In a never ending story, yet another child has shot someone after discovering a gun in the house. I had been pulling together another post, when the following news article caught my eye in yesterday’s newspaper, “4-year-old accidentally shot by juvenile with unsecured weapon in Charlotte, police say” by Jonathan Limehouse of The Charlotte Observer. The full story follows, but I did provide a link below.
“A 4-year-old is in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being accidentally shot by another juvenile in a northwest Charlotte home Monday morning, police said.
Around 11:30 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 2100 block of Long Ridge Lane. Upon arrival, officers found the 4-year-old victim with a gunshot wound.
Based on initial evidence, police said another juvenile found an unsecured firearm inside the home and accidentally shot the victim.
Detectives are currently speaking with the adults who were inside the home at the time of the shooting, police said.
Police did not specify the relationship between the victim and the juvenile who fired the gun.
RECENT SHOOTINGS INVOLVING YOUTH, UNSECURED FIREARMS
▪ On Aug. 8, a 2-year-old boy in Gastonia shot and killed his father, Markovia LaShawn Durham, at his grandmother’s home.
“He thought it was a toy,” the child’s grandmother told Observer news partner WBTV.
The .40-caliber Glock handgun “was not properly secured at the time,” the Gaston Gazette reported.
Durham, 29, was feeding his son when the incident happened, the grandmother told WBTV.
▪ On the morning of July 24, a 14-year-old accidentally shot his 12-year-old brother in west Charlotte.
The 12-year-old was seriously injured, police said.
The 14-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun, which he found walking to a store near his house, the boy’s mother told WSOC-TV.
Police ruled this shooting an accident.
▪ A mother of five was accidentally killed in Cornelius on Feb. 15 when her children found a gun in her purse, according to Cornelius police.
Police found Gabriel Alexis Henderson, 25, in a back bedroom of her apartment. Medic pronounced her dead on the scene.
Investigators determined that the only people in the home at the time of the shooting was Henderson and her five children. The oldest child was in the living room, while the other four were in the bedroom playing with a small semi automatic handgun they found in Henderson’s purse, police said.
The mother’s youngest child also was shot but suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
YOUTH, HANDGUN SHOOTING STATISTICS
An estimated 4.6 million American children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked, according to Everytown Research.
▪ There have been at least 239 unintentional shootings by children this year, resulting in 94 deaths and 157 injuries nationally.
▪ In North Carolina this year, there have been at least 12 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in seven deaths and six injuries.
▪ Last year, there were 15 unintentional shootings in the state, which resulted in six deaths and nine injuries.
▪ In 2019, there were at least seven unintentional shootings by children, resulting in just eight injuries in North Carolina.
▪ In 2018, there were at least eight unintentional shootings by children, resulting in two deaths and six injuries in North Carolina.”
I actually called the reporter and thanked him for his well-done article, including citing other recent shootings and child gun deaths over the last few years. To be brutally frank, this story could have been written at any time in any major city in America.
I blame cowardly politicians who are funded by the gun manufacturing industry who routinely tell us “now is the not the time” to address better gun governance. Well, right now, this is not about a mass shooting, although they are fairly routine in America. This is about what happens on a daily basis.
Guns need not be taken away, but we as a country need to have more accountability to owning a weapon designed to kill people. We govern driving a car better than we do owning a gun. It truly saddens me that someone dies at the hands of a child who stumbles onto a gun. It is especially painful when it is a child who is the victim. Plus the shooter has to live with the trauma of causing the death of another.
Responsible gun owners have stated publicly that they support better measures. Yet, the lobbyists from the gun industry keep stating the broken record of that is a “slippery slope.” Mr. Politician, I do not want to hear more platitudes of “thoughts and prayers” and I especially do not want to hear from gun industry sycophants giving me the party line of second amendment rights. Measures can be taken to make us safer and if won’t do it for adults, let’s at least do it for the children.