4-Year-Old Boy Accused of Killing Sheriff Deputy's Wife With a Gun

4-year-old shootingTwo horrific gun stories involving children are making headlines this morning. In Toms River, New Jersey, a 4-year-old boy got a hold of a gun and shot his 6-year-old neighbor in the head with it. Meanwhile, in an awful story out of Tennessee, a 4-year-old boy is accused of grabbing a loaded gun at a family cookout and shooting the wife of a Tennessee sheriff's deputy to death. Josephine Fanning died almost immediately after.

The gun used in the second shooting wasn't the officer's service weapon, and as a school resource officer at two area elementary schools, he wasn't on duty at the time of the incident, The Tennessean reported. According to CBS News, Daniel Fanning and Josephine wed last year.

As for the first shooting, it's unclear how the boy got a hold of the gun and also unclear how he was able to use it (and why was it loaded?). But one thing that IS clear from both stories: We have a major, major problem in this country.

It's getting boring, right? Hearing me talk about guns over and over? We have a right to bear arms in this country, and hey, gravely injured/murdered 6-year-olds is just the price we pay for that, right?

How about instead of harping on the people (like me) who generally don't understand why anyone wants to own a gun anyway, we looked at the gun owners who are somehow allowing their guns to fall into the hands of toddlers? Because those are the idiots.

Every single one of the people responsible for a 4-year-old boy having a gun ought to be brought up on charges. Period. End of story.

If we can't pass legislation that bans certain kinds of guns or makes it harder to obtain one, then each and every time there is a gun "accident," we ought to prosecute the owner of that gun to the highest degree. Maybe that will teach people to be more careful.

There is no excuse for a 4-year-old getting a hold of a loaded weapon. The fact that we are even sitting here talking about this is absurd. What kind of idiot allows a 4-year-old access to a loaded weapon?

If we can't change the laws in this country, let's change the punishments. I guarantee there will be less toddler shootings if the people who armed them went to jail for a decade. I am disgusted. One woman is dead and one 6-year-old is in the hospital and though both are being described as "accidents," I say they are anything but.

If you own a gun, be responsible. Or pay for it.

Do you think punishment should be higher for irresponsible gun owners?


Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr



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Katy Khan

This has nothing to do with our right to own guns, which is inviolable, according to our constitution. So yea, lets not bring that up. However, people who let kids or anyone else dangerous get a hold of their weapon and use it to kill should be charged with the same crime as the offender and in the case of young children, they should face an especially stiff punishment. The children 'only' killed one person each but they coudl have easily killed so many more or themselves or cause a ton of non-fatal bodily harm to lots of people. This is sickening. My step father (who is a complete DICK) used to leave his loaded handgun laying out-and-about in the house where my 3 younger siblings lived....all living with that gun through their toddler years. it sickens me just remembering it. People like that deserve whatever punishment the law can dish out.

nonmember avatar Common.Sense

You're wasting your breath. No matter how many people die, no matter how many children suffer, no matter how many actual *facts* you present to these gun nuts, they will never EVER listen. The tin foil hats they wear block their ears, and they're all way to focused on deep-throating LaPierre while jacking off an AK47 to even pay attention to reality.

bills... billsfan1104

How mature Common Sense. No wonder we cannot have a civil discussion on this. We are not gun nuts. We care about our constitutional rights.

Tripl... TripleC14

Great post! I'm interested to see what the gun advocates have to say against such sound logic...

Christina Sokolowski

How about people be good parents and watch their children? I have knives in my house and I'm sure they are in other peoples houses. I make sure my child and other children in my house don't play with them. My daughter also knows not to touch guns, knives, drink poison, play in traffic. She knows all of these things because I taught her how to behave. PARENT YOUR CHILDREN!

bills... billsfan1104

Sasha, when are you and the rest of liberals going to start reporting all the gun deaths in Chicago, LA, Detroit and many other low income cities where there are more than 20 kids killed? It seems to me that liberal like you(not all liberals), only care when 20 white kids from an affluent town are killed, but so anything when the violent low income neighborhoods are affected. Why doesn't President Obama, fly the mothers of black children from Chicago that have been killed? Why doesn't he go to HIS hometown and demand justice or gun control??

Tripl... TripleC14

Billsfan, do you have any commentary about the actual article and the suggestions about prosecuting the adults in the situations mentioned? Why are your comments always in this vein (bashing Obama/left-leaners at every turn)...and then you hypocritically denouce others for stunting dialogue with their comments. Gosh it's frustrating!

PonyC... PonyChaser

Once again, this points to a severe lack of PARENTING, not the fault of guns or "gun nuts". In the '50s, you didn't hear of things like this. Why? Parents actually knew how to tell their children "no", and made and enforced rules. Were there accidents? Of course there were. People have been accidentally killed since the dawn of time. But now, more than any other time, we have a society that looks for places to place blame OTHER than on those responsible.

In this way, I agree with you, Sasha. Those that leave guns laying about for people to find deserve to have charges brought against them when that gun is used to harm another. Do I think there needs to be another law written to cover it? No. Do I think this is a good reason to deny all people their right to own a gun (or several guns, or even an 'arsenal') for self-protection, sport or hobby? Absolutely not. No more than I think that cars ought to be banned because people are stupid and drink/text while driving, or that knives should be banned because some whack-job in China went off on a spree in a school.

nonmember avatar singer825

Billsfan - By Obama's hometown I'm assuming you are referring to Chicago. Obama visited there in February of this year to give a speech on gun control. The Stir reported on at least two kids being murdered in Chicago in the last few months. That baby who was being held by his father and that little girl who had just performed at Obama's Inauguration. Also, Michelle attended the girl's funeral in Chicago and the girl's parents attended Obama's State of the Union address.

Frankly, I could care less if someone is killed in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles or Boston. Pointing out The Stir's alleged bias or Obama's lack of flying every single Chicago victim to the White House is distracting from the much bigger problem that our children are DYING.

nonmember avatar Madeline

I think keeping your gun in some kind of gun safe should be common sense. You can buy them in all sizes and it helps prevent all sorts of things from happening. Plus isn't gun owning 101 that you never keep it loaded?

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