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Yeah, good call. I'm sure the kid had no idea. I mean, when I was 13 I was completely ignorant of right and wrong, life and death, danger and fun and I'm sure you were too.

Wake up.

13 year olds can be very mature or immature, but they're still people and they still know the consequences of their actions.

Now, I agree the kid should be tried as a kid and not as an adult. I agree that the adult that give him a gun should be held responsible for doing that. I also agree that identities should be protected.

Where you're messing up is absolving children of blame. We need more personal accountability around here not less.

Posted by Smegmalicious | February 2, 2007 6:29 PM

Investigators believe the two 13-year-olds and a third boy were playing in the back yard of Terry Howick, 54, who gave the one was charged the gun.

Being on the Internet does not absolve you from failure to proofread. (Not you, Chuck, I mean Anonymous AP Reporter.) Beyond that, I'm with Smegmalicious, there.

Posted by BC | February 2, 2007 6:41 PM

I'm with Mudede. This chain of events is highly foreseeable. Untrained kids alone with a loaded gun with no purpose in having it but wandering around with it.

13 is 7th or 8th grade. Sorry guys, my experience with kids this age is that maturity and immaturity can exist simultaneously in the same brain in bizarre ways, but they can respond well to adult expectations and specific assignment of responsibility, ie "This is a gun. Dont fuck around with it. I can take you target shooting if you are interested." Note: there is no purpose for a handgun other than shooting humans or practicing for shooting humans and focusing on self-defense doesn't change this truth.

Posted by mirror | February 2, 2007 7:45 PM

I'm so with Mudede. Charging a 13 year old with murder is bullshit. My heart goes out to him, his family and the family of the boy that was killed. This is really sad.

Posted by Papayas | February 2, 2007 7:58 PM

ditto 3 & 4 and Charles.

Posted by gnossos | February 2, 2007 9:08 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There's no way anyone under the age of consent should be charged as an adult. If the law states that they're too immature to understand sex and its consequences, how the hell can they understand crimes?

Posted by Gitai | February 2, 2007 10:06 PM

Give him enough punishment to make sure he understands the consequences of his actions. What else can be achieved by punishing a child or adolescent?

Posted by keshmeshi | February 2, 2007 11:35 PM

I agree completely with Gitai.....been saying it for years, as well.

Posted by Dianna | February 3, 2007 9:52 AM

Sure would be nice if Washington had a system in which there's a particularized analysis in the borderline cases, where the judge hears evidence and determines whether the kid is sufficiently mature to commit a crime ... Oh, that's right, we do.

And to those of you who would give a free pass to 17 1/2 year old rapists - fuck you.

Posted by JTR | February 3, 2007 4:25 PM

I don't know about the other commenters, but in 8th grade I sure as hell knew what life is, what murder was.

No, he shouldn't be tried the exact same as an adult, but 13 is definitely old enough for moral culpability.

In most traditional cultures 13 is the age of maturity. Only in our bizarre culture do we infantalize young adults.

Posted by Zak | February 4, 2007 4:40 AM

When a child's potential makes itself known, you have to seize on the opportunity and push him or her to succeed.

Therefore: Apply this kid's life experience to some kind of related career path like, oh, the military. He's already killed someone. Hurdle jumped there. Furthermore, daddies will continue to place guns in his hands and he'll continue to playfully shoot other humans. No fuss no muss.

This goes for all killers. Don't waste them in prison. Put them in the military.

This makes me wonder: Do we spend less money to maintain a soldier than we do a prisoner? Hmm.

Posted by doctiloquus | February 4, 2007 11:26 AM

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