Another senseless death

*photo from Indy and taken by Jill Disis/The Star

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

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.



9 thoughts on “Another senseless death

  1. Just before I read this I saw this on Facebook, one of 168,000 shares, posted by a guy who wrote “Hilarious!!!” after it. My response was not hilarious.


  2. Just before I turned to this, I read on CNN about a Congressman who’s hosting a gun class for children in his district, to highlight gun safety and “encourage responsible gun ownership.” Says it’s just a coincidence that the date of the event is the anniversary of the Newtown massacre.

    I don’t for a moment believe the date was a coincidence, and I can’t think why anyone with half a brain would. A point is being made here and it’s one I find offensive and dangerous.

    On the other hand, who can possibly hold a brief against gun safety? There’s really no way to speak out against what he’s doing.

    I just wish there was some room for common sense in our American love affair with guns. Yes, gun safes. Gun safety classes. Please, some restrictions on magazine size. But all of this has to be strictly voluntary, because no gun behavior can be regulated by law in this country.


    • ” But all of this has to be strictly voluntary, because no gun behavior can be regulated by law in this country.”

      I hear some variation on that a lot regarding guns. Criminals will get guns. People will find a way around the law. And so on.

      Apply that to any other situation and does it make sense? Drinking and driving? Not stealing? Not trafficking in illegal narcotics? Paying taxes? Speed limits? Yes, for any law there will be people who break the law. The answer to that is legal consequences. Not doing away with the law.


    • I just wish there was some room for common sense in our American love affair with guns.

      There is room for common sense here. All one has to do is remove the veil of ignorance and hypocrisy that has many people blinded.

      Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the NRA was all about safety and gun control laws. Maybe it’s coincidence, but that was the same time the Black Panthers were proudly engaging in their 2nd Amendment rights.

      I halfway joke around saying that gun control laws will become popular in one of two ways. The first way is that Obama and the Democrats come out hard against them. The GOP kneejerk will automatically put them in favor of those laws. The second way is for the minority groups to begin associating amongst themselves like the Panthers did and exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. When there are countless cases of minorities “standing their ground” against non-minorities, those laws will happen as fast as a man can blink.


      • The first time I remember gun control laws being mentioned was in 1968 after RFK was shot. Don’t remember any mention of it before that. Although the NRA was big on safety back then (this is also the same time I first became aware that there was an NRA), I don’t remember them ever being anything but against gun control. It’s been pretty much the same argument by both sides, ever since.

        The big difference in this and many other laws is that this one is specifically spelled out in the Constitution.


        • Freedom of speech is specifically spelled out in the Constitution and there are all kinds of restrictions on speech.

          Freedom of assembly is specifically spelled out in the Constitution but there are all kinds of gatherings for which you need a permit.

          Having some sensible gun controls doesn’t mean we can’t still have guns. Just maybe not so promiscuously.


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