Texas toddler finds gun and fatally shoots 4-year-old sister in tragic (and preventable) accident

Originally published at: Texas toddler finds gun and fatally shoots 4-year-old sister in tragic (