Boy, 9, charged with Brandishing Firearm


PDA






SaltH2OHokie
December 17, 2008, 01:46 PM
From my hometown: http://hamptonroads.com/2008/12/suffolk-boy-9-charged-brandishing-toy-gun-bus-stop

What will the likely implications be of this kid's screw up? I'd hate to be barred from owning firearms or kept out of college because of a toy gun at age 9. I'm not saying what he did was ok, but I just doubt that at 9 years old, he has any concept of the potential repercussions of such actions.

If you enjoyed reading about "Boy, 9, charged with Brandishing Firearm" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
lacoochee
December 17, 2008, 01:58 PM
I wonder if I would have had terrorism charges leveled against me at 9, we used to play Army and pretend to snipe passerby. We also used fake and simulated grenades, bazookas, etc.

I would imagine we would also have been charged with kidnapping when we captured one of the enemy combatants (from the other side of the neighborhood - commie bastages).

You have to wonder if the cops making the arrest don't feel like complete ass hats or maybe these particular officers are the problem. I suspect 95% of the rest of the police force would feel like ass hats and say STOP THAT!!! to the kid and let it go at that.

ConstitutionCowboy
December 17, 2008, 02:03 PM
It's gonna be tough convincing a judge and jury that the playstation part is a firearm.

Woody

TimRB
December 17, 2008, 02:04 PM
"...we used to play Army and..."

I also grew up at a time when a kid could wave a toy gun around without causing people to wet their pants and call the police. Sad.

Tim

expvideo
December 17, 2008, 02:18 PM
Playing army is different from threatening people with a toy gun. He's not 5, he's 9. When I was 9, I knew better than to take a realistic looking toy gun and threaten people.

I also grew up at a time when a kid could wave a toy gun around without causing people to wet their pants and call the police. Sad.

The really sad part isn't that people wet their pants, but that they actually have reason to. In this day and age, the gun could just as easily be real.

subknave
December 17, 2008, 02:24 PM
And people wonder why our courts are overloaded.

Gord
December 17, 2008, 02:38 PM
I was going to comment on the dainty-sensibilities mindset it takes to confuse a videogame lightgun controller for a real gun - all that I've seen for the PSX and PS3 are obviously toys - but apparently there have been some fairly realistic ones made for the PS2:

http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&q=ps2+gun&btnG=Search+Images

As you can see, pretty realistic looking representations of the Beretta 92F, Desert Eagle, Walther P99 and what looks to be either a generic compact or a mutated Cougar...

Absent a pic of the zapper the boy was using, there's no way to make a judgment one way or the other, but I wouldn't fault the authorities in this case if he was convincingly threatening other kids with harm and waving one of those around. If he was playing space marine-vs.-alien with an obvious videogame accessory, different story...

expvideo
December 17, 2008, 02:49 PM
And people wonder why our courts are overloaded.
Oh come on. The kid threatened people with what looked like a gun. He's 9 years old and he knows better.

I was going to comment on the dainty-sensibilities mindset it takes to confuse a videogame lightgun controller for a real gun
Yeah, I know. Just playing devil's advocate here. BTW, I agree with you.

subknave
December 17, 2008, 02:53 PM
Apparently he wasn't charged or taken into custody until arriving at school:

"One of the students reported the incident to an Elephant’s Fork principal after arriving at school, she said. School administrators interviewed all the children involved and contacted the 9-year-old’s mother, who produced the toy, George said. "

The story doesn't say exactly when or why the police were called but apparently it was after he arrived at school and the mom produced the gun. So I gather the scenario was:

1. Boy takes toy gun from car maybe points it at other kids and waves it around.

2. Mom yells at kid (I hope) and he places toy back in car or gives it to mom.

3. Boy goes to school.

4. Student complains to principal about boy waving toy gun around.

5. Principal investigates by interviewing students and calling Mom.

6. Mom brings toy gun to school and shows was a toy.

7. Police arrest boy for "Brandishing a firearm" even though it wasn't a firearm and none of the adults involved (except maybe the Mom) saw the incident happen.

So instead of the boy being told why it was unacceptable behavior and sent home or given some other punishment he is arrested and now mom and dad have to pony up legal fees etc. Merry Christmas.



Quote:
And people wonder why our courts are overloaded.

Oh come on. The kid threatened people with what looked like a gun. He's 9 years old and he knows better.


My point was that it is this kind of stupidity on the part of the district attorneys that crowds our jails with people that aren't exactly dangers to society. This 9 year old may well take a spot in jail while some other juvenile that smashed someones head in in a gang fight goes home because of jail overcrowding.

