A Number of Very Bad Choices

bang gunIn yet another accidental shooting here in the U.S., a child is dead simply because someone who had no business having a gun in the first place, left it lying within easy reach of a child. So today, a 5-year-old boy is dead in a tragedy that was, as a chief deputy astutely observed, “avoidable.” Of course it was.

Leaving a child and a 6-month-old infant unattended is a negligent thing to do. Leaving those same children alone with a loaded gun is reprehensible. People make stupid choices every day, but stupid choices involving guns are pretty much guaranteed to go badly.

“[Babysitter, April] Ringhardt stated to investigators that she was carrying a handgun on her person in the home that day because she was scared being at home alone,” the statement said. “The handgun was a semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol. Ringhardt left the handgun on a coffee table in the living room and went to the bedroom to take a nap. When she was awakened from her nap, she noticed she didn’t see John around the house. She began looking until she found him deceased in the living room with the fatal gunshot wound.”

Even if she weren’t armed and afraid of being alone, children should never be left in the hands of someone who won’t actually be looking after them. What sensible person would leave a loaded weapon on a coffee table and then take a nap? If you’re afraid of being alone and the gun makes you feel better, nap with it! Better you should accidentally shoot yourself than lose a child left in your care.

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