5-Year-Old Shoots Herself After Police Say Mom Left Her Locked in a Room So She Could Go Shopping

5-year-old shoots herselfA 5-year-old girl from New Orleans had to be taken off life support yesterday after her mother allegedly locked her in a room with a loaded gun so she could go to the store. The child shot herself and the mom is now facing second-degree murder charges. And honestly? That seems like a light charge.

What is with all these parents who have loaded guns around children? Is this some kind of stupid fest that I missed? The reality is these kinds of accidents are entirely preventable. It's called don't have a loaded gun around children under 18.

Sure, it's awful that the mom left her 5-year-old to run to the store, but how long was she gone? If she were doing a 10-minute run, she probably thought her plan was perfectly fine. Maybe she forgot there was a gun there. I am sure she (probably) didn't intend to hurt her child. Sadly, there are times negligence is just as criminal as actual physical abuse. This is one of those.

The sad thing is, this kind of thing probably happens every day. I can't imagine she is the only mother in the history of mothers to leave her child alone to run to the store. Five is a weird age where they can seem really mature one minute and almost toddler-like the next. It might be easy to trust a child and think they can handle something they truly cannot.

There are no excuses for this woman. What she did was vile and she may deserve an even harsher punishment than whatever a second-degree murder conviction will hold. But she also probably thinks she did no wrong. In her mind, leaving her baby alone in a room was better than giving her the whole house and she was only going to be gone a few minutes.

Now, why she couldn't take one 5-year-old to the store and deal with it? I guess we will never know. Her circumstances could have been dire. Was she a single mom? Did she have other kids? Did this kid have special needs?

None of these are excuses, mind you. None of these answers will bring back this poor little girl. It was a horrible mistake, one that cost a child her life. But the leaving of the child isn't the worst part. It's the leaving the child with the loaded gun that gets me.

Have we learned absolutely nothing from all the accidental shootings? My heart breaks for this little girl who did nothing wrong and yet paid the ultimate price for her mother's alleged stupidity. Second-degree murder just doesn't seem to bring her justice. Why are we not more outraged as a country?

Do you think this mother should have a greater charge?


Image via Steven Taschuk/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Rach

I'm starting to think people need to be much more harshly punished for leaving weapons lying around unsecured. It's stupid, it's easily preventable, and the consequences are outrageous.

keelh... keelhaulrose

There's a reason 99.99% of parents deal with taking the kids with to the store, even if it's just for one thing: Because bad stuff can happen in an instant, and we can't prevent it or respond to it if you're not there. I don't care if the store was next door, she should have brought her daughter, and all my sympathy is reserved for the angel who won't get to grow up and not get idiot mother.

LostS... LostSoul88

the mom should get the death penalty....  We don't need tighter gun control, we need smarter parents....

nonmember avatar Guest

The news article I read reported that the gun was brought into the house by a relative that also lives in the home. He claims it does not belong to him and he was holding for a friend (probably a stolen gun if you ask me).

She should have never left that child alone. That was her mistake and I'm sure she will pay dearly for it.

Sarah... SarahHall58

It's entirely possible to have children and guns in the same house. The guns need to be properly secured. As children get older they should be taught how to properly handle the weapon. Making something taboo will make it more attractive. They can know how to use it but not know where it is stored or how to open the gun cabinet. I was raised with multiple weapons in the home. This woman is a complete idiot. Some people shouldn't have children.

jalaz77 jalaz77

What the hell??? This is so sad : (

Crystal Rider

I have multiple guns in our home and raising a 6, 5 and 3 year old. All 3 of my kids have been shooting several times. We believe the kids need to learn to handle a weapon properly. Now I have never left one of my kids home if I needed to go somewhere. We also keep all our guns locked in a gun cabniet and the ammo is in a different place in a locked ammo box. You can raise children around guns, you just have to be responsible about it. 

Arian... AriannaBadwolf

We weren't allowed even squirt guns as kids, until the youngest of us was at least 6 or so. My dad had a gun safe with any number of guns. He waited until all of us were at an age that we would understand that a gun is NOT a toy, no matter if they make nerf guns, air pistols or whatever BS they have to make things like that less dangerous. He taught us gun safety and what it means to shoot one. He taught us responsibility. He never once left a younger child alone in the house (My baby brother was about 7 or 8, and they made me stay home from school when he was sick ><) He locked his safe up, kept the key with him at all times, and also locked the door to his room, where he kept the things. If a parent cannot be this thourough in regards to keeping their children safe, they should not have a weapon (because they're just stupid to leave stuff like that out around kids) or they shouldn't have children. We need to own up and educate.  Our kids need to understand that guns can cause serious and often fatal harm to a person, and until they reach the age where this is an understanding instead of just words mom or dad put together, they shouldn't even have access to the stuff.

nonmember avatar Katrina

She should of taken her daughter with her. I have 3 young kids & they go with me. Even when they play outside, i never leave them alone outside because stuff can happen fast. Locking a child in a room is just stupid. especially with a loaded gun.

Brandy Foy

It takes a special kind of stupid to leave a gun lying around in a house with small children in it. We have three in our house, all locked up, unloaded, and taken apart and I still feel uneasy sometimes. How could you let a relative bring a gun into your home with your small child without making sure it's locked the heck up (I would have made him leave it in the car, honestly).

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