For most parents, the thought of losing a child is nightmarish. For parents, there is never a good time for their child to die. To have one’s child die during the Christmas holidays, though? A time when family typically comes together in joyous celebration? That’s a whole ‘nother level of horrific. As a result of an improperly stored firearm, such a tragedy has befallen one South Carolina family:
The Simpsonville boy had come across the 9 mm pistol in his parents’ bedroom and was playing with it when authorities said the gun accidentally went off, striking him.
An autopsy Tuesday determined that the boy died of a single gunshot wound to the head, said Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans. His death was ruled accidental, Evans said.
It was the second time this year tragedy struck the house on Garfield Lane.
Michael’s father, Richard Boyles Jr., died at the home of cancer in May, Evans said. An obituary said Richard Boyles was born and raised in Greenville and was a veteran.
The gun belonged to him, according to the Coroner’s Office.
After her husband died, Michael’s mother told authorities she removed the magazine from the gun, thinking she had unloaded it, according to Evans.
The magazine was stowed under some clothes, and the pistol was put up in a dresser drawer. She thought it was safe there, Evans said.
At about 1:45 p.m. Monday, authorities said Michael went into his mother’s room while she was in another part of the house with Michael’s younger brother.
The coroner said the boy somehow climbed on top of some boxes to get to the drawer where the gun was kept.
“It was loaded. One bullet was in the chamber, and it was ready to fire,” Evans said.
He described the gun as one of the few types that will still fire without a magazine. There wasn’t a gun lock or a traditional safety mechanism, Evans said.
It’s one thing for childfree adults to haphazardly store their guns in their homes. Such is risk is borne only by them and they are adults, able to make decisions on their own and bear the responsibilities for them. It’s another thing entirely for parents to demonstrate a callous disregard for gun safety. If you have children and for some motherfucking stupid ass reason you decide to have a gun in the home (despite the fact that a gun in the home doesn’t statistically make you safer), you owe it to your children to make damn sure that gun is not accessible to them. Tragedies like this happen far too often. And too many times it is bc a gun is not stored in a safe location where a child cannot acquire it. This is one of the things that so many gun owners just don’t seem to understand. The amount of responsibility one ought to demonstrate just to be a gun owner is, IMO, significant. But that level of responsibility should be even greater if you have children in your household. Their lives could depend on whether you are a responsible gun owner or not.
There is a certain mentality possessed by a number of USAmericans that I simply cannot wrap my head around. In the minds of the people I’m speaking of, when they interact with others and cannot achieve their goals, rather than have a conversation to reach a resolution, they pull out a firearm and attempt to strongarm their way to results. Such is the case a Minnesota man who was angry that an adult video store clerk would not exchange his penis pump:
After pulling out a pistol and demanding a working penis pump, a man fled from a St. Paul adult video store and sex shop Wednesday evening and remains “at large,” police said.
The man walked into Viva Video, at 918 University Ave., seeking to exchange a penis pump he had purchased, claiming it didn’t work as advertised. The clerk argued that any problems were due to “operator error,” a police report said.
At that point, the man pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the clerk’s head, again demanding a replacement for his used pump. He fled without a new pump, saying he’d be back.
Like, what goes through the mind of someone like this? “This person won’t give me what I want, so I’m going to threaten their life”? Why did this person think a gun was necessary to get the desired results? Why does this person display a greater regard for a penis pump than a human life?
Another recent tragedy highlights a problem shared by many USAmerican gun owners. An Oregon man who recently decided to clean his gun failed to ensure the gun was unloaded before he began cleaning it, and unfortunately the firearm discharged, striking his 2-year-old niece in the face:
A 2-year-old girl was hospitalized after her 24-year-old uncle accidentally shot her while cleaning a gun on Christmas morning.
The incident happened on the 30700 block of S Marian Street just after 11 a.m., Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.
The toddler, who was reportedly shot in the cheek, was flown to OHSU via Life Flight Medical Helicopter.
She underwent surgery Friday afternoon and is said to be in stable condition. She is expected to survive.
Her uncle, Luke Andrew Bowman, reportedly lives at the home where the incident occurred.
Every year, an estimated 10,000 children are injured or killed by firearms. Roughly 7,000 of those kids sustain firearm injuries that result in a trip to the emergency room, while the remaining 3,000 die from their injuries before reaching a hospital. How many of those children, I wonder, would still be alive or injury free if gun owners took the responsibility of gun ownership seriously and stored their guns safely and/or cleaned their guns correctly?
