ANSWERS: 37
  • Oh that's terrible! Everyone's a loser no matter what happens. So do the parents go to jail? Then what happens to the son?
  • They have suffered terribly,but in our society someone has to bare responsibility for the loss of life.It seems an awful moral and legal dilemma.
  • That's gut-wrenching. I feel for that family and what they've been through and yet to go through. I'm sure the judge will do the right thing when the time comes, but wow, what a truly horrible ordeal to have to deal with.
  • Oh, yes I think they do but that is because of them They put them selves in it but offcourse I think they suffer enough They are a mom and a dad!! they made the life of thier daughter lost because of not securing a gun!!!! That's horrible feeling!;D
  • They are rightly suffering. It's because of their actions that their daugter is dead. Perhaps they should have given gun ownership a little more thought before they decided to have a lethal weapon in a house with children. They should be charged as an example to others.
  • They have suffered, but it is their fault that their daughter is dead, so they should be rightly punished for this.
  • Sherri on an emotional level yes they have suffered a tremedous lose, losing a child is horrible. On the flip side of the coin the damn gun should have been secured in a safe out of the way place where a child of 8y/o can not possible obtain. I carried a glock 37 on me for 15+ years, when my kids were younger I made damn sure the gun was secured at work, locked up and away from them for that very reason. Are the parents responsible yes and yes again. Adults need to stop and think. A tremedous lose and heart felt saddenness to this family is my compassionate side. The common sense side of me says the adults need to be held accountable.
  • I don't understand.
  • how awful - my heart goes out to everyone involved. The actions of these irresponsible parents has caused the death of one child and will possibly ruin the life of the other. This young boy now has to live the rest of his life knowing what he has done. yes - I think they should be punished but not with a custodial sentence. this young boy needs his parents now to help him get through this tragedy Good thought provoking question btw
  • 1) "An 8-year-old Vacaville boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old stepsister while playing with an unsecured handgun, according to Vacaville authorities." "King said investigators believe the gun belonged to the child's father, an active U.S. Army reservist." Source and further information: http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=67473&catid=2 (two videos can also be seen on this site) 2) Another tragic accident with unsecured guns. Who can really know how much those people suffer?
  • Firearms safety is such an important issue that people who are irresponsible with them must be made an example of. A suspended sentence would be in order. +2
  • He will be charged, convicted, suspended sentence, kicked out of the military with a Dishonorable Discharge, she will divorce him and the kid who accidentally shot his sibling will go insane over all the uproar and trauma. The suffering behind this one will never go away.
  • The law is a matter of justice, not suffering. Of course the parents suffering is great on account of the lost child, and even more so on the guilt it will leave. But justice must be impartial when she delivers her sentence to the criminals. In this case, as sad as it is, there is no doubt that the parents must bear the responsibilty. Having said that, law is only an artificial justice - in reality, the consequence of the parents crime (not securing firearms) has already been dealt by the death of their child. Case closed.
  • No......I have guns and they are locked up....no one should keep their guns just lying around when they have children of any age in the house.....It's stupid...my son is only 1 1/2 and I thinnk I'll get a new safe that has a code to punch in rather than a key so he has no hope of ever getting in there
  • Its a sad story and you can see both sides of it. I was always taught to store my guns and my ammunition in separate locations just to prevent such an accident. And how stupid can someone be to load the gun and store it.
  • They have definitely suffered enough. And they will continue to suffer lifelong sorrow and most likely will divorce - few marriages survive the accidental death of a child.
  • 1 - you've got the issue of gun safety happening. It's not very difficult to make sure an 8 yr old boy has no access. Since he did get the gun, what else is going on in that household re: negligence??? 2- you've got the issue of 8 yr old boy & two-yr old girl unsupervised. Social Services need to get involved re proper care of children. Nope, they haven't suffered enough....
  • ~winks~ WOOOOOHOOOOOOO I just retired on Monday 9/21/09. Then you really do understand my interest in this......
  • Fact from fiction, truth from diction. There is where the disconnect comes in the law, especially CA. If the kids were out boinking like rabbits and got an STD or even a pregnancy no one would have bat an eye. They would have said we should have passed out the condoms quicker, they were going to do it anyway so we might as well show them how to boink safely. With gun play all over TV and the movies, and 1st shooter games, guns seem more cool and sexy not dangerous as they really are. If we can say to kids about boinking "if you can't say no just be careful", maybe taking the kid to the range and explaining to him how dangerous it is and that it can take a life, that anything shot is not just going to come back at the next level or when you hit the reset button. Charging a parent who does all they could to secure their fire arms is just stupud.
  • There are two ways you can look at this. First of all, it was very neglectful of them not to have had the gun locked in a box and put up where the child could not get to it. As far as suffering goes, yes..they will suffer far more being they have lost a precious child than they will being put in prison. They will be suffering over this for their lifetime!
  • Its not that they want to punish the parents, but that they want to set an example for the public to prevent it from happening in the future. At least that's what it should be about.
  • I think this should be enough for them..
  • Sorry to sound cruel but it is due to their neglect that their child is dead. It is the gun owners responsibiltiy to make sure that his gun is out of reach at all times.
  • The purpose of such punishments is mainly, in my opinion, to deter others so it never happens again. It is too late for this family, but we need to get out the message to all other families that guns are very dangerous, and if you are a gun owner you have a duty to secure your guns properly - particularly if you have children. Too many gun owners are too casual about them. If prosecuting these parents sends out enough of a message to prevent a single further accident, then it is the right thing to do. Not in a spirit of vengeance, but in a spirit of warning.
