Tragic: Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head

Tragic: Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head

This is a discussion on Tragic: Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head - CNN.com MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A Florida boy remains in stable condition just days after ...

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Thread: Tragic: Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Tragic: Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head

    Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head - CNN.com

    MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A Florida boy remains in stable condition just days after he found his parents' long-forgotten handgun in a closet and accidentally shot himself in the head.

    Sheriff's detectives in Pinellas County, Florida, near St. Petersburg, say the boy found the .25-caliber European semi-automatic handgun in a box in a closet in their home.

    "They are dealing with this very tragic situation, and at this point, no charges have been filed," said Cecilia Barreda of the Pinellas County sheriff's office.

    His stepfather found Jacob Larson, 12, with a gunshot wound to the head Friday. The stepfather called 911.

    Police say the shooting took place between 7:40 a.m., when his mother, Tracy Newman, leaves for work, and about 11 a.m., when his stepfather, Joseph Newton, returns home. The boy normally goes to school about 8:30 a.m.

    "A few years ago, they moved, and [the gun] was stored in the closet. The mother never checked it, never fired it," Barreda said.

    "They told detectives that they forgot they had stored it in a box inside a closet. Both her and her husband forgot about it," she said.

    Newman told detectives that she received the gun six years ago from a former employer. Police say that both she and her husband are cooperating in the investigation into the incident.

    The sheriff's office says it's unlikely that they will face charges.

    Florida law prohibits a person from leaving a loaded firearm where a minor might have access to it. Prosecutors do have some discretion, and depending on what happens with the gun, charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony can be filed in the event of death or serious injury.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 17 states have child firearm access protection and safe-storage laws.

    Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett says that although laws are needed, an accident with a firearm can be a greater penalty than any judge could ever hand down.

    "Sometimes, the injury of a child is more severe from a punishment standpoint than any kind of criminal charge," he said.

    The CDC says three children per day, on average, died in accidental incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2005, the last year data are available.

    Bartlett said his office has filed charges in previous cases when there was culpable negligence on the part of a gun owner. But, he says, there are cases where accidents happen, not crimes.

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says that 34 percent of children in the United States live in homes with at least one firearm, so people have to be aware.

    "It's a horrible thing, and those parents will blame themselves from here out, and you have to look at things real close to see if it warrants any enforcement from our end," Bartlett said.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Knowing where always

    In the news and something Janq said about storage/security:

    Boy finds forgotten gun, accidentally shoots self in head - CNN.com

    Interesting statistics.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array United93's Avatar
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    Sad. IMO there was stupidity on the part of the parents and the child. I'm glad he didn't die, and I hope his parents become more responsible hereafter.

    Thanks for posting.

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    Tragic news for sure, but when my boys were growing up, they knew where my guns were stored. Neither boy ever tampered with my guns. They both tell me now (both in their 30's) that they really had no curiousity about them as we did go out into the woods and shoot quite often...they had many opportunities to shoot.
    Additionally, they both respected and 'feared death' if they even thought about touching one of my guns.

    This 12 year old kid was old enough to be gun proofed...OMO
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    retsupt99, my experience as well. Neither boy had unrequited curiosity about my guns as they grew up. Exposure and actual handling the guns removed the mystery.

  6. #6
    Ex Member Array United93's Avatar
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    +1 retsupt99

    I tend to think that 'gun proofing the kids' works better than 'kid proofing the guns'. By 'gun proofing' I mean instilling in them an understanding of, and a healthy respect for, firearms.

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    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    What is it about kids that makes them point the gun at themselves and pull the trigger?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Member Array OMEGA2669's Avatar
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    I never understood that myself paramedic70002. I also don't understand why you wouldn't teach your kid about guns. About how they should not be touched and how to handle them safely if there is no other option. I don't remember when I first handled a hand gun, probably when I was 18. I never felt the urge to point it at myself unless the barrel is out of the gun I don't look down it, and even then it is usually down the chambered end. Even if you are anti-gun, don't own one or never have owned one... education saves lives, odds are you are going to encounter a gun at one point in your life... seems to me that you should take it upon yourself to educate your children... and yourself...
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    Member Array eldorado's Avatar
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    My kids (20 & 11)are well aware about my firearms, I still have the paperback Gun-Proof Your Children by Massad Ayoob that book is a must read for any parent with a firearm or thinking of bringing one into the home.

    I hope the little boy will be ok.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by United93 View Post
    Sad. IMO there was stupidity on the part of the parents and the child. I'm glad he didn't die, and I hope his parents become more responsible hereafter.

    Thanks for posting.
    I don't know about this. If the gun had been in a box in Mom's underwear drawer would you feel the same way? After all, if you think about it, the kid was snooping in his parents' closet opening boxes when he found the gun.

    Can you honestly say that parents did not do enough when they packed it away out of sight in a box hidden in a closet in their bedroom? Shouldn't kids respect their parents' privacy? And if the kid doesn't, does that come into play in situations like this?

    Hopefully the parents get a good DA who will look at the whole story and hopefully they also get a break from the news media.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    I don't know about this. If the gun had been in a box in Mom's underwear drawer would you feel the same way? After all, if you think about it, the kid was snooping in his parents' closet opening boxes when he found the gun.

    Can you honestly say that parents did not do enough when they packed it away out of sight in a box hidden in a closet in their bedroom? Shouldn't kids respect their parents' privacy? And if the kid doesn't, does that come into play in situations like this?

    Hopefully the parents get a good DA who will look at the whole story and hopefully they also get a break from the news media.
    In my opinion the parents not hiding the gun well enough was not the issue. If the parents were being responsible gun owners they should have taught the kid about gun safety. I don't mean to run away from it either. 1st rule is that all guns are loaded. Why wasn't the kid taught how to check to see if the gun was loaded?

    When I was 12 I would not only have picked the gun up but I would have checked to see if it was loaded. If it was loaded knew not to mess with it unless it was mine.

    Michael

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    Member Array gilliland87's Avatar
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    yes the parents did not do enough

    I grew up around guns and always had respect for them but mr. murphy always shows up unfortunantly often in the form of an ill advised child or friend in these cases. My operable guns are stored in locking containers. the guns that do not fit are in operable shottys stored in the closet are broken down and bolt guns do not get stored with the bolt in them. None except home defense guns stored properly or under my direct control stay loaded.

    Tragic situation and my heart goes out to what those parents are going through but they dropped the ball. you don't just hide it in a box you unload the damned thing.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    United93, you said it perfectly. Gun-proof the kids and you've won 99% of the battle there.

    It is a very tragic situation. I also want to know what on earth they were thinking, leaving the kid alone every morning. NOT cool.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    My heart goes out to the family of this unfortunate child. It makes me that much more wishful that they had had the common sense to not leave the handgun where it was available to the child.
    "Gun control is being able to hit your target."
    Glock 26

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