Guns are dangerous weapons. They should never be where kids can access them, especially if they are loaded. Unfortunately, there are stories in the news over and over again about children accidentally shooting themselves or others. Other times, kids are injured do to an accidental discharge of a weapon being handled by an adult in the home. These are terrible tragedies. If these stories help prevent similar instances from occurring, then they have some redeeming value in being shared here.
- 9-year-old dies after being shot in the head – In July of 2009, three siblings were at home while their single-parent father was at work. Exactly what transpired is unclear, but somehow the 9-year-old was shot while they were home alone. One of the other children ran to a neighbor’s to get help, but unfortunately the child did not survive the shooting. ‘Hiding’ a gun in your home is not a safe choice and can have deadly consequences.
- 2-year-old shot by 4-year-old at home – Within 48 hours of the 9-year-old’s death in Texas, a 2-year-old little girl was shot through her torso by a 9 mm handgun being handled by her 4-year-old brother. There father was home at the time, but it is reported that the gun was not properly secured. A loaded gun should never be in the house with children.
- 4-year-old is shot by 3-year-old sibling – The same week in July of 2009 as the two previously listed incidents, a 4-year-old boy was shot by a gun that his 3-year-old brother found underneath the bed in the home they were visiting with their father. The injury was not fatal, but could have been.
- Deputy’s 3-year-old daughter dies – In April of 2010, a sheriff’s deputy in California was working in his garage and his 3-year-old daughter was in the garage with him. He had a loaded handgun located somewhere in the garage and the 3-year-old accessed the gun and shot herself with it. A very tragic reminder that even the most experienced weapon owner needs to follow the rules of safe gun storage.
- Boys shot by friend – A seventh-grader calls 911 to tell them that he has accidentally shot his friend while they were playing around in his home. A few years later, that same boy called 911 with a similar story and another dead friend in his home. Other friends of this boy said that he frequently had access to guns and often pointed them at them when he was “just fooling around.”
- 7-year-old dies from accidental shooting – In Idaho during October of 2011, a father had taken his 7-year-old son hunting. He will never be able to spend another hunting trip with his son due the tragic accident that ended the life of his son. While placing a loaded gun into the vehicle, the gun discharged and killed the young boy.
- 3-year-old shoots 5-year-old at home – At the end of December 2011, in Colorado, a 23 year-old left a loaded gun in a bedroom after using it for target practice. Two young children who lived in the home found the gun in the bedroom and the 3-year-old was found holding the gun and her 5-year-old sibling shot when adults rushed in after hearing the gun go off.
- 5-year-old girl shoots herself – Another Colorado 5-year-old shot and killed herself with her father’s .45 caliber handgun while her parents were in another room of the home with her younger sibling. Another devastating tragedy leaving parents overwhelmed with grief and guilt.
- 11-year-old daughter killed in gun cleaning accident In Alaska, an 11-year-old girl died after being accidentally shot when her father was attempting to unload a shotgun prior to cleaning it. While unloading the gun, it discharged.
- 4-year-old and mother shot in gun cleaning accident – This gun cleaning tragedy is a reminder that not only children but adults should not be present in a room where a gun is being cleaned. The gun, assumed to be unloaded, discharged and sent a bullet completely through the man’s 4-year-old son and into the boy’s mother as well.
May these sad, sad stories serve as somber reminders to keep guns unloaded and safely stored to keep our kids safe, and to never clean guns where an accidental discharge could strike a child or adult.