Kids (legal!) solo hunting leads to woman shot in the head!


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Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 11:40 AM
I didn't see this posted anywhere. Frankly I am shocked that in some states you can give a gun and legally send a 10 year old "hunting" on public land. I would not stay at a range that an unattended 14 year old was shooting guns, and it this is beyond outrageous.

If you are on your own property (and can keep your kid’s bullets on your property) I don’t have a problem generally, but in this case I hope the parents are sued into the ground.

Just before Tyler Kales was led from a Mount Vernon, Wash., courtroom to begin serving his sentence earlier this month, he apologized to the family of his victim.

“All I want to say is how sorry I am,” the reed-thin 15-year-old said in a quavering voice to relatives of Pamela Almli, 54, who died instantly when Kales mistook her for a bear and shot her in the head Aug. 2, 2008, while hunting in the fog in western Washington's Skagit County.

Kales, convicted by a judge of second-degree manslaughter in June, received 30 days in juvenile detention at his July 10 sentencing.

The case highlighted issues about hunting on public land in Washington that were news to some state residents. First, hunting in close proximity to hikers was perfectly legal. Second, there was no requirement for trailhead signs to warn hikers like Almli that there were hunters in the area.

And while Kales was not old enough to have driven himself to the trailhead, in Washington state there is no minimum age for hunting without adult supervision as Kales, then 14, was doing that day with his 16-year-old brother.

Washington is far from alone in allowing children to hunt with firearms on public lands without adult supervision, an msnbc.com review of state hunting regulations found:

Seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington — set no minimum age for solo hunting.
In Texas, kids can hunt alone when they are 9.
In Alaska, Louisiana and Tennessee, the minimum age for unsupervised hunting is 10, in Missouri it’s 11, and in nine other states it’s 12.
That's a total of 21 states in which kids can hunt alone at age 12 or younger. And in 19 of them, young hunters afield by themselves may pursue any game — big or small — that is in season. Laws on hunter education and licensing vary from state to state. And federal laws prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from buying a rifle or shotgun. No one under 21 may buy a handgun.

While low minimum hunting ages in some states and a complete lack of them in others may come as a surprise to non-hunters, they are supported by many members of the hunting community who say that when kids begin hunting, alone or supervised, should be up to their parents.

“I was very surprised” by the lack of a minimum hunting age, said Washington state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a Seattle Democrat who hikes often with her husband and their golden retriever on the ubiquitous trails of the Evergreen State. A previous minimum solo hunting age of 14 in Washington was stricken by a 1994 law.

“Right now you could have a 6-year-old get a license and hunt bear,” Kohl-Welles said.

Also amazed was Kales’ defense attorney, Roy Howson, who favors a minimum age of at least 16 for solo hunting and argued that the boy should not have been charged with a crime at all. “Wasn’t this bound to happen at some point?” he asked. “If kids are allowed to hunt, sooner or later you’re likely to have something of this sort happen.”

Working with the Washington Trails Association, a hiker advocacy group, Kohl-Welles introduced a bill to set a minimum age of 16 for solo hunting in the state. The bill was bottled up this year by some lawmakers who wanted the age to be set at 14, but Kohl-Welles said she will push it again next year.

The lack of a minimum unsupervised hunting age is “a gaping hole,” said Jonathan Guzzo, the trails association’s advocacy director. “From our perspective, we viewed it as common sense. If we’re telling people, ‘You can’t drive a car unaccompanied until you’re 16,’ you shouldn’t be going into the woods with a gun until you’re 16.”

Guzzo stressed that his group is not opposed to hunting. “Hunters make huge contributions to public lands statewide and we think they are historical users of the landscape who serve an important purpose,” he said. “But we have more understanding of the limits of the human brain. Young people do not have the judgment that adults have. For the most part, 14-year-olds do not have the judgment that a 16-year-old has.”

On the national level, Guzzo’s comments won support from Jim Kessler, policy director and co-founder of the progressive think-tank Third Way who previously spent four years at Americans for Gun Safety. Both groups seek tighter gun laws but are not opposed to hunting.

“I find it shocking actually that there aren’t laws that prohibit unsupervised hunting by minors,” said Kessler. “For a lot of families, hunting is passing on values from fathers to sons and it’s about responsibility and there are a lot of good lessons there, but it is far too much responsibility to give to a child or a minor teen, far too much responsibility. You need an adult there.”

But others don’t see it that way, especially many in the hunting community who are concerned that limits on hunting ages are reducing their sport’s numbers and threatening its future.

One group, Families Afield, a coalition of hunting groups that was organized with the specific goal of encouraging youth hunting, notes that since its formation in 2004 some 28 states have changed laws and rules, including lowering hunting ages. “Parents, not politics, should decide an appropriate hunting age for their children,” says the group’s Web site, which stresses hunter education and safety, and advocates no minimum age for young hunters who are supervised by adults.

Families Afield spokesman Rob Sexton said the coalition has no “official position” on minimum ages for unsupervised youth hunting. But the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, a member group of Families Afield for which Sexton is the vice president of governmental relations, opposed the Washington legislation largely because it considered it “a knee-jerk response to a tragedy,” he said.

“We hate the thought that the law would be changed on an anecdotal situation as opposed to an overall finding that would justify such change,” said Sexton. It’s really parents of minor hunters who must make the call, even when they are older than the law requires, he said. “For instance, my oldest kid is 15 and I don’t have him hunt alone. … He’s just not ready, but I’ve hunted with younger kids who are.”

On its Web site, Families Afield cites numerous statistics and studies to support its position that hunting is not dangerous for properly trained participants. One 2002 study concludes that adult hunters are involved in 10 times as many accidents as all youth hunters, suggesting young hunters are actually statistically safer since they make up 12 percent of the entire hunting population. Adult hunters are blamed for 32 times as many as accidents as young hunters who are supervised, according to the study by the Hunter Incident Clearinghouse.

Tim Lawhern, new president of the International Hunter Education Association and the chief of hunter education in Wisconsin, said more recent statistics are even more favorable to young hunters. In his own state, while young people historically accounted for a third of all hunting accidents, much higher than their proportion of all hunters, that dropped to 13 percent last year and just 7 percent in 2007, he said.

More pressure on parents
The reason? “It’s just not cool to be involved in a hunting accident,” Lawhern said. “More people are paying attention to their kids when they’re out there doing that.”

Lawhern, who plans to focus on recruiting more young hunters in his role as IHEA president, sees no need for the government to set minimum hunting ages, whether kids are alone or supervised. “I think the important thing to remember is it’s the parent’s responsibility until they’re 18,” he said. In states with no minimum ages, “There’s no significant reports of there being a problem with young people hunting. Their incident rates are no different than anywhere else in the country.”

The Washington state case, Lawhern said, is a horrible tragedy but “that’s one incident out of how many millions of hunters around the country? … There are a lot of things we do in life when people are making decisions that could end tragically. … There’s more people injured and killed playing football.”

Kessler of Third Way said gun-rights activists and hunting enthusiasts involved with groups like Families Afield and the National Rifle Association make it unlikely laws to lower hunting ages will pass in Washington or anywhere else.

“It’s a powerful lobby,” he said. For instance, “If you did a poll in Washington or any state, 95 percent would support 16 over 14 (as a minimum solo hunting age). But the people who really care about this are the other 5 percent and that’s the way the gun issue works. They feel it’s affecting their lives, so the intensity of their feeling about this issue is much greater than for other people.”

The NRA, the nation’s largest and most powerful gun-rights group, also believes parents, not lawmakers, should decide the appropriate age at which their children should begin hunting but did not respond to an msnbc.com inquiry on whether or not it favors a minimum age for unsupervised hunting by kids.

Advocates of minimum age requirements for solo hunters said the rules also protect the young hunters themselves. In the Washington case, said Guzzo of the trails association, the slain hiker and her family are not the only victims. The young hunter, Tyler Kales, “has to live with his judgment error for the rest of his life. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

Kales’ defense attorney, Howson, agreed. Calling his client an “exceptional” young man who simply made a tragic mistake that likely would have been avoided if an adult had been present, Howson, a former prosecutor, said, “There’s a little bit of blame for all of us in here but it’s all going to come down on this one little kid.”

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ByAnyMeans
July 21, 2009, 11:49 AM
I can understand an initial reaction of shock especially when you read how a "six year old could be out there hunting bear" but I didn't see where they proved that what he did was because of his age. There are differing opinions on the safety risk of youngsters hunting especially in recent years. Adults are involved in hunting accidents as well. It seems that the lack of a law allowing hunting so close to hiking trails may be the real issue.

