WRONG. I see this argument all the time and it really annoys me because it is absolutely wrong. Guns can be used to kill people, sure, but that is not their only purpose by any means. They are primarily a recreational object but they can also be used for killing. I and many people I know have done a lot of shooting.
I think you got that backwards...
They where meant to quickly and easily kill living beings...
That a lot of people now go to a shooting range and use their guns for target shooting is a good side-effect/evolution...
But 2 reasons why this happened are that we don't have to hunt our own food anymore and there is law-enforcement for when dangerous people need to be stopped...
But guns aren't toys or sports-equipment, they are power-tools for killing animals and humans...
That's what guns were originally developed for, but that's not what they're used for anymore. I know a few people who have bought guns for hunting (most of whom have several guns and only one or two are for hunting), but most people I know with guns have them for purely recreational purposes. Not a single one of them bought them for killing someone.
Are you really going to tell me that the primary purpose of guns is for killing things when they almost never are used for that? When at most 1 in 1000 times one is used (and probably much less than that) that it is used with the intention of killing something? Sorry, but that's ridiculous.
Gun owners, you are not helping by shrugging off parents who irresponsibly give way-too-young children guns. You can tell a 5 year-old "only with adult supervision" till you're blue in the face, but that doesn't mean he's always going to pay attention to you.
I don't think anyone is condoning the parents' actions in this instance. For the most part, the pro-gun people here have said that either 5 is way too young, or that the kid should never have had access to the gun without close supervision, or both.
And no, I would never expect a 5-year-old to be perfectly obedient. That's the purpose of a gun safe/trigger lock. They can disobey all they want, but if they can't get access to the gun unsupervised they aren't going to kill someone in an accident such as this.
For the record, I learned to shoot bb guns at six, and handled my first shotgun at 12. Seems like reasonable ages to me.
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. That's similar my own experience and that of my children.