“She’s dead. She’s dead. I thought it was empty.”
The words of a horror-stricken father who had just accidentally shot his 9 year old daughter.
The father continued, “I was showing the boys [his 10-year-old twins] the gun and told them not to ever play with it because it can kill someone. Then she walked in the room and I pointed it at her and pulled the trigger, thinking it was empty.”
A child is dead. A family is grieving. Lives have been torn apart.
While some of you may be thinking that teaching young children about firearms was his mistake, that’s not necessarily true. It all depends on the age and maturity of the children. 10 years old is not too early to teach firearm safety. But again, it does depend on the maturity of the children. Teaching children the rules and importance of firearm safety can lower the possibility of firearm accidents.
But… if you’re going to teach someone else about firearm safety, be it child or adult, you MUST follow the rules of safety yourself!
The father chose to ignore two very important rules of firearm safety…
*ALWAYS treat every firearm as if it’s loaded. Even if you’re absolutely sure or, in this case, think, that the firearm is empty.
*ALWAYS keep your firearm pointed in safe direction. Never point a firearm at something unless you intend to destroy it. And that includes people.
One of the boys said that the father had also pointed the gun at them, not once, but up to three times. Again… ignoring those so-very-important fire safety rules.
The father has been charged with five felonies, according to court records, including neglect of a dependent resulting in death, battery resulting in death to a person less than 14 years old, reckless homicide and two counts of neglect of a dependent. He faces 20 to 40 years if convicted of neglecting a dependent resulting in death.
This is a horrible case of a gun owner exhibiting horrible judgment.
I feel for him, for his family and friends, and I mourn for his daughter. But, ultimately, it was his fault. He’ll have to live with that forever.
A firearm is a tool. It does not have a brain. We have to use our brains to make sure something like this doesn’t happen.
- Always treat every firearm as it it’s loaded.
- Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
- And keep your finger off the trigger in situations like this.
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