Enginetech88
July 21, 2009, 11:52 AM
:what: I had no idea there were places where you could hunt at that early of an age by yourself. No clue. Its a very sad situation. A kid of any should be able to go shooting. Rifles or handguns. Its a parents choice based on their childs maturity. Noone knows their child better or atleast noone should than the parents. But as far as hunting. I think its a little extreme to do all that. There is a big difference between a controlled situation at a range and the vast amount of variables in the woods. Many many adults make mistakes like this too while hunting based on the variables, so age is not the only factor. But still very suprising. Josh

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 11:56 AM
Please contain your shock and outrage. I know 10-year-olds who have better gun handling etiquette than some 50-year-olds.

This was a tragic accident. No need to take hunting or youth-involvement in shooting sports to task for it.

And what is up with the quotes around "hunting"? You don't think that's what the young man was doing?

Another thing to note: when I hike, I always take into consideration if it is in a hunting area or during hunting season. Bear season had opened the day before in this case, according to this article (http://www.tri-cityherald.com/1358/story/278777.html).

35Rem
July 21, 2009, 11:57 AM
Hmmm, depends on the kid. I started hunting at 5, was going solo at about 7 or 8 and solo with a jeep at 11.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 11:57 AM
"six year old could be out there hunting bear" but I didn't see where they proved that what he did was because of his age.

I don't know what kids you have been around, but I have yet to meet a six year old (or a 14 year old) I want out and about, alone, with a gun "hunting". Do we really need to spend a few million bucks on a "study" to prove it is a bad idea???

Adults get into auto accidents. Is that a valid argument for allowing 14 year olds to drive unsupervised? "But adults get into accidents too, so see it's really all the same!"

And what is up with the quotes around "hunting"? You don't think that's what the young man was doing?


He is a unsupervised kid out alone with a gun. I don't know what the heck he was doing.

auschip
July 21, 2009, 12:02 PM
I have no problem with it if the parents think the kid can handle the situation. Besides, I have heard too many stories about kids helping out when times were lean. I think we have too many laws as it is, I don't see adding more as being useful.

Of course, I drove unsupervised at 14 also ...

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 12:03 PM
I have yet to meet a six year old (or a 14 year old) I want out and about, alone, with a gun "hunting".

You need to get out more.

Again: what is up with the quotes around "hunting"?

JoeMal
July 21, 2009, 12:04 PM
Quote the truth
Adults get into auto accidents. Is that a valid argument for allowing 14 year olds to drive unsupervised? "But adults get into accidents too, so see it's really all the same!"


Kids that young should NOT be allowed to hunt on their own, regardless of supposed maturity or discipline...I just think it's a bad idea

Quilbilly
July 21, 2009, 12:04 PM
This was a horrible accident. No need to blame the government for permitting a teenager to hunt by himself, the last thing we need is more gun laws. It was the parents fault and I think they should be "sued into the ground". Rule 4 is just as important as the other 3.

Enginetech88
July 21, 2009, 12:05 PM
Within a few posts you guys made me finish my thoughts. Some kids may be ready to go hunting at 7 or 8. And maybe a lot safer than some old timers. So maybe there shouldnt be an age at all. Mabe there should be a mandatory hunting class with skills testing. Mayeb there is. Its no longer shocking the more I think about it. Thanks! This is why we are all here. To expand our horizons. Josh


Just some food for thought......... Are you more mature at age 18 than you are at age 17 and 364 days? And are there 15 year olds that are more mature or better disiplined than some 19 year olds??

Dravur
July 21, 2009, 12:13 PM
He is a unsupervised kid out alone with a gun. I don't know what the heck he was doing

I dunno, Hunting, maybe? Maybe he was doing Russian ballet..... Perhaps he was auditioning for a role on Two and a Half Men. Maybe he was pole vaulting....

But my best guess is.... he was HUNTING.

I hunted unsupervised when I was that age. and guess what? No problems.

This was a tragic accident and whether the guy was 14 or 52, it matters not.

Nickotym
July 21, 2009, 12:14 PM
“All I want to say is how sorry I am,” the reed-thin 15-year-old said in a quavering voice to relatives of Pamela Almli, 54, who died instantly when Kales mistook her for a bear and shot her in the head Aug. 2, 2008, while hunting in the fog in western Washington's Skagit County.

The kid made mistakes: Never shoot until you are 100% sure of your target and backstop. If it is foggy this becomes even more important. The hiker made mistakes too: Don't go hiking in known hunting areas during open seasons without wearing blaze orange.

Also amazed was Kales’ defense attorney, Roy Howson, who favors a minimum age of at least 16 for solo hunting and argued that the boy should not have been charged with a crime at all. “Wasn’t this bound to happen at some point?” he asked. “If kids are allowed to hunt, sooner or later you’re likely to have something of this sort happen.”

After this comment I would look into the options of finding a better attorney and getting a mistrial for poor representation. Unless taken greatly out of context, this statement would not make me feel good about my lawyer.


Mod note: That more what you had in mind?

ByAnyMeans
July 21, 2009, 12:18 PM
"I don't know what kids you have been around, but I have yet to meet a six year old (or a 14 year old) I want out and about, alone, with a gun "hunting". Do we really need to spend a few million bucks on a "study" to prove it is a bad idea???"

I don't think you need to conduct a study, just read the article posted. As I said there are conflicting reports of the difference in safety between young hunters below adult age and adults as the below statement from the article shows.


"Lawhern, who plans to focus on recruiting more young hunters in his role as IHEA president, sees no need for the government to set minimum hunting ages, whether kids are alone or supervised. “I think the important thing to remember is it’s the parent’s responsibility until they’re 18,” he said. In states with no minimum ages, “There’s no significant reports of there being a problem with young people hunting. Their incident rates are no different than anywhere else in the country.”

Quilbilly
July 21, 2009, 12:26 PM
My friends son who is 12 just got his second gun. He has a .22 rifle and a 20G now. We have taken him out on several occasions and practiced gun safety more than target practice. Last duck season my buddy made a plywood cutout of a gun with a metal pipe for a barrel and stuck a little laser on it so we would know where he was pointing the thing. He sat out in the cold with us and his fake gun so he could prove himself for the next season. If he can pass the hunter safety course here in Washington, he is welcome to come hunting next season. That 12 year old is more safe with a firearm than my wife, who is 24, or my Dad, who is 50 (they do not own or shoot guns).

waterhouse
July 21, 2009, 12:26 PM
It wasn't uncommon when we were younger that we would be left in a deer stand while fathers/uncles hiked off to other deer stands. I think the youngest I was left on my own was about 9.

You knew at some point that a family member would be walking through the woods to come get you from the stand, so you made damn sure to identify your target before shooting.

This was a tragic accident, but I see no problem with young kids hunting on their own.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 12:28 PM
“I think the important thing to remember is it’s the parent’s responsibility until they’re 18,” he said.

But they are not in jail, now are they?

But my best guess is.... he was HUNTING.

If we go with what he DID, she was shooting a person. I don't know if that qualifies as hunting. Here is what I think was going. He was boored, so picked up a gun and went walking around on public land. He saw something moving and thought it he would be real kwel if went to school the next day with a tale about shooting a bear.

I say "hunting" because I did the same thing. Except for the minor details of being on my parents property, and not shooting anything that moves.

I suppose there is an alternative here. Let the boy pay the "adult" price for his mistake. Which would be more than 30 days in jail. Right now he is on the "kids eat free menu". And perhapes, soon back out on public land with a rifle?

Kids are called kids for a reason. Lack of experiance and judgment is a big part of that. Like this case. Just because one kid does something and everything is ok does not mean it is a good idea, or safe. Who here would really share a gun range with an unsupervised 10 year old? I bet many more people would say it is safe for their (always it seems) "above average" 10 year old to (after driving himself?) be shooting unsupervised at the range than would share a range with an unsupervised 10 year old.

Why is this?

And for those who think children out hunting unsupervised is fine, would you really let them if you knew your kid's screw up would result in YOUR being imprisoned for 25 years? Or is it just ok if someone else dies but you and yours stay out of jail?

ClickClickD'oh
July 21, 2009, 12:37 PM
In Texas, kids can hunt alone when they are 9.
Only if they break the law.

Minimum age for certification in the required Hunter Education Training Course is 12. Anyone aged 12 to 16 who has passed the course must be accompanied by a person aged 17 or older who has also completed the course, or was born on or before Sept. 2, 1971. Any person born on or before Sept. 2, 1971 or over the age of 17 and has completed the course may hunt alone.