Claude Clay
December 17, 2008, 02:56 PM
if -0- tolerance is one one side of the coin,than -100- intolerance is on the other.
the edge is commen sense c.2008

expvideo
December 17, 2008, 03:09 PM
My point was that it is this kind of stupidity on the part of the district attorneys that crowds our jails with people that aren't exactly dangers to society. This 9 year old may well take a spot in jail while some other juvenile that smashed someones head in in a gang fight goes home because of jail overcrowding.
I'm not saying that this isn't a retarded case. I give up. I don't know how to feel on this one. The kid was an idiot and deserves to be disciplined. The DA is an idiot for allowing "brandishing a firearm" charges. Both sides should publicly appologize for their stupidity.

subknave
December 17, 2008, 03:11 PM
Here is the law:

18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another.

C. For purposes of this section, the word "firearm" means any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of a combustible material. The word "ammunition," as used herein, shall mean a cartridge, pellet, ball, missile or projectile adapted for use in a firearm.

(Code 1950, 18.1-69.2; 1968, c. 513; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1990, cc. 588, 599; 1992, c. 735; 2003, c. 976; 2005, c. 928.)

Apparently if it even looks like a firearm and someone is scared then it meets the criteria for the law. So if he had a gun shaped stick and someone said they were scared it would apply. Oh and if the cops shot him they couldn't be held civilly liable.

mcdonl
December 17, 2008, 03:12 PM
I grew up in a City... Portland Maine... I lived in a bad neighborhood but loved trap shooting from my early teens on up... Thing is the only place to trap shoot was a good solid 45-1 hour bicycle ride... so... I would put my single shot 12g in a case on my back, and pedal through the city onto the back roads and to the range. No questions asked.

expvideo
December 17, 2008, 03:18 PM
I grew up in a City... Portland Maine... I lived in a bad neighborhood but loved trap shooting from my early teens on up... Thing is the only place to trap shoot was a good solid 45-1 hour bicycle ride... so... I would put my single shot 12g in a case on my back, and pedal through the city onto the back roads and to the range. No questions asked.
Did you stop at the bus stop and threaten people with it?

cassandrasdaddy
December 17, 2008, 03:35 PM
hes 9 it won't haunt him past 18

SaltH2OHokie
December 17, 2008, 04:32 PM
hes 9 it won't haunt him past 18

That's mostly what I was wondering.

My thoughts on what he did: it was wrong, but it certainly seems it could have been handled without an arrest.

What if he'd threatened you at the bus stop, with a realistic fake gun and you were carrying a real gun?


Here's a fun story from my childhood: Me and a friend were playing army or sniper or something at his house. We both had BB pistols, BB rifles and we were wearing camouflage. We were like 12. We weren't pointing them at anything other than silhouette targets we'd nailed to trees all over the yard (few acres that backed up to a creek with nothing but farmland on the other side of the creek...plenty of open and safe shots.) My friend had big picture windows on his room so we used his room as "base" and would jump in and out of the window.

A neighbor saw our shenanigans and couldn't help but call the police...who responded very quietly (to what they thought was an armed home invasion in progress since the lady saw us climbing in a window with guns). I about crapped my pants when I rounded a corner in camo (luckily no bb weapons in my hands) and was met by a cop with his gun drawn...

Both of us ended up on our knees in the driveway surrounded by cops before my friend finally managed to choke out of his mouth that he lived there.

Cops told us not to scare the neighbors and if we were going to jump in and out of windows to try to leave the BB guns out of the picture and that was the end of it. They seemed to get a kick out of it once it was clear that we were 12 yr old kids playing with BB guns...I didn't find it as humorous.

DCR
December 18, 2008, 03:50 PM
What a stretch to apply the brandishing law to a kid with a video game light gun. I wonder if he's even old enough to be charged under their juvenile corrections laws?

I was flabbergasted when my wife was asked to come to school and remove a "weapon" from the premises that my son had brought to show and tell - a 20-year-old blue plastic Ghostbusters proton pack and accompanying zapper, connected to the pack with a bright yellow tube. Weapon?!? It looked more like a toy replica of an exterminator's pack! In IDAHO for crying out loud! At least they didn't try to have him expelled under the state's zero tolerance laws. Sheesh.

MD_Willington
December 18, 2008, 04:49 PM
Where I grew up we could buy life size replicas of many firearms, for "Army" from the local Airbase PX.

I usually packed an AK, AR or Uzi, also had a Luger and a Beretta M9 pistol as a side arm...

Our neighbor was an RCMP officer and he said we had cooler toys than the RCMP had.. LOL

gregormeister
December 19, 2008, 10:11 AM
I am so sick of this nations lame sissy, pacifist, hoplophobe, illegal activities being took out on our people. We are evolving into overly sensitive beings. Lucky for me I survived evolution.

