UPI reports that this past week, at least three young children died in the US as a result of shootings with guns belonging to their parents. In at least two of the shootings, the parents were considered to be “responsible gun owner[s].”
Here’s a rundown of this week in “responsible gun ownership.”
Two- year- old shoots himself with father’s gun in Tampa.
On Wednesday in Florida, two- year- old Kaleb Ahles found his father’s .38 caliber handgun in the glove compartment of the family car. Kevin Ahles had left the toddler alone for a few moments as he carried boxes of the family’s belongings to the car, in preparation for a move to Hernando County, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Somehow, Kaleb was able to get to the gun, which, reports say, he pointed at his chest and pulled the trigger. The child’s grandfather, also named Kevin Ahles, is a retired Tampa police detective. He told the Tampa Bay Times:
I’m not blaming my son. Guns and kids don’t mix. He loves his kids. It’s just a tragic accident, although things could have been safer to prevent it.
A 1989 Florida law says that parents can be charged if a child injures himself with a gun that is not in a secured location. Another, seemingly contradictory law, says that it is legal to keep a loaded weapon in the glove box, or center console, of a car. Police say that no charges will be filed against Ahles.
Here’s a video, via the Tampa Bay Times:
Three- year- old Michigan boy dies from gunshot wound.
Also on Wednesday, a three year old boy died in Benton Township, Michigan, after apparently shooting himself. Details are sketchy in this case, and police have yet to release the boy’s name.
Neighbors describe the boy as a “fun loving kid.” A relative told WSBT “[The Father] was one of the most responsible gun owners I know so to hear of this is devastating to a lot of people.”
No charges have yet been filed in the case.
Here’s a report, from WSBT:
Five- year- old Missouri boy shoots infant brother.
On Monday morning, a five year old Missouri boy shot his nine month old brother in the head. Initially, the mother said that the boy had shot his brother with a paintball gun. But law enforcement officials later determined that the weapon used was a .22 caliber revolver.
According to the Nodaway County Sheriff, Darren White, the gun was kept in a shelf on the headboard of the parents’ bed. Gun safety expert, Don Pind, told WDAF, that there was no reason a child should ever have access to a gun. “The parents need to keep them away from it; lock them up, whether it be in a gun sock… padlocks are available free from the police and sheriffs’ offices,” Pind said.
Sheriff White said that the prosecutor’s office will assemble a review board to determine whether charges will be filed against the parents in this case.
Here’s a report, from WDAF:
Preventable tragedies keep getting repeated.
The Journal of Pediatrics reported last year that, in 2009, an average of 20 children and teens were hospitalized every day, due to injuries caused by guns. In that study, conducted by doctors from the Yale University and Boston University schools of medicine, firearms were found to be the second leading cause of death among teens and children. The authors observed,
Firearm injuries are an important and preventable cause of morbidity in the pediatric age range.
Important and preventable. “Responsible gun owners,” are you listening?
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