Skip to comments.Boy who posed on Web with weapons convicted
Posted on 04/05/2006 1:27:08 PM PDT by 300magnum
An Evergreen High School student who posted Internet photos of himself posing with guns was convicted Tuesday on a charge of possession of a handgun by a juvenile. The conviction came despite his parents' testimony that they gave him permission to handle guns in their home without their supervision.
Colorado law prohibits possession of a handgun by a juvenile but permits parents to give them permission to possess guns in their homes - even without supervision.
"This is a very difficult case," defense attorney Barrett Weisz said in his closing argument.
"We have pictures that raise images of the Columbine massacre. But if we set the specter of Columbine aside," he said, the boy should be acquitted and sent home.
The photos were posted on the popular teen Web site MySpace.com. The photos showed him posing with a number of rifles and three handguns - a .45-caliber pistol, a .22-caliber revolver and a .357-caliber revolver.
The 16-year-old boy, who has been held in detention since his arrest in February, will be sentenced June 1. He was acquitted on two additional charges of handgun possession.
The judge set a $5,000 bond, but ordered that the boy must be evaluated and a safety plan drawn up before he can be released.
The boy's parents testified they were upset and disappointed with their son when they discovered the photos, but said he had permission to handle the weapons.
"I was not pleased and told him to take (the photos) down," his father testified. "I told him, 'What were you thinking when you took these pictures?' I was upset."
The father, a gun collector and enthusiast who is an airline pilot and retired Air Force pilot, said he gave the boy and his brother extensive training in the safe handling of weapons.
He said he gave his sons permission to handle the guns in the home even when he wasn't there, and the boys had access to keys to trigger locks.
"It was due to their experience and my trust in them" to safely handle the weapons, he said. They often cleaned the guns after they had gone shooting and he was out of town for his job, the father said.
They also built guns from kits, he said.
But Jefferson County District Judge Brian Boatright said that that permission had limits.
"That doesn't mean juveniles could run around the house and do whatever he wanted with the gun," Boatright said, noting that the father testified the boys were not allowed to load or fire the weapons unless he was present.
Boatright acquitted the boy on two charges in which he posed with the handguns but did not have his finger on the trigger. One of the charges stemmed from a photo entitled "angel of death," in which he posed on the floor with guns surrounding his body.
The judge was more concerned with a third photo in which the boy appeared to have his finger on the trigger.
"That exceeds the scope of his training, experience and trust (his father) placed in the juvenile," Boatright said.
Weisz argued the boy has spent far too long in detention already and needs to get on with his life. He has been enrolled in a private school. Weisz said he would appeal the case.
He assured the judge that no weapons will be in the house again. "The hobby is gone. The guns are gone and won't be back," Weisz said.
I agree with you 100%. The interpretation by the DA and the courts is nuts IMO.
I wonder what my jail sentence would have been if I were 10 and did this now.
I'm sure you're about to find out. I imagine that BATF are monitoring this forum for just such admittance, and will soon be knocking on your door, alla Elian Gonzalez.
My guess is that he was not running around the house while having his picture taken. Nor was he was loading or firing the weapon. His parents gave him permission to possess the gun, which he was doing. Someone then took his picture while possessing the weapon.
Apparently taking the picture was illegal. I suppose we can look forward to having to register our cameras next.
Geez, dude, we can't take you anywhere! :-)
I just read KarinG1's profile. With her looks (if thats her) and apparent wit and wisdom, I think I'm in love.
Attention all burglars...there's a newly disarmed house available for your pleasure...
My gun collection started with BB at 9, pump-action .22 at 11, 16-Ga. pump-action at 12, lever-action .308 at 14, .38 revolver at 16.
Any of that would attract a SWAT team today.
Ya, no doubt... I have been a member for a while, and not 2 months ago, was accused of bein a DU troll... Imagine that?!! So Karin, if you're lurkin, it does not matter how long you been here...they'll still call you a troll if they don't like what you say...
Hey I thought you learned yer lesson with spicey stuff ?!?!?!?
How are ya doing ?
She's a babe indeed !
verdict aint in yet... Only then will I have learnt my lesson...
King George would be proud to know people still getting harassed for concealing spice in this day and age !
Wish ya well !
This judge sucks!
He [the father] assured the judge that no weapons will be in the house again. "The hobby is gone. The guns are gone and won't be back,"
It is deliberate to keep the young ignorant and easier to control.The kids areused to searches,nametags,lockdowns and being told this is a democracy. Oh, for the Republic !
In other words, that may not be the law but I think it should be, so go ahead and convict the little fellow.
I am curious about the legal philosophy here. If one lives in a state with more reasonable laws and then moves to Colorado, how are you supposed to know about, or even guess, the existence of such laws? Hire a lawyer to monitor every possible action you take and let you know if you are about to violate some arcane law?
You'll be Freer and Richer in the Bill of Rights Culture
Part 1: The Vision
By Aaron Zelman
Executive Director, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
with Claire Wolfe and Richard W Stevens
In America, within living memory, all these things were true:
● You could sit up in the back of an open convertible and feel the wind in your face without being fined for a seat-belt violation.
