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Boy with toy gun killed by police

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  #1    
Old October 29th, 2013 (1:44 PM).
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About a week ago not too far from where I live there was a 13-year old kid shot and killed by police because he was carrying a toy gun. The toy didn't have the orange tip laws here say it must have and the boy didn't put it down when confronted by police.

[Here is a link to an article about it - Here is text of the article:

Spoiler:
US boy carrying replica gun shot dead by California police

A 13-year-old boy carrying a replica assault rifle has been shot dead by police in the US state of California.

Officers in the city of Santa Rosa say they opened fire after the boy refused orders to drop the rifle, which they believed to be real.

The shooting on Tuesday is now being investigated.

It comes a day after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada shot dead a maths teacher at his school and wounded two fellow pupils before taking his own life.

In the latest incident, two sheriff's deputies saw the teenager "with what appeared to be some type of rifle", a news release from the Sonoma County Sheriff's office said.

The deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered the boy to drop the gun before firing several rounds from their handguns, police said.

The boy, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was later identified by his family as Andy Lopez.

"He was holding the weapon in his left hand. He began to turn toward his right in the direction of the deputy, and in so doing he moved the gun toward the deputy, and the deputy's mindset was that he was fearful he would be shot," Lt Paul Henry of Santa Rosa police said.

But the boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez said the shooting made no sense. "My son lost his life. He's not alive any more just because of the mistake of somebody."

The replica gun had belonged to a friend, he said.

The sheriff's office said a plastic handgun had also been found in the boy's waistband.

Witness Brian Zastrow told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat he heard seven shots.

"First, I heard a single siren and within seconds I heard seven shots go off, sounded like a nail gun," he said.

One man who saw the events unfold said the shooting was over in an instant.

"He pulled over to the kid walking and he just opened the door and shot him, three shots," Ismael Mondragon told KGO-TV.

Police Lt Dennis O'Leary said the deputies had been placed on administrative leave pending the inquiry.

Sheriff Steve Freitas described the shooting as a "tragedy" and promised the investigation would be thorough and transparent.

"As a father of two boys about this age, I can't begin to imagine the grief this family is going through," he said.

A spokeswoman for the boy's school described him as "a very loved student, a very popular, very handsome young man, very smart and capable".

Linsey Gannon, assistant principal at Lawrence Cook Middle School, said he played trumpet in the school band.

"Our community has been rocked by his loss," she said.

Candles, teddy bears and flowers have since been left at the scene of the shooting.

"He was a good kid, he was 13 years old. He didn't look like a man, Andy, he was a boy," one friend told local media.

On Monday, a 12-year-old boy who has not been named opened fire at a school in Sparks, Nevada, killing maths teacher and Afghanistan veteran Michael Landsberry.

Police said Mr Landsberry had tried to coax the boy to drop the gun, enabling children in the playground to flee.

The boy then shot and injured two fellow pupils, before taking his own life on the outdoor basketball court.

President Barack Obama has recently renewed calls for changes to US gun laws following a series of deadly shootings. However, the BBC's Alastair Leithead in Los Angeles says the proposals face fierce resistance.


So... thoughts? Is this police negligence/brutality? Bad circumstances? What about whether kids should have toy guns and parents' responsibility?
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  #2    
Old October 29th, 2013 (1:51 PM).
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Well... this is really a two sided story.
1) the police sshoudn't be firing at a friggin 13 year old just because he has a gun, they should first try and get the kid to put it down instead of treating him like an adult criminal.

2) who in heaven lets his 13 year old walk on the streets with a replica gun that looks real when you know there has been a wave of these kind of incidents over the past year?!

In my opinion there is no "right side" here...
Sad to see that they actually killed the boy, it gives the whole incident way more tension than it should have..
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Old October 29th, 2013 (5:26 PM).
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    The police DID ask him to drop the gun and he didn't flinch.

    --

    The problem we have here is the Shoot to Kill mentality police have. Police are meant to ENFORCE the law, not BE the law.

