Mleake, I respect your thoughts. They are rational and well considered. Extreme and kinda nuts, in my opinion, but that's your right and you are certainly NOT WRONG in your beleifs that everyone should be responsible.
Unfortunately, you are either not realizing, or ignoring the fact that
PEOPLE, IN GENERAL, ARE STUPID.
for every person in the population that graduated high school and succeeded in college, there is at least one person who sits on the western foothills of bell curve mountain, with iq scores below 80. Even considering all of those people with quantifiable intelligence impairment, there are still a hundred fools for every 15 clear minded, level headed, common sense carrying individuals.
I'm of the mind that we've got to give the stupid a break on things like this. A guy who drives drunk does so deliberately, a guy who robs a bank, ditto, and a guy who deliberately leaves his handguns hanging around the house all the time is not just an idiot, he is laughing in the face of fate, or god, whoever you think is in charge of these events.
The idiot who deliberately challenges fate needs to have his head caved in by the justice system. A person who has been deliberately negligent deserves to suffer consequences.
But is it fair to nail a guy whose brakes failed, or steering died? Is it fair to jail a man who did his best all of his life to do the right thing, over a momentary negligence? Most importantly, is it smart to break the guy over the knees of the justice system when he could be an otherwise productive member of society instead of a prison inmate?
This same argument applies to the girl.
Let's be serious. a 14 year old girl is almost as smart as an adult at the very bottom of the intelligence scale, and she is lacking in any life skills. All of her life, she has watched movies and tv shows that show guns as toys. things that make a lot of noise, and they are always being pointed at other people. She did something that comes naturally to idiots, she emulated people who she thought were cool.
We cant try an incompetent adult. You very rarely see a retarded offender at trial. Juveniles are only tried as adults in extreme cases, when deliberation and full knowledge of their actions are present. How could we ever prosecute her, a full blown kazoo tooting doofus, because she did something really stupid? Will it fix anything? not at all.
In cases like this, the way I see it, punishment is useless. it serves no purpose Punish deliberate offenders. for the stupid, you try to fix the problem. You take away their guns, their cars, etc, so they can't hurt anyone again. We already do that, pretty routinely.