On January 31, a Mission father preparing to clean a handgun left the loaded firearm in reach of his 3-year-old son, who then shot himself. The case has been forwarded to the DA’s office to determine whether charges should be filed. It remains under review. Should criminal cases be brought against the negligent gun owners in these situations?
Julie Powell Devine: YES!!!
Sue Palmer: Yes. He was careless and stupid.
Brandon Carriger: Of course
Dena Begeman Frank: Why would your gun be loaded if you were about to clean it?
Donnene Mann: You can’t fix stupid!
Clinton Turley: I’m not sure “careless and stupid” constitutes a crime. If it did, our prisons would be even more overcrowded. However, I’m certain there is a criminal charge that covers this.
Adi Adler: yes
Jane Meyers: Oh god…
Derek Schwindt: The father is probably already torn up about this. It’s an accident. Doesn’t fix the situation, but don’t put the kid’s dad in prison to add to the pain.
Phillip Correll: Yes. A gun owner should be 100% responsible for any action or crime committed with that gun if that gun is not properly secured.
Sherri Simons Tucker: I have been praying for this child.
Katelynn Wilms: Charging people every time they mess up and leaving them with a criminal record that makes it nearly impossible to continue as a productive member of society is obviously the right answer.
Yang Hu: We should at least pass a law that says if your actions end up leading to the shooting of your own kid, you’re sufficiently a public hazard that you probably shouldn’t be allowed to have concealed carry privileges.
Ron Schneider: Clearly his actions were grossly negligent. This is far more than a “mess up.” Not sure what charge would best fit but hopefully they will decide on something.
Elizabeth Noblit: Since when do you clean a gun that’s loaded? My husband never had them in when he cleaned!
Phillip Correll: I would suggest that protecting the lives of small children weigh far more than letting one’s negligence go by with a slap on the wrist. Gun owners should be held to a high standard if they are going to have possession of guns.
Daniel Lintner: I agree with Phillip. You apparently don’t have enough respect for the weapon if you leave it (loaded, too, come on!!) within reach of a wee one or anyone incapable of comprehending the responsibility of owning a firearm. Which apparently he isn’t. Famous last words: I don’t think it’s loaded…
Keith G. Wallace: At a time when people are worried about losing their right to own a gun, I would agree with Phillip Correll point. U are 100 % responsible for the security of your gun.
Christina Aspegren: I have never handled a gun, let alone clean one, but are they supposed to be unloaded when you clean it? Tragic.
Tim Sholl: Yes!
Larry E. Crandall: You don’t leave a loaded weapon unattended without a trigger lock and the safety off. Too many irresponsible conditions that could have prevented this from ever happening in th first place. Sad.
Jon Adams: Guns are dangerous.
Jon Adams: If you are “careless and stupid” with a car you go to jail. Guns are lethal instruments. Damned right. The man should go to jail.
Suzanne Schwab Hill: It’s an accident. I get that. But too many people don’t take guns seriously enough. How often do accidents have to happen?
Randy Callahan: Yes, negligent.
Jo Dee Moore Berger: Yes. He was negligent and the result was great harm to a child. Prosecute and use him as an example to deter other careless gun owners. Bottom line: you are responsible for your actions.
Michael J Buckley: But doesn’t the Second Amendment protect the right to leave loaded guns around the house so one can protect one’s family quick as a…sorry. Prayers for the child. And prayers for gun owners who don’t yet understand responsibility.