This story should scare you

Kristen's tragic death is a warning to anyone with guns or kids

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Kristen Burnette was about the last person who needed to “enter into rest” as they say in obituaries.

She was active and outgoing and vivacious and adventurous, skateboarding and going to the mall and hiking and riding horses.

And she was but 13 years of age.

She was shot dead on Halloween in her Grovetown home – not the victim of foul play, but of foolish play: Authorities say a 14-year-old friend was playing with a 12-gauge shotgun he’d found while Burnette and several friends were “hanging out” in her home.

The boy, whose name hasn’t been released, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. God be with the boy.

Shotguns, according to one Internet article, are a popular selection for home defense. According to authorities, Kristen’s stepfather was deployed in Afghanistan at the time of the shooting.

“The general consensus in the firearms community is that the pump action shotgun is the top choice for home defense,” the article says, noting its ease of operation, reliability and intimidating pump-action sound. Nor does one need to be a marksman to hit a target.

“At close range and with proper ammunition, shotguns can be extremely effective in defending you and your loved ones.”

One can see why a homeowner would want one around.

The tragedy of this case, and too many others, is when someone else other than the homeowner gets hold of the gun, especially a child or adolescent who may not be trained in firearm safety or otherwise aware of the dangers of playing with a gun.

We feel horrible for the families of both of these youths. They are all in our prayers. And we hope Kristen’s story can serve as a cautionary tale for anyone with either a firearm or a child: The former must be safely stored at all times, and the latter must be educated in its handling – or, in the alternative, the wisdom of staying away from it.

This is one – very real – Halloween story that, if it scares enough people, could save lives.

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Radwaste
400
Points
Radwaste 11/07/12 - 06:15 am
0
0
Training

Actually, the RIFLE is the weapon of choice in professional circles. Look for a serious school, like Thunder Ranch, Gunsite or the like, and you'll see that they teach shotgun defensive use, but only as an afterthought. A bit of simple thinking would also reveal that yes, you do have to shoot straight with the shotgun: the pattern is only a few inches across at defensive distances.
This is another case about gun mythology. Possession is only part of the story. You aren't magically protected because you buy something.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 10:20 am
1
0
Actually a 410 shotgun
Unpublished

sawed off barrel with 00 buckshot is preferred. It will sustain sufficient damage to the target with minimal collateral damage to walls and adjacent rooms. When you start firing guns within 1/2 inch sheet rock walls, you had better not want to harm someone in the next room.

Sadly this story will be filed with the other tragedies only to remembered when the next "so called accident occurs". We human have a short memory. We seem to move on when the casket is lowered. We have been programmed to live in the moment. To view every irresponsibly act and just a mistake.

This precious child deserves more than a statistic. She deserves to have her God given right to life. To love and be loved. To smile. To give life to other beautiful babies. To give joy to her family.

Just as the beautiful young lady who was murdered by a uncaring drunk on Washington Rd. Sure, he and his family are suffering. But he is breathing. Who should we punish?

Why have we become so callused about senseless death? Why have we become impotent to initiate a remedy?

Precious beautiful children are being sacrificed on the altar of societal convenience. Will you leave them unguarded? Will yours be next? Will you mourn more than seven days?

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 10:28 am
1
0
And as for the comforting minister
Unpublished

who proclaims that God has somehow chosen to end her life. Not biblical. God did not direct the pointing of a gun. God did not pour liquor down a murder's throat in order to "add a flower to His bouquet".

God's will is that we have life and life more abundantly. If God were randomly rescuing humans by tragic, untimely and painful death, what would we say of Him? Take me next. Take my children. Take my neighbors husband? A slippery slope.

Excuses, for the pulpit or the Psych 101 book relieve us of responsibility.

harley_52
22994
Points
harley_52 11/07/12 - 10:32 am
0
0
"Actually, the RIFLE is the weapon of choice...

... in professional circles."

True, but only in SOME professional circles. I can point you to many, many articles written by some of the best known gun professionals who argue the shotgun is best, still others vote for just the "right" handgun.

The fact of the matter is that there are lots of factors to be considered when deciding which should by YOUR "weapon of choice" for home defense. Your size and strength, your experience, how close you want the weapon when you're in bed, the configuration of your house, the proximity of neighbors, etc., etc., etc..

You are absolutely right about the need for training and your point that just owning a gun doesn't necessarily protect you. You must know how to use it. You must know it well and you must practice it enough that it's almost second nature. You must understand how the safety works, whether to keep a round chambered, or not, and you must know the degree to which you'll be able to use the weapons sights based upon your ability to see the target (and the target's ability to see you).

You must know your capability (and willingness) to actually shoot to kill. Lots of people don't consider that aspect until it's too late. If you're not capable of (or willing to) kill another human being, you really don't need a gun. It could well put you in more danger than not having one. If you think the reason for having a gun is to scare somebody (as many people do) you're operating on a misconception that could cost you your life and the lives of other family members.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Most homeowners are not professional nor near
Unpublished

professional killers and need to cover a maximum range with their shots. Why not just take a Mac 10 and shoot up the whole house. Different books for different professionals.

In the dark of my home with unknown entruder(s), I prefer to not have to find my glasses or contacts and night vision scope before I hit him in the knees and then t he head.

It seems that professional police have shotguns in their racks. Professional soldiers fighting in close quarters use shotguns. SWAT teams use shotguns. But what do they know.

InquiringLynn-SkepticGriggsy
47
Points
InquiringLynn-SkepticGriggsy 11/07/12 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Gun safety
Unpublished

Please make sure you know what you're going to shoot! Take lessons.
Please members of the NRA, get it to be realistic instead of popping off for howitzwers!
And let's make it difficult for wackos to get guns.
Barley, thanks.

Young Fred
16799
Points
Young Fred 11/07/12 - 02:42 pm
0
1
Guns

If you have some in your home (and you should!), they should be locked when you're not there.

Most especially if you have pre-teens etc. We may all ask questions like, “why were the kids there unsupervised?” Why did a visitor enter the bedroom? Why, why, why?

Kids being kids, we can do one thing. That is make sure our weapons are locked down when we're not around.

Gaffe
170
Points
Gaffe 11/08/12 - 12:20 am
0
0
I personally don't want
Unpublished

I personally don't want anyone owning a gun who doesn't treat it with proper respect for the lethal instrument it is. How to determine that is a conversation worth having--but the John Wayne macho-type, "If I had a gun, I'd have shot the shooter and been da Man" type of attitude that comes out whenever there's a mass shooting incident or any type of incident where people think a CCW might' have saved the day*really* bothers me. It's video-game fantasy land, and it has no place in a real-life scenario.

And if you willingly admit that you own your firearm for self-defense, then you are living with and admitting you live with the assumption that at some point you may have to resort to a method of defending yourself that is lethal in a lot of cases. Not a disabling method, not even a scare tactic - owning a gun and being prepared to draw it on an attacker means you're willing to use it to end a life, and that's that. And you should respect that weapon and the potential power it yields and leaving it out in your closet loaded on the floor where any idiot could pick it up is not showing me you respect or understand the responsibility of owning a firearm.

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