● Police would never burst into your house at midnight without knocking.
● You would never find a police ÂcheckpointÂ on an American highway.
● You could go to your doctor and not have your medical records automatically made available to federal researchers and investigators.
● You could sit in a bar or the smoking section of a restaurant and enjoy a cigarette as you relaxed with friends.
● You could get on an airplane carrying a firearm for self-defense.
● A peaceable person could order a firearm by mail through a major department store's catalog.
● You could purchase several boxes of cold capsules without the drug store calling police to report you as a Âmeth suspect.Â
● You could buy gasoline for 29 cents per gallon and a pound of hamburger for 69 cents. Although salaries were also lower than today, household expenses and taxes were low enough that one parent in most families could stay at home to watch over the children.
● You could open a bank account, make deposits, and withdraw money without your activities being reported to a host of federal agencies.
● You could get a state drivers license without having to give a federal government ID number.
● Your children could explore the realms of chemistry and model rocketry without being considered potential bomb suspects.
● You could check books out of the library without fear that investigators would get your records without a warrant.
● You could send your child to a government school without him or her automatically being put on a military recruitment list.
● You could fill in a low spot on your own property without having to beg for an array of federal and state permits.
● And you knew that, in a free country, your home would never be confiscated just so that it the government could give it to a private resort or stadium developer.
That was then, this is now.
Today matters are very different Â and getting worse. We're surrounded by police-state ÂsecurityÂ measures that do little to make us safe but a lot to make us feel humiliated, bullied, and spied upon.
Our neighbors, utility workers, bank tellers, and store clerks are encouraged to report anything we do that might be ÂsuspiciousÂ (and Âsuspicious activitiesÂ can include things as innocent as buying Âtoo manyÂ coffee filters, batteries, or cans of lye for opening drains or making soap).
Virtually all our freedoms are being curtailed Â from the right to travel or speak freely to the right to have our homes secure against violent invasion by military-style police.
We have -- as Ben Franklin warned us we should never do -- traded away our freedom to get a little security. The result is exactly as Franklin predicted: We are increasingly less free and less secure.
Many of us also become less prosperous every day. Good jobs go overseas, leaving low-paying service jobs in their place. Our money becomes worth less and less every year. (U.S. money has lost about 95 percent of its value since our grandmother's day.) Children are shoved into institutional care because both parents have to work to support a family. Our debts pile up higher and higher until today, the average American household actually has more debt than income each year.
The debts being run up by the federal government are even worse. In October 2005, the national debt passed $8 trillion. As I write this, in December 2005, the government has run up liabilities of more than $27,000 for every single living American, man, woman, and child. Between January 2001, the debt increased at an average of $14,939.97 per second, or $1.291 billion per day. During the last several months of 2005, the debt has been increasing at $2.83 billion per day. 
The numbers are mind boggling, but the basic fact is simple to understand: Government irresponsibility and overreach is stealing your future and your children's future. Government takes your money, your time, your property, and your freedom and uses your ÂcontributionsÂ to harm you. In short: big government is a form of theft. It steals your life.
[B]ig government is a form of theft. It steals your life.
We got into this dilemma largely because we lost sight of the importance of putting strict limits on government.
But life doesn't have to be this way.
The future could be better.
Now, think about a different sort of life you could have:
● You deposit $10,000 in your bank account and nobody demands to know where it came from. Nobody reports it to federal investigators. Because unless you do something overtly criminal, unless investigators have justification for getting a search warrant or a subpoena, your finances are considered your private business.
● You travel freely without being terrorized by checkpoints, pat-downs, or incessant demands for your government ID.
● You know that no government will deny you your right to defend yourself, your family, and your community against violent criminals.
● You can freely purchase food supplements or seek alternative health care, knowing that your own educated choices won't be vetoed in advance by bureaucrats. Everyone knows that your health and nutrition choices are your own business.
● Individuals are considered responsible for their behavior. Those who use recreational chemicals (like tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana) responsibly are left alone. Those who are prone to addictions can seek medical help without fear of being arrested. Those who use chemicals recklessly, harming others, are held responsible for their behavior, not the chemical.
● You can be confident you won't be arrested arbitrarily. If you are arrested, you know that the justice system will scrupulously respect your rights. You'll never be tortured. You'll never be locked up for years without trial. Your assets will never be confiscated unless you're convicted of a crime in which the method and degree of asset forfeiture is explicitly spelled out in advance.
● You pay fewer personal taxes, which enables you to work fewer hours and provide better for your family. Because the business people you deal with also pay fewer taxes, goods and services are all more affordable.
● Businesses are neither subsidized by government nor regulated by unconstitutional agencies. They stand or fall on their own merits Â as determined by their customers. Citizen watchdog groups that you choose to support replace government intervention, making sure that bad products or unsafe practices come to the attention of purchasers.
