3-Year-Old Fatally Shoots Sister With Gun From Her Great-Grandpa’s Nightstand
This weekend, 9-year-old Kimberly Reylander was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother, using a pistol stored unlocked and loaded in her great-grandfather’s night stand.
Via The Washington Post:
Irondale Police Chief Ken Atkinson told AL.com and WIAT that the children’s great-grandfather had left the loaded pistol on his nightstand Saturday morning, not knowing that the children were coming over. He wasn’t home at the time of the shooting, but the children’s grandmother and uncle — whom police detectives are now interviewing — were, though they didn’t know there was a gun in the room where the children were playing.
“It appears to be a tragic accident,” Atkinson said.
Yes, it’s a tragic accident, but it was also a preventable one. Even if you’re not a parent–if you have children coming over to your house regularly, your home should be childproofed. Just as you might buy covers for your electrical outlets and make sure poisonous items are on higher shelves, and not store your medications in the cookie jar, so should you make sure you don’t have guns laying around anywhere. If it’s that important to you to do so, then you need to let anyone in your family who might bring children over to your house when you’re not there know where your guns are, so that they can make sure they’re not within reach of a child.
This is the fifth time so far this month that someone has been hurt or killed by a toddler with a gun. That is not acceptable. People say that the reason they have guns in their homes is to keep their families safe–but if you have a gun in your house, the odds are 38:1 that said gun will be used in a homicide, suicide or accidental killing rather than in a “justifiable shooting.” Those are not good odds! Maybe try to decrease those odds by not leaving a loaded gun anywhere children might be able to find it.