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 01:36 PM
Here is what I think was going.

We could all conjecture about this young man's thought process, and we could all be wrong.

Instead, lets look at the facts:


He was legally hunting on public land.
The victim was legally hiking on public land.
Bear season opened the day before.
He misidentified his target, and it cost someone their life.

Let's set the emotional/sensational aside for a minute, and see that this was an accident. One that hunters of all ages have made. Throw public land into the mix and things can get even more dangerous: Hunting within proximity of hikers. Hiking within proximity of hunters. Hunting within proximity of other hunters. All these things should be considered before using public land.

It seems this could be more a lesson on safety practices while using public land than an attack on youth-shooting sports.

And where did a 10-year-old come into this? This guy was 14. Quit sensationalizing this tragedy.

Also, comparing gun ranges to hunting =/=.

Dazen
July 21, 2009, 01:47 PM
Hmmm, depends on the kid. I started hunting at 5, was going solo at about 7 or 8 and solo with a jeep at 11.
I am with you on that one 35REM with one exception... I was driving a 43 Willy's jeep at 9.

longbeard48
July 21, 2009, 01:54 PM
This young man will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. There is no telling how many ways it will change his life's outcome. He, as well as the victim's family, needs all our prayers.

Zoogster
July 21, 2009, 02:13 PM
Just some food for thought......... Are you more mature at age 18 than you are at age 17 and 364 days? And are there 15 year olds that are more mature or better disiplined than some 19 year olds??

Personaly I have found a larger number of responsibly raised boys make more responsible choices before puberty than for the first few years after.
Meaning a well raised boy is often more responsible after being taught safety when they are 8-11 than teenagers from 13-16. Around puberty is when you ususaly start to see the "know it all" syndrome where they don't listen quite as well to instructions, including those on safety.
A 10-12 year old out hunting with his dad who has been taught how to safely handle firearms is far safer than the kid learning and doing the same thing for the first time 2 years later.
They ususaly don't become as responsible as they were just before puberty until well after 16 years old.


There is a lower level gap usualy somewhere between 6-10 when responsibly raised children begin to understand the severity of consequences for different actions. Before that time I certainly wouldn't want someone else's child with a gun.
However the definition of hunting in many states is pursuing, stalking or otherwise interacting with game even if you are not shooting them.
In CA for example merely following animals is defined under statute as hunting, and so the boy even just going along with his father would need to have a hunting permit even if they never touch the firearm. If they couldn't hunt then they couldn't even legaly go.


One of the reasons I miss fireworks being widely used. Responsible kids that played with m-80s tended to stay in one piece while learning to be safe with potentialy dangerous recreation. The others lost thier trigger fingers before they could buy a gun. :neener:
But in all seriousness the trend of protecting children even into thier teens so much that they learn no responsibility is often even more dangerous. It allows many to get near legal adulthood without ever learning to use discretion with dangerous objects and activities. Then they begin to learn that discretion beyond the age of oversight, without parental correction, and with adult items from guns to vehicles etc Having merely prolonged irresponsibility in many until later years of thier life when the toys are bigger and the consequences usualy worse.

ilbob
July 21, 2009, 02:25 PM
It was not all that long ago that kids sometimes brought firearms to school so they could hunt for their family's supper on the way home.

My guess is the "hiker advocates" are more interested in banning hunting than in any perceived safety problem.

Its not like adult hunters have never shot the wrong thing.

RoostRider
July 21, 2009, 02:26 PM
This is about hunter awareness, not age.

All of the 'kids' I have hunted with are safer than the majority of adults I have hunted with. But I'm not silly enough to say that only kids should be allowed to hunt.... I actually think more kids should have the experience, and that it teaches a LOT about life that isn't easily forgotten....

I hunted alone well below 14. My son is 13 and will hunt with me this fall (but not me overseeing his every move)... I would be OK with him hunting alone at this point, if not for the fact he needs to learn 'hunting' now that he has safety down..... If he had shown the maturity level of some 10 year olds I know, I would have been comfortable at that age...

It surprises me how people will just jump on a bandwagon because of a few isolated incidents instead of looking at the real statistics and making a logical conclusion.

How many adults have accidentally shot other people? (aside from the former VP).... the next 'logical' step is to ban hunting altogether.... right?.... I think I've heard this type of rhetoric before....

I refuse to compare driving privileges with hunting rights (here in MN hunting rights are constitutionally protected).... because, frankly, driving is WAY more dangerous for a kid.... and I try not to compare apples to oranges because the taste gets bitter....

ArfinGreebly
July 21, 2009, 02:32 PM
When I was in my early teens we used to visit some family friends in Arizona.

They had a son who had been through hunter safety and had his own rifle for use around the ranch. Kid had been hunting and shooting on his own since 11, and had been hunting/shooting with his dad since before that.

I was not allowed to handle the rifle. I had not been through safety training. It wasn't the parents who told me "no." It was the kid with the training.

Where I grew up kids hunted with their dads from as early as they could lug a long gun. And that was in Northern California.

Age isn't the primary factor. Training is.

This kid wasn't adequately trained.

To argue that his age is the problem is to overlook all the "accidents" that befall older hunters. Yes, more experience will help avoid the "shoot at whatever moves" mistake.

Oh, and hiking trails in hunting areas?

There's a hiking trail near where I live that has a little extra signage warning hikers that they are in a "Cougar Area" with an explanation that cougars frequent that area (near a lake) and have frequently been seen there.

It probably wouldn't hurt to add a little signage to a hiking trail-head announcing that it's hunting season and that hunters will be shooting in the area.

I don't see this as a regulatory failure. We don't need another law to "fix it."

I see this as a training and supervision failure.

As the judge on this case, I would have required remedial hunter safety training for the boy and his parents, no matter what other judgment I handed down.

scythefwd
July 21, 2009, 02:36 PM
roostrider +1.
This should be about the kid not identifying his target, not that he was only 14.

Thinking it was a bear is different than knowing it was a bear. People that take shots at what they think is their prey are no better than people that shoot at sounds. Know your target and what is behind it! If you are in doubt, don't pull the trigger.

My cousin hunts by himself at the age of 13. He is ready for that responsibility, my 38 year old brother isn't.

iHateRodents
July 21, 2009, 02:53 PM
The problem is that he violated the basic rules of gun safety- know your target and what's beyond it.


You don't have to be young to be stupid. However, if you are young, and stupid, I would rather you be in the woods with a gun than on the road with a car.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 02:58 PM
All the people who think hunting alone on public land is kosher must also by logical extension believe that driving alone at any age is fine? Presumably after passing the driving test?

I'd like to hear a solid answer to my question:

Who here would really share a gun range with an unsupervised 10 year old?

The only answer at all was someone saying being at the range was diffent than hunting, where actually I would feel safer at the range. At least at the range there is a safe direction to point a gun and there are (where I go anyway) range officers to kind of keep an eye on safety.

People who say my XX aged kid is safer than my 50 year old relative arn't really addressing the question. There are adults who should not be packing a gun. That irresponsible person X can pack a gun is not really an argument for allowing irresponsible person Y to pack a gun.

I and the public at large are going to brand you a nut if you advocate children of any age going out alone on public land with a gun, with the full knowledge that that child is expected to draw down and fire at something.

Do you really think children of all ages always comprehend what they are shooting at and what is behind what they are shooting at? Obviously from the story, they don't. If kids by and large are capable of making these life and death decisions on their very one, out by themselves but in public settings, why on gods green earth do they even live with parents? Get them sent off to college and going in life.

And if kids are capable of this level of responsibility, why don't they face the same consequences as adults instead of 30 days?

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 03:01 PM
Answer mine and I'll answer yours:

And where did a 10-year-old come into this? This guy was 14.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 03:06 PM
This young man will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. There is no telling how many ways it will change his life's outcome.

Too bad someone had to die for this kid to have learned a lesson. For the crowd that is all into solo hunting, why? Are you too lazy to supervise your kids? Or are you actually more dangerious with a firearm, or simply passed out drunk? I think if the parents faced a long prison term for the actions of their kids with guns, the response here would be very different.

After all, this board is largely about people looking to protect themselves from unpleasant consequences. Spending the rest of your life in jail because your kid accidently shot someone is probably the only wake up call some poeple here would understand.

JohnBT
July 21, 2009, 03:08 PM
"was going solo at about 7 or 8 and solo with a jeep at 11."

You had a Jeep?