    Tasers and electric batons, with training in Judo and Baguazhang, are all police need. The weapons only stun the opponent, Judo helps you disable the person themself, and Baguazhang helps you control the environment. Due to Baguazhang, the more police at one opponent, the better the area is controlled. They then only would need electric batons, and would generate the Ring of Fire tactic - forcing the opponent to give up.

    ^ This idea came up based on how the police USED to operate and simply SUBDUES the opponent, allowing capture rather than senseless death.

    Police DO NOT need Shoot to Kill, or any lethal weapons or techniques period, in order to ENFORCE the law.
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    Old October 29th, 2013 (6:00 PM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
      The police DID ask him to drop the gun and he didn't flinch.

      --

      The problem we have here is the Shoot to Kill mentality police have. Police are meant to ENFORCE the law, not BE the law.

      Tasers and electric batons, with training in Judo and Baguazhang, are all police need. The weapons only stun the opponent, Judo helps you disable the person themself, and Baguazhang helps you control the environment. Due to Baguazhang, the more police at one opponent, the better the area is controlled. They then only would need electric batons, and would generate the Ring of Fire tactic - forcing the opponent to give up.

      ^ This idea came up based on how the police USED to operate and simply SUBDUES the opponent, allowing capture rather than senseless death.

      Police DO NOT need Shoot to Kill, or any lethal weapons or techniques period, in order to ENFORCE the law.
      I completely agree. This could have been solved much less gruesomely if a cop had just decided to shoot him with a tazer instead of killing him.
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      Old October 29th, 2013 (7:20 PM).
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        Whenever I see stories like these, I don't know what to think. It always seems like the police have one story, then the witnesses have another story. I'm always careful about approaching these stories and making up my mind because there doesn't seem to be a right side.

        In the police man's defense, the gun probably looked real. If what he says is true, then the kid had plenty of warnings to put the gun down. If the kid actually started turning towards the officer and raised the gun up, then the officer should have the right to shoot. Shoot to kill? Probably not, I would have thought a shot to the leg or arm would have sufficed.

        On the other side, we have a kid shot dead. Witnesses say that the kid was shot almost immediately after the officer pulled over. However, the witnesses also can't agree on the number of shots fired, and I would think something like that would have been scarred in their memories. Should the kid have been walking around with two fake guns? Definitely not, but he also should not have been killed.

        I think this was a misunderstanding gone wrong, horribly wrong. The kid should not have been roaming around with the toy gun and should have put it down when the officer said to. However, I don't think the officer should have tried to kill the boy. One or two shots to disable the kid would have worked out a lot better for everyone, but several shots? I think that's a little excessive, even if the people can't seem to agree on the exact number of shots.
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        Old October 29th, 2013 (8:17 PM).
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          I don't know what to think when I hear about stories such as these, it's just a inevitability of America's gun culture really.
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          Old October 29th, 2013 (8:31 PM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by goldengyarados View Post
            I don't know what to think when I hear about stories such as these, it's just a inevitability of America's gun culture really.
            Right. Because guns kill people.

            Let's just give everyone bombs instead. That'll solve EVERYTHING.
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            Old October 29th, 2013 (10:19 PM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
            Right. Because guns kill people.

            Let's just give everyone bombs instead. That'll solve EVERYTHING.
            That's not even close to what he meant.
            look around, take europe for example. Guns are prohibited here and we only have like 3 shooting incidents a year!

            what he meant is: allowing guns to be bought for everyone is a really bad decision and prohibiting them proves to have effect.
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            Old October 29th, 2013 (11:11 PM).
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              I understand that America recently had some killings from children (quite alot actually) involving guns. The police asked him to drop the weapon, he refused, they asked him again he refused and so on. If the Police hadn't shot him and he was carrying a real assault rifle it would be a different story. I do not understand why they needed to shoot repeatedly are tasers not long enough? In all honesty I believe it was the boys fault, if a police officer asks me to do something I will do it unless it is out of the ordinary like if they ask to enter my house, I will ask for a warrant if they don't have it close the door and lock it before calling the Police.

