Did you ever see one of those bumper stickers that insists, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people"? Technically, it's true. That's why a mom who was unloading a gun in her apartment is in jail right now for the involuntary manslaughter of her 19-month-old son.
Holly Pallone told cops she accidentally shot little Anthony Pallone Jr. while she was trying to remove the bullets from a gun that wasn't hers that she didn't know how to unload. Sadly, the gun fired, and the baby boy took a gunshot right in the middle of his forehead. So the gun killed the child, but more importantly, a woman who didn't know how to use a gun allegedly killed the child.
And this case is a prime example of the problem with the entire gun debate.
The gun-lovers and the gun-haters like to talk about the weapons in black and white. We talk about responsible gun owners vs. cold-blooded killers. But as Holly Pallone's tragic tale reminds us, there's always a shade of gray.
Pallone has told cops that she was going to sell the gun, which belonged to the man she and her son were living with, so she was trying to remove the bullets. Unfortunately she was doing so right near her son's crib, and cops say she wasn't doing it safely.
The tragedies that result from the existence of guns aren't always intentional. Often -- more often than we like to acknowledge -- shooting deaths are entirely accidental. They come at the hands of a person who will ultimately be held responsible, but often it's a person who didn't know what they were doing, a person who had no clue what the firearm in their hands could do.
It's people like Holly Pallone. People like the 7-year-old son of a cop who accidentally shot his sister with Dad's gun in March.
This is the line between people who kill people and guns that kill people. Because a gun in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they are doing can quickly become a lethal weapon, and as the involuntary portion of the manslaughter charge against Holly Pallone reminds us, the person isn't necessarily planning to kill.
This story is a tragedy, plain and simple. And sadly, as long as guns end up in the hands of people who don't know how to use them, these kind of tragedies will continue to occur.
What do you think the punishment should be here if Holly Pallone is convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of her little boy?
Image via kidsctm/Flickr