Thursday, May 02, 2013

5-Year-Old Kills 2-Year-Old Sister With Rifle He Got as a Gift

Many of the Christofascists and their allies in the political far right love guns and they love to claim that same sex couples are unfit parents.  A horrible sad story out of Kentucky not only makes the case for gun control but also shows that many gay couples would make far better parents than many moronic heterosexual couples.  In Cumberland County, Kentucky, 5-year old Kristian Sparks shot and killed his 2-year old sister with the .22 caliber rifle that he had been given as a gift.  I'm sorry, but who in the right mind would give a rifle to a 5-year old and then allow him to play with it while it was loaded.  Equally shocking is that the gun involved is one of a group made and marketed for children.  It's insanity of the highest level, but typical, in my view, of the mindset of the gun crowd.  Here are highlights from the Washington Post:

BURKESVILLE, Ky. — In southern Kentucky, where children get their first guns even before they start first grade, Stephanie Sparks paid little attention as her 5-year-old son, Kristian, played with the rifle he was given last year. Then, as she stepped onto the front porch while cleaning the kitchen, “she heard the gun go off,” a coroner said.

In a horrific accident Tuesday that shocked a rural area far removed from the national debate over gun control, the boy had killed his 2-year-old sister, Caroline, with a single shot to the chest.

“Down in Kentucky where we’re from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. “You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything.”

In this case, the rifle was made by a company that sells guns specifically for children — “My first rifle” is the slogan — in colors ranging from plain brown to hot pink to orange to royal blue to multi-color swirls.  Kristian’s rifle was kept in a corner of the mobile home, and the family didn’t realize a bullet had been left in it.

White said the shooting had been ruled accidental, though a police spokesman said it was unclear whether any charges will be filed.  “I think it’s too early to say whether there will or won’t be,” Trooper Billy Gregory said.

White said the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift, but it wasn’t clear who gave him the gun, which is known as a Crickett.  “It’s a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun,” White said.  The company that makes the rifle, Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms, has a “Kids Corner” on its website with pictures of young boys and girls at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts. It says the company produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles for kids in 2008. The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

Sharon Rengers, a longtime child advocate at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, said making and marketing weapons specifically for children was “mind-boggling.”  “It’s like, oh, my God,” she said, “we’re having a big national debate whether we want to check somebody’s background, but we’re going to offer a 4-year-old a gun and expect something good from that?”

It sounds like the parents, and certainly the mother need to be charged and prosecuted.  The insanity of the far right and rural America is down right frightening.  If Caroline Sparks had had two moms or two dads, she likely be alive today.

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