Sigh. Unsecured gun plus visit from mischievous toddlers equals [drumroll please]… Headline: 6-year-old shoots 4-year-old with great-grandmother’s gun.
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – A four-year-old was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in non-critical condition after a 6-year-old shot her Sunday night, according to Memphis Police Department…. “She ran to me holding her face. I was telling her not to cry,” said [Grandma] Boyland.
And while “non-critical condition” tempts us to breathe a sigh of relief, let it be known that the kid was shot … in … the … face. Grazing wound, sure. But two inches over and we’re burying another person with fewer years on this earth than my newest pair of shoes. So, here’s the question:
8 comments on ““She Ran to Me Holding Her Face…””
I’m generally suspicious of these stories where a small child shoots someone–I looked into a handful of these when debating gun rights. Most turned out to be a household or person that was well known to police, or an unemployed boyfriend babysitting the kids from her previous boyfriend.
You mean an adult had the AD and blamed the kid?
My point is that this sort of thing is almost always associated with other risk factors, and is extraordinarily rare in normal law abiding gun owner’s homes.
In one story boyfriend claimed he woke up to find toddler holding the loaded gun backwards, and that it went off when boyfriend tried to take it away…but forensic evidence said the gun was too far away for that to be true. Boyfriend was a prohibited person due to a prior domestic violence conviction. (Had a non-gun version a couple blocks from here, where a toddler “fell down the stairs” under similar circumstances, with similar forensic conclusions)
A debate over that story prompted me do a bit of quick and dirty Google research–I searched for something like “toddler shoots”. In the stories more than a few weeks old I was able to find a followup story in the overwhelming majority of cases that pointed to other risk factors like a history of crime, domestic violence or an unemployed boyfriend in the house.
…and I just found this addition to your story:
“Boylan tells WREG she lost a daughter to a gun accident years ago, and she’s incredibly thankful she didn’t lose a granddaughter to the same tragedy Sunday night. The family is urging people to put their guns away and get a lock, so they don’t have to go through this family’s living nightmare”
It takes very little effort or care to keep kids safe from guns. Twice in the same family indicates a pretty significant problem.
Holy crap! OK now I want to change my answer to the poll question… Wow. Unbelievable!
I hate these stories.
Part of me wants to scream at Grandma and shake her by her lapels, “What the hell is wrong with you?” That part of me wants to see Grandma taught a lesson, maybe a fine, maybe time, but probably not the latter. I tend to view this kind of this with a jaundiced eye towards intent. I don’t believe Grandma ever intended to hurt her grandchildren, and unless Grandma is a known gang member/has a criminal record, I’d lean towards lesser punishment. Was it reckless to leave a firearm, loaded, where children could gain access to it? You bet. Does it make it criminal, as in negligent or child endangerment? I guess, I don’t know.
Part of me recognizes that she probably was never taught proper gun safety by anyone, nor safe gun storage, and it never occurred to her that her grandbabies could locate and operate her firearm. That part of me wants Grandma to be handed a proper lesson on gun safety by a responsible adult, AND gun safety classes for the kids, AND the parents of said kids. We teach kids to swim so that if they end up in the water, they can swim and not drown. Far more kids die from drowning every year than firearms, despite that. Safety training alone isn’t enough, but it’s better than ignoring the problem. Why can’t we teach kids so that if they end up around a firearm, they at least have the skill set to safely extricate themselves from the situation?
This is what the anti-gunners have wrought upon our country, actually. By demonizing guns, and pushing them away, we end up with entire generations that have no clue of what guns can do, with no understanding of how to operate one, or own one safely. Kids learn how to use knives and cut fruit and vegetables and meat without mayhem. We teach them about the dangers of playing with matches. We teach them about drugs and the dangerous of using them, or smoking cigarettes. What is so special about teaching them about guns? Why can’t we demystify the entire experience of holding and shooting and knowing about guns?
ABC (once again) did a special one time where they tried to disprove the notion that training would make any difference when it came to kids and guns. I noticed that their training was hideously bad, basically telling the kids, “Don’t touch.” Then they left a disabled firearm where the kids could find it, to see it the “training” took hold. Almost every kid picked up the gun, fondling it, taking aim, etc.
I screamed at the TV, “OF COURSE THEY DID. YOU DIDN’T TAKE AWAY ANY OF THE MYSTERY BEHIND IT.” Simply telling a kid, “No, don’t touch, it’s bad!” isn’t going to work.
All of my kids have been taught the basics. They know the Eddie Eagle program by heart, the four rules, basic gun handling, all of it. I actually heard my 12 year old son telling his 14 year old neighbor that he needed to keep his finger off the trigger until he was on target and ready to shoot! My kids have all fired at least an airgun, and all have seen that even an airgun has the potential to kill or seriously injure someone. But there is one more rule that my kids all know: Any time they want to see, hold, learn about my guns, I will do it. Maybe not right that second, but certainly that same day. We go over the rules, reciting them together, and then I open the safe. All the “mystery” is removed. They can see and hold the guns anytime they want, because I make it priority for them to understand guns and proper safety.
I think Grandma needs an education. I think she’ll have learned her lesson, knowing that her irresponsible behavior almost cost her someone very dear to her. I think the kids need an education. I think Grandma is going to get her stern warning, and I bet that the grandkids coming over is a moot point anymore (at least it would be if my wife was the baby’s mama). Grandma’s gun is probably going away, whether through confiscation or she gets rid of it.
I’m just glad it didn’t end with a funeral.
Meeeeee tooooooooo (hate these stories)!!!! Makes me just wanna scream.
I don’t think Grandma had any bad intent either, but the family needs to know gun safety and safe storage. Gee, if we knew someone in the Memphis area who could give that family lessons…
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