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(CNN) -- A Kentucky mother stepped outside of her home just for a few minutes, but it was long enough for her 5-year-old son to accidentally shoot his 2-year-old sister with the .22-caliber rifle he got for his birthday, state officials said.

Little Caroline Starks died Tuesday in Burkesville, in southern Kentucky, according to Cumberland County Coroner Gary White.

"The little Crickett rifle is a single-shot rifle and it has a child safety," White said of the weapon. "It's just a tragic situation."

Starks' autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, but the shooting has been ruled accidental, according to Kentucky State Police Public Affairs officer Billy Gregory.

"The mother was home at the time of the incident but she had stepped outside," Gregory said. "It's just one of those nightmares -- a quick thing that happens when you turn your back."

Gregory said young children in the area are often introduced to guns at an early age.

"In this part of the country, it's not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid," he said.

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(CNN) -- A Kentucky mother stepped outside of her home just for a few minutes, but it was long enough for her 5-year-old son to accidentally shoot his 2-year-old sister with the .22-caliber rifle he got for his birthday, state officials said.

...

"In this part of the country, it's not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid," he said.

They gave a five year old boy a rifle for his birthday? :|

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Personally I think the mother should be prosecuted here. Giving a 5 year old a gun, and leaving it with him unsupervised? What the hell did she think was going to happen!

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They gave a five year old boy a rifle for his birthday? :|

Apparently the Crickett Firearms manufacturer do an entire "My First Rifle" range, even available in a fabulous pink colour for the little ones. :huh:

Can't really say I'm surprised though.

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Probably said she was a Louisville fan...

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As much as I am Pro Gun, there is no reason why a 5 year old should get a 22 caliber gun for his birthday

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Now *that* is beyond stupid on all accounts possible. Is ok to have whatever guns you want, if it was up to me - an AA battery or a fully armed main battle tank, as long as you have a proven record of responsibility (a very long record) and the necessary training.

Now giving a gun to a kid that can barely locate his p[beeeep], on the other hand... is just totally mental.

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Now *that* is beyond stupid on all accounts possible. Is ok to have whatever guns you want, if it was up to me - an AA battery or a fully armed main battle tank, as long as you have a proven record of responsibility (a very long record) and the necessary training.

Now giving a gun to a kid that can barely locate his p[beeeep], on the other hand... is just totally mental.

Exactly, my nephew is 8 going on 9 years old, and I would never want to put a gun in his hands. He would accidentally kill someone with in a day. God forbid if he ever though you were a zombie!

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Epic Darwin Award.

What an incredibly depressing new level of stupid.

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The mother failed in her duty of care..

She absolutely should be charged. Leaving a loaded weapon out around children is something American's are all too ok with..

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As much as I am Pro Gun, there is no reason why a 5 year old should get a 22 caliber gun for his birthday

There's no problem with a 5 yo boy having/using a 22 riffle.

The problem is letting him alone with the riffle unsupervised even if it's for 5 min only.

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There's no problem with a 5 yo boy having/using a 22 riffle.

The problem is letting him alone with the riffle unsupervised even if it's for 5 min only.

There is. That's the kind of thinking that gets you into trouble all the time. Thinking that supervision can solve responsibility problems of individuals. That's why pro-gun people get called gun nuts and anti-gun nuts go apesh*t upon us each time they hear a fart (sorry for this exact term).

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So, you give a new gun owner, a 5yr old, a loaded gun and leave them unsupervised. Smart parenting. Child safety or not (ive know kid that can get past child safety products)

Parents fault 110%. Idiots.

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I'd like to feel bad but I can't. Reality check, this is why you don't need to buy a 5 year old a rifle.

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Dear small child,

Next time shoot your mom to keep her from breeding more.

Sincerely,

Society

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Have people never heard of these? Why was the gun even loaded, or ammo in the open for the kid to load it?

post-183823-0-40515200-1367430297.jpg

post-183823-0-84099800-1367430298.jpg

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I grew up around guns. My dad had several. I was always scared of them because they were loud and scary. I never touched them save for putting my hand on them while riding down the road. They were never ever loaded until he went to use them. My dad was the safest person I ever knew of around guns. Growing up where I did, it was common for 7, 8 and 9 year olds to be toting around shotguns/rifles (during hunting seasons of course, not just randomly walking the streets, lol).

Now that I have kids that age I just can't even imagine it. They've seen way too much CoD and Halo type stuff to actually fear and respect a real weapon. To them it's bang, you're dead, respawn. :(

However, for every kid that accidentally shoots someone there are probably thousands of other kids that never have an incident. It's sad but accidents happen.

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I am saddened to say this but I do not feel any empathy or compassion anymore towards this family. They lived by the culture of guns, they died by the culture of guns

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I'd like to feel bad but I can't. Reality check, this is why you don't need to buy a 5 year old a rifle.

It is less about the gun, and more about the parents.

I wouldn't even leave a 5 year old with a claw hammer.

I am saddened to say this but I do not feel any empathy or compassion anymore towards this family. They lived by the culture of guns, they died by the culture of guns

Heh. Could have happened with anything. If the child fatally wounded the other with a kitchen knife, would it be because it is a culture of kitchen knives? It has nothing to do with a culture of guns.

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Heh. Could have happened with anything. If the child fatally wounded the other with a kitchen knife, would it be because it is a culture of kitchen knives? It has nothing to do with a culture of guns.

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

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Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

I will. As a parent, I am intelligent enough to realize that it was the parent's fault and it could have happened with a variety of household objects.

http://www.dailymail...boy-Police.html

http://www.dailymail...ther-death.html

http://www.huffingto..._n_1211236.html

http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/03/08/police-9-year-old-girl-stabs-grandmother-over-tv/

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I will. As a parent, I am intelligent enough to realize that it was the parent's fault and it could have happened with a variety of household objects.

What's the point of the links?

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What's the point of the links?

If you can't see it, then you are just trolling as I suspected.

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If you can't see it, then you are just trolling as I suspected.

I was never under the impression that stabbings don't happen.

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I will. As a parent, I am intelligent enough to realize that it was the parent's fault and it could have happened with a variety of household objects.

http://www.dailymail...boy-Police.html

http://www.dailymail...ther-death.html

http://www.huffingto..._n_1211236.html

http://charlotte.cbs...mother-over-tv/

As a precursor to my future statement, I am what the left would call a "gun-nut"

That being said. It is a culture of guns that lets a parent think giving a 5 year old a loaded gun (or allowing ammunition to be stored in the same common area) is a good idea. Same goes for knives, batons, explosives and nunchuks. I could see a case for it in the 50's, but nowadays with how stupid society is, it shouldn't be allowed.

Again, it could happen with anything. But it shouldn't have happened with a gun. These people are the reason everyone thinks I'm crazy for wanting to protect myself.

EDIT: As a side note, I would support the child getting airsoft, or soft-air weapons at that age, to learn respect and proper handling in a "safer" environment.

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