Saturday, December 31, 2011

More on the Careless Firearms Deaths of Kids in CO over the Holidays

I don't believe that ANYONE is safe sleeping with a loaded handgun on their nightstand, routinely. This is a classic example of someone who wrongly believed they needed that loaded handgun for self defense, and did not - obviously - secure it adequately. And someone died as a result who should not have died.

But hey - this is ok with the gun loons, so long as THEY are never inconvenienced or regulated in their firearm practices.

How important is a five year old boy or girl dying, here or there, anyway? Those lives are unimportant compared to unregulated gun rights under the 2nd Amendment. Those kids and all the other people who were shot, all those who were injured, they're expendable when it comes to guns for gun lunatics compared to how important having those guns are.

From MSNBC and Reuters :

Man charged after Colo. toddler fatally shoots brother

updated 12/30/2011 8:09:28 PM ET
A Kansas man accused of leaving a loaded handgun where a 3-year-old Colorado boy found it and shot his 5-year-old brother dead was charged on Friday with felony child abuse.
Authorities said Adam Dean Laham, 23, left his loaded .32-caliber semiautomatic handgun unsecured while visiting the boys' home in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, Colorado earlier this month.
The toddler shot his brother in the chest after finding the weapon in a bedroom where Laham was staying, police said.
The boys' father heard the gunshot and raced to the bedroom, where he saw the 3-year-old holding the weapon. He performed CPR on his older son until an ambulance arrived, but the boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The 3-year-old told police he wanted to show his brother the gun and that he accidentally "shooted" his older sibling, according to the affidavit.
Laham, who is being held on a $40,000 bond, told police that the shooting "was totally my fault" because he had not stowed the handgun, an arrest warrant affidavit said.
Prosecutors charged him with reckless child abuse resulting in death. If convicted, he faces up to 48 years in prison.
Laham told investigators he went outside to smoke a cigarette, and gave the boys permission to play video games in the bedroom where he was staying. He told police he always sleeps with a loaded gun at his bedside, and forgot to secure it because he is unaccustomed to being around children.
"He does not have children and is not used to putting it away," the affidavit said.
The December 23 shooting was the first of two fatal gun deaths in Colorado involving 5-year-old children over the Christmas holiday.
On December 26, a 5-year-old girl in south-central Colorado was mortally wounded after the .45-caliber handgun she was handling in her parent's home discharged, said Captain Don Pinover, spokesman for the Fremont County Sheriff's Office.
Police consider that shooting accidental, but prosecutors were weighing whether to file criminal charges in that case, Pinover said.


  1. Dog Gone, get serious. I keep a loaded handgun on my nightstand at night. How is a handgun supposed to be any protection if it isn't loaded and available? Would you expect me to remove it from a lockbox and load it if I heard someone break in? As usual, you are opposed to anyone having a handgun in useful condition. If I had children in my house, I'd see to it that they couldn't touch it, but if it's not at hand for me, it can't serve the purpose of self defense.

    So here's a question for you: When you were being stalked, did you feel that your life was in danger? If so, did you have your handgun available at night in case of a break in? If no, why not?

  2. "I keep a loaded handgun on my nightstand at night"

    And you're NOT afraid?

    You're counting on being able to get to your gun when you hear someone breaking in? I've got a $100 Radioshit alarm system. If you upset one of the sensors a 100+db annunciator starts blaring. One of these days I might even hook it up. If I didn't think my bedroom was safe, I'd move.

    Your penchant for melodramatic fantasies is pretty obvious.

    If I wanted to rob somebody's house I'd wait till they were gone. If I wanted to kill them and suspected that they were armed I'd sabotage their vehicle, ambush them or burn them out. If you want to kill someone, a gun is far from being the only way to do it. It IS one of the most efficient ways to kill someone without getting too close and taking a chance of getting yourself hurt.

  3. I keep a loaded shotgun and a loaded handgun available at my home at all times. Here is why children will never repeat the event of this article.

    (1) It is 6 feet up in the air and not visible in the room.
    (2) While the magazine is full, there is no round in the chamber.
    That means my four year old would have to find it, bring a ladder into the house to climb up to get it, then pump it, then aim it at someone, then pull the trigger. That's not going to happen.

    (1) It is on my hip at all times that I am awake.
    (2) It is in a custom holster that covers the trigger completely.
    (3) If I go to bed or take a shower, I put it in a hidden location 6 feet up in the air where my four year old cannot see or reach it.
    (4) I normally keep the chamber empty and my four year old is incapable of racking the slide.
    (Yes, I practice drawing and racking the slide in one fast, fluid motion. It adds about an additional half second to my response time ... a reasonable tradeoff in my mind.)

    There are two serious problems with the situation in that article. First and foremost, the handgun owner really screwed up. In addition to spending decades in prison, he should be speaking to as many gun safety meetings as physically possible. Second, firearms have become so taboo to many people that neither children nor adults know what to do if they find one. It amazes me that we teach 2 year olds not to touch a hot stove or not to run out into streets but we don't teach them not to touch guns.

    While the responsibility for safety rests almost entirely on firearm owners, we really should as a nation educate both children and adults as well.

  4. Capn Crunch,

    You're doing exactly the right thing. I imagine that you'll teach your children how to use a firearm appropriately when they're old enough, and good for you for all of that.

  5. "While the responsibility for safety rests almost entirely on firearm owners, we really should as a nation educate both children and adults as well."

    The responsibility for safety, securing the firearm, rests 100% on the gunzowner. If anyone in your home is able to access your guns and use them against you or your family who else's fault could it possibly be?

  6. democommie,

    I advocate for more safety education for unexpected situations. Children or even adults could stumble upon a firearm anywhere.

    I am not saying this gives firearm owners license to be less careful. It is an added measure of safety. Someone could have all the safety measures in the world and something could still go wrong -- e.g. a lock could fail, something could jam the door of a safe, a handgun could fall out of a carrier without notice, etc.

    A good analogy is when you are driving a car. It isn't the driver's responsibility to evade pedestrians who suddenly step into traffic. Pedestrians are supposed to cross roads at crosswalks at the appropriate timing of a traffic signal. And if there is no crosswalk, they should look both ways and wait for traffic to clear before crossing. And yet as drivers we still watch for pedestrians that screw up and somehow step into traffic anyway.

    The same thing applies to everyday people who might just happen upon a firearm. While it isn't their responsibility to secure firearms, it is their responsibility to be aware of and prepared to deal with potential dangers around them. Of course we cannot expect much out of young children. Like I said though, if we can teach them to stay away from a stove or stay away from a street, then we can teach them to leave firearms alone.

  7. Democommie,

    Whose fault could it be? Oh, I don't know, how about the shooter's?

  8. Cap'n Crunch:

    Bullshit. You want to be able to carry gunz everywhere you go without being responsible for them.

    Greg Camp:

    You're an obscenity. Now you want to blame the 3 yo for killing his brother? You're truly a piece of shit.

  9. Democommie,

    A three-year-old? No, but a thief or an adult who goes nuts? Yes.

  10. democommie,

    I am responsible for my own guns and make sure that no one will get hurt with my guns no matter where I go. I am not looking to duck or lessen that responsibility.

    I am not responsible for other people's guns. I cannot control other people, whether "law abiding" gun owners or criminals who fail to secure their firearms. I advocate basic firearm safety training for people who happen across the firearm of an irresponsible owner, whether a criminal or otherwise.

  11. Capn Crunch and Greg, Do you guys take any special precautions when you go out of the house? Does your gun stay in the nightstand, Greg? Does your shotgun stay in it's "hiding place," Capn?

    Answer yes, and I'll call you irresponsible.