By age 10 my cousin and I were allowed to camp totally unsupervised for the weekend or a good part of a week in the summer, but no vehicle. We were allowed our rifles and whatever ammo and firecrackers we could afford. No wonder I can't halfway hear.

God help us if we ever screwed up - like shooting the livestock or even bothering them - we would have been on permanent house arrest. Our fathers were vets and my father had been a state trooper. Not to mention being old school Methodists vying with the Baptists to see who could have the least amount of fun. ;)

Heck, we weren't allowed to screw up even at home. Our families had standards. I shot a sparrow one time when I was 6 with the bb gun my grandparents had given me. The disappointed look on my father's face cured me of stupidity for a long, long time.

I understand that accidents happen, but pulling a trigger is serious business.

John

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 03:12 PM
The point of my post was that in several states it is legal for kids of any age to go solo with guns on public land, if their ostensible reason is “hunting”.

This guy was 14. Legally he could have been 10. From the response of this board, obviously there are 10 year olds out there solo hunting in public. So I am discussing the most extreme cases, since some people here don’t think there should be any age restriction at all. Unless you are saying 10 is to young but 14 is fine, we can move younger still.

conw
July 21, 2009, 03:18 PM
This is unbelievably sad. The parents should sure as hell be held liable as well. I favor a minimal set of restrictions with maximal penalties should an "accident" happen like this. Parents must judge their kids' abilities and limitations. But because kids are all so different at different ages, this varies greatly, and a blanket law just misses the mark. I think harsh penalties ex post facto for mistakes, targeted at the irresponsible parents who sent their irresponsible kid out unsupervised, would do more to discourage this irresponsible behavior than just saying "One kid ruined it for everyone, now we're safe!"

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 03:27 PM
I think harsh penalties ex post facto for mistakes, targeted at the irresponsible parents who sent their irresponsible kid out unsupervised,

A large part of my outrage at the story is there is no consequence here. The kid gets 30 days and then he is free to pick up his rifle and go back out. It's all chalked up to a learning experience for him.

I grew up rural and I understand this god given right to hunt mentality exists, even if I shoot your cows or horses, or shoot at your house, or cut your fence or smash your gates to get access to the game on private property. Growing up I saw all of this.

These same folks believe their kid has the same rights. If the parents went to jail for 20 years, the same folks here would have to start sweating a little, thinking about consequences. But right now there aren’t any.

RoostRider
July 21, 2009, 03:28 PM
WHO HERE WOULD SHARE A RANGE WITH AN UNSUPERVISED 10 YEAR OLD

I won't share an 'unsupervised' range with anyone I don't know... simple as that... once again (although it is irrelevant), age has nothing to do with it... again, I see WAY more careless adults with firearms these days than kids (and I have a kid and I deal with kids and guns fairly frequently.... my own and others)

Clearly you are not a hunter.... and likely, by your ignorant statements, you have never even been hunting.... hunting, even supervised, requires a hunter (no matter the age) to "draw down on something and fire", and you are never able to 'supervise' your hunting partners actions in any real relevant way.

Are we to assume by your comments that you expect every father teaching his kid to hunt to stand right next to him and right walk behind him with his attention firmly on the trainee until he turns 20? How else could we assure that the 'kid' is 'supervised'?

I and the public at large are going to brand you a nut if you advocate children of any age going out alone on public land with a gun

Well...... I and the public at large are going to brand you a nut if you advocate people of any age having and keeping firearms for self defense or target shooting....

I think I've heard that old rhetoric before too......

Lets see if I, or the public at large, give a flying leap what you decide to brand us each as..... LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

If your outrage is at the sentencing, then you should be attacking that, not the fact that kids are allowed to hunt alone.... but no..... I smell something else behind this outrage....

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 03:30 PM
No one is arguing that 5-year-olds should be out hunting alone. But are some 10-year-olds mature enough to hunt alone? Yes. Are some not? Yes.

The same could be said for 14, 25, 50, 75, and 100-year-olds. Should we take away their hunting rights/privileges as well?

If this is such a problem, as your are advocating, why don't we see more of these cases in these states that have no age restrictions on hunting?

And you can't seriously think that hunting and gun ranges are comparable situations. If so, you haven't participated in either very much. Two easy ones: # of people & amount of shooting

Gun ranges:
-Lots of shooting
-Lots of people

Hunting:
-Minimal shooting
-Not many people/possible no one else

C'mon, you know that's a poor analogy.

Madmo
July 21, 2009, 03:32 PM
I was hunting solo by age 14 and so were all my friends.
From what I gather in the article there were some issues with the hunting hiking area.
When you mix a hiking trial into areas where hunting is going on, you have a high risk of someone getting hurt or killed.
Now IMO the kid did not properly ID his intended target!!!!
That has nothing to do with his age. I have seen many hunters get to excited and not clearly ID their target and kill a doe or spike and not be in a county that allowed you to take either one. I have also seen where hunters not properly attired with orange or yellow vests nearly got shot.
If you are going to allow hikers to wander in and around hunting areas they need to be properly dressed with orange caps and vests otherwise someone will die!

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 03:33 PM
These same folks believe their kid has the same rights.

I didn't see in the article where the parent's commented... Maybe I missed it. Please show me where they said that.

EDIT: upon re-reading I think you are referring to those parents who believe in the "god given right to hunt".

conw
July 21, 2009, 03:35 PM
Kindrox, I think you get my point. If we say "10 year olds can't hunt alone, and if they do, there will be a certain penalty," vs "10 year olds can hunt alone, but you better be sure they don't mess up - because it will come back on the parents hard in civil and criminal court if they do," we would be granting more freedom (with responsibility intact) and accounting for the vast difference in individuals.

At the very least we agree about the accountability issue. I just disagree about prior restraint, even in minors. But I want looming penalties that make people think twice about sending out a kid with anything less than impeccable safety skills..

cassandrasdaddy
July 21, 2009, 03:43 PM
i trust my 12 year old nephew behind me with a loaded gun. i've never seen anyone any age more careful. and i include myself. it shamed me

i've been in the woods with guys my age who use a gun in their job that i will never go again with have walked out hitchiked home a few times

35Rem
July 21, 2009, 03:50 PM
This post is borderline trolling, to me.
Lots of kids hunt, by themselves, younger than the person in the story posted. We've beat that dead horse plenty.

This OP sounds more like an Anti Hunter to me. Is this necessary? This is The High Road.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 03:52 PM
If this is such a problem, as your are advocating, why don't we see more of these cases in these states that have no age restrictions on hunting?

I suspect there probably arn't that many bad parents out there. As I said, I was unsupervised on my own property with a gun. I never was allowed on public land with one as a child. Also you can't give your car keys to a 14 year old in Washington and tell him to have a good time on the road. So it probably does not occure to many people that you can do so with a gun.

The same could be said for 14, 25, 50, 75, and 100-year-olds. Should we take away their hunting rights/privileges as well?

Your list is apples and oranges. Everyone in your list, except for the 14 year old, won't be able to own a firearm again after a manslaugher conviction.

And you can't seriously think that hunting and gun ranges are comparable situations.
They don't seem comparible to me at all. All a kid has to do at the gun range is keep the gun pointed downrange, and follow ceasefires. Seems safer to me then a kid picking his target and what is behind it. As I said, I grew up rural. Lots of cows and horses got killed by hunters. I've never seen that happen at the range. So I guess it is easier to shoot the correct things at the range?

I smell something else behind this outrage....
If you are smelling something, check your feet, not me. The root of gun ownership is about protection and safety. A woman died for adults allowing dumb kid to make a fatal mistake, I don't take that woman's life lightly.

Clearly you are not a hunter.... and likely, by your ignorant statements, you have never even been hunting.... hunting, even supervised, requires a hunter (no matter the age) to "draw down on something and fire", and you are never able to 'supervise' your hunting partners actions in any real relevant way.

I am not a hunter but I grew up with hunting all around me. You don't have to be holding your kid's hand to supervise him. Kids know and act different between adults being around, and adults being completely absent.

I think you are referring to those parents who believe in the "god given right to hunt".
Correct.

At the very least we agree about the accountability issue. I just disagree about prior restraint, even in minors. But I want looming penalties that make people think twice about sending out a kid with anything less than impeccable safety skills..
Real accountability for someone is a start.

This OP sounds more like an Anti Hunter to me.
Interesting. Anything less then kids of any age out alone with guns on public land is anti-hunting? I guess you would consider anything less then slipping a handgun in your child's backpack as he heads to school is anti-2A?

