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May 15, 2013, McGlinn & McGlinn - Attorneys at Law,

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May 15, 2013, McGlinn & McGlinn - Attorneys at Law‎

- Brenda Spencer, who had just turned 16 when her offense occurred, had .... No more hurt, no more pain, no more emotion, no more anything. .... than 16, it is illegal if you abuse the sexual self-determination of the victim.

A14-year- old boy is tired of being bullied at school. He believes certain students and teachers are responsible for the bullying or, by their inaction, allow the bullying to continue. He drops an anonymous note in a peer-reviewed “bully box” at school detailing how he is being bullied. Students who read the note recognize the note must have come from the minor and talk to him. The minor tells them he plans to smuggle in a gun to school to kill certain students and staff and any attackers. The students immediately report these comments to the administration. The minor is brought in and questioned by administrators. He admits he made these statements and had this plan but he was not going to actually do it. The police are immediately notified. The minor’s parents are shocked to hear about his plan and allow the police to search the minor’s room and their home. They search for guns, ammunition, weapons, and written comments and drawings done by the minor. The boy is immediately suspended from school pending an expulsion. He is later arrested and incarcerated in Juvenile Hall. Psychological evaluations are ordered. The parents want their son detained at home. His attorney tells them they have to rid the home of all guns, ammunition, and any and all weapons for the court to consider releasing their son to their home. The minor is charged in Juvenile Court with multiple felony counts of California Penal Code section 422, Threatening Crime with Intent to Terrorize. He is charged with a number of counts because he specifically mentioned a number of people he intended to kill. Under California sentencing law, the maximum time in custody he could potentially face would be three years for the first count and an additional 8 months for each subsequent count.

Two months prior to this incident, the minor’s grandmother bought her grandson and his father a .22 rifle to shoot thinking it would be a bonding experience for them. In the police and probation reports, it was highlighted that the minor had access to the 22. rifle and its ammunition at home. Brenda Spencer, who had just turned 16 when her offense occurred, had access to the .22 rifle and the ammunition she had received as a Christmas gift when she killed the principal and custodian and wounded eight children at the school across the street from her home. She is serving a life sentence in prison.

We represent minors who have come under the same scrutiny for pictures they have drawn of violence, guns, and death. Also, minors can make impulsive comments to fellow students or teachers about wanting to kill someone. We are seeing more of these types of comments being reported from Facebook and Twitter entries resulting in school suspension, expulsion proceedings and Juvenile Court proceedings. Recently Instagram has become a place for minors to post pictures trying to impress one another with their outrageousness. A picture of a minor posturing with guns invites a great deal of concern.

Our law firm has handled a number of gun related cases. The most newsworthy and tragic case was the 1979 shooting by 16-year-old Brenda Spencer in San Diego, CA. From her home using a .22 rifle she received as a Christmas present, she shot at an elementary school playground across the street. She killed the principal and the custodian, wounded eight children, and shot a young police officer leaving a bullet so close to his spine it was inoperable. We represented a teenager whose home was pelted with eggs and rocks. He grabbed his parents loaded gun and chased the kids in his car. After cornering them in a cul de sac, he fired several rounds as one of the boys exited their car hitting him in the arm and shoulder. We have represented teenagers for homicide for playing with guns and shooting one of their friends. We have represented a number of young people accused of bringing guns to school or threatening to bring guns to school.

In nearly all the cases, the parents did not believe having a gun in the home was a danger to their kids or that their kids would use the gun inappropriately. Even guns other than firearms are a danger to children. “In one urban pediatric trauma center, between 1988 and 1995, six children per year (median age eleven) were hospitalized from air gun injuries. Thirty-eight percent of them had serious long-term disabilities as a result of their injuries.”

Since the Brenda Spencer incident in1979 in San Diego, there are a number of adolescents who have opened fire at schools and at students. How can we ever forget what happened in April 1999 in Littleton, CO, when two heavily armed seniors stormed Columbine High School, killing thirteen people and wounding another twenty-eight. In March 2001, a fifteen-year-old high school student in Santee, CA, fired thirty rounds from his father’s .22 caliber revolver, killing two students and wounding thirteen others. The list could go on and on.

How old do you believe a child must be before he can shoot a gun and cause terrible damage? Enrique Chavez, a now retired Los Angeles police officer, was paralyzed from the waist down when his 3-year old son shot him with his service revolver. He is in the process of suing Glock Inc. claiming the Glock 21 pistol lacks adequate safeguards against accidental discharge.

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Saved by stevenwarran

on Jul 29, 13