It’s happened again. Another child is dead because a parent did not secure his gun and keep it out of her reach. This time it was in the small Louisiana town of LaPlace on Saturday morning. Haley Moore and her two siblings were at their Dad’s for the weekend, expecting a movie and some family time. What they got instead was another child v. handgun statistic.
5-year old Haley, left alone with her siblings while Dad took a shower, found the .45 caliber pistol on the table where her Dad had left it. He reported hearing a shot and, when he came out of the shower, saw the child had shot herself. The bruising between her thumb and forefinger show that Haley was the one who fired the gun.
Haley’s sister and brother exited the house, screaming, and a neighbor took them in while EMT’s tried to resuscitate their sister. She told WDSU news:
The oldest kid, she repeatedly said, ‘My sister shot herself. My sister shot herself.’
The child died at the hospital from a gunshot wound that entered the right side of her chest and exited under her left arm. That caliber of a gun had to do catastrophic damage to Haley’s chest.
The neighbor said that the children knew about guns, knew how dangerous they were. But such knowledge is, obviously, no guarantee that children won’t pick up guns and play with them. An experiment devised by a Charlotte, North Carolina TV station proved that. Four of eight children in the scenario actually pulled the trigger on a very realistic gun, to the horror of their parents. So, no, just telling your kids not to pick up a gun doesn’t work very well.
This epidemic of children being killed by gun accidents is unacceptable. Everyone from the president to local law enforcement is trying hard to educate parents. St. John the Baptist parish sheriff’s deputy, Lt. Greg Baker, had a message for parents who own guns:
Safety, everything is safety. If you’re the owner of a weapon, buy a safe box, a gun safe. That’s the way it is. Teach your kids. Teach your family about it.
That can’t be stressed enough. Keep your guns out of the reach of your children. Period. This isn’t hard. It isn’t expensive. It is, however, imperative. As a gun owner myself, I keep my gun in a lock box that only I can open. I’ve owned my .357 since my daughter was four and she’s still alive 21 years later. See how that works? Come on, people!
Featured Image via Pixabay