RoostRider
July 21, 2009, 03:58 PM
I'm with 35Rem.... you won't hear another comment from me, aside from I am not lazy or drunk (thanks for the derogatory generalization of people you don't know... very media-like of you) but my kid will be hunting alone long before he is construed an 'adult' by any legal standards if he continues to show responsibility and respect with regards to firearms and nature and has the desire.

Who knows, I might even sober up enough to get my fat butt out there with him once in a while.... lol.... sure hope he doesn't shoot me as I stumble by!

oneounceload
July 21, 2009, 04:00 PM
..... I always take into consideration if it is in a hunting area or during hunting season. Bear season had opened the day before in this case, according to this article.

Something I would bet the hiker was unaware of - and if so, she should share some of the culpability.

You folks should go read all of the "comments" being posted at the end of the article. Most of the ones from females are all soccer-mom, oh another Columbine kid type - totally against guns, etc. One was pondering what could be more dangerous than a kid with a rifle that has a scope. I almost joined just to say "A liberal politician that votes on bills they don't even read", but I didn't. It's a tragic accident, one that could have been prevented had BOTH sides been more aware of things. But the press will play for the knee-jerk reaction; remember - if it bleeds, it leads..........(besides they need to take the negative attention away from BO and the health care bill....:))

6-gunfun
July 21, 2009, 04:06 PM
first i wanna say im 15 i hunt by myself i know its not legal but ive been hunting rabbits since 10 i got a bb gun at 7 and i have a gun cabinet in my room so ive been around guns and hunting all my life and ive never shot myself one of my dogs or another person and it gets me mad that u all jump and get mad @ this kid because he acidentaly shot someone well people who are legal hunters have acidentaly shot other people so how is this any diffrent?

THE DARK KNIGHT
July 21, 2009, 04:08 PM
I have a feeling this wasn't so much about hunting as it was about two boys out in the woods playing with guns who said they were hunting when they got into this mess. There's a million videos on youtube of people (of all ages) fooling around in the woods irresponsibly with guns. Doesn't seem hard to believe that was really the case at all.

Just how all these idiots playing fast draw in the living room accidentally shoot themselves/the neighbor/dog/etc. and all of a sudden they were "cleaning the gun and it went off"

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 04:09 PM
Ok, more facts for this case: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.042

RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii) shall not apply to any person under the age of eighteen years who is: ...

(5) In an area where the discharge of a firearm is permitted, is not trespassing, and the person either:
(a) Is at least fourteen years of age, has been issued a hunter safety certificate, and is using a lawful firearm other than a pistol; or
(b) is under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or other adult approved for the purpose by the parent or guardian;


So no worries about <14 y/o's legally hunting unsupervised in WA.

Everyone in your list, except for the 14 year old, won't be able to own a firearm again after a manslaugher conviction.

This goes back to prior restraint, as conwict mentioned.

Lots of cows and horses got killed by hunters. Ever think some mischievous people (not necessarily hunters or kids) did that on purpose?

I will fall in line with the others. Pushing for sweeping youth-hunting reform is not the answer to this. Training, supervision, and common-sense is.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 04:13 PM
Something I would bet the hiker was unaware of - and if so, she should share some of the culpability.

The article does not say exactly where she was, but Skagit County is not the middle of nowhere by any stretch of the imagination. There are lots and lots of pockets of state land up there, and local kids can get to presuming that if their family farm borders state land, the state land is the same as their own. It probably never occured to the kid that he might not be alone.

Ever think some mischievous people (not necessarily hunters or kids) did that on purpose?


Just that it always happens during hunting season when anything brown and moving must be a deer. My parents where farmers, the local farming community always took note of hunting season for a reason.

I have a feeling this wasn't so much about hunting as it was about two boys out in the woods playing with guns who said they were hunting when they got into this mess.
Frankly that is why I put "hunting" in quotes. Is there anything but his word on the hunting bit?

i know its not legal but ive been hunting rabbits since 10
You understand that you are breaking the law but are choosing to do it anyway. Some might say you have demonstraited that you are too young to exercise the judgement required to walk around, alone, on public land, with a loaded firearm. Others say you are fine.

gets me mad that u all jump and get mad @ this kid because he acidentaly shot someone
When it is your mother in the story, you will understand.

SuperNaut
July 21, 2009, 04:14 PM
All the people who think hunting alone on public land is kosher must also by logical extension believe that driving alone at any age is fine? Presumably after passing the driving test?

Any age? Hellz no, I think that drivers over the age of 60 need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

conw
July 21, 2009, 04:16 PM
[that it was hunting season is] Something I would bet the hiker was unaware of - and if so, she should share some of the culpability.

What does this even mean? She's dead, and was not intentionally impersonating a bear at any rate. And what does her awareness have to do with whether she is responsible in any way for BEING SHOT IN THE HEAD BY SOMEONE WHO FAILED TO PERFORM THE MOST BASIC, ESSENTIAL SAFETY TASK?

ArfinGreebly
July 21, 2009, 04:18 PM
Years of prison for the parents?

Seriously?

You mean, like when a 16-year-old has an accident with the family car, and we put his parents in jail?

Like that?

You know, sometimes an accident is just an accident.

Sometimes there isn't a "crime."

Sometimes there simply isn't a "punishment" that will fix a damned thing.

Sometimes in life, crap happens.

I'd hate to be the family of the woman who was shot, but I would not be looking to "take it out on someone."

The kid got introduced to manhood rather abruptly, and this will be a life changer for him.

I don't think there is any "punishment" that will "make it all okay" in this case.

If I were sitting on the Bench for this one, I'd be looking for some way to salvage this kid, not ruin his life.

Some kind of restitution might be appropriate.

If the kid had been felling a tree and it landed on a stranger, killing her, you wouldn't have people hollering for blood.

Punishing accidents doesn't buy us anything.

Learn from it. Make sure others learn from it. Try to heal those involved to whatever degree is possible.

Zoogster
July 21, 2009, 04:19 PM
Something I would bet the hiker was unaware of - and if so, she should share some of the culpability.

The woman shares no blame in being shot on a public trail because it was hunting season.
Hunters use public land, many types of hunting are open year long like some varmint hunting. Hunting season does not mean suddenly hikers need to change thier use of public land. It is not a shooting range, it is the wilderness. The presumption in the wilderness is not that anyone should always expect bullets to fly past them. The presumption is that hunters need to control where thier bullets go.
Some hunters, photographers or even members of PETA may be out there even making animal calls sounding just like the animal you are hunting. That does not make them in any way liable for your failure to follow the 4 rules.



Hunting in the fog means someone will need to be much closer to ID thier target both for safety and for humane shots even against the right target.
The shooter failed to do that in this case and he and his parents should be entirely liable for that failure. They should lose everything they have if it is necessary to pay the funeral costs, medical costs if any, and give some level of financial assistance to the family of the killed woman.
Sending your kid out to hunt with a firearm means you trust him with all your possessions, and should be willing to lose your assets if he makes a mistake.

Whether it is criminal is for the courts to decide, but there is absolute 100% civil liability for the boy's actions. In some states the parents have more liability for thier children than others. In others the child has all or most of the liability, and will retain whatever debt he owes for the number of years it takes to repay it.
Either way, he was 100% responsible for the actions he took.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 04:27 PM
aside from I am not lazy or drunk (thanks for the derogatory generalization of people you don't know... very media-like of you)

My question was a bit rude, but I am curious at the answer about why a 14 year old was (sent?) out to hunt alone. It seems like a father would want to be there?

At the bottom of this, I don't know that people below age 18 should not be able to hunt alone on public land. 10 is rediculus, 12 is rediculus, frankly 14 is too. But 16-18, in the right place? It might not bother me.

We have juvenile laws and juvenile punishments, however, for a reason.

conw
July 21, 2009, 04:28 PM
You mean, like when a 16-year-old has an accident with the family car, and we put his parents in jail?

Like that?


16 is the accepted age of personal responsibility with regard to cars. I personally don't see a need for such clear lines, but rather a self-regulating system where parents can grant their child permission to to a given activity, but with the courts set up to handle the case in such a way that greater negligence on the part of the parents (in preparing the child inadequately, or misjudging the child's skill) equals a harsher penalty.

You know, sometimes an accident is just an accident.

True. In my hypothetical, if the parents were able to demonstrate that they had reason to believe their son was responsible enough to handle a gun alone, and a reasonable person would agree, their liability would be limited. If they weren't, they would face proportionately greater penalties.

Punishing accidents doesn't buy us anything.

