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Old June 23, 2012, 06:16 PM   #1
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14 year old shoots armed intruder.

Phoenix boy, 14, shoots armed intruder while watching three younger siblings

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Very interesting. Thoughts on leaving a young lad a gun at home for protection?
Wonder if the parents will be charged with "leaving a gun around kids"
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Old June 23, 2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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Good shot there, young man. I am happy to read that you had the wit, control, understanding, and courage to "Stand Your Ground."
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Old June 23, 2012, 06:27 PM   #3
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They won't be charged, nor should they be. There is no law in Arizona (nor in many other states) against letting responsible teenagers have access to the tools they need to protect the family.

Obviously, the parents made the right call in this instance. If the newspaper account is accurate, it's reasonable to believe that all four kids would very likely be dead, or raped and otherwise traumatized, if the parents hadn't taught their son what to do in such a situation.

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Old June 23, 2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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IIRC there have been some similar occurrences in other States which didn't result in any adverse actions against the parents. But my memory is sometimes hazy. If I have a chance to do some research later, I'll post about it.

But in any case, I agree with pax. This seems to have been a proper and appropriate use of lethal force. Those "keep loaded guns away from children" laws I've seen create liability only when the child then does something wrong with the gun.

And based on the newspaper account, it looks like the kid correctly did the sorts of things we talk about often: get innocents to a place of safety; arm yourself; and take a defensible position.

"Teach your children well..."
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Old June 23, 2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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That whole story is an amazing bit of personal responsibility displayed by that kid. I am impressed.
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Old June 23, 2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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When I was younger, it was common for kids to have access to firearms, especially in rural areas. In my case, we kept rifles handy.

As a teen, I responded to noise in the house. When I was alone with our dog. Our dog too point and I followed with a rifle. Fortunately, whatever or whoever was making the noise was gone. Where we lived, it could have been a two or four legged critter.

Flash forward to now, I would never allow my teen to have access to firearms. I trust some teens, but not mine. It is an individual thing. Not every kid is up to it.
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Old June 23, 2012, 07:34 PM   #7
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Thank God the kids are ok. It is also a good thing the parents took the time to train their kids safe and proper use of a gun. I have taught each of my kids the safe and proper use of guns. My 12 year old daughter has better trigger safety (finger off the trigger) and muzzle discipline than most of the shooters I see at the range.

These parents probably won't face any charges, nor should they face any charges. They had the foresight, to prepare their kids, for this situation should it ever arise. Good job on the parents part.
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Old June 23, 2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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This is Arizona; if anything happens to the kid or parents, it will be either a medal, a commendation, or they'll name a holiday after them. We're allowed to defend ourselves and raise our children our way out here.

When i was 14, i had a rifle rack and a 12 gauge in the truck that I drove without a license on the country roads, and the sheriff didn't give two licks. Imagine how that would go over today in say, California. Someone would be doing life over it i'm sure
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Old June 23, 2012, 10:49 PM   #9
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When I was about 13 a neighborhood trouble maker of about 17 tried to enter our home when our parents were away. As I attempted to fight him off at the door he quickly got the best of me and rushed into our house. However, suddenly my 11 year old brother appeared and chambered a round into my Father’s Marlin 35 deer rifle. Needless to say the intruder exited the house in a very rapid fashion. My Brother and I were pretty good kids that never got in much trouble, but we were taught to defend ourselves and our family.
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:26 AM   #10
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I think something needs to be said about parents "parenting" skills. This kid wasn't borne with the ability and confidence needed to protect his siblings.

These traits had be be instilled by the parents somewhere a long the line.

Holmes hailed the teen's actions and his parents for teaching the kids to never open the door to strangers.
Among other things.

"I'm not sure he gave full thought about what he had to do. He just acted."
I have to believe this came from his "up bringing".

I feel for the kids and parents in the trama they had to go through, but I complement the parents and kid for being prepared for what evil this world brings.
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Old June 24, 2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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I'm not going to let my 13 year old girl have access to any firearms myself (personal choice) due to a 13 year old girl I knew having committed suicide when I was a teen. Sometimes emotions at that age are too much.

