A 12 year old boy shot and killed a teacher and wounded two others last week in Nevada. That’s right, it’s not teens anymore that are doing school shootings. I remember years ago when Robert “Yummy” Sandifer made national news for shooting up some locals in his neighborhood. Everyone was shocked and if I recall his criminal behavior landed him on the cover of Time Magazine. He was 11 at the time. Apparently those types of activities aren’t as shocking anymore.
The downfall of Yummy seems to be traced to a Dad that wasn’t around because he was in jail and a mother that was a career criminal and reportedly beat and burned him as a young boy. He then went on to live with his grandmother and reportedly as many as 19 other kids at the same time under one roof. It’s no wonder that gang life was attractive to him as a way out of the crappy situation he was born in to. Not surprisingly it ultimately also lead to his death, but if anyone can be forgiven for not turning out well it seems that Yummy had no chance of a good life result.
We don’t know as much about the Nevada boy, but news reports indicate he lived with his parents and was for the most part a happy and nice kid. He apparently was bullied some.
What we haven’t heard much outrage about, not yet at least, is that he allegedly committed murder with his parents’ hand gun. Whether you are an anti-gun nut or a pro-gun nut, I do believe that there is common ground in the belief that guns should be safely stored and a 12 year old boy shouldn’t be able to access the weapon without adult supervision.
I’m sympathetic to the parents of this shooter who also suffered the day he snapped. They lost their child. But that’s not punishment enough in my mind.
Criminal punishments exist in part as a deterrent. It doesn’t always work, but you can bet that plenty of people have avoided crimes after seeing others get in trouble. It certainly appears that these folks were criminally negligent in letting their gun be accessed by this child.
Should they get charged with 2nd degree murder? I don’t know enough about them and how lax they were, but it would be a travesty if the local State’s Attorney isn’t investigating them at least for criminal negligence.
Owning a gun comes with a lot of responsibilities. My friends with guns all own gun safes as well. Most have young kids and don’t want to be the next parent of a child that accidentally shoots themselves. Whatever their reason, they are responsible gun owners.
The parents in Nevada, may be irresponsible gun owners. If that’s the case, there needs to be a criminal investigation.
The bottom line is that it’s not wrong to seek out someone to blame when a tragedy like this happens, especially if it’s a crime committed by not just a minor, but really a kid. That may not be comfortable, but how are you going to stop the next shooting, if you don’t address the cause of the most recent ones.
Of course this isn’t an isolated incident. There was also the 14 year old boy – a relative geezer in comparison age wise – who beat and killed his teacher in Massachusetts. He’s being charged with murder and rightfully so. His parents should be in the least investigated to see if there is anything they could have done. They don’t appear to have the same culpability as the Nevada parents, but a 14 year old doesn’t become a monster overnight. If they ignored the warning signs then something needs to be done with them too.
Bottom line is that I’m sick and tired of hearing about these murders and nothing being done to deter future crimes of the same sort. Kids seem to think it’s ok to kill. If their parents are enablers then they need to face the consequences. If they can show that they tried in some way to be a parent or weren’t negligent then we move on.
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