In yet another tragic case of children being injured by guns, a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy shot himself in the face in the late night hours of November 15th. The boy had been left in a vehicle with his sister to wait for their father to finish work at the time of the incident.
This tragedy, which at last update has resulted in the boy being listed in “extremely critical condition,” began in Darby Township in Pennsylvania when a father had his children waiting for him in his vehicle. Unfortunately, the man’s children weren’t the only thing in the automobile — there was also a .357 Magnum.
Around 10:30 Saturday night, the boy’s sister ran inside to alert her father that the young boy had accidentally discharged the weapon and had shot himself in the face. Authorities believe that the gun belonged to the boy’s father and had been left in the vehicle by him.
Unfortunately, this story is likely to become just another footnote in the long list of recent shooting incidents caused by parents who leave their guns accessible to their children. On Oct. 27, for instance, a 4-year-old boy shot himself with his mother’s .40-caliber handgun after the woman had earlier spent time at the shooting range.
Only two days later, a 6-year-old boy found his father’s gun and accidentally shot himself in the hand. Less than a week later, on Nov. 3, a 3-year-old boy in Baltimore was shot in the leg by a shotgun operated by another toddler who was in the home. A few days later, on Nov. 8, a nine-year-old boy was playing with a gun in his home and accidentally shot himself in the chest. This child died from his injuries.
Responsibility of gun owners?
Everybody is always talking about the distinction between a “good guy with a gun” and a “bad guy with a gun,” and much has been said about how we’re supposed to differentiate between the two. What people aren’t paying as much attention to, however, is how we identify a responsible and an irresponsible gun owner before it’s too late.
It’d be insanely easy to just chalk all of these incidents up to irresponsible or inexperienced gun owners, but these types of scenarios aren’t the only times accidents happen. A police chief that was running for sheriff in an Indiana town, for instance, recently shot himself while examining a handgun. The kicker? He was a 30 year veteran of the police force, and it was his second time accidentally shooting himself during his career!
Of course, that’s a different situation. The officer didn’t put any children in danger, and some would say that it only takes a gun safe or lock to prevent tragedies from occurring involving children. Unfortunately, Erich Pratt, the spokesman for the right-wing group “Gun Owners of America,” recently said using these safety devices was dangerous. In fact, he flat out blamed the use of a gun safety lock for the deaths of two children.
There are undoubtedly responsible gun owners out there. I mean, there have to be, but due to a lack of laws that require training for those who are going to own guns, there’s really no way to identify who those responsible gun owners are until they make it their whole life without a child accidentally killing themselves with their gun. Hopefully, the 10-year-old boy in the Saturday night Pennsylvania incident will recover and not turn into one of these statistics.