Utter Negligence

February 4, 2009 by The Constant Complainer

Welcome to the award winning blog of The Constant Complainer.

I am the first to admit that I am capable of getting rattled just like anyone else.  It doesn’t happen as much anymore, because as they say, I’m “seasoned” – I work in the stressful and litigious field of Risk Management.  But in all seriousness, there are certain stories I read, things I hear or things I see that can cause even me, The Constant Complainer, to be speechless, angry beyond belief or upset.  This is one of those examples…

An 8-year-old girl’s life is gone.  She died yesterday.  Why?  Because police officers say her brother brought home a gun from a relative’s house.  Facts are sketchy, but apparently the girl “struggled” with her 10-year-old brother over the gun and she was accidentally shot in the head.  You can read the initial news story here and the updated news story of her death here.

So many things run through my mind when things like this happen.  It’s such a shame.  And it doesn’t make me feel any better that this happened in my own city.

My first issue is why a 10-year-old boy had a .22-caliber handgun.  Apparently he took it from a relative’s house.  That leads to my second issue, which is why the relative had a gun near a 10-year-old in the first place.  Or why the relative left the gun out.  Or why the gun wasn’t locked up.  I’m just speculating of course on how the young boy got the gun.  But he clearly had access to it, took it and left the relative’s house without anyone knowing about it.  I think that’s a pretty big problem.

I suppose I could make this into a big gun control argument, but I’m not going to.  Frankly I really don’t care if people want to own guns or not.  But if you’re going to own a gun – keep it discretely hidden, put it away, have a lock-box, have a fire safe, keep the ammunition separate from the gun, lock the room it’s in, etc.  I could toss out about 100 ideas that could have helped avoid a situation like what happened with this little girl.  It’s not about gun control; it’s about gun safety for those people who currently own them.

We don’t have any guns in our house, but I’ve had discussions about this with my wife, because at one point many years ago I was considering a job in law enforcement.  Some members of my family own guns and they are appalled by this story.  They feel it could have been avoided.  I’m sure many of you agree.

A senseless death!  An innocent life lost!  That’s all this is to me.  I don’t know why the little girl was trying to get the gun from her brother or what took place at their house, but I think the relative who is the owner of the gun should face criminal charges for negligence.  Here’s a question – what if this little boy had taken the gun to school?  Then we’d be talking about a whole different, and probably worse, problem today.  Lives have been ruined and I, for one, think it could have been avoided…

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / General Moaning / Law and Order / Politics Accidental Shootings / Gun Accidents / Gun Control / Gun Safety /


  1. NeoConDon says:

    You are dead on Mr. CC. This is an appalling story. I can only assume that the gun owner was not doing his due dilligence in preventing the 10 year old from taking his gun. If that’s the case, this owner should face serious criminal charges. I am not a gun owner, but I am a supporter of the 2nd ammendment, and a supporter of the conceal and carry law. Gun ownership demands a serious level of personal responsibility, and this person likely did not engage in that high level. This story made me very sad.

  2. Zig says:

    This story was truly a tragedy. Back to you wanting a gun, what about his story tells you that you should have a gun in your house? What about “almost” being in law enforcement makes you think that having a gun in your house would be a good idea?

    I would bet that the boy didn’t just find the gun at relatives’ house. That sounds kind of suspicious to me.

    Gun control is stupid. Anyone who wants a gun can get a gun. Do we really need another black market selling more criminal instruments? Peace loving and lawabiding citizens neither need nor want guns. A large majority of people with guns are criminals. I agree with Don. “Gun ownership demands a serious level of personal responsibility, and this person likely did not engage in that high level.” Gun ownership laws have been watered down so much that anyone can get one, any time. Thanks, Mr. Bush.

  3. The Constant Complainer says:

    Zig, what post were you reading? I never said anything about personally wanting a gun. Skimming instead of reading again, huh?

  4. NeoConDon says:

    There you go again Zig. Should we just abolish the 2nd amendment? I bet there were several people at Virginia Tech that wished they had their gun with them when that psycho started shooting.

  5. Tristan says:

    The right to bear arms is imperative in the prevention of tyranny. I love peace and am for the most part law-abiding (I won’t do anything to bring harm to another person), but when the law begins to impede on peace, even the most docile should have the option to defend himself and his family.