Yes it does. Deterrence. Some people make choices because they believe they know the right thing to do, and some people make choices based on the penalties or consequences of their actions. Most people fall right in the middle. I'm not advocating legislating morality, I'm advocating a system (with regard to ALL risky activities and minors insofar as parental responsibility) that reflects the reality of these situations: that there is no "clean line" (16 yrs old, or 18 yrs old) where a child goes from being NOT AT ALL RESPONSIBLE (a minor in current terminology) to TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE (an adult). Sure, we can stick to 18 as the max age for a minor, but a sliding scale before that age would reflect reality much better than the current system.

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 04:29 PM
Some parents work for a living.

Dave Workman
July 21, 2009, 04:29 PM
Kindrox:

I think your outrage is misplaced. Kids age 14 and older have been hunting on their own in Washington state for years. Decades, even. This is the first time in my memory that I can recall a kid of that age being involved in a fatal hunting mishap, so there were tens of thousands of OTHER kids who didn't do anything wrong.

What you're doing is the same thing the Brady bunch does: One guy with a gun, or a CPL, kills someone or commits a crime, we're suddenly all bad guys, that it?

I have written bunches about this incident. It was an aberration.

Officers'Wife
July 21, 2009, 04:32 PM
It goes back to basics, I know of some 10 years old that I would be absolutely comfortable with hunting without supervision. I know of some that are seniors in high school that scare me to death looking at rifles in a gun shop with the owner and adults watching them closely.

Perhaps it's a personal bias but all of the former are farm kids that have been given responsibility for either livestock or operating machinery. Both of the latter are town/city kids that have had everything handed to them without effort on their part.

In response to the story, hunting in a fog is irresponsible at any age. I can only hope there are dire consequences for both parents and child. Holding all children responsible would be even more irresponsible than the child's act.

Selena

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 04:35 PM
Years of prison for the parents?

Seriously?

You mean, like when a 16-year-old has an accident with the family car, and we put his parents in jail?

Arfin,

You can send your legally licensed 16 year old child to the store in your car. There is a process for doing this, and processes to handle accidents.

I don't think the outcome is the same if you hand your 14 year old the car keys and send him to the store. Would you want the outcome to be the same?

Do you seriously want me to be able to hand a gun to my child, send him out in public, and if he kills people, chalk it up to a learning experiance? I know you don't belive this. There are laws against negligence for a reason. You have a duty of care to your fellow man.

mcdonl
July 21, 2009, 04:35 PM
Maine rules read

"Hunters to be accompanied. Junior hunters (10 years of age or older and under 16) may hunt with firearms only in the presence of their parent or guardian or an adult who is at least 18 years of age. Any person who accompanies a junior hunter, other than the parent or guardian, must either possess a valid Maine hunting license or have successfully completed a hunter education course. That presence must be unaided by visual or audio enhancement devices, including binoculars and citizen band radios."

I have hunted with several of my nephews, and my oldest daughter when she was 10, after passing the safety course as well as my own "safety Course".... as indicated before, following the SIMPLE rules of handling firearms would have avoided this.... I know for a fact that I have seen the largest deer ever seen in the world SEVERAL times, but sadly I could not identify the target and backstop enough to take the shot.... :)

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 04:40 PM
Dave,

At age 14 I was living in Whatcom County, Washington, as a boy on a farm. I have had access to a loaded firearm in my house since age 9. I had no business on state land, alone and armed with a gun. If you want your kids to hunt by themselves, buy your own land. Otherwise, go with your 14 year old, or send him with an adult you trust.


following the SIMPLE rules of handling firearms would have avoided this

That is the root of the problem here. Don't expect KIDS to always follow simple rules. If kids could always follow simple rules, they would be called adults. You need to take responsibility if you give them a gun.

dirt_j00
July 21, 2009, 04:51 PM
I had no business on state land, alone and armed with a gun.
But you don't speak for all responsible 14 y/o hunters.

If you want your kids to hunt by themselves, buy your own land.

No -- if YOU don't want kids to hunt by themselves, get the law changed. This young man was engaged in a legal activity during the time of the accident.

If kids could always follow simple rules, they would be called adults.

No -- they would be called perfect, or at least responsible adults. Many irresponsible adults have shot people while hunting too. Adults don't get a pass.

Officers'Wife
July 21, 2009, 04:55 PM
That is the root of the problem here. Don't expect KIDS to always follow simple rules.

Blanket statements are seldom correct. Some kids, not all but some, can be expected to follow simple rules with proper training. If this were not the case, our species wouldn't have survived to the bronze age.

If kids could always follow simple rules, they would be called adults.

And yet the prisons are full of alleged adults that couldn't or wouldn't follow simple rules, yet after release they are afforded most of the assumptions of maturity as others their age.

Polar Express
July 21, 2009, 05:00 PM
Before I address anything about this 'debate', I wish to put it out there that this event in every was is a tragedy, one that I hope never occurs again. I am sad for the family of the lady that died, and sad for the young man that accidentally killed her, and his family. What a sad burden to carry. I genuinely feel bad for him.

That being said, I do not know this young fella, but it appears his parents thought he was responsible enough to hunt alone. I read the article written by the national writer on (msnbc I think it was) and many of the blog-type replies to the article. Many replies were stating that ‘one should be at least 16 to hunt alone’, some of them referenced the standard driving age of 16. From my point of view, this is where it gets muddy. More people die every year from unsafe auto driving than from firearms, (especially 'hunting specific' firearms accidents) so, to me, this clearly displays a flaw in their argument. I believe a car is far more dangerous than a firearm. On a regular basis, I see up-close and first hand what car accidents can do. But I don't believe there is an age where you automatically become responsible enough for any particular activity. To me this concept applies to consuming alcohol, driving, shooting, hunting, camping, serving in the military, getting married, or having a child. The key is our maturity level, which is heavily determined by parenting.

In this country, the age of legal accountability is 18 years old. We have chosen to draw a line at that point. That date can be debated for many pages, but that is for another time. So we've set this 'line' at 18 years, not 17 yrs, 364 days, but 18. Are variances made? Yes. (why, I have no idea, I'm not a lawyer) But ultimately, until a child reaches that 'date', the parents of said child are responsible for the actions of the child. (my argument in support of corporal punishment) Do I want the parents to be sued? No. It doesn't fix anything. Do I want the kid put in prison? No. I don't think he belongs there, not for this. It has been accepted from the beginning his act was not malicious, certainly strong in effect, but not malicious. I'm not a believer that a 'group hug' fixes things, but in this case it appears that in this kid's darkest time (now) is when he really needs mentorship and guidance (not cell-mates) if he's to learn from this and lead a healthy, productive life. I suspect he would benefit from counseling.

I know kids that were driving $250K combines when they were 10, (it would have been sooner if they could reach the pedals) and they were plenty mature to be issued a drivers license by 14. Because of my job, I also regularly see grown adults that should not be allowed outside without a safety harness and a helmet because they have no idea of personal responsibility or accountability for their actions. (My dad and I joke that there should be a test one must pass before being allowed to have a child!)

When I was a kid, I was raised around firearms. Safety was always paramount. I took a hunter safety course as soon as I was old enough. ..still have the card somewhere. I would have taken it sooner if the rules were different then. I did better on the exam than my dad did, and we still laugh about that. But in the household I was raised in, responsibility was a serious issue. Sadly, many homes now joke about it, and want the Gov't to legislate more rules to keep them safe.

I live not too far from where this happened. I too, grew up hunting in the Washington Cascades, albeit, most of my hunting was on the Eastern side, not Western, but our home was exactly in the foothills on the West side.

By the way, have we defined "alone" in this particular case? Was an adult 10 miles away, still at home, 100 yards on the next ridge, or 20 yards away in the draw? The terrain on the Western foothills of the Cascade range could mean that a supervising adult could be only 30 feet away around a couple bushes, and not be able to assist the shooter in identification or safe procedures. I went for several years with my dad, carrying nothing but a backpack.

Now, I feel bad for the family of the "hiker". (notice the quotes?;) ) I really do! There's no way to know for sure since she is no longer able to field questions, but her actions indicated she was not aware of hunting season or area, or perhaps she was but did not RESPECT what that meant. You want to go "hiking" during the hunting seasons? Then maybe it’s a smart idea to stay on well-marked trails, (she did not) and most importantly, wear something that clearly displays you are a human being (she was not). Should the hunter have been sure of his target? Yes. I suspect he thought he was, and he clearly was not.