Its getting to be like Lacoochee said, and I cannot imagine being a 9 year old and doing a stupid little kid thing and there being repercussions for it. Now if he had use vulgar language and put it to another kids temple or brought out a Nerf gun and shot at them..yeah sure maybe he is a head case but what he did does not warrant a charge. 100% bullsh**...Let the kids be kids, the worlds bad enough without your childhood being stomped on.

bill in IN
December 19, 2008, 10:21 AM
What if there were a large group of people who all believed that a certain politician was going to, upon taking office, use that office to violate their Constitutional rights? Same perceived threat of injury? I don't think this is a real stretch-

cassandrasdaddy
December 19, 2008, 10:23 AM
I don't think this is a real stretch-

three words of that make sense

cassandrasdaddy
December 19, 2008, 10:26 AM
if the lil heathen threatened folks in an angry manner juvi charges are appropriate. they won't ruin his life and the reverse might be true. a beating might be in order

jr45
December 19, 2008, 10:34 AM
This is interesting. I live in VA and purchased my 13yr old an airsoft pistol (clear plastic) for xmas. Some of the kids in my neighborhood like to play "Army" with them and my son wants to join in. After reading the above VA code, I am wondering if he (and the others) could cause an issue.:uhoh:

cassandrasdaddy
December 19, 2008, 10:44 AM
if it looks real (orange tip gone)and he threatens folks with it it will. and should. i took a replica from a kid a while back looked so real it was scary and he was about 9 pointing it at folks playing gangsta. without seeing what this lil heathen was using some folks here seem a lil quick to judge. theres that stereotype rearing its ugly head

Zoogster
December 19, 2008, 10:47 AM
if -0- tolerance is one one side of the coin,than -100- intolerance is on the other.
What? No 0 tolerance is on the same side of the coin as 100 intolerance. They mean the same thing. The opposite would be 100 tolerance, allowing anything and everything.



Actualy in this case it sounds like the boy was trying to convince the people it was a real gun. He was not threatening to shoot them with toy projectiles or water as the toy is a game controller and does not fire anything.
So if he was threatening to shoot them it would be with real bullets.

When I was that age I had several realistic looking toy guns. Some even made of metal that even today I would have trouble telling from the real thing if pointed at me.


He is being charged as a juvenile. It is sad and may be excessive to the situation.
Unfortunately we do not know the details. Whether it was goofing around or real serious threats. We do not know if the report of the threats is the imagination of one of the 'victims' acted upon by authorities or there were real verablized threats meant to convince made by the boy.


Playing army with people that know they are toys is totaly different than walking up to a stranger and trying to convince them the gun you are pointing at them is real, and you are thinking about shooting them.
So without knowing if it was some scared little girls imagination at seeing a gun, or actual intended threats a clear opinion is hard to make.
I can just as easily see it being a boy showing a friend his cool toy gun and some others overssing and thinking it might be real, as I can some boy acting out something from a video game (like say GTA.)
One is a crime, and one is a misunderstanding people are overreacting to.

It was not on school property (bus stop) so 100% intolerance (0 tolerance) should not be a factor. Even then a toy gun on school grounds is not a criminal offense itself, even if it is grounds for suspension or expulsion by school policy.

subknave
December 19, 2008, 10:52 AM
Its not that what he didn't wasn't wrong, it was, but having the police arrest him and the DA prosecute him is ridiculous. Send him home punish him so he gets the messag, take away his nintendo for a month but don't waste my tax dollars prosecuting a 9 year old with a toy gun. If two kids get in a fight on the playground do you call the police and have them arrested for assault and battery? If a little boy kisses a girl do you arrest them for sexual assault?

At some point commensense needs to come into play.

The Bushmaster
December 19, 2008, 11:55 AM
So you take the 9 year old home to his parents and they, in turn, take said 9 year old to the wood shed and tan his hide...Oh...Forgot...You can't do that anymore either...

cassandrasdaddy
December 19, 2008, 11:56 AM
So you take the 9 year old home to his parents and they, in turn, take said 9 year old to the wood shed and tan his hide...Oh...Forgot...You can't do that anymore either...


and now we address the crux of the problem

jr45
December 19, 2008, 12:06 PM
So you take the 9 year old home to his parents and they, in turn, take said 9 year old to the wood shed and tan his hide...Oh...Forgot...You can't do that anymore either...

and now we address the crux of the problem

Many of the parents will not discipline thier children regardless of legality. While I agree that this maybe one of the underlying issues, I believe the main issue (in this case) is people, schools, courts, etc. just over reacting. I do not know what the gun looked like but if it appeared to be a toy, then this is just another case of excessive/foolish waste of time and money.

I remember reading an article on how a 5yr old boy was expelled from school (I think in CA) for sexual harassment. His crime was kissing girl and the school exercised its zero tolerance policy.

Iron Sight
December 19, 2008, 12:09 PM
Try a Google search on this? "man with toy gun killed"

Art Eatman
December 19, 2008, 02:07 PM
Yeah, wuz a time the kid would have gotten a paddling for doing stoopid and that would have been the end to it. Now, we send out the fire department to extinguish a cigarette...

I keep asking how all these laws have made our world all better...

If you enjoyed reading about "Boy, 9, charged with Brandishing Firearm" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!