    About 400,000 crimes are committed with firearms each year in the US. 40 million households contain firearms. With a 1% incident rate in a given year, I would argue that a large majority of gun owners are not, in fact, criminals.

    As usual, this incident was a matter of respect. The owner of the weapon had no respect for its potential misuse, and the children were similarly never taught to respect its power. Children need to be taught that guns are not toys and that they should immediately tell a responsible adult if they see one. Likewise, the least adults could do is not keep loaded firearms (probably safety off, too, in this case) anywhere in the house.

    Stories like this often serve to give guns a bad name, but we might as well criminalize the automobile–a lethal weapon when children (or irresponsible adults) take the wheel.

  6. Zig says:

    THe Virginia Tech shooter bought his gun legally. None of that would have happened if he couldn’t buy his gun so easliy. Thank you, George W. Bush!

    CC, you said that you were in discussions about, I assume, needing a gun and you were “almost in law enforcement.” I assume you thought you should have a gun. Well, the law enforcement agency you would have worked for would have given you the opportunity to purchase a gun. “We don’t have any guns in our house, (but I’ve had discussions about this with my wife, because at one point many years ago I was considering a job in law enforcement.”) I assume you were discussing your lack of a fire arm with your wife… If not, you have no point to your post!

  7. NeoConDon says:

    Zig, you are a moron…It didn’t matter if the Virginia Tech shooter bought his gun legally or not, he illegally took it onto a campus. If that stupid law didn’t exist, someone there could have used their C&C weapon to defend themselves and save lives that were senselessly taken away.

  8. I agree with you CC, but you missed the most important (IMHO) thing – education. Children need to be taught about firearms just as they are about pools, stoves & anything else dangerous around the house. To use the pool as an analogy, teaching your child to swim is much more useful than teaching them to be afraid of water. To take it a step further, even if you don’t have a pool, your neighbor might. You can control what happens at your house, but you have little control over the rest of the world.

    Please don’t take this as blaming the parents just as I wouldn’t blame the parents of a drowned child for not teaching them to swim. Some education may have prevented this, but ultimately the relative (gun owner) was irresponsible & this tragedy could have easily been avoided with a little common sense.

    It’s funny that Zig brings up Virginia Tech. There was a similar incident about 2 hours away at the Appalachian School of Law in Blacksburg 5 years before that was stopped short by 3 students, 2 of which were armed with personal handguns. NeoConDon has a point; the ‘gun free zone’ was certainly a factor.

    Wikipedia has the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting

    Incidentally, Cho didn’t buy his guns legally. He lied on the Form 4473 about his mental health. I like blaming Bush as much as the next guy, but he didn’t have anything to do with the Gun Control Act of 1968. He did however sign in to law the legislation that added ‘mentally unsound’ to the criteria covered by NCIS background checks.

  9. Mike says:

    Here we go getting off topic again. I’m curious if students would be allowed to carry a gun under the conceal and carry law anyway? I would think not. Just because someone is registered for conceal and carry does not mean they’re permitted to carry the gun anywhere they’d like. I’m almost positive that they still cannot carry the weapon into businesses, government buildings, or hospitals. Correct me if I’m wrong, but most places don’t allow it. So by that, a student at VT couldn’t have defended themselves because chances are they wouldn’t have been illegally carrying their firearm to class.

    Here’s where I’m not a liberal Don.
    Zig says “Peace loving and lawabiding citizens neither need nor want guns.”
    Well that’s just not true. I’m a peace loving and law-abiding citizen and I love guns. I don’t own one yet, but that’s only because I haven’t had the extra money to buy a handgun, and pay the extra money to keep it safely in my home. I believe “Gun control” is a waste of time and money. Most people who obtain their guns legally take caution in securing them and practicing safety. Most criminals obtain their weapons illegally anyway because only a complete moron would commit a crime with a registered weapon.

    Tristan, I just don’t like your thought process. You claim that the right to bear arms gives you the right to defend yourself against tyranny. Well I’m sorry man, but that’s not your job. That’s what we have a legal system for. If you want protection against tyranny, look no further than the impeachment process by Congress. I can’t believe you actually worry about protection from tyranny. As if the government will collapse and we’ll all be like Mad Max Beyond Thunder-Dome. There is a system of checks and balances which will prevent tyranny. But you go ahead and purchase a rifle in case you ever have to take matters into your own hands, Lee Harvey. Sometimes I can’t believe how ignorant people are.