              A smart idea is, is to have everyone armed with a gun they must have it concealed because people will get edgy even innocent people. Now how it works is, a nut job isn't going to draw his weapon and shoot because everyone around him will draw their weapon and so on. Yes we are giving guns to nutjobs but to people who will use them in self defence, a police officer only uses his/her gun if they feel in danger or people around them are. the crime would go down.
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              Old October 29th, 2013 (11:26 PM).
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                I'm trying to think of a perspective which makes the Police shooting the child rational. No matter what way I look at it, I can't seem to understand why they would shoot the boy fatally.
                I understand that the rifle looked real and the police felt threatened. The child did not drop the rifle toy when told. However, it would make far more sense to me if the police used a taser. If they did not have a taser, they could have still disarmed the boy by shooting him in the arm or shoulder. There's absolutely NO way I can see the police shooting him dead as the only option. A child lost their life because Police shot him fatally without a good reason.
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                Old October 30th, 2013 (1:45 AM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Batty View Post
                I'm trying to think of a perspective which makes the Police shooting the child rational. No matter what way I look at it, I can't seem to understand why they would shoot the boy fatally.
                I understand that the rifle looked real and the police felt threatened. The child did not drop the rifle toy when told. However, it would make far more sense to me if the police used a taser. If they did not have a taser, they could have still disarmed the boy by shooting him in the arm or shoulder. There's absolutely NO way I can see the police shooting him dead as the only option. A child lost their life because Police shot him fatally without a good reason.
                My thoughts exactly.
                I dont know where they hit him but definitely not in the arm or shoulder. Apparently police officers are still not trained enough for aiming at the legs, arms or shoulders depending on the situation.

                Using a taser however, is just as dangerous as using a gun. On an adult the risks of using a taser are way smaller than when you're using it on a child. If the title said "police tased 13 year old with replica gun to death" wouldn't make the discussion any different.

                But to make a long story short: where ever the officer tried to aim, he failed miserably...
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                Old October 30th, 2013 (3:02 AM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
                The police DID ask him to drop the gun and he didn't flinch.

                --

                The problem we have here is the Shoot to Kill mentality police have. Police are meant to ENFORCE the law, not BE the law.

                Tasers and electric batons, with training in Judo and Baguazhang, are all police need. The weapons only stun the opponent, Judo helps you disable the person themself, and Baguazhang helps you control the environment. Due to Baguazhang, the more police at one opponent, the better the area is controlled. They then only would need electric batons, and would generate the Ring of Fire tactic - forcing the opponent to give up.

                ^ This idea came up based on how the police USED to operate and simply SUBDUES the opponent, allowing capture rather than senseless death.

                Police DO NOT need Shoot to Kill, or any lethal weapons or techniques period, in order to ENFORCE the law.
                They may not need to, but that is what they're trained to do.

                If someone doesn't put down a weapon, when requested, and then approaches, you shoot to kill and until you're empty.

                May not be great, but the rules were followed here. The problem starts higher up in the chain. Not a frontline problem.
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                Old October 30th, 2013 (3:05 AM).
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                  I can't really take a side in this. In one hand, it is a law that all toy guns need to have a cap on it and with the timing of the incident, the Officer probably was thinking the worse. On the other hand, the Officer should not have went strait for his gun, especially if there were other officers nearby. He should have been trying to get the kid to put the gun down. When I used to have airsoft fights with my friends (they are like BB guns), we always made sure to carry them so that it would be impossible to mistaken them for real guns. We have bright orange spray paint on the tips and all that. A cop walked up to me to check the weapon once, but he never even reached for his side, he just walked up and kindly asked me to hand him the weapon.

                  TL;DR I think both parties are to blame. It was stupid for the kid to carry around realistic looking weapons without any indication that they were fake. The officer also should not have been so quick to use his gun. Although unfortunate and sad, this is just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (?).
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                  Old October 30th, 2013 (3:27 AM).
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                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
                  Right. Because guns kill people.

                  Let's just give everyone bombs instead. That'll solve EVERYTHING.
                  Pretty sure that's not what he meant.

                  As a country, we do need better gun control laws. We're never going to have total control over public shootings, but if we could get a tighter reign on it, then at least we can lessen the likelihood of it happening.