Folks, freedom does not equal safety. The more rules we put in place, (or allow the gov't to put into place) the less freedom we have. And I firmly believe in this. That being said, part of me wants to support a mandatory rigorous hunter education and safety course ANYONE must pass before being issued a public-land hunting license/tag. (But I also firmly believe a much more comprehensive and demanding drivers’ education program should be mandatory before being allowed to acquire a public street drivers license.) As much as I hate to say it, I’m still not sure that hunting is a right, (certainly firearm ownership is), and driving is absolutely a privilege, not a right.

....just my thoughts on the matter,

Again, my thoughts and sympathies go out to the survivors of the lady, and the lad who will carry this burden around forever.

-PE

61chalk
July 21, 2009, 05:07 PM
Education not age is whats important....far more adults have shot an killed others in hunting accidents...are last VP almost killed someone, so does anyone want to ban hunting for adults...?....didn't think so. I was hunting alone long before I was a teen, had a great Dad that educated me.....I would rather hunt with a 12 yr. old that grew up with
guns than some one my age..48..that had just bought their first gun...anyone here want to hunt with the former VP...?...This was a terriable accident.

TheFallGuy
July 21, 2009, 05:17 PM
I think all parties involved are responsible here. Almli shouldn't have been hiking during hunting season. Perhaps she didn't know. A sign at the trailhead could inform hikers of hunting seasons. People should wear blaze orange to prevent being mistook for game whether they are hunting or not. The kid failed to ID his target properly. The conditions were foggy. How dense is the forest? The kid made a bad call. Any hunter could do it.

Zoogster
July 21, 2009, 05:29 PM
Now, I feel bad for the family of the "hiker". (notice the quotes? ) I really do! There's no way to know for sure since she is no longer able to field questions, but her actions indicated she was not aware of hunting season or area, or perhaps she was but did not RESPECT what that meant.

I think all parties involved are responsible here. Almli shouldn't have been hiking during hunting season.


You should go back and read my previous post. It is public land.
Some hunting is open all year long. The presumption is always that hunters are responsible for their rounds and where they go.
If hunters cannot live with that attitude then hunting will simply be banned in many areas, and others will restrict hikers. Cutting the land available to both to just a fraction. Who will get more? Well in some areas, like those not far from Seattle I imagine the designer coffee drinking, Prius driving, PETA member, "Green everything" types will get most of the land, and hunters will just be screwed.

There is hunting seasons for some animal types, but it is always a hunting season for something. Whether it is deer, bear, rabbit, or some varmint like coyotes or things considered pests.
Most of the population does not hunt, but they do own that public land.
With attitudes that expect people to watch out for hunters instead of hunters watching out for others, you will simply see many areas closed to hunting and reserved for the much larger number of tax paying citizens that drive out from their congested cities to recreate in the woods.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 05:51 PM
With attitudes that expect people to watch out for hunters instead of hunters watching out for others, you will simply see many areas closed to hunting and reserved for the much larger number of tax paying citizens that drive out from thier congested cities to recreate in the woods.

Golly, with rational thinking like that Zoog, you are going to get called anti-hunting :rolleyes: and accused of being a gun grabber :banghead:.

I think what Fallguy and a few others mean, is the public should not be on public land because then irresponsible shooters might get into trouble for their actions. Funny how we want the public to respect our gun rights, at least until we kill them. Then it's their fault!

sonier
July 21, 2009, 05:54 PM
wow..... look 50 years ago this didnt happen. near EVERY KID WHO HUNTED did so at a very young age. you go hunting and you shoot your first squirrel. you realize at that point wow it actually died. Kids arnt being taught any more on what happens when you shoot a gun. Parents are hiding guns instead of taking a kid to the range or there back yard and make sure the kids dont play with them. I think kids should be taught more at a younger age. instead of banning and controling access of guns lets give kids more responsibilities and reteach this generation. Stop hiding them and teach your kids or family or whoever you want about gun safety. i got that lecture very well when i was a kid.

Also has it ever occured to people these days that sometimes someone just wanted to shoot someone? it happens, maybe this kid actually wanted to kill this person. god forbid but it happens

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 06:55 PM
My point, which I did not articulate as clearly as I should, is that we give adults more freedoms than children because adults are capable of exercising good judgment, time in and time out. I didn't say they always do, but that they are capable. And as such we hold them to a higher standard then children when they fail to exercise good judgment and someone gets killed.

Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out. As such we restrict their freedoms but then also don't give them adult punishments when they fail.

My entire objection to the solo hunting of a 14 year old is the solo part. I understand that even with the presence of a responsible adult something bad might happen. But at least a very reasonable, responsible step was taken to prevent harm.

The only justification I have seen for allowing solo hunting of children is that bad things about it don't get reported in the news very often. Even if it is actually true that child solo hunting does not result in very many deaths, I don't see it as a justification. Many things children could be legally doing (but arn't allowed) probably would not result in deaths. For example, why not let children of any age marry, drive, travel, get abortions (legal some places I know!), sign contracts, smoke, drink, star in porn, have sex with adults, ect ect as long as the child was "educated" before hand?

Most of the things on that list would not result in very many deaths, are being done NOW by "responsible" children, and arn't being done very responsibly by some adults.

Ergo, under the logic espoused by pretty much everyone I see in favor of child solo hunting, those in favor of child solo hunting should be in favor of removing all age restrictions of just about everything on my list above. If you are, at least I can respect that you are consistent in your logic. If not, you would strike me as a hypocrite.

61chalk
July 21, 2009, 08:07 PM
Kindrox....help me out...are you saying immorral things like, child sex, child porn, child drinking is somehow similar with hunting? The above are immoral an Illegal, hunting alone
at a certain age is not illegal, nor proven immoral. Please explain how these got all lumped together...You've totally lost me here...???????

Gaiudo
July 21, 2009, 08:15 PM
My point, which I did not articulate as clearly as I should, is that we give adults more freedoms than children because adults are capable of exercising good judgment, time in and time out. I didn't say they always do, but that they are capable. And as such we hold them to a higher standard then children when they fail to exercise good judgment and someone gets killed.

Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out.


Blatantly and patently an untrue statement. Hunting is not rocket science, and by following basic rules can be extremely safe. Kids can be trusted to follow these rules just as well as adults. I don't think you understand the reality of a hunting situation. The complexity of driving a car in traffic is exponentially more complicated. This is proven by the thousands of kids that hunt like this year in and year out without incident.

A 12yo properly trained to basic hunting safety (four basic rules!!) is much safer than a 16yo on a public roadway with potentially hundreds of life-changing decisions at any given time.

ArfinGreebly
July 21, 2009, 08:18 PM
The only justification I have seen for allowing solo hunting of children is that bad things about it don't get reported in the news very often. Even if it is actually true that child solo hunting does not result in very many deaths, I don't see it as a justification. Many things children could be legally doing (but aren't allowed) probably would not result in deaths. For example, why not let children of any age marry, drive, travel, get abortions (legal some places I know!), sign contracts, smoke, drink, star in porn, have sex with adults, ect ect as long as the child was "educated" before hand?
That's quite the Straw Man argument you have there.

Children have hunted -- many of them solo -- for generations.

Most of the other things you suggest . . . not so much.

This kid broke a safety rule. There are a number of people I'd have a "remedial chat" with about this, including his parents and the guy who taught his Hunter Safety class.

The urge to DO SOMETHING to "fix the problem" is what results in sweeping, broad-brush legislation that causes all kinds of stupid collateral damage.

Let us not encourage that.

The system (if it can be called that) which we have used for generations is not "suddenly broken" because of this incident.

As a culture we accept certain risks in trade for certain freedoms. Every so often, one of those risks is confirmed by actual events. We drive. People are killed in car wrecks. We fly. People are killed in plane crashes. We boat and water ski. People drown and otherwise killed. We hunt. People are killed by stray and wrongly aimed gunfire. We skydive. People are killed by equipment failures and bad luck. We climb mountains and explore caves. People are killed in falls and cave-ins.

We do what we can to minimize injury and death as we pursue happiness through our work and recreation.

It's tempting to buy into the "if it just saves ONE life" reasoning, but that's a hugely flawed argument that presumes safety and security are the ultimate goal of living. They are not. A complete absence of risk is not "living."

It is necessary for the continued survival of the human race that self sufficiency be taught to children as early as possible. Hunting is very much a part of that. There will always be risks.

As a society, over the last forty years or so, we have managed to prolong adolescence and the irresponsibilities of youth until nearly age 30 -- and, in some instances, beyond that. We have allowed ourselves to accept this concept that "children can't be responsible" and have gone to ever-greater lengths to protect them from real life. As you may have surmised, that's not working out well as a social and cultural pattern.

"More protecting" isn't the answer. Better training is.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 08:20 PM
I didn't put the list together as a moral play, just things that, using the justifications for solo child hunting as put forth in this thread, could also be justified under the same reasons.

Namely, things that

A. An adult is ligally doing it irresponsibly
B. At least one child is doing "responsibly" what ever that means to the poster
C. Something that is not killing a significant portion of the children that participate.

Again, I'll try to be as clear as I can. If solo child hunting is justified by A, B, and C, then using the same rationals A, B, C, some or possibly all of my list is also justified for children.

RoostRider
July 21, 2009, 08:43 PM
I know I shouldn't reply to the trolling.... but.....

My question was a bit rude, but I am curious at the answer about why a 14 year old was (sent?) out to hunt alone. It seems like a father would want to be there?

You seem to do a great job of making up imaginary stories to fill the holes all by yourself....

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 21, 2009, 09:51 PM
I agree; they should be supervised, particularly with a centerfire, if under 14 or 15. Maybe under 11 or 12 with a .22.

Most importantly, hunter safety education course must also be taken and passed, and maybe even a refresher course required again when 17, or something like that. Did this kid pass hunter safety education at 14? No kid should ever be hunting in the woods, ever, with or without a supervising adult, without having first passed the required hunter safety education course. I have a hard time believing this kid took such a course, and still made such a terribly negligent mistake. There needs to be a test administered at the end of the course day, too, with a pass/fail grading.

I also think that in places where hikers are allowed to roam alongside hunters on public lands, (a) the hikers should be warned that hunting is occurring there, and (b) they should be strongly encouraged to wear hunter orange, and waive responsibility as far as sueing the state, if they choose to not wear hunter orange. Obviously, they cannot and should not waive responsibility as to a negligent hunter.

Truly a tragic, tragic deal on all fronts. :(

Savage Shooter
July 21, 2009, 11:18 PM
Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out.
:fire: that has got to be the stupidest thing I have heard anyone say EVER:cuss:
I had no business on state land, alone and armed with a gun.
That's YOU not the rest of the world's kids you can make the call about you and your family. The rest of us will make the call for ourselves.
Just because someone else has an accident doesn't mean that all kids are incapable of hunting responsibly by themselves. I was shooting and hunting by myself at a early age. I have seen many kids I would trust much more than quite a few adults.

Kindrox
July 21, 2009, 11:28 PM
that has got to be the stupidest thing I have heard anyone say EVER

If that is the stupidest thing you have ever heard anyone say ever, then I presume you 100% agree with it's logical opposite:

Children ALWAYS have good judgment, every time they make a decision. And presuming you agree that a 14 year old is a child, then you must belive that the 14 year old in this story excercised good judgment when he, hunting in the fog, shot the lady in the head.

I guess that is why children are known for only having to tell them something once, always foreseeing negative consequences to their actions, and exhibiting the peek in rational behavior :rolleyes:

Gaiudo
July 22, 2009, 12:37 AM
Kindrox, you are decending into logical fallacies. In an A/B relationship, just because A is not true, does not mean B is true. This is quite simply silly at best, and intentionally deceptive at worse.

Let's look at your logic:

Adults are capable of exercising good judgment, time in and time out.

Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out.

When this statement was challenged, you stated that the ONLY logical alternative would be that Children ALWAYS have good judgment, every time they make a decision, and so because when the youngster "shot the lady in the head" it proves that he was incapable of making good judgment. To quote, you stated that:

that has got to be the stupidest thing I have heard anyone say EVER

in response to

Children, as a class of citizenry, are not capable exercising good judgment, time in and time out.

warranted the logic of

I presume you 100% agree with it's logical opposite:

Children ALWAYS have good judgment, every time they make a decision. And presuming you agree that a 14 year old is a child, then you must belive that the 14 year old in this story excercised good judgment when he, hunting in the fog, shot the lady in the head.

You are claiming that either A or B must be true, therefore setting the reader on the horns of a dilemma of your own making: either they are CAPABLE of making a good decision, or else they are INCAPABLE, and therefore the one bad decision seems to prove that all children are incapable of good decisions.

However, we see this logic disproven in the HUNDREDS of cases where adults shoot others in hunting scenarios with shotguns, bows, and rifles. So, let me take your logic, but flipped, with a story that appeared just a few months ago during bow season:


"Adults ALWAYS have good judgment, every time they make a decision. And presumably one must belive (sic) that the 35 year old in this story excercised (sic) good judgment when he, hunting in deep woods, shot his son in the heart with a broadhead arrow.

And so, somehow, this proves that adults are incapable of good and consistent decision making?

How silly.

If ADULTS were always capable of good judgment, does that mean the logical opposite is that "Adults are always INCAPABLE of bad judgment?" Of course not. We see adults make stupid decisions all the time, and very bright decisions all the time.

To turn the horns of the dilema: both adult and "child" can make stupid decisions, and in hunting scenarios in the real world we see a great deal more examples of bad decisions with adults than we do with children hunters. This might be do to the paucity of child hunters, or perhaps to their care for following orders from adults, but that's another debate. Does this statistic, however, prove that adults are incapable of good decisions? Of course not. Simply that people at times make bad decisions.

A proper approach would be to say that if a youngster has demonstrated good judgment, obedience, and care for the four rules, he can be trusted to exercise good judgment in general when hunting. There is no reason to believe that he will suddenly disregard what he has been taught the moment he is out of sight. This goes for an adult; if, on the other hand, an adult has demonstrated poor judgment, disregard for the rules, and general lack of care, of course one would expect that this would be the pattern with a gun in his hand.

Many many children I've witnessed have a deep and abiding care for the rules set out by their elders, and carefully follow them. Many of them are the safest hunters I've ever seen. I deeply believe that they will continue to act as such, having established a pattern of respect, obedience, and responsibility.

Your argumentation, and quite frankly the more you talk and your use of such logical fallacies convinces me that you are more a troll than in an honest debate. Please use honest argumentation or else be treated accordingly.

Kindrox
July 22, 2009, 01:06 AM
Since you have done a deep analysis on the flaws of my flip response to Savages’ silly post, perhaps you could expand on the fallacies of general "pro" position:

1. Some children are generally responsible.
2. Some adults are less responsible then some children.
3. Adults can solo hunt.
4. Therefore it is a good idea for all children to solo hunt.

Now I am sure you will take exception with the wording of #4, is a good idea for all children, but that is the law I am criticizing.
Currently, it is legal for all children to solo hunt in the state of Washington.

I still have not heard a good reason for why the need for solo hunting. Again, I am not asking for dad's hands to be on the gun, just that the child knows dad is around. Don't tell me kids act the same on their own versus dad there. The only real reason given so far is maybe dad is too busy. I bet this kid's dad would now be willing to free up some time.

My guess is many of the people in the strong pro position live in lake wobegon and have extreemly above-average kids. The reality of the situations is probably something less.

I wish I had time for the following experiment. It would be awesome to find out where some of you "pros" hunt, and put up signs "Warning, children hunting unsupervised". And then watch your faces as you drove up, looked at the signs, and then your buddies, and drove away! Priceless when the abstract become your reality!

bejay
July 22, 2009, 07:00 AM
not saying there shouldnt be an age limit, but would say that most 14 year olds is probably quite capable of hunting solo I know I did and many others that posted did also when they was that age. if it was an adult that shot a person they mistaked for a bear would you of even started this thread?
while unfortuanate, accidents do happen and a law restricting age is not really going to prevent them from happening, a hunter safety course would come closer to helping by teaching hunters to identify there target and be aware of whats behind there target but even that is not enough sometimes.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 22, 2009, 12:20 PM
You know, sometimes an accident is just an accident.

Yep, and this ain't one of 'em. An 'accident' that is JUST an accident, implies one where no negligence is involved. This is an "accident" by most definitions of that word, but it's not "just" an accident; but rather one involving negligence; in fact, gross negligence.

I do NOT think this one rises to the level of holding the parent's liable, at all. The result as to the kid is about right here, IMO. He will suffer for life from guilt, since he appears to have a conscience, so no need to lock the boy up for years; he's a kid after all. But there still needs to be formal repercussions for such grossly negligent misidentification.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2009, 12:23 PM
bejay, that's a good closing statement for this four pages. There is another thread now running, so folks who have comments can go to that one.

And hold down the emotions; think twice, post once. :)

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