  10. NeoConDon says:

    As this country continues to move farther and farther left into socialism, fascism, and communism, you can bet that not only will the 2nd ammendment be attacked to prevent liberty loving Americans to protect themselves from such tyranny, those same attacked Americans will defend liberty and attack tyranny at all costs. Protection from gov’t tyranny is the reason the 2nd amendment exists.

  11. Mike says:

    Don, thanks for clarifying exactly what Tristan said…which amounts to basically nothing. Congratulations. Good luck sitting up at nights holding your shotgun, praying for that government tyranny to step into your sights. You two are crazy doom n’ gloomers.

  12. Tristan says:

    Your faith in a corrupt system is hardly sane. The impeachment process has only served to save us from a blow-job in the last 30 years. Checks and balances barely even exist anymore. When the government imposes martial law to protect itself from upheaval, you’ll know exactly what tyranny means.

    As Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat, but it sure does rhyme.”

  13. I of course agree with everyone else that this was an avoidable tragedy. Though in my opinion the relative should absolutely be held responsible, ultimately it was the PARENTS responsibility to have taught their children about guns and anything else they should know about. Some may think that 8 and 10 is too young to be talking to a child about such a thing and that is crap – obviously, an 8-year-old is dead. My son is 7 almost 8 and his father and I already sat him down and had a talk with him. We showed him one, explained to him what it was, what it was capable of doing, different reasons that they were used, we set up different scenarios and asked him what he thought he would/should do and when he wasn’t sure we threw out relevant options. I feel that this is my duty as a parent. It is my responsibility to make sure that when I am sending my child out into this big scary world alone he is prepared. If I don’t do that, who is really to blame when something like what this article is based upon happens? I think one of the biggest problems in the world is lack of personal responsibility. I’m more than certain that we will hear the parents bad mouthing the relative when in fact they should be just as critical of themselves.

  14. Mike says:

    What has the impeachment process needed to save us from in the past 30 years? Have we had a tyrant ever? I didn’t think so. Sure it could happen. But you have to realize that the odds are stacked against the possibility. You’d see just how much checks and balances we actually have if there was a tyrant in office. The only way I believe a tyrant could ever preside of the US is if they somehow managed to overthrow our entire government. The only way I see that happening is if there’s a nuclear war and our country is reduced to a wasteland. (ie: why I call you and Don doom & gloomers).

  15. Zig says:

    Mike, WTF? Why do you want a gun, because their cool? If you cannot be cool without a gun, at your age, you are a lost cause.

    I know guns are dangerous. I know we need to protect our selves against tyranical Government…yada yada ya! Don, you don’t really believe half of the opinions you formulate on the board. It’s like you just take out your little red “Conservative reader” and say whatever your little book tells you to say! There is no way you support gun control, free market capitalism, the church’s every teaching and living with less. These opinions are sewn together like a patchwork quilt. All three have totally divergent significance. What do you really believe? The only reason people tolerate your rants is because we all know that you are so much of a goof-ball, you couldn’t possibly be speaking the truth about your opinions with any authority!

    Mike, thanks for the shout out, but keep the voices about liking guns inside your head! It’s ok to lie, when you are telling lies to a liar… Don’t admit anything! We are dealing with a bunch of “doom and gloom” conspiracy theorists here!

  16. NeoConDon says:

    I have never typed anything that I couldn’t prove was true…I never said I was in favor of gun control.

  17. Mike says:

    Yeah, most conservatives are against gun control. And Zig, I do like guns. Don’t knock it until you’ve gone to a shooting range and picked one up. There’s no reason why I can’t own a hand gun.

  18. Hal says:

    Zig, wake up and smell what you’re shoveling man.

  19. Tristan says:

    Tyranny implies a single entity with absolute power over a nation’s people. This entity need not be a single person. When our federal government yields absolute control over our actions and holds us in constant fear of a veiled threat, we will effectively be ruled by a tyrant.

    We are already being systematically stripped of our civil liberties through legislation such as the PATRIOT Act and we are already subject to underhanded tactics to incite fear. What other purpose would the terrorism “threat level” serve? Why would Cheney insist that a nuclear attack is imminent? Why does Obama demand that the “spending package” (his words. aka “economic stimulus”) be passed without worrying about Pelosi’s condomania or tax breaks for those who work on boats more than 65 feet in length?

