In Indianapolis, a 3-year-old kid has died after suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot late Saturday night. As a parent, I could not imagine the pain of losing a child, much less losing my child because of a careless act on my behalf or someone else in the house.
From Indy Star.com:
It’s this house in the city’s Ravenswood neighborhood on the Northside that police say played host to a terrible tragedy Saturday night where a family is grieving after a 3-year-old boy pulled a loaded gun off a kitchen counter and shot himself in the head.
The boy, who has not been identified, was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition and died just before midnight. As of Sunday night, Chris Wilburn, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said a preliminary investigation indicated the child’s death was accidental and no one has been charged in his death.
Wilburn said Saturday that the parents and a 4-year-old sister of the boy were home at the time of the shooting and that all were taken to the police station and questioned, though he said they were not considered suspects.
Anytime guns are mentioned, there’s a segment of society that knee jerks into OMGOBAMADEMOCRATSGONNAGRABMYGUNS!!! mode or some similar refrain. If this story goes large, I’m sure that group will make their presence known in a great, big, vocal way. If anything, these are the exact kinds of stories that should trigger honest and serious debate about how we, as a country, handle firearms.
I’m not one to go the route of banning guns. I am, however, convinced that gun ownership requires and should entail great responsibility on the behalf of the owner. Anybody who chooses to own or carry a firearm should be responsible enough to ensure things like this don’t happen.
I won’t bash the parents because that won’t bring their child back. I’m not going to bash gun manufacturers because that won’t ease the pain and anguish of the parents.
What I will stress, as I have done before, is responsibility starts at home. If you are a gun owner with kids in the house or have the potential for kids to be in your house, then invest in a gun safe. That little investment can save you years upon years of anguish. Before my oldest child was born, I thought it was ok to leave a gun in the nightstand. There were no kids in the house, and when we had company, nobody went into my bedroom. As soon as she started to roll over and crawl, I made sure that my gun was under lock and key with the key in my personal possession if it was not holstered on my person. That, in my view, is the right thing to do.
If we were all responsible and safe gun owners, there would be no need for the knee jerk reactions we hear whenever gun control is mentioned. I say that because there would likely not be any great big fuss about gun control if we were all responsible. Just goes to show the old saying, “one bad apple spoils the bunch” may indeed be true about more than just apples.
- 3-year-old accidentally shot, killed himself (wave3.com)
- IMPD: Child, 3, shot in head (wishtv.com)
- Toddler dies after he was shot in the head (fox59.com)