Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WA state school shooting

Earlier this month, a 9 year old boy was arrested at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton, Washington. The son of Jamie Lee Passmore brought a .45 caliber handgun to school in a book bag on February 22nd. When he slammed the bag down the gun discharged, striking 8 year old Amina Kocer-Bowman and severely injuring her.

The 9 year old boy plead guilty to possession of a gun, bringing a dangerous weapon to school, and reckless endangerment. He will be required to complete 48 hours of community service, before serving 12 months of probation. In addition, the boy is ordered to write an apology letter to the victim.
Kocer-Bowman has undergone 5 surgeries for excessive injuries to her vital organs and is currently in critical condition at a Washington state hospital. The father of Kocer-Bowman, John Bowman, has been obviously outspoken on the issue, most recently stating, “It’s unfortunate but we can’t make excuses for his circumstances, for his actions, it’s totally unacceptable.” Depending on the source, Mr. Bowman has been said to have forgiven the boy who shot his daughter. His opinion may be subject to change though as his daughter is still in critical condition.

It seems no matter the source, the boy’s parents are being blamed. Jamie Lee Passmore and her boyfriend, Douglas Bauer, are currently attending a NASCAR event in Nevada but are expected to be arrested when they return home. They are accused of allowing the boy access to the firearm during a weekend visit.
Nothing can take away from the tragedy that has taken place at this elementary school. Of course, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim. It will be interesting to see what lies in the wake of the shooting from a criminal justice standpoint. Like all other shooting, I am sure this will bring a backlash from anti-gun communities as these situations always do. Additionally, the elementary school will undoubtedly see security changes, which are always welcome. Education on the part of the parents is key in the end. Firearms in the home are a privilege granted to us through laws but should be only for those smart enough not to let an elementary student take one to school. The boy's parents will surely be charged heavily, especially when the outcome is learned of Amina Kocer-Bowman.


  1. What an unfortunate event. It's sad that parents don't educate their children more on the seriousness of guns and their sole purpose; to kill. My question is what was the boys excuse for bringing the gun to school? Surely there couldn't have been a danger to him so great that it required bringing a firearm. I hope to see the parents "hang" for this and hopefully it will be a wake-up call to more parents to both educate their children about firearms as well as keep weapons stored in a secure location.

  2. This is really sad. I feel terrible for the victim, since this situation was completely avoidable. No child should have access to a dangerous weapon, especially a firearm. Personally, I feel like children under 15 should not know their parents even own a firearm (if they do). I feel like the boy is getting off easy. I understand that he’s a child, but I think he should have more severe consequences for almost killing someone (even if It wasn’t intentional). I also agree with the comment above that parents should education their children on the dangers of guns. It’s really terrible that this kind of thing occurs. I feel that owning a gun causes so many avoidable problems and accidents and parents with young children should not be allowed to one.

  3. This is ridicules, a couple goes away to a NASCAR event, they didn't take their son, and they leave him in reach of a firearm. Young children really have no idea what a firearm can really do unless they see first hand. Which bring me to a question, can you blame the child? The answer is yes to a certain degree. However you must blame the parents and the films. Young children often imitate that of an adult because you children want to stand tall like adults. In classic psychological expriments, it is a proven fact that children imitate what they see.
    The next thing i want to pick at is the lack of parental guidance. This kid will forever be known for this incident but where will his support come from? It wont come from the parents because they really didn't care in the first place. Things like this make me sick and sad. It seems as though criminals are getting younger and younger.

  4. At what age do we say it old enough to know better? I personally feel that this child should have known better. He is old enough to know what a gun does and the consequences that can happen if a gun is not used properly. Society as a whole has got to do something to help the children of our future. This is the consequence of not enough parental guidance. Children are left to fend for themselves and figure things out about the world on their own. There obviously are multiple people at fault here, not just the parents. There had to be signs of something going on with this child. Teachers, parents, peers had to of seen some signs that there was something not right or problems going on with this child. Such a tragedy that nothing was done to intervene before something like this happened to an innocent person.

  5. The first area of concern in a case like this should be for the health of the victim. All too often the victims become forgotten and it becomes a greater political argument. I sincerely hope she is able to fully recover and lead a healthy life. With that being said there are some huge problems I have with this case. I realize that this boy is not going to be sentenced to twenty years or anything but there needs to be greater consequences for him to realize the seriousness of what has happened. My biggest issue is why did he have any kind of access to a gun in the first place. This is an example of irresponsible gun ownership. This will just give anti-gun groups fuel for their fire. Most firearm owners are responsible and go about their business everyday, but you don't hear about that. These are the stories we hear then they get projected onto everyone else. It's kind of like airplane flights, you don't hear about the hundreds of thousands of flights every day that have zero problems, you hear about the one that does. I hope first and foremost for the full healthy recovery of the victim, but I also hope that there is not a over reactive backlash on responsible gun owners because of the irresponsible actions of one.

  6. If you are going to own a gun, KEEP IT OUT OF REACH OF YOUR KIDS FOR GODS SAKE!!!! Parents need to be a little more attentive to these kinds of things and probably shouldn't be taking weekend trips to Nevada for Nascar. I think that the child should be held a little more responsible for his actions other than writing an apology letter and 12 months probation...that just seems like it's not enough to teach him that that kind of conduct is wrong. I know he's 9, but at that point in a child's life (at least most child's lives) they know the difference from right and wrong and should be held a little more accountable than a slap on the wrist. In addition, I firmly believe the parents should be held accountable...because of their negligence, this situation could have turned out really bad. Thank god it didn't though!