    It isn’t tyranny yet, but it isn’t what I’d call freedom, either. How’s this for checks and balances:

    “…the Secretary may waive specific provisions of the Federal Acquisition
    Regulation upon a determination that urgent and compelling circumstances make compliance with such provisions contrary to the public interest.” (Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008)

    Much like the president is above the law if he says he is, the Secretary of Treasury can do whatever he deems necessary without consulting anyone. Shoot first, ask questions later. This is the “gun control” that we need…

  20. Mike says:

    What you’ve stated in your first and part of the second paragraph, is what it means to be ruled by Republicans…not tyrants.

  21. NeoConDon says:


    Tyranny is blind when it comes to political party. In the case of the specifics Tristan mentioned (like the Patriot Act, TARP, and the current spending package,) we’re dealing with liberalism. Liberalism is a few steps away from socialism and fascism (both forms of tyranny,) always popular and the driving force behind the rise of European Fascism.

    While there are significant and reasonable arguments for opposition to the Patriot Act, there are two very simple facts that go along with it: First, there are dozens of instances where the application of the Patriot Act has prevented attacks from occurring. Second, the Patriot Act has sunsets built in. Compare that to any legislation with greater liberal constraints, (like King Barry’s stimulus package) and nothing is assigned sunsets. This type of spending turned a recession into the Great Depression thanks to The Great Socialist, FDR.

    Today we have a federal gov’t that was run by liberals that forced businesses to issue mortgages to people who never should have been given one. Then, those same liberals bully those businesses into taking tax dollars (TARP) by telling them that if they don’t take it now, and things get worse, there will be no help in the future. Then, King Barry tells those business that the federal gov’t is going to limit the pay to their high ranking executives. That is tyranny staring us in the face.

  22. Tristan says:

    I’d say Hoover had as much to do with the Great Depression as FDR, though it’s a natural correction more than one man’s folly. It is our misunderstanding and misapplication of economics in general that causes excessive prosperity and the resulting contractions that follow.

    What is terribly frightening is that Ben Bernanke believes that he sees everything clearly and that we can avoid such historical events with all the effort that it takes to print some additional currency. A lot of good it does if it only serves to pay down debt (individuals and corporations) or increase reserves (banks). Of the stimulus checks we received last year, something like 10 – 20% of that stimulus actually managed to make its way into the economy.

    We’ll see similar results from the next stimulus. People are not going to spend until confidence is restored, and we are still headed in the wrong direction in that regard. Creating jobs does not stimulate the economy because when those workers get their paychecks, they are going to save and pay down debt. We’ve been delaying the inevitable for a long time. Each delay makes the coming contraction that much worse.

    That is to say, we can continue arguing about Republicans vs. Democrats, but the result will be the same at any rate.

  23. Mike says:

    “First, there are dozens of instances where the application of the Patriot Act has prevented attacks from occurring”

    Really? Can you honestly name one? You can’t. Why? Because you weren’t in on any of the private meetings where those illegal wire-tapping tapes were discussed. Ex-President Bush and his regime tell you they prevented some attacks and you blindly believe them. Give me FDR, Hoover, Obama, Carter, Clinton, or Gore…before I’d ever want Bush Jr. back in office. I don’t care if FDR was socialist, at least he wasn’t an idiot.

  24. NeoConDon says:

    Funny a mind numbed lib would think GWB is an idiot. Especially when King Barry makes GWB look like Einstein. I said all along that I thought Obama was stupid, but I just figured it was his zero experience more than anything…nope, dumber than Carter…Carter’s pretty dumb.

    While W had his faults (the same one’s that grab onto every president), in 50 years after his story is written he’ll be looked at as an effective president. His main fault was that he let too many liberals push him around in the early years that when they finally had power they did what they wanted. It’s funny, he did liberal things, the public hated it, and then they elected liberals…??? Conservatives gave up on him a little every time he reached accross the aisle when he shouldn’t have and didnt’ need to.

