10 November 2008

Gun Crime in the US -- Murders by Children

I am not a gun owner and I am not intending to be one. I respect the right of people to own guns. Nevertheless, I really do not see the point in owning one. If the laws were such that all guns were illegal except in the hands of police officers, security guards, and the armed forces, then perhaps there would be a lot less gun crime.

However, this story about an eight-year-old in Arizona who is alleged to have murdered his father and another man and that the murders were pre-meditated beggars belief. The initial arguments in any case that involves an eight-year-old killing someone would be whether the child has the legal capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. However, if the murders were pre-meditated then it seems reasonable to assume that the kid had given some thought to this and planned it out.

The case is going to be interesting for the legal arguments as for how an eight-year-old becomes a killer. It is already being suggested by the child's lawyer that the child was questioned by police and confessed without parental or legal representation. This, if true, should see the confession tossed at any subsequent trial. However, before one even gets to a trial, there will need to be psych evaluations and other determinations made as to whether the child even has the capacity to be put on trial.

Two lives lost and a child in jail accused of their pre-meditated murder -- tragic.


schmerly said...


That is just terrible that a little lad used a gun to kill someone, I may be old-fashioned but I still think that TV has a lot to answer for, from the West and Asia, the amount of violence and killing you see everyday on the box is bound to have some impact on young minds, they seem to think it’s the norm to kill or beat someone up.

When I was an eight year old lad ‘ear we go! We didn’t have a TV not till later on, just the Saturday flicks, we got in brawls occasionally and I’ve still got some scars to prove it! But I think in those days the parents had a lot more influence on their kids than what they have today, TV seems to have taken over.

Your little lad will soon to be joining this mess of a world, lets just hope he can handle it.

Rob Baiton said...


Tragic, yes.

However, there are suggestions that this was a double pre-meditated homicide. That is not only tragic but very scary, particularly when teh perpetrator is an 8-year-old.

Maybe there is a correlation between violence on TV and video games and increasing levels of violence in real life. However, the statistical information goes a little each way on that one though.

TV is certainly a cheap alternative to a baby sitter.

The little fella will be well-adjusted because his parents are so well-adjusted :D

schmerly said...


Just a quick update on this:

The unnamed boy has now been charged with two counts of premeditated murder. Eight is the age of criminal responsibility in Arizona.

Rob Baiton said...


So I read.