                  However, this situation is a bit different in my opinion. It doesn't have so much to do with public gun laws as it does with the rules and limits as to when it's the right call for a police officer to fire his or her gun and the importance of a parent sitting down with their child and discussing how guns aren't a thing to joke around with, even if it is a toy. Also, explain the importance of the orange tip on a toy gun and why it's there for a reason.

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by mr.Alpha View Post
                  My thoughts exactly.
                  I dont know where they hit him but definitely not in the arm or shoulder. Apparently police officers are still not trained enough for aiming at the legs, arms or shoulders depending on the situation.
                  To be fair, shooting the arm or leg is a much harder target than the larger portion of the body especially if said target is moving. However, I agree, if a police officer can't at least have better success rate at shooting these lesser lethal areas then there obviously needs to be a better training program involved.
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                  Old October 30th, 2013 (3:50 AM).
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                  No. You shoot to kill. If anyone points what even looks like a real gun at you, you will aim to kill them as fast as possible and end the threat to your life. Shooting someone in the arm or leg will not incapacitate them, instead they will go ape crazy and shoot back. It's a sad loss of life but if everything the officers say is true then there was nothing else to do. Tasers, mace etc are relatively short range weapons, to the guy that thinks cops can do their jobs with kung fu and tazers their will always be a need to meet guns with guns. And America has a lot of guns.

                  And Chuckles, I find that gung ho mentality incredibly flawed, like the Wild West in movies, was it safe there because every Joe was packing a six shooter? No, it just means more people end up dying. Look at advanced European countries and Australia/NZ for gun safety laws, not Clint Easwood getting into Saloon shootouts.
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                  Old October 30th, 2013 (7:54 AM).
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                  There is no need to uses deadly force on a 13 year old. You could easily incapaciate and disarm the individual if they actually did have a weapon. Rubber bullets? A shot to non-vital areas of the body? Shoot an average 13 year in the arm and they will go down and you can take away the 'gun'.

                  And what exactly do they mean by 'replica?' You mean to tell me the police officers on the scene cannot distinguish between real ones and replicas/BB Guns/Airsoft/whatever? I understand that it would be hard to tell in the heat of the moment and if there's no clear markings, but this happens all the time. You think it's a real weapon, kill somebody over it, and then find out it was a toy. Beating the dead horse. But hey, this is what happens when you militarize the police and give carte blanche to set rules on engagements and what actually constitutes deadly force.
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                  Old October 30th, 2013 (8:18 AM).
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                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
                    The police DID ask him to drop the gun and he didn't flinch.

                    --

                    The problem we have here is the Shoot to Kill mentality police have. Police are meant to ENFORCE the law, not BE the law.

                    Tasers and electric batons, with training in Judo and Baguazhang, are all police need. The weapons only stun the opponent, Judo helps you disable the person themself, and Baguazhang helps you control the environment. Due to Baguazhang, the more police at one opponent, the better the area is controlled. They then only would need electric batons, and would generate the Ring of Fire tactic - forcing the opponent to give up.

                    ^ This idea came up based on how the police USED to operate and simply SUBDUES the opponent, allowing capture rather than senseless death.

                    Police DO NOT need Shoot to Kill, or any lethal weapons or techniques period, in order to ENFORCE the law.
                    You are so right here. I've made it clear in previous posts that police brutality has become a common occurrence in our American society, and as I continue to read stories like this, I become more affirmed in my belief. There is absolutely no reason for this excessive use of force in order to subdue a person who may or may not act upon criminal intent. It's sad that our police force has become a body which Americans are learning to fear and hate rather than rely upon for safety and help.
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                    Old October 30th, 2013 (9:08 AM).
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                      Thanks for the replies to my first comment, everyone :O

                      I first started thinking about police acting that way when I was in middle school, actually, even though I'm 20 now (LOL). We went through a prison, for a field trip (cool, amirite?), and there a guard talked to us about how they use tasers. Of course, they demonstrated on a prisoner...but he had a rubber vest on, I think. That still wasn't so cool, tho.

                      Trust me, tasers DO have enough range. If police need to get in closer to the target, that's what RUNNING is for. Tasers have, throughout the years, become less and less deadly - this is because they were originally designed as non-lethal weapons. The amount of electricity they exude, the range, the amount of control police have over the tasers period, all these change over time.

