Tragic, yes. Accident? Hmmmm:
While it is not entirely rare for small children to get a hold of their parent’s guns, one local gun expert described this accident as a “perfect storm.” In her 20 years of experience, Robin Ball the owner of Sharp Shooting Gun Shop, told KREM 2 she has never seen anything like this.
A “perfect storm”? Really? Let’s ask the Great Gazoogle, shall we? In 2014, how many 2-year-olds were involved in an accidental shooting? I found an average of one a month reported in the news:
• Dec. 6, 2014: Killeen 2-year-old in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself.
• November 21, 2014: 2-year-old Marion County, Kansas boy accidentally shot himself. He lived.
• Oct. 22, 2014: A 4-year-old in Meridan, Idaho, accidentally shot his 2-year-old brother in the head with a flare gun.
• Sept. 30, 2014: A Delaware 2-year-old accidentally shot himself in the head with dad’s gun. He died.
• Sept. 14, 2014: A Denmark, S.C. 2-year-old was accidentally shot at a neighbor’s house. He died.
• Sept. 9, 2014: A Florida 2-year-old accidentally fired dad’s gun inside a Wendy’s restaurant. Dad is a sheriff’s deputy.
• May 2, 2014: A Kentucky 2-year-old accidentally shot and killed her 5-year-old brother.
• April 20, 2014: a 2-year-old Utah boy accidentally shot by his 3-year-old sister died.
• April 6, 2014: A Philadelphia 2-year-old fatally shot his 11-year-old sister.
• March 12, 2014: a 2-year-old from Broken Arrow, OK, accidentally shot himself. He died.
• March 2, 2014: An Escambia County, FL 2-year-old was accidentally shot in the head. He died.
• Jan. 1, 2014: a dad accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old son in the car.
Of course, there’s nothing magical about the age of two. You could do the same exercise with 3-year-olds and get the same result.
Maybe we need some better experts?
I read that the father-in-law of Idaho Wal-mart shooting victim Veronica Rutledge is angered that his daughter-in-law’s tragic death is being used by gun control advocates to show why carrying guns everywhere is dangerous. I can understand how hurtful it must be to see your family’s personal tragedy replayed in the national spotlight, but gun control and so-called “gun rights” happen to be part of the national conversation right now. That’s just the way it is.
Rutledge isn’t just sad — he’s angry. Not at his grandson. Nor at his dead daughter-in-law, “who didn’t have a malicious fiber in her body,” he said. He’s angry at the observers already using the accident as an excuse to grandstand on gun rights.
“They are painting Veronica as irresponsible, and that is not the case,” he said. “… I brought my son up around guns, and he has extensive experience shooting it. And Veronica had had hand gun classes; they’re both licensed to carry, and this wasn’t just some purse she had thrown her gun into.”
Yes. That’s the fucking point. If even the safest, most responsible ever isn’t safe, no one is. This isn’t grandstanding, this is a public safety emergency. I’m sorry your daughter-in-law was shot dead by your grandson but I don’t want to be the next victim.
But yes, let’s “respect the culture”:
Terry Rutledge says guns have always been part of their family culture.
“Her and my son both they’ve grown up around guns, they’ve had multiple classes,” said Terry Rutledge. “Always continued classes in shooting and with other friends of theirs you know in the gun culture that shoot. They’ve both been around them for years. They’ve carried concealed legally themselves for years.”
As Charlie Pierce wrote last year after a Kentucky 5-year-old fatally shot his 2-year-old sister, your culture is fucked up. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous and it has no business being made “the norm” for the rest of us. End of discussion.