Regardless I'm happy this turned out well. I'm sure that family (and that young man) is going to have some mental struggles to overcome, but it's infinitely better than the alternative. I'm also glad we didn't see a bunch of idiotic comments from people saying that the kid should be charged along with the parent due to not "shooting to wound" (shooting in the leg or something).
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Old June 24, 2012, 02:11 PM   #12
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I'm not going to let my 13 year old girl have access to any firearms myself (personal choice) due to a 13 year old girl I knew having committed suicide when I was a teen. Sometimes emotions at that age are too much.

Regardless I'm happy this turned out well. I'm sure that family (and that young man) is going to have some mental struggles to overcome, but it's infinitely better than the alternative...

Guilt is the primary occupational hazard of parenthood. No matter what you do or don't do, if it turns out badly you will second guess yourself for the rest of your life.

No answers from here, by the way. I'm just admiring the size & scope of the problem. There's no "right" answer on things like this -- just varying degrees of what you can live with if it goes badly.

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Old June 24, 2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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While not as enthusiastically I did train my kids about guns and gun safety and then left any gun loaded I felt the need to...

My daughter was fully a teenager before she asked about shooting my .22 rifle for fun...

Sure I got right on the accuracy training and reinforcing the gun handling rules...

One day she asked if she could shoot a rabbit that was in the yard as she shot...

I told her we could feed it to a bulldog but go ahead if you feel the desire...

As soon as we fed it to the dog, I sat her down and told her my feelings on taking a human life to defend my own... If you can kill an innocent harmless critter that has done nothing to you... EVER... than what makes the life of a predatory human any more valuable in the greater scheme of things???

I am so happy, for her sense of mind and being, that she asked to kill a rabbit that day!!!

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Old June 24, 2012, 03:06 PM   #14
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How come you don't read about this on the Brady website?
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Old June 24, 2012, 03:32 PM   #15
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The awful conundrum is that of the responsible child vs. the irresponsible, dangerous or suicidal.

I could cite examples of each. Hopefully parents have insight into their children. The bad things happen when they don't.

There is no general answer - as a parent you need to decide.

Society seems to be more concerned with the risks from the bad situations as compared to positive self-defense benefits.

However, that is part of the general debate over guns in the USA.

I will say that as a caution, the parent who says they rule with an iron hand, sometimes are clueless about what actually is up with their kids. Similarly, the overly permissive can be clueless as to risks. Honest involvement is needed.
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Old June 24, 2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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The 14 year old is one any parent could be proud of.

My son is now over 30, . . . I beat him today shooting the high power rifles, he beat me with the rim fires. All this is because I took the time to take him shooting and taught him firearm safety.

Shooting is a wonderful sport that has the added attraction of sometimes can be life and death useful.

Thanks should be given to the dad and mom for properly instilling of correct decision making ability in that young man.

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Old June 24, 2012, 05:27 PM   #17
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Here on the left coast, California law requires everyone to lock up their handguns, when they leave their homes, to prevent child access. Had the 14-year old lived 150-miles to the west, one can only imagine what could have happened to him and his siblings. My local paper described the incident, but didn't identify the type of gun.
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Old June 25, 2012, 09:12 AM   #18
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HLN with Robin this morning had a factual report with an officer praising the young man.

