The issue of whether guns serve a protective function in the home or just make life a little more dangerous for us and our loved ones is a hot one that folks will probably never agree on. But there are some incidents that, undeniably, could have been avoided had the proper precautions been taken to keep firearms far away from children. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
A 5-year-old girl was in good condition early Sunday after she was shot in her ankle Saturday afternoon while jumping on a bed when a gun hidden under the mattress accidentally went off.
The girl was jumping on the bed in a home in the 6400 block of South Artesian about 12:20 p.m. when the gun discharged, according to police. She was taken to University of Chicago Comer’s Children’s Hospital, police said. She was in good condition following the treatment.
The report adds that the girl’s caretaker was charged with a felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon as well as with two misdemeanors: possession of ammunition and theft of lost or mislaid property. In other words, this person had no legal business having a gun or bullets and did not actually own the gun. Notice how this incident is so far being handled as an accident, as none of the charges address the negligence involved in exposing a child to a dangerous weapon through what is a very normal part of play.
This is a case of rather extreme negligence, but parents everywhere should pay attention and realize that the guns you’re keeping may not be as safely hidden as you think. It’s stories like these that solidify my opinion that guns should not be kept in the home, especially when gun owners have children around.