                      Tasers are no longer as dangerous as people think. They could well be used on even an 8 year old without being lethal, as long as it's the most recent edition(s). The health effects they generated in the past no longer apply - as safety has been the #1 priority of the devs throughout the ENTIRE history of taser development.

                      Before we moved on, I told the guard, "Thank you for not killing them." Many of the other students gave me the evil eye for that, but the police officer just nodded said, "It shouldn't come to that anyway."

                      --

                      Gun culture is only an extension of weapon culture. I believe in the right to bear arms. I would wield a blade if I could, but other than that needle-sized "dagger" (LOL) we are allowed to use, we are only allowed guns. So blame those that changed the laws, not those that use guns.

                      Japan has a no gun policy. If you think everything there is fine and dandy, you're wrong. The majority of people that support the Yakuza do so because they're the only ones going up against corruption. They once were simply criminals, then they started giving a d*mn, developed moral codes, and have helped their communities. Taking guns away won't stop people from doing what's right - and it takes a real idiot to think that those that carry guns are naturally evil. After all, the Yakuza disproved that quite easily. Once the guns were gone, people stopped looking at them as evil. But the guns shouldn't have had to be taken away for people to see that.

                      Illegal does not mean immoral. Legal does not mean moral. Immoral does not mean illegal. Moral does not mean legal. I don't think police should use guns on the field because their job isn't to kill, it's to detain. But I do believe people in general should have the right to defend themselves when threatened, if even with guns.

                      Making guns illegal won't keep bad people from getting them. But making guns illegal WILL keep GOOD people from getting them.
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                      Old October 30th, 2013 (9:34 AM).
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
                      Making guns illegal won't keep bad people from getting them. But making guns illegal WILL keep GOOD people from getting them.
                      You post a lot of things that sound like facts, yet provide no sources to support what you're saying. I'm also inclined to believe that your story is fictitious.

                      I did some quick research, it seems that the maximum range of a taser is about 10m. Outside, in the street, 10m is a relatively short distance. Therefore, a cop would have had to run in to range (and possible danger) in order to use a taser. Even then he would have to aim and hit the target.

                      A lot of people here seem to be relaying their idea back to the age of the victim - this shouldn't happen to anyone, of any age - but sometimes this is necessary.

                      If you click the link through and look at the video, you see a photo of the 'boy'- he actually looks far older than 13, and this is seconded by the police referring to a suspicious 'man'. How were they to know it was a kid? Anyone with a gun is a potential hazard, especially thinking back to just a few days before where a 12 year old went on a killing spree.
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                      Old October 30th, 2013 (10:09 AM).
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                        Let's see what making guns illegal will do:

                        1) Guns will no longer be manufactured and/or sold in the U.S. This means that Americans will have less of a chance to get guns, while foreigners will have a higher chance - especially with the terrible border control we have here.

                        2) Gunsmiths, the only people that make EXCELLENT guns (since manufactured ones are still of poor quality), will be completely out of a job. They can then only make guns in secret, and sell them on some sort of black market.

                        3) The outcome above can be avoided if guns are still allowed as treasures, like with swords, but then the people can't have bullets - which means gunsmiths will still make far less.

                        4) Gun control is an extension of hatred towards violence, which means it's only the first (okay, maybe 27th or so) movement towards disallowing use of all arms. That is the say, not just weapons, but even martial techniques - any attempt at defending oneself, whatsoever, would no longer be allowed if this BS keeps up.

                        So not only will you have hundreds - or even thousands - of gunsmiths out of a job, plus everyone that works in factories, which itself also keeps the U.S. from producing guns or atleast getting enough money from producing guns... You also edge towards it being illegal to use arms of ANY kind even more, which keeps the people from protecting themselves.

                        On the other hand, this just affects Muricans. Terrorists and criminals can easily use the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans to bring weapons into the nation for their own use, especially if they are syndicate organizations.

