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The 8 year old 'murderer'

In Arizona, an 8-year-old boy has been charged in the shooting deaths of his father and another man. He is charged with first degree, premeditated, murder. Yesterday, the boy appeared in handcuffs at a court hearing.

Public outrage has forced the judge to slap a gag order on the case that many find shocking. The judge proclaimed the gag order was necessary to prevent "loose-cannon pronouncements."

The defense attorneys have until Friday to either find an expert to evaluate the boy's competency or to agree to one suggested by the prosecutors.

The police say that the boy planned and methodically carried out the killings, and confessed. Authorities would not discuss specifics of the confession.

Prosecutors say that there is no record of any complaints filed about the boy with Arizona Child Protective Services and that the youngster had no disciplinary record at school.

CNN is reporting that according to Police, the boy had confessed to shooting the two men with a .22-caliber weapon. No motive was given.

"We solved the crime," St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick told KPHO. "Now we have to solve the mystery of why."

The boy's public defenders, says that the defense is treating this case "like any other first-degree murder case."

According to
In most states, first-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or "lying in wait" for the victim.

Many of us find it hard to believe that an 8year old boy has the mental capacity to plan or "lie in wait" for a victim. There is some researach [1 2 3 ] out there that questions whether an 8 year old fully understands the concept of death.

No word yet on if the police have looked into whether someone, such as the father, was negligent in protecting his child from an unlocked unhidden gun.

According to CNN, the father who was shot and killed by his 8-year-old son had consulted a Catholic priest about whether the boy should have a gun and had taught him how to use firearms, according to the priest. The reasoning is that the man wanted his son to learn how to hunt. The boy's stepmother, suggested that he have a BB gun.
"He wanted to make sure the kid wasn't afraid of guns, knew how to handle it,"
the priest said.

Now the boy faces two counts of premeditated murder and the police say that he did not act on the spur of the moment.

Additional information
Hand gun sales are up

In a recent article in the New York Times, Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week. The reason, according to gun store owners around the nation, buyer concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms.

In Colorado, would-be gun buyers set a one-day record last Saturday with the highest number of background check requests in a 24-hour period, according to figures from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

But, aren't their background checks now for potential gun owners?

Accoring to the FBI;

  • Over 53 MILLION background checks on gun buyers have been performed from 1998-2004. (Nearly 60 million as of 9/30/05.)
  • Some 3.9 MILLION ineligible people are in the system, so that if they try to buy a gun, they will not be able to.
  • From 1998-2004, some 400,000 people have been denied the purchase of firearms by the FBI alone, not counting the denials processed by state and local agencies that conduct their own background checks. (Some 450,000 as of 9/30/05.)

According to

On average, 3 children died every day in non-homicide firearm incidents from 2000- 2005.

Since 1990, more than 5,000 children have been killed in firearm accidents.

In 2005, there were 16,298 kids injured by a firearm -- and an additional 14,052 kids were injured from BB or pellet guns.

On average in each of the last 10 years, more than 1,000 kids committed suicide with a firearm; 105 were under 15-years-old.

The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

40% of American households with children have guns.

Two in every five adults (39%) live in households where one or more guns are owned. One in every six live in households with a rifle and a shotgun and a pistol.

34% of children in the United States (representing more than 22 million children in 11 million homes) live in homes with at least one firearm. In 69 percent of homes with firearms and children, more than one firearm is present.

38% of households in the U.S. have at least one gun and 24% contain a handgun.

1.69 million kids 18 and under in the United States are living with loaded and unlocked household firearms.

In 30% of handgun-owning households, the handgun was stored unlocked and loaded at the time of the survey.

28% of gun-owning households with children do not always keep guns locked in a secure place.

Of gun-owning households with children, one quarter only "occasionally" lock and store the bullets in a separate place from the gun.

Among homes with children and firearms, 40% had at least one unlocked firearm and 13% kept their unlocked firearm loaded or stored with ammunition.

48% of gun-owning households with children do not regularly make sure that guns are equipped with child safety or other trigger locks.

Only 39% of homes with children and firearms keep their firearm locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.

In 72% of unintentional deaths and injuries, suicide, and suicide attempts with a firearm of 0-19 year-olds, the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend. (n=98)

Two-thirds of the 41 students involved in 37 school-shooting incidents from 1974-2000 got their guns from their own home or that of a relative.

Two-thirds of students in grades 6-12 say they could obtain a firearm in 24 hours.

36% of teenagers (12-19) say they could obtain a handgun if they wanted to.

47% of high school students (60% of boys) said they could obtain a gun if they wanted to, while 22% of middle school students (31% of boys) said they could get a firearm.

6% of high school students said they had carried a gun in the last 30 days.

Public Opinion
70% of Americans feel that more needs to be done to educate parents about how to keep their children safe from guns and on proper storage methods.

According to Newsweek, 64% of parents with children under 18 are somewhat or very concerned that their child could be harmed at a friend’s house where guns are kept.

Almost 80% of Americans think it is important to reduce children’s access to guns.


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