● There are still poor people and disabled people in this world. They're helped by families, neighbors, religious groups, and charities. Because there are more opportunities and fewer economic barriers, poverty decreases over time. Those who have pulled themselves up create opportunities for others. The genuinely unfortunate get assistance. But the few who persist in making stupid, irresponsible choices soon find that nobody is willing go on enabling them. Those who want to game Âthe systemÂ discover that there is no ÂsystemÂ -- just other people they have to look straight in the eye. Other people to whom they must be accountable if they want help.
● You don't live in Utopia. Human beings never will. Sometimes state and local governments get too big for their britches and attempt to pass laws that limit freedom. But it's far easier to battle injustice close to home than it ever was to have to fight every injustice, every outrage at the federal level.
● There is no constant Âwar on this or that.Â There is no need for such wars and the barrage of media scares and Draconian laws that go with them.
● In the world where you live, the federal government is primarily a modest-sized administrative organization without armies of career bureaucrats and regulators. It has a handful of powers delegated to it by the people and the states, but it has no involvement in daily family life, education, medicine, manufacture, agriculture, religion, media, entertainment, or the thousands of other areas in which today's federal government takes a dominating, Â800-pound gorillaÂ role.
● The government has neither the power nor the desire to subsidize, subdue, and control all the other countries of the world.
● And each year, the central government gets smaller and smaller Â taxing less, taking less, surrendering more and more authority to the states and the people, to whom real power rightly belongs.
You understand the problem. You know it. You feel it. In Part 2, you will encounter the magic of the principles.
That's exactly what he did.
I was sorry to read the part where the father bowed to this Black Robed Tyrant and got rid of his guns. He should be appealing the case, not disarming himself.
Are we really much better than the old Soviet Union anymore?
Looks like dad is a real pansy.
Not my kids. They're going to have to fight the second civil war in this country. I only hope I'm still around and can still see the front sight when it gets started.
Hard to believe this guy even has kids.......cause he ain't got any balls. What a pussy.
Who was their lawyer?!
First thing would be to get the prosecution to prove that the photos were taken within the jurisdiction of the court. For all anyone knows, he could have been at a relative's house in a free state...
3-year old shooting an AR-15 here.
Wrong. They arrest you on "public drunkeness" for public drunkeness while in a bar because "public drunkeness" is already a catch-all law on the books that the cops can fall back on to haul in anyone.
Being here and knowing some folks in stategov, I can tell you what happened. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's charter is about to sunset within the year. TABC thought they'd pull this stunt to get some positive "clean up the streets" publicity. But it backfired. BAD. State legislators (all drunks, every one) called up the TABC and told them to stop that sh!t right away and get their heads down IMMEDIATELY, or there'd be nary a single legislator that would be able to brave the firestorm of public opinion, and the TABC charter would either not be renewed, or the funding would be hacked severely.
Thus, it's pretty safe to go to a bar right now in Texas. A case like this where the public threw a fit and the legislators listened was refreshing, but too, too rare.
But to your point, DWI -is- a preemptive arrest, indeed. Anyway, there's enough laws to make us ALL felons, since we can't keep track of all of them.
P.S. Don't forget to sign your 1040 form so they can get you on tax evasion, too!
It's a good thing this image wasn't on myspace.com.
I wouldn't call him a pansy. His whole family has been put through hell. He's blaming himself for this, although he was doing the right thing by teaching his kids about firearms. Now look where it's got him.
These parents were not happy that their son decided to post pictures of himself and his weapons on the internet when they found out about it. I don't think they are bad parents. The kid may be a screwed up individual, or maybe he just couldn't resist being a braggart about his knowledge and access to firearms.
I used to play cops and robbers when I was a kid. It was just a fantasy. A game. Had it been more then that, I'd now be either a cop or a robber, yet I am neither. Role playing is a natural part of growing up.
I've recently been teaching my own son how to use firearms. He has his fantasies, but we talk about that and I explain to him in no uncertain terms that this is NOT A GAME.
I explained to him again, just this evening in fact because this story hits home with me, that there are only a few places where weapons are appropriate. War. Hunting. Self defense. Target practice.
It's not a game. It's serious business. Kids will brag, but that has no place when it comes to firearms. Explain it that way to them and they'll get it.
This dad might have saved them all had he made that perfectly clear. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. I don't know.
But he should have. And if he has a good son, he would have listened to that.
This judge on the other hand, thinks he is God, because he really had to reach for this decision.
"He put his finger on the trigger in that picture" (I'm paraphrasing).
Now where was that in the law?
Having lost with regards to the issue of firearms in the hands of citizens in court of public opinion, having lost in the halls of our elected officials the left has but one recourse left (pardon the pun). A corrupt prosecutorial process and liberal activist judiciary.
Every adult know this is a nonsense case. The left however are not adults and like children who are assigned as hall monitors abuse others when they get the opportunity.
Did he stand up in his chair and squeal before he said that?
Good Lord. This is in my county and I think I'm gonna vomit.