                        --

                        In ADDITION to that, I believe it was shown on another thread that a person could make a rifle out of a shovel. It's also possible to 3D print guns and use ice bullets if you can't use metal bullets with them. You can "can smith" daggers with just common materials from the Home Depot. You man make ANY kind of weapon you want, all willy nilly, on your own.

                        However, "good" people, if caught with weapons, would go to jail, if even it's for self-defense. While bad people are already WANTING to risk jail by doing criminal acts, so they're not going to just keep those weapons at home like "good" people would.

                        --

                        This has been discussed everywhere, time and time again, and it has been shown that gun control is absolute BS.

                        A person's intent to kill does not depend on them having a gun - they could have any kind of weapon, or even choke someone from behind. Their desire to kill comes from THEM WANTING TO KILL.

                        Guns don't kill people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE!

                        The policeman could have used a bow and arrow or even a blowdart to lethally kill the boy. The policeman killed the boy, not because his gun whispered "kill the boy" in his ear, he did it because he CHOSE to use the lethal option. And he chose to use the lethal option because he was taught/told to ALWAYS use the lethal option.

                        Guns aren't the problem here. LETHAL ACTION is the problem.
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                          #21    
                        Old October 30th, 2013 (10:15 AM).
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                        The Masked One The Masked One is offline
                           
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                          ...Dafuq? Seriously?

                          They have tons of other crimes to tend to, and instead they kill a innocent little kid? :/


                          ...The human race is officially doomed...
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                            #22    
                          Old October 30th, 2013 (10:23 AM).
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                          Edward Newgate Edward Newgate is offline
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                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by GolemLover View Post
                          ...Dafuq? Seriously?

                          They have tons of other crimes to tend to, and instead they kill a innocent little kid? :/


                          ...The human race is officially doomed...
                          the problem is that there are more underaged kids running with real guns in the US than there are soldiers in the Brittish army. They couldn't know the gun was fake since it's a common thing: kids with daddy's gun.

                          It is a shame that the kid needed to be killed, but I can see why the officer shot. What would you do if somebody, no matter the age, pointed a gun at you while you are carrying one too? I would've shot too probably, but there is plenty of human to shoot at without killing them...
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                            #23    
                          Old October 30th, 2013 (10:25 AM).
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                          Esper Esper is offline
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                          I'm all for non-lethal methods, but I agree that a taser isn't the best option in every scenario because it is one shot at getting it right and if you miss you're pretty close to someone you think is dangerous enough to need to use your taser in the first place.

                          Of course, if we give police forces all of those fancy non-lethal tools they may be inclined to use them more often, perhaps. I wouldn't want everyone shot with one of those beanbag things or tasers for every minor criminal offense.

                          And on the issue of the gun looking real, this here is (presumably) a photo of the toy gun the boy had. (Taken from the BBC article.)



                          I'm not a gun expert, but it looks fairly real at a glance to me. If I were driving down the street and I saw someone carrying this I would be worried.
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                            #24    
                          Old October 30th, 2013 (10:56 AM).
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                          The Masked One The Masked One is offline
                             
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                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by mr.Alpha View Post
                            the problem is that there are more underaged kids running with real guns in the US than there are soldiers in the Brittish army. They couldn't know the gun was fake since it's a common thing: kids with daddy's gun.

                            It is a shame that the kid needed to be killed, but I can see why the officer shot. What would you do if somebody, no matter the age, pointed a gun at you while you are carrying one too? I would've shot too probably, but there is plenty of human to shoot at without killing them...
                            If it was a REAL gun, then yeah I would've shot the person (out of self defense) with no problem. But if it was only a toy/fake, I'd know since I know the diffrence between Toys and the real thing. I've seen both.
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                              #25    
                            Old October 30th, 2013 (10:58 AM).
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                            Edward Newgate Edward Newgate is offline
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                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by GolemLover View Post
                            If it was a REAL gun, then yeah I would've shot the person (out of self defense) with no problem. But if it was only a toy/fake, I'd know since I know the diffrence between Toys and the real thing. I've seen both.
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Scarf
                            I'm pretty sure if you saw somebody walking up to you, holding THAT in his/her hands, you wouldn't even take the time to think about if it's real or not, you just react to the fact that there's somebody with a gun coming your way.
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