Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10-Year-Old Shoots and Kills his Father

The local ABC News in Albuquerque reports on the 10-year-old boy who shot his father in the head because of too much punishment.

Belen police have charged a 10 year-old-boy with first degree murder in the shooting death of his father.Police said officers responded to a Valencia County home after getting a call around 7 p.m. Thursday from 10-year-old Benjamin Hilburn.

When police arrived, they found 42-year-old Bryon Hilburn shot once in the head. Police believe Benjamin used his own rifle to fatally shoot his father.The boy reportedly told police he felt his father was disciplining him too harshly and too often.

This case is eerily similar to another one which happened last year in Arizona. In that one the young shooter was only 8-years-old, and amazingly was initially charged with murder too.

In the case of Benjamin Hilburn, although there were no bruises or marks found on him, there was reason to believe his story.

But Romaine Serna with the Children, Youth and Families Department said the agency had been called to check on the family more than seven times since 2003, after anonymous reports of child abuse and neglect.

But, even so, my question is where did a 10-year-old learn to solve problems like that? Do you think in some way his father taught him that, and it resulted in his own death? How ironic and sad, huh?

Serna also said there were a lot of weapons in this home."It was a family sport, they were avid shooters," she said.New Mexico state law says only handguns are restricted for people under the age of 18. By law, Benjamin was allowed to own a rifle and use it with parental supervision.

With parental supervision, indeed. What's your opinion? Do you think there was something wrong in that home in the way their weapons were secured? Wouldn't "with parental supervision" mean the boy shouldn't be able to use the guns on his own? Is that practical in a "shooting" home? Wouldn't stricter laws relating to children and guns prevent something like this? We're talking about lawful gun owners, who presumably would obey the laws, so this wouldn't require criminal compliance, but simply the compliance of the law abiding. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Quite right Mike. Stricter laws would have prevented this tragedy, granting the victim many more years to happily abuse his children.

    Wait a second... What?

    This reminds me of a another case, from a few years ago; a girl in PA killed her father with a shotgun while he was passed out drunk on the couch. Because he raped her repeatedly. On her 13th birthday. And told her he'd kill her if she told anyone.

    Sometimes violence is the only answer.

  2. Once again, little Mikey squats in front of his toy blocks, banging furiously on that troublesome square block that won't fit into the round hole....

  3. Here's another act of senseless violence that you can blog about:

    Student fatally stabbed at Coral Gables High School

    Oh wait.......

    (sounds of continued furious banging in the backgound)

  4. "Wouldn't stricter laws relating to children and guns prevent something like this? "

    They could... But how do you plan to enforce those laws?

  5. The people who are likely to be involved in this sort of tragedy in the first place will say "The government can go to hell before it tells me how to raise my own kids, and how to live in my own house"

    So how will you enforce this law? Unannounced and warrant-less searches without probable cause would long as you are willing to treat the rest of the constitution the same as you do the second amendment.

  6. TomB, Thanks for the link to that tragic stabbing in Coral Gables. But, you know I only like to focus on the gun; that story just doesn't cut it.

    Unless, let me see, teens who resort to knife violence are usually the product of homes in which dad owns guns and continually talks about protecting himself by killing if necessary. The kid learns that killing is the answer to conflict management, and viola, you've got stabbings. What do you think?

    This new theory has great potential. I may have stumbled on a way to blame gun owners for stabbings. Thanks TomB.

  7. "I may have stumbled on a way to blame gun owners for stabbings."

    In the spirit of awkward friendship, I'll reveal a tightly held secret to you.

    Every gun owner I know also has a healthy knife collection.

    Just the bayonets alone would make Paul Helmke wet himself.

    Hope this helps with your new theory.

  8. kaveman, Thanks for the info (and the good laugh).