According to an article released by CNN this past weekend, a four-year-old child shot his father accidently with a handgun. The father, revealed as Justin Thomas (35), and his four-year-old son were visiting his former roommate at his home in Prescott Valley, Az. when his son allegedly found a loaded handgun and wondered what it was.
After showing the gun to his father and the former roommate, he pulled the trigger, fatally wounding his father. Thomas was declared dead upon arrival at their local hospital. I find this to be an extremely disturbing situation.
When reading the comment boards, I found it quite sad that some people would truly blame the kid for what happened. One commenter said, “Lock him up. Murder is murder.” The child is only four years old, and for obvious reasons, he can not fully understand nor comprehend what happened at his age. This accidental shooting will haunt him for the rest of his life, which in my opinion is punishment enough.
The article states that the former roommate was not expecting company, but at the same time, why was a handgun left out in the open in the first place? With the gun control debates still looming, this type of situation does not help any argument for the right to bear arms. I have always been outspoken about the shortcomings of gun control and firearms bans. However, hearing about scenarios like this certainly put a few major predicaments into perspective.
One of the largest of these predicaments is gun safety. I feel that anyone who purchases any type of firearm should be forced to take a course regarding firearm safety. These courses should be sponsored by the police force or other firearms experts to edify gun owners on local and federal laws, mandates, proper maintenance procedures and places to and not to keep a gun.
It does not take a genius to realize that if a gun is at a child’s eye level, they may just want to play with it. When there is a gun in the household, it should either be locked up or not loaded. This entire situation would have been prevented if this man had followed proper safety procedures.
Many will state that it is his house and he can leave his belongings wherever he chooses. That may be the case, but when you allow someone into your own residence, you are responsible for what happens to the people that enter. His guests did show up with no warning, according to the article. But excuses are cheap when a man’s life is taken by a four-year-old who knew no better than to play with the resident’s weapon.