I've covered the futility of banning guns on several occasions, explaining the potential harm that can be done by people abusing knifes, bludgeons and explosives. Recently, I came a cross a case where a ten year old child was accused of killing several people by setting fire to the house they were in.
"The boy escaped the September 16 fire that killed his mother, Chanan Palmer; his half-sister Kaysha, 8, and three children of Christy Winans: Kayla Winans, 6; Je'Shawn Davis, 5; and Jasmine Davis, 3.
Darke County Prosecutor Richard Howell told the Dayton Daily News last week that the boy didn't give investigators a clear motive. But when asked whether he was certain the boy was behind the fire, Howell told the newspaper, "Yes, I am."
"He was just made a scapegoat for the whole thing," said Burke L. Goines, the boy's uncle. "It's traumatizing to put a 10-year-old boy in a situation like this, to make other people look better in their investigation," Goines said."
I'm not arguing guilt here, I have no idea whether or not this kid really is responsible for those deaths. I'm saying that he could have done it, accidentally or intentionally. Setting fire to something is no harder than pulling the trigger of a gun. Much easier than cleaning a firearm and learning to align the sights in order to hit something that's ten yards away.
You don't need to be an expert marksman to be able to kill somebody with a gun, nor do you need to know how to have a fire degrade the structural components of a construction in order to cause the roof to collapse to kill a handful of people.
You do -however- need to be either very sick, or hateful, bent on hurting other people.
Accidental shootings happen, accidental fires happen, all by people. People who make mistakes, people who are victims to bad luck. Murders are committed by people who have made the choice of killing somebody else. It's that choice that separates the law abiding from criminals, not the means he uses to carry out his dismal intentions.