tell an adult."

If kids other than the thieves were shown the gun, they should have not touched, it, left the area and told an adult.

We cannot excuse those involved with the basic act which led to this needless death- the theft of the firearm.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

The NRA has a gun safety education program called Eddie Eagle that Utah ought to be making use of in the schools. Beyond that gun safety ought to be taught in health class. We have drivers education, why not gun safety?

Flashback
Kearns, UT

If the gun was not stolen, then no one would have died. One of the boys was showing off his trophy, be he the one who died or one of the others. Charges do need to be filed, and not against the owner of the gun which was stolen in an apparent burglary by possibly one of the boys involved in the incident. Charges need to be filed against whomever stole that gun which lead directly to the death. Negligent homicide at the least, along with a felony burglary because a gun was taken.l

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

This was not an accident; unintentional perhaps but no accident. The gun performed precisely as it was engineered to function and the victim was killed. There is no such thing as an accidental gun death, just an unintended target.

This gun owner should be held criminally responsible for negligent homicide for not properly securing the firearm and the other two boys involved should be tried as adults for the same crime. It's disheartening and pathetic to see so many people find justification for this behavior and relegate the matter as something that is simply "part of life."

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with gun ownership; however, the time has come to start holding the irresponsible gun owners to account for the thousands of deaths they facilitate each and every year. That goes for gun shops too.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

So sad, because it represents one more case of something that's TOTALLY avoidable. Adults, make sure all the guns you have at home are locked up. Ammo should be also locked up, but in a different container. When you CHOOSE these policies, no laws are broken or added. The 2nd Amendment isn't in play and, best of all, no one dies.

Jefferson
Kalispell, MT

So when Stalwart Sentinel's car is stolen and used in a crime, he would agree to be held criminally responsible - because he didn't ensure that it couldn't be stolen. When his rental property is used as a meth lab, he will plead guilty in court because he didn't ensure that his property couldn't be used improperly. If he gets mugged by a drug addict and his cash is used to by drugs, then he should be charged because his cash was used to buy the illegal product.

Figure out the difference between a "victim" and a "criminal." Now, if the gun were the property of the homeowners and the juveniles accessed it there in the home, then perhaps charges against the homeowners might be warranted. But you can't hold the victim responsible for the criminal acts committed with their stolen property.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Jefferson - Incorrect. All examples you've provided allude to the use of the stolen item in a manner that falls outside the scope of it's intended purpose. A gun, on the other hand, is designed to shoot and kill. In this case, it did exactly that.

Gun owners constantly drone on about how "responsible" they are but then offer justification after justification for the "irresponsible" ones. Well, we lose thousands of Americans every year to irresponsible gun owners so let's separate the wheat from the chaff. If you don't adequately secure your firearm, you should be help accountable for the wrongs caused as a result. Firearms are instruments of death so, if you're going to own something with "great power" then you need to take some responsibility for the damage it causes on society.

shadow01
Edwardsville, IL

Can't wait for Reeter Skeeter / Nancy Grace to pounce all over this one. I see a few Skeeters out there already. Let the law do their job. somebody is certainly to blame and there are too many scenarios possible to make any real judgment.
1. Try two 16 year olds nicked the gun, 17 year old friend found out, tried to get them to take it back. One friend thought he was being ratted out and accidently shot the 17 year old.
2. 3 kids break into someones house steal a gun, take gun home, play with gun 17 year old responsible teen gets shot. Of course if any of the teens were responsible in the first place the gun would not have been taken.
3. Somebody else stole the gun, the teens found it. Responsible teens play with gun....bang!
Come on folks, put your Nancy Grace brains together. Surely we can all come up with something exciting, someone to blame and real dirt under the rug.
Or we can let the police and the legal system do their job and find the facts and act on those facts.

midvale guy
MIDVALE, UT

16 years old is smart enough to know when you are doing something wrong or just plain stupid. Remember this gun was stolen so there are at least 2 wrongs. @Stalwart Sentinel- finish reading the article before you use this as an anti-gun soapbox address. Yes people are going to be killed, some intentional some not. I don't see everyone fighting to outlaw motorcycles or cars for people accidentally being killed. And we all know the statistics on these are much higher than any gun deaths. just because you think you don't need a gun right now doesn't mean that's true and it does not mean that will always be the case. Maybe you like the government involved in every piece of your life but I certainly don't.

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