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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jordan Brown, 11, charged with murder was avid hunter



By DAN NEPHIN and RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI – 3 days ago

WAMPUM, Pa. (AP) — Hunting is a way of life in the rural area where 11-year-old Jordan Brown regularly practiced target shooting with his 20-gauge, youth model shotgun.
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Here in west-central Pennsylvania, hunting clubs are plentiful, the first day of deer hunting season means a day off from school and turkey shoots are held year round. A month ago, Brown won a turkey at a local shoot against older, more experienced hunters.
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Days later, police believe Brown used the shotgun he planned to take hunting with his dad to fatally shoot his father's pregnant girlfriend. The crime was an anomaly in this small town, where guns are commonplace and children as young as 4 are taught to shoot.
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"Life exists at the expense of other life. You have to kill in order to live," said Jim Tantillo, an environmental philosophy professor at Cornell University in New York, who is also a hunter.
"There's just something very honest about owning the responsibility for the life you take. When you pull that trigger, you know something's going to die," he said.
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In many states, including Pennsylvania, children of any age can fire a rifle or shotgun and hunt with a licensed adult. Rifles and shotguns do not need to be registered or sold with trigger locks.
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States often don't mandate how rifles and shotguns should be stored but do require hunting courses that teach how to store them.
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Authorities believe Brown kept his gun, a Christmas present from his dad, in his bedroom. The boy has been charged as an adult with killing Kenzie Marie Houk, 26, and her unborn son Feb. 20 in an attack police say was planned: Jordan hid the weapon under a blanket so Houk's 7-year-old daughter wouldn't see it as he entered her mother's room. Later, he threw the spent shell casing in the woods, got on the bus and went to school, authorities say.
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"It's one thing to learn to hunt, but it's another thing to let a kid keep a loaded shotgun," said Paul Helmke, president of the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"If you are keeping loaded guns around the house and you have kids, you're asking for a tragedy," he said.
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No one tracks sales of youth shotguns, but gun control advocates said manufacturers increasingly focus marketing toward children with smaller, lighter models that are easier for them to handle. Some guns are pink to attract young girls to hunting, which has seen a decline in popularity over the years.
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"The industry portrays (youth gun possession) as risk-free, and when something bad happens, they always blame the kid and not the presence of the gun. We think the risks clearly outweigh the benefits," said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group in Washington, D.C.
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The Monday after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of Pennsylvania's rifle deer season. Local newspapers are full of pictures of hunters proudly posing with their conquests and lining up at weigh stations to see who scored the biggest buck.
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"It's nothing during hunting season to hear the dogs or the hunters because that's what people do: they hunt," said Kim Kennedy, a 52-year-old waitress who lives on a farm in western Pennsylvania.
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In 2007, 8.9 percent of the 10,086 firearm homicides in 49 states were committed with shotguns and rifles. FBI statistics do not include Florida or Washington, D.C.
The Brown case "violated the basic tenets of firearm safety and hunting safety," said Jerry Feaser, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. "This had nothing to do with hunting."
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Mark Strohecker, 41, grew up a few miles from Wampum and has been hunting since he was 15. His father first took him to a shooting range when he was 14.
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"Your adrenaline's going, your heart's racing, you're real anxious, you can't sleep, you know, you're thinking, 'I'm going to see that big 12-point buck,'" Strohecker said.
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But he said he didn't ask his own son whether he wanted to go hunting until he turned 15. He believes children any younger are not mature enough to be around guns.
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This is a good article for a rousing argument.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously this boy was too young to have a gun and his father unknowingly has too live with a huge mistake in judgement. But this boy should not pay a life sentence of regret for his actions. Children this age do not really understand the magnitude of such actions, whether they are planned or not. This boy obviously was crying out for help and did not know who to go to or how to handle his emotions. This is very sad for all involved. I pray that everyone forgives this boy and helps him and his father. I pray for the deceased and their family as well.

Anonymous said...

its people like anonymous 1 that make the world go round.

Anonymous said...

This boy was mature enough to plot the murder, hide the weapon under a blanket, throw the shell casing in the woods, get on the bus and go to school as if nothing happened and then make up a "black truck" story to the police to point the blame elsewhere. Yes, he's mature enough to stand trial as an adult and he needs to be taken out of society permanently. This kid is a serial killer in the making. Best he be locked up for life. Some parents are just to stupid to parent.

