Our hearts break this afternoon as news emerges that a 2-year-old boy died in Minneapolis Wednesday after his 4-year-old brother found and started playing with his father's handgun. The victim, Neegnco Xiong, was alongside his brother in their parents' bedroom when the gun discharged and he was hit. Their parents? Downstairs.
This story makes my eyes water. In Minneapolis where the tragedy occurred, it's a crime to store a loaded firearm where a child can gain access to it. Yes, accidents happen and of course the 4-year-old had NO clue what he was doing. I can't help but wonder, though: What kind of parent would put a gun within the reach of a kid!? Nevertheless, a LOADED one?
Not good ones, that's for sure.
When you have children, you have to think about everything differently. Yes, it is your right to own a handgun, but it is also your job as a parent to protect your children under any and all circumstances. No matter what the reason was that Neegnco's parents bought the gun in the first place, storing it where they did is just plain ignorant. Reports say that the parents were downstairs at the time with another one of their children, and they had a 5-year-old who was at school at the time. Just think about the tragedy that could have happened if all of the children were in the bedroom at the same time.
Deaths like this shouldn't happen, period. As unfortunate as what happened in Minneapolis was, may this event be another reminder about the importance of gun safety. No one who owns a gun should be this careless about where they keep it. I can't even imagine the pain that Neegnco's family is experiencing right now.
How do you think the gun should have been stored to prevent Neegnco's death?
Image via Chris Yarzab/Flickr