Three more local children shot by their own hand in one week in one city

I was about to write my own post about three tragic shootings in one city within one week. In my research, I found the attached report from a local TV station by Morgan Newell. It will give you a sense of the tragedies.

“After three children ‘accidentally’ shot themselves, community stresses gun safety – The three incidents happened within a week of each other. One was fatal.” by Morgan Newell on August 17, 2020

“CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Deadly accidental shootings by children have increased 43 percent in March and April compared to the same two months for the last three years. That is according to gun safety group ‘Everytown for Gun Safety.’

Here in Charlotte, a two-year-old shot and killed himself with his father’s unsecured gun on Saturday.

Now, the community is stressing gun safety as more important than ever.

There have been three separate accidental shootings in Charlotte in less than a week. All by kids under eight years old and all used either unsecured or mishandled guns.

The one on Rodney Road happened Sunday. Alfredo Lopez, 18, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The child is expected to survive.

The Camp Greene shooting happened last Thursday.

The child, who police say was with his family visiting friends, is also expected to survive. Police charged Devonte Warren, 25, with failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor.

‘That right there was ridiculous,’ says one man living in the motel where the fatal shooting at Economy Inn happened.

He says he witnessed the commotion from Saturday’s shooting. He did not want to be identified but says the incident brought him to tears.

‘I was there. It was an accident. Set Antonio free,’ says one man, who claims he was in the room where the two-year-old shot himself.

He explains what happens, but he walked away before any more questions.

‘His kid found a gun himself, but nobody’s looking at that,’ he says.

‘The amount of guns that have somehow found their way in Charlotte. I don’t know how that’s happening,’ says Judith Brown, a community activist.

Judith Brown is constantly canvassing the Reagan Road area where the shooting happened. She did not know about this shooting, but she feels it is the same story she has seen in the last few months.

‘I’ve lived here for 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,’ she says. ‘Not having guns secure they shouldn’t even be loaded inside the house with a child.’

‘It makes you feel terrible particularly when you know they are so preventable,’ says Larry Hyatt, owners of Hyatt Gun and Coin.

According to the FBI, the agency ran 3.9 million background checks in June alone. Hyatt says safety does not stop once you are cleared.

‘You might have had your permit and your background check but where you store it is also your responsibility,’ Hyatt said. ‘If a child can get to it, they’re curious. You’re going to have an accident.’

Hyatt says the best protection is a lockbox. Even if a person wants the gun close by, he says there are ways to have access and safety. The two, Hyatt said, have to go hand in hand.

‘There’s no reason you should have a loaded gun for someone who shouldn’t have access,’ he said.

Some of the reasons Hyatt thought more people are buying guns are the pandemic and recent protests. He says people want the extra layer of protection.”

One person took offense that they arrested the owner of the gun saying it was an accident. Let me emphasize what others did in the article. It was an accident waiting to happen. To be blunt, a true accident is something unexpected happening. A child finding a loaded gun and it going off is an accident that is terribly tragic, but could have been avoided.

I have been a proponent of better gun governance in our country. There are several majority supported steps that could be taken to make us safer, without infringing on someone’s 2nd amendment rights. Yet, if people own guns, they must be hyper-vigilant in storing them away. Arresting someone who did not store a gun away that led to a child’s shooting is sadly needed to emphasize the vital importance of that responsibility.

When my children were little, they found a rifle in my father-in-law’s closet. I did not know he had one. When he told me it was loaded, I asked him to unload it when the kids were coming over. I was matter-of-fact and said we can not let them come if you do not. He, of course, did so.

15 thoughts on “Three more local children shot by their own hand in one week in one city

  1. Note to Readers: No parent should have to bury a child. I cannot think of a worse nightmare other than burying your spouse. Yet, to have to bury a child due to a failure to secure a weapon will haunt the parent. The message is loud and should be clear – secure a weapon in a safe, locked placed, unloaded. No ifs, ands or buts.

  2. Needless. Senseless. This country has a gun obsession problem that gets worse every year. Earlier this year, I wrote about the huge spike in gun sales as a result of the pandemic and related lockdown measures. These deaths are, in part, a result of that. The failure of gun-owning adults to secure their weapons, to ensure the safety of children, should result in murder convictions … life-long prison sentences. But, do you know why we cannot even get the most basic gun regulations passed in Congress? Because … members of Congress are in the pockets of the gun industry/lobby. Mitch McConnell alone has accepted well over a million dollars in NRA donations. And he is not alone. When a person’s right to own a gun supersedes a child’s right to life, something is very, very wrong.

    • Jill, so true. But, we are seeing 170,000 plus lives lost not matter, nor those who will die, as contrasted to not assuming responsibility for poor pandemic handling to win an election. Keith

      • Sigh. Human life has no meaning to Trump and his cronies. We are all expendable in his playbook. That oath he took??? He didn’t even know what it meant … it was just a bunch of words to him.

      • Jill, one of my favorite legal tidbits about Trump is he was deposed once and during such had to correct thirty misstatements or be accused of lying under oath. Oaths are only as good as the oath taker. This is a key reason the Inspectors General must go as they actually police that oath taking thing. Keith

  3. Such a tragedy. My father had a large gun collection when we were kids, but he always kept them unloaded and locked in a cabinet…and we were taught not to even try to play with them. It’s up to the parent to be responsible.

    • Peg, you are so right. All it takes is one instant and a poor decision. The number one reason for gun deaths in the US is suicide, by far. So, guns must be locked away from teens as well as young kids. Keith

    • David, America makes problems less solvable because lobbyists pay our legislators not to solve them. We could better address gun governance if we put a group of parents in a room to discuss. Keith

  4. The level of denial that a lot of avid gun owners display is astounding. Leaving guns accessible to kids is much like leaving a car untended with the keys in the ignition and children in the car.

    • Linda, true to a point. There are many responsible gun owners who have nothing to do with the NRA. Yet. It is the more vocal NRA crowd that prevents better governance from occurring. Regardless, we must do better for our kids and those who are depressed who are a danger to themselves. Keith

      • Yes. There are many gun owners who grew up with guns in the house, grew up knowing and understanding the proper use and care of guns. The history of guns in America and the history of the NRA is very interesting. More people need to investigate that side of the issue.

      • Linda, so true. The NRA used to focus on gun safety than sales. It’s not ironic, I know of other assocations that were designed for one mission to support users, then industry fills the Board of Trustees and the mission is to support industry. Keith

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