People end intimate relationships all the time. One person no longer likes the other or doesn’t enjoy the sex any longer or has met someone they like more or one person is moving far away or the love has simply gone out of the relationship or someone is an emotionally/physically/psychologically abusive person. There are any number of reasons why people choose to end intimate relationships. Those of us who are reasonable, rational adults are capable of dealing with a significant other choosing to end the relationship. Yes, we may be sad, angry, depressed, or a mixture of emotions. Yes, we may try to talk them out of it, or promise things will change for the better, but there’s one things we don’t do to this person whom we claim we care a great deal for: we don’t shoot them for seeking a divorce.
Cops say that 37-year-old suspect Rafael Herrera shot his wife of 11 years, 27-year-old Yadira Perea Saavedra, sometime before 10 a.m. on Friday morning inside their home on E. 220th Street in Williamsbridge. Saavedra was struck by a single bullet, which went through her arm and into her neck. She was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was listed in stable condition.
The couple’s two children, ages 10 and 8, were asleep upstairs when the shooting happened.
According to Saavedra’s brother Sergio Saavedra, who lives in the same building with his wife and two kids, Saavedra had asked for a divorce recently. “He said a lot, ‘I wanna kill you, I wanna kill you,’ but I never believed he would do this,” the brother told the Daily News.
Yeeeeeah. There’s a problem there when someone says and *tries* to kill their spouse for wanting a divorce. It strikes me almost as if the guy thinks his wife has no right to leave him. As if he owns her and if he can’t have her, no one else will. I get the impression that on some level, he feels she is his property, to do with as he will and that’s disturbing as hell.
And finally, *another* holiday tragedy involving an “accidental” shooting. Accidental shootings are a depressingly regular occurrence in the United States. On a very frequent basis, someone who is incorrectly handling a gun discharges the firearm hitting someone or something. All bc that gun owner was too lax in their responsibilities. If you own a gun, you have a responsibility to ensure you know how to use, clean, and store that gun properly, bc as we see over and over again, when a gun owner is irresponsible or reckless, people like Kaitlyn Pullam die:
Kaitlyn Pullam, 17, was in her room when a bullet blasted through the wall and hit her in the face, witnesses told deputies.
Her family member was trying to unload a rifle when the gun fired and shot Pullam on Christmas Eve, deputies told KFVS.
The girl’s father thought the gun was empty when it accidentally went off.
Trying to unload a firearm without first making damn sure the gun is empty is reckless. Doing so around other people puts them at danger of your recklessness. This is reckless endangerment. And now this poor young girl is dead.
Emergency responders managed to get her pulse going at at the Poplar Bluff hospial, where she was airlifted to St. Louis Children’s hospital for further treatment.
There, she remained in a coma on life support throughout Christmas.
The teen was taken off life support at about 4 p.m. on Saturday, local stations reported.
This is so damn frustrating. The obsession with guns as some sort of essential, fundamental, god-given right, above and beyond the right to health of everyone else is killing people in this country. I’ll let Jim Wright* close out with some wise words:
There are no accidents with guns. Period.
So long as we as a society continue to tolerate this irresponsible bullshit, it will keep right on happening. This is NOT what the Second Amendment is for, this is neither a well regulated militia nor in any way whatsoever necessary to the security of a free state – it is in point of fact exactly the opposite.
Idiots like this don’t make America safer, they endanger each and every one of us. Q.E.D.
This moron was handling a weapon in the presence of a child. He was handling a loaded weapon in an occupied dwelling. He did not know the condition of the weapon. He had not cleared the weapon. He failed to maintain positive control of the weapon. He in fact failed to follow EVERY basic safety protocol of responsible weapons handling and as a result he shot another human being by “accident.” At a minimum, he should never, ever be allowed to touch a gun again, period, no exceptions. And in a mature and rational society, this idiot would have been immediately charged with criminal recklessness and felony child endangerment. And if the NRA and the “responsible” gun owners were actually the people they claim to be, THEY would be the ones demanding this asshole’s head on a pike.
*In this excerpt from a longer piece, Wright is referring to the third story in this Irresponsible Gun Owners of America post, which bears much in common with the fifth story.