  • I got my first gun when I was 8 and was allowed to keep it in my room. A 22 caliber rifle. I gave my kid a 22 rifle when he was 8 and started him shooting at age 5. He had 24 hour a day access to fireatms his whole life as I did. He was allowed to shoot them and understood firearm safety from a young age though. Hiding guns and locking them away only adds to the mystique and attractiveness of firearms. Educating children and teaching them firearms safety and letting them become familiar with firearms would go a long way rowards preventing these kinds of incidents. All children in my part of the country are familiar with firearms from an early age and no one I know takes great pains to hide their guns. Usually just hanging on the walls of virtually every house I ever visit. I don't recall ever hearing of an accident involving a firearm and a child here. I see kids as young as 12 wearing pistols frequently walking down the roads here. We have bears and mountain lions so kids are encouraged to carry some sort of gun when they are out playing or riding dirt bikes io whatever. No one pays attention to it. Yes, The parents have suffered enough and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives. The fairly recent attitude of "Guns are bad and should be kept from children" is what really cause these situations. They used to have "Rifle clubs" in schools and firearms safety was taught in schools. I carried my rifle to school on the 3rd thursday of each month and stored it in my locker in 7th grade so I could shoot in the rifle club after school. Now there is a virtual prohibition in most places regarding kids handling firearms and these types of incidents have increased dramatically because of it.
  • They must be suffering more than I can comprehend. However, they are partially responsible for that manslaughter. They share a monumental part of the blame, more so than the 8 year old boy. They should be charged. Its tragic, and their loss must be immense, but they hold undeniable responsibility for the death of their daughter and that must be recognised by the legal system. If we went about not charging them because they have suffered, then surely for the sake of equality and 'justice' we would have to not charge all people who accidentally contributed to a death and have suffered as a result. That can't happen. I know it's harsh, but we must remain a certain level of objectivity when considering law and justice. Their poor son is going to suffer the rest of his life because of their irrisponsibility, not his.
  • In short, yes... they've suffered enough. If we are going to punish people for trying to protect themselves or their families, I'd say we need a better system for universally imposing "justice" in our land. The fact that they had guns "ready to go" given our current "justice system" doesn't surprise me. Anyone who believes that our system is good enough to eliminate the need for privately held loaded guns is delusional, or at least out of touch with the areas in america where break-in's are rampant. As a more universally understandable example, lets have a look at bank robberies. Less than 25% of bank robberies (of which close to 100% were caught on tape and handed over to police) are solved nationwide. So, what is to stop criminals from breaking into my house with an illegally obtained gun (which btw are surprisingly easily obtained... any pothead can prove to you that illegality doesn't stop trade), with my less than bank-scale security system, killing me, raping me and/or my female relatives, and stealing my crap??? The fact that I may have a gun loaded and ready to fire under my pillow definitely helps, while the fact that the cops will "eventually" come doesn't really stop much. Despite all of this argument about gun regulation... yes, if they are people, then they've suffered enough!!! If they have no human emotions regarding their relatives, then remove them from society because they don't belong. But, I have never seen anyone under as much anguish as those having recently lost a child. To inflict further harm/punishment on them would be like beating a dead fish, pointless and degrading.
  • No, they have not suffered enough. If they had any sense then the little kids wouldn't be playing with loaded guns. They need to be charged with something. I think a lock for the trigger on a gun will cost you about $9.00 at Walmart.
  • Well they have to get charged what kind of parent make a loaded gun accessible for a 8yr kid! the poor boy, his gonna felt guilty for the rest of his life :(
  • They deserve jail time. Hell, Plexico Burress got two years for accidentally shooting himself.
  • I think their suffering will continue for the rest of their lives. I can't imagine how they could ever forget something like this, or think any punishment is suitable enough to remove any guilt they feel. Mentally and emotionally they will forever live behind the prison doors of their minds and no judge, or parole board could ever release them from that except God.
  • No matter, the law states they shall be arrested and charged with negligent homicide. Their daughter would be alive, if the parents had used gun safety in their home. In this case, the state is defending their dead daughter by making the arrests. They should be arrested.
  • In my community a few years ago there was a 17 year old girl that was taking her 4 year old brother, 6 year old sister and 13 year old sister to school. (It's legal here to have siblings in your car if you are under 18, as long as you are taking them to and from school.) She got to showing off and was speeding, ran a stop sign and was broadsided. All three of her siblings were killed. She was in a coma for over a month and woke up to this reality. Our community was quite divided on whether or not she should be prosecuted for vehicular homicide. And she was. She was sentenced to juvenile detention until she came of age. And then she killed herself in the center. Her parents lost 4 children in less than a year. She was in the wrong, there is no doubt about that. But at her age, sending her to "jail" did not help the situation or teach anyone anything. She should have been home where family could help her through this and this family could have healed together. I don't think that we should use tragic things like this as a deterrent for others.
  • Accidently isn't even in the dictioniary (sic). Hope that helps.
  • Often a sentence is given out to get the attention of others so as to avoid a repeat - may not be a stated part of our "justice" system but it is so. As to your question I am not sure if "suffering enough" allows one to not be held up to laws or who is to decide in each and every situation? How much did the 8 and 2 year old suffer? If you don't care for this reply I can always go with what you think. +5
  • It would depend on what sentence the charge would carry. I do not think it would be appropriate for them to serve time as this would effect the child they still have. They should be required to attend some sort of safety parenting class and even help the community by sharing their experience so other parents are more informed. Punishing for an example helps no one. They should be held accountable in a way that teaches them and others but in a compassionate but just way...

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