I would like someone to ask Mayor-Nanny Bloomers if he would have preferred these children to be killed? I saw him yapping about the social problems we need to deal with - like guns. No, it's crime, Mikey.
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Old June 30, 2012, 11:59 AM   #19
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Kudos to the kid and his parents. To the kid not just for defending his home and family but also for having the presence of mind to get everyone to a place of safety but for having the determination to actually pull the trigger. Nobody should ever be forced into a situation where they have to make that decision but he was and he handled it fine, I can only hope he doesn't have any remorse over it and he sleeps just fine.
Kudos to the parents for not only raising their oldest son to bravely defend his siblings but for raising the siblings to obey the oldest when he is left in charge.
All kids are different of course, I have three of my own and its safe to say that parents must make the time to have a relationship with their kids. Its hard with work and school and every other obligation we take upon ourselves but its absolutely essential for the child's emotional and spiritual development that parents (especially fathers) are more than just pay rents.
Engage with your kids, play with them and include them in the activities you enjoy. How will you keep.them off the streets and off drugs if you only speak to them to correct or discipline them? How do you impart moral and social values if you don't live the example for them? Its not going to happen iron fist or a "Don'" lecture if you follow that act with "now go play and leave me alone while I watch the game and drink my beer." I wouldn't know what to do without my kids. I live for them and I'd kill or die for them whatever the situation demanded without hesitation or remorse.
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Old July 1, 2012, 01:17 AM   #20
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If all human behavior stems from either love, or fear, I wonder what motivates 'Mayor-Nanny Bloomers'. Perhaps it is that someday the dwindling middle class will become poor and devalued enough to take up arms against the rich and oppressive. Guns, like any tool, are hardly a social problem. Now people's attitudes and behavior certainly can be. 'Mayor-Nanny Bloomers' seems educated enough to grasp that, so what is really motivating him ? The helicopter pad he used that was closed to the general public offers me an indication.

Somehow the RKBA group needs to mitigate the fear that guns seem to generate and be exploited by those opposed to the RKBA. Examples of firearms being used to save a life, or provide family security are as good as it gets. The NRA seems to recognize this.

Share some stories that appear in your local news about such situations whenever they occur. It never hurts to repeat these stories to you local media when you hear them.

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Old July 2, 2012, 10:58 AM   #21
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When I am challenged by an antigunner - not to divert from this thread - I like to pose them what they would do in situations such as the 14 year old faced.

My favorites are local. One is when a young woman faced a world championship boxer with a history of forcible sex crimes. He stalked her from the gym and broke into her house. She shot him with a Glock. Ask the anti-female if she thinks she could have saved herself with a frying pan. Ask the antigun male if he could go H2H with a championship boxer.

Or the CT daddy who got bopped and then his family was sexually asaulted and burned alive. Maybe he could have save the day with a gun or the women could have.

Or the 17 year old young lady - alone at her burned out house in Bastrop area of TX after the fires. Her relatives went for supplies. Looters showed up. Her holstered handgun and statement that they should not test her resolve scared them off.

There are others. The anti answer would of course be that the overall level of gun crime is such that if we banned all guns many would be saved. Your particular horror is worth it to reduce total crime. Good choice, in my opinion -

Are you willing to be burned alive to cut down drug/turf related gun fights?

Of course, approriate social programs would reduce drug crime after guns are banned from law abiding citizens.

I am in favor of appropriate social programs to help people. We know crime is driven in large part by economic circumstances.

But banning guns for law abiding folks is orthogonal to the social issue.
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Old July 3, 2012, 02:16 PM   #22
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As far as youngsters defending themselves with home firearms, I would say I'm for it with some caveats.

When I was a kid that age, and we (my little brother and I) were left alone, Dad always said, "You know where the guns are if you need them," before he would leave. Then one night I remember one of those news magazine type shows coming on TV. It was Dateline, or 20/20, or 60 minutes, or something along those lines.

One of the stories featured some youngsters who were home alone (in their teens, capable of being left alone for a while), who had what appeared to them to be a crazed person trying to break in. I can't remember the details now, this was better than 15 years ago, but IIRC, I believe one of the youths shot the man. Afterwards it was found out that the kids' parents had been in an accident, and had asked this guy who was at the scene to go to their house and inform the kids, because the parents were being taken to the hospital. Again, I was a kid when this came on TV, so I may be fuzzy or incorrect on the story, but it was something along those lines. I'd love to find a link to a transcript or old news story about it, but I can't remember enough details that would make for a fruitful internet search.

What I do remember clearly is that after that program was over, my mom and dad needed to go run a few errands, and normally they would've left us at home, but they wouldn't let us that time. They made us go with them. Dad wouldn't give a reason when I asked "why?" but I knew the answer.

I see no problem with a teen defending himself/herself, but a teen's maturity level and ability to correctly size up a complex and dynamic situation is not always as good as an adult's, and even adults' can be lacking.

I don't know. I'm with Pax on this one. Not sure if there is an across the board "right answer." I suppose it depends on the maturity level of the kid, and the complexity of the situation.

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