    Think of it the way FDR is looked at. He expanded a recession into the Great Depression for about 7 years and created Social Security – what will likely become the reason for the U.S. economic collapse. He made pacifist deals with the fascists and had a communist in the VP chair. He served well beyond what was customary, and was so popular when he finally croaked that his own party drafted the 22nd ammendment. Let’s not forget about those lovely internmemt prisons for his fellow American Citizens of East Asian decent….but…

    Just like W, FDR won two wars and prevented any new attacks on American soil. You can take all of the faults of each man, but when you win wars and keep people safe, that trumps everything. Regardless of how hard the other party or the media tries to make a president look stupid, most reasonable people are able to see through that…Almost forgot…unlike W, FDR didn’t give the media very much access. Granted there wasn’t much of it since video media was very new, but EVERY video was approved by the White House before it was “allowed” to air (either in theatre and film houses, or on the few broadcast channels.) Photos of him in a wheelchair were never published. I wonder if King Barry will resort back to FDR’s policies.

  25. Mike says:

    Blah blah blah, didn’t read it. Thanks for not answering my question as usual.

  26. NeoConDon says:

    what question?

  27. Mike says:

    If you’re not capable of utilizing basic reading skills then forget about it. You’re not worth the time, which is probably what your teachers thought as well.

  28. Mike says:

    Done with this one too!

  29. Otis says:

    Geez Mike, you said it yourself that the only way NCD could answer your (rhetorical) question is if he sat in on the illegal wire tapping discussions. First, there were no illegal wire tap discussions because there were no illegal wire-taps. Second, there are a number of plots that were foiled and made public because of the provisions in the Patriot Act. All you have to do is read a news paper. I’m pretty smart, but I’m certainly not smart enough to debate with you if you’re so stupid to think that the only person that can convince you of anything is someone that was sitting in on the converstations. And unless they’re a member of the socialist party, you won’t believe them anyway. Do you really think Obama cares about you or your opinions? He’s interested in running every aspect of you life, but doesn’t care about you. He’s only interested in expanding socialism. You’re almost as smart as he is, and he is freakin’ stupid.

  30. NeoConDon says:

    Thanks Otis. There comes a point when libs are so wrapped up in their thoughts that they can’t talk themselves out of a wet paper bag because all they do is repeat the lies they’ve been programed to repeat…Libby does that all the time. It’s usually best to let him drink his kook-aid and move on.

  31. Zig says:

    NCD, It seems to me that it’s you and the rest of your conservative “friends” who are sticking to a play book. YOU guys are closed minded and refuse to accept (learn) anythng new. Hence, the term CONSERVATIVE!

    Liberals are the only ones, in this discussion, who are able think of and answer all possibilities without sticking to what their book tells them to say! About your “paper bag” argument, give me a liberal scholar over a conservative any day. Oh that’s right! There are no “conservative” scholars, because “learned” and “conservative” are so far apart that they cannot even be used in the same sentence. And conservatives think they already know everything!

  32. NeoConDon says:

    C’mon Zig, King Barry is doing the exact same things that did not work when Hoover, FDR, and Carter did them. Same playbook used over and over. Conservatism, by design, is based in the constitution, and looks for new ideas. How does liberalism do that? The only solution liberalism has is looking to gov’t for its answers. If King Barry wants to be an effective leader, he should announce immediate tax reductions on businesses, and lay off 1/4 of the federal gov’t work force. That would jump start any economy.

  33. jodie says:

    i think everyone needs to drop the whole thing. This family is going thru a whole lot right now and they don’t need anyone pointing fingers. We dont know what exactly happened were we there? No, I work with the little girls grandfather and i see the sorrow in his eyes. so if everyone could DROP IT!!

  34. The Constant Complainer says:

    Thanks for your comment, Jodie. This post was published on February 4th, when the story was in the news. The last comment, before yours, was February 9th. I agree with you and think it’s safe to say that people have dropped it.

  35. Extreme John says:

    I hate the pit I have in my stomach right now. Makes me sick. So sad.

  36. NeoConDon says:

    I can certainly appreciate your concern for the child’s grandfather, but dropping this topic is a bad idea. As the father of 4 boys, this is in the front of my head every time I let my kids spent the night at a cousin’s house, or when they visit a friend’s house. Are there guns there, and are they properly stored so the children can’t figure out how to get to them? The best thing that can come out of this tragedy is parents asking more questions about the places they leave their kids. I have friends that do not have children, but occasionally watch mine. I have asked them all if they have any guns, and how they store them. Obviously, a person without children needs to be a little less cautious in how the guns are stored than someone with children. If we don’t talk about this issue, and learn from it, then that poor child’s death will become even more senseless. I’m sure that grandfather would agree.

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