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4-Year-Old Shoots & Kills Little Brother & Parents Are to Blame

by Emily Abbate on December 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

GunOur 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

Filed Under: accidents, guns


  • jrl90


    December 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    what the hell kind of question is that? Obviously securely stored like a safe. It isn't necessary to end every article in a question, especially a dumb one.

  • dirti...


    December 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    any legitimate gun owner should be able to answer that question. of course you store it locked away, with the ammo locked away in a separate safe, with keys hidden from little children so they don't get into either. it's a terrible tragedy that happened to these children - but let's not turn this into a gun debate, when it's clearly an irresponsible parent debate. 

  • cmjaz


    December 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM
    That poor baby!
  • blue82


    December 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM
    Just sad!!!!
  • Flori...


    December 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM
    It's neither. A gun is useless if locked away. It cannot be used for home or personal defense if it's locked in a safe. I store my handgun where I can reach it quickly if I need it. My children are educated in the purpose and use of a gun beginning when they were very young. They know they are not toys. The issue here is not gun ownership and is less about storage than education. I would argue that it borders on irresponsible parenting not to own a gun leaving your children vulnerable to crime in their own homes.
  • laure...


    December 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    jrl90 calm it down sister. They end every article with a question to foster discussion in the board, and I'm sure gun owners have different opinions about where they store their guns and why. 

    what a tragedy. that poor baby, and that poor brother. shame on the parents for not storing the gun somewhere the children can't reach it.

  • Autum...


    December 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM
    Haha Floridamom!! Just wow.

    You're are literally the opposite of me.
  • Bruic...


    December 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM
    I agree Florida. My dad stored his rifles in a locked cabinet and we knew where the keys were. He didn't need to lock them away from us because we knew proper gun safety. They were locked away to prevent theft. His handgun was kept were he could easily access it if need be. My brother and I knew to NEVER mess with guns unless we were under the supervision of an adult. And let me tell you, we were mischievous kids but playing with guns didn't appeal to us because we knew the consequences. My husband and I are teaching our 3 yr old the same thing. Until we are sure she fully understands we keep our guns where they are easily accessible to us but not her. A gun really is useless in a home invasion if you cannot get to it. Fumbling around with keys or a combination lock is the last thing you'd want to do if your family's life is in danger.
  • Scott...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Scott Davis

    December 6, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    I keep my sidearm on my side all the time unless I'm sleeping and then its in my top drawer for easy access. I don't keep one in the chamber, I have several reasons for this. Always treat a gun like its loaded, and then keep it loaded, because it does you no good if it's not loaded. 

  • imamo...


    December 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM
    I am a gun owner anf my gun is put safely out of reach and locked. Main concern is to protect my family. I much rather risk a few seconds of unlocking than the life of my child. We never know when an intruder will strike, but I am willing to bet there's a bigger chance of my child picking up a loaded unattenfed gun..than being killed by someone breaking in.
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