Anonymous said...

with the right training and coaching this kid could be the next hitler i would like to meet him one day hopefully he becomes intellectual in prison instead of brutish some one that cold at his age is a beautiful thing and should be nurtured he could change the world for better or worse change is needed

Janet said...

Anon-Feb 17. I'm going to add a "LOL" because I sure hope you are kidding.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some comments here, they show so much hate, is so sad. And you wonder why kids kill? What is a wonder is why they haven't shoot you all down. American kids are nothing but guns you have loaded and now you are paying the consecuences. America the country of freedom and justice, lol. Never heard nothing more stupid than judge kids as adults, that prove how a bunch of idiots are those who think that an 11 year old kid is an adult. Adult crime adult time, that's another stupid thing to say. I would like to know since when crime has an age. Since men had stood a step on this earth, men, women and kids had kill. killing is not something that adults only do. The fact that this kid could kill doesn't mean he is an adult, the fact that this kid could muffeld a gun doesn't make him an adult.Kids imitates adults, kids are kids but not stupid and they see too much tv. the fact that he killed, It makes him a kid who needs a lot of help. I don't know how you americans can sleep at night knowing that your kids are being treated so barbaric. Well I guess you justify yourselves telling that they are not kids but monsters who killed and they must be put away for life an so you all can sleep at night you say you do justice. But there is not justice in nothing that is going on here. This kid shoul be tried as a juvinile, his lawyer sayed very well because he's just a child no more questions. I really hope this kid get the help he needs.
PS: btw, He is telling he didn't but why we should believe him after all he is an adult not a kid and all we do know that lying is a thing that only adults do. That's something that an educated lawyer said once, right?(another btw, in this last part I was trying to be ironic just in case you didnt notice)
I hope the best for this kid and his father and my deepest condolences for houks family, but hate and vengance never should be considered as justice. Law is to provide justice not to calm the thirst of vengance for victims.
Ps: sorry for for the mistakes i could have made in this writting, english is not my mother language.

Anonymous said...

His father should get life in prison for creating this situation. The boy should be put to sleep to spare him the torment of the tortured life he will be inevitably forced to live.

Anonymous said...

These comments are interesting, The foriners post shines lite on so much. its so true, yet we get so wrapped up in whats going on that no one looks at the big picture of things any nore. that poor boy, he shouldn't be inevitably targeted as someone not safe in society although of course thats how it will be if he gets the justice he deserves and the help he so despratly cryd out for. its ridicliously sad that no one understood his crys. comming from a similar situation as this boy and at the same age, i can almost understand his actions. he didn't understand the outcome in full i believe that he thought it would just give him back his once was family that he was longing to get back. my heart goes out to him AND all the people effected in this tragidy...i have full faith that God will be with those precious little girls also...its all just so sad!!!!

Anonymous said...

the kid is innocent. has anyone see his website?
http://www.jordanbrowntrust.org/

Anonymous said...

I think the boy should have to live with Anonymous along with his beloved shotgun and then let's see how safe it is.

Jack Lim said...

There are just too many guns lying around in America. What is needed s to change the gun law. Until and unless the gun law is changed, Americans must live with the possibiity that such tragic incidence may happen again.

Anonymous said...

I BELIEVE THAT JORDAN BROWN IS INNOCENT OF KILLING HIS DAD'S PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND. THEY ARE TRYING HIM AS AN ADULT BECAUSE HE WON'T ADMIT TO THE KILLING SO THEY THINK HE CAN'T BE REHABILITATED.IF I DIDN'T KILL SOMEONE I SURELY WOULDN'T ADMIT TO IT.I THINK THEY NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON THE CASE. I THINK SOMEONE ELSE KILLED HER AND JORDAN IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE CRIME HE DIDN'T COMMIT.AS FOR CHANGING THE GUN LAWS. GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE, IT IS THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE GUNS.GETTING RID OF GUNS ISN'T GOING TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM. ALL IT IS GOING TO DO IS PUNISH THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS NOT THE CRIMINALS. IF THE CRIMINALS WANT TO HURT OR KILL SOMEONE THE WILL FIND AWAY OF DOING SO LEGAL OR NOT.

Anonymous said...

Guns don't kill people like not locking your house causes robberies.