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Posted: 7/27/2001 11:47:34 AM EST
I didn't see this posted. Remember, it is for the children. [url]http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.olesker26jul26.column?coll=bal%2Dhome%2Dcolumnists[/url] Who'll take responsibility for shootings of children? Michael Olesker Originally published Jul 26, 2001 Michael Olesker JOHN JOSEPH Price is part of our national haunting now, one of the American children killed by one of the other American children because a gun happened to be handy. His name, already a newspaper headline, will become a courtroom case number. Great debates will take place in his absence, arguments flung across the radio airwaves to fill time between the commercials. All that will be lost is the boy's humanity. His mother, Carole Price, tried to hold onto that yesterday, the day after she and her husband, John, filed suit in Baltimore Circuit Court. The morning newspaper headline said they are seeking $6 million. Carole Price, knowing the legal odds are long, said she is seeking something bigger than $6 million: accountability. And memory. "I think, 'What would he look like now?'" she said yesterday of her lost son. "He'd be getting ready to drive a car. He'd be 16. I think about him going to school. I think about all the things I'm not going to be able to do with him. I feel really cheated. He was taken from me, and nobody asked me first. I don't know how to let it go. I don't think I could let him go. I think I should miss him forever." Next month will be three years since John, then 13, was killed by a 9-year-old who found a loaded 9 mm handgun at a White Marsh townhouse. John had gone there, his mother said, to visit the younger boy for a few minutes before returning home for dinner. Two younger children were also there. The 9-year-old boy's father was renting a room at the house. "We were friendly as neighbors," Carole Price said. "You know, you wave when you see them, the kids play outside together. We were neighbors. And then, nothing. John died at 4:21 in the afternoon. They moved out at 3 o'clock the following morning. We've never had contact. They never said a word. If my child killed another child, I'd go on my hands and knees and beg forgiveness. We never heard anything." In the 16-count lawsuit filed Tuesday, the Price family seeks damages from the gun's manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Co. of Southport, Conn., claiming product liability, negligence and breach of warranty. Damages are sought against the gun company, the Fallston pawnshop where the gun was purchased - and the 9-year-old boy and his father. "I would like someone to have said, 'Your child died in my home because of my negligence,'" Carole Price said. "I would like some kind of acknowledgement, some kind of apology. If we had gotten that kind of apology, then this kind of lawsuit might have been prevented." But there are no apologies, and there are no acknowledgements, in the endless debate over guns. The gun runners, and all their knights-errant, dig in their heels as the body counts rise. They couch their arguments in the Constitution, in legal technicalities, in warped logic that insists that the more killing power we have, the safer we are. And they fight even the smallest gestures of compromise, insisting that each safety measure that might save lives is instead a veiled attempt to dismantle an entire industry, and a national nostalgia for weaponry.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 11:48:20 AM EST
But we have these figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About 40 percent of American households with children have guns in the house, and about half of those guns are kept loaded and unlocked. "Sooner or later," Carole Price said, "somebody's going to have to get to these people, to say to them, 'You've got to do something with these guns in your house.'" Because, she said, not all gun owners act responsibly, "and we have kids dying in the meantime." Her voice failed her for a moment now, and Carole Price paused to compose herself. "And that," she said, "is where I feel that I failed John. And it haunts me. Because I never asked my neighbor if he had guns. And, in this country, that has to be a part of your parenting skills. You have to walk down to your neighbor and say, 'Do you have guns in the house? Are they locked up? Are they loaded?' And you have to make a choice then, about whether to let your children play in that kind of a house. "And I've heard people's reaction to that. They say, 'Gee, it's uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable to put your neighbor on the spot like that.' Well, guess what? It's uncomfortable to pick out a headstone and a casket for your child. And I don't want any more families to go through this." Now Carole Price's mind went back to that awful day when her son's life ended. "It was 4:21 in the afternoon," she said again. "It's ironic, that's the exact time of day he was born, 4:21 in the afternoon. It's like he completed something." She knows better. Her son's life was just beginning. His life was taken by a gun, but also by the stupidity of an adult who left that gun loaded and within reach, and it was taken by a kind of national intransigence: two sides dug in, screaming at each other across a battleground, and more lives being taken until some kind of truce is found. Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 12:42:54 PM EST
Translation (trust me, I'm a lawyer): Nothing will bring my baby back, but it would be easier to bear if I got a mansion and a yacht. As the responsible parties (the murderer who pulled the trigger and his criminally negligent parents who left the weapon where he could get it) could NEVER pay a substantial money judgment, I am morally wishy washy enough to accept that anyone remotely involved in the production, sale, or distribution of an object misused in the murder can pay me millions to assuage my sorrow.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 12:55:55 PM EST
In the 16-count lawsuit filed Tuesday, the Price family seeks damages from the gun's manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Co. of Southport, Conn., claiming product liability, negligence and breach of warranty. Damages are sought against the gun company, the Fallston pawnshop where the gun was purchased - and the 9-year-old boy and his father.
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Product liability? Give me a break. This crap is getting real old. Where the hell to they get 'negligence and breach of warranty'?
She knows better. Her son's life was just beginning. His life was taken by a gun, but also by the stupidity of an adult who left that gun loaded and within reach, and it was taken by a kind of national intransigence: two sides dug in, screaming at each other across a battleground, and more lives being taken until some kind of truce is found.
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Her son's life was not taken by a gun. I love the way they blame the battle over Second Amendment rights and 'more lives being taken' is such a load, makes me want to [puke] I will agree on the part about the stupidity of the adult leaving a loaded gun within reach.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 1:00:58 PM EST
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