As if it weren't heartbreaking and horrifying enough to learn that a 4-year-old shot a deputy's wife in Tennessee, yesterday came news that a 4-year-old shot his 6-year-old neighbor Brandon Holt in Tom's River, New Jersey. Authorities say that the 4-year-old went into his house and came back with a .22 caliber rifle that discharged accidentally, hitting Brandon from about 15 yards away, authorities say. The children's parents were standing in the yard nearby during the incident.
Of course, a devastating shooting like this leaves everyone wondering how, why, what next. And when two incidents involving small children happen within days of one another, how can we not think about gun control? Sadly, though, it seems like at least what happened in New Jersey is a case in which gun control wouldn't necessarily have done much to prevent this death.
We're never going to make guns illegal in this country, nor should we. But as long as guns are legal, gun owners MUST exercise certain precautions and safety measures to prevent tragedies like this. Like one of the neighbors of the children told the AP:
I'm sad for the children involved and their families, but I'm angry with whoever owns that gun and allowed a little child to get hold of it. A 4-year-old can't load a gun.
No kidding! The parents of the 4-year-old obviously acted irresponsibly, leaving a loaded firearm in a place where their child could gain access to it. I'm not sure any form of government-passed gun control can make people like these parents act responsibly and lock up and keep their guns away from their kids. When it comes to the gun issues we have in this country, there are obviously other factors at play. Factors like some gun owners acting with common sense and a greater sense of personal responsibility.
Prosecutors say it is too early in the investigation to determine whether anybody will be charged in the shooting. But the 4-year-old's parents are undeniably to blame for negligence, and it's hard to imagine how the weight of this horror doesn't fall squarely on their shoulders.
Who do you think is to blame for this incident? How do you think similar tragedies could be prevented?