By now you’ve probably heard the incredibly sad story of Iraq War veteran Justin Thomas, a Green Beret who survived the Iraq War only to be killed by his 4-year-old son. It’s a tragic tale: the two were visiting a friend who had left a loaded gun lying on the living room TV stand like it was the goddamn remote control. The kid found it, and the predictable happened.
Charges, naturally, were not filed because hey, shit happens! Get over it! Survive a brutal war and get killed by your own kid because a friend left a gun lying around? Circle of life, y’all! It’s their own fault for arriving unannounced! Personal responsibility, people! Next time, call first!
Now, Thomas’ mother has come forward to plead for gun safety.
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Arizona — A Tampa-area grandmother is urging people to keep firearms safely away from children after her four-year-old grandson picked up a gun and accidentally fired it, killing his father in Arizona last week.
“When I Googled this story on my son, I couldn’t even count the number of pages,” says Marilyn Andreatta about her son, 35-year-old Justin Thomas. “It was infinite — children shooting fathers, children shooting other children, children picking up a gun out of curiosity.”
Thomas was living in Phoenix and had taken his son for a surprise visit to a former roommate’s house about an hour and a half away.
Almost immediately, on a TV stand, police say the boy found the roommate’s gun, something he may have thought was a toy.
“It was loaded,” Andreatta told 10 News. “It was sitting out in the living room and he just didn’t think to put it away when my grandson entered the house.”
Who leaves a loaded gun lying around on the living room TV stand? An irresponsible idiot who should be prosecuted, that’s who. So what if you didn’t think anyone was going to drop by? People drop by all the damn time. What if your house was robbed? You’ve left a loaded gun lying out in the open where thieves can steal it, sending it out onto the streets to be involved in lord knows how many crimes.
This isn’t just the DFH peaceniks talking; it’s firearms safety instructors:
“Every day, I’m seeing something out there, some kind of accidental discharge,” he says. “To me, it’s almost not an accident at that point. It’s just neglect.”
To prevent that, Krawtshenko urges people to unload their guns, take them apart and store the parts across different areas of the house, put guns in a safe, or use the lock that comes with the gun.
Almost not an accident? Drop the “almost,” buddy.
After the Newtown shootings, someone (I can’t remember where) wrote, “We don’t want to control your guns. We want you to control your guns.” But the fact of the matter is, gun owners are not controlling their guns. They’re leaving them lying around out in the open where children can find them. They’re leaving them in unlocked cars, where they are stolen.
You aren’t controlling your guns. We’re going to have to pass some laws and prosecute your negligence because too many of you aren’t being responsible.
Some facts to ponder:
• More than 5,0000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S. since the Newtown shootings. More than 360 of them were children and teenagers.
• Guns killed more preschoolers in one year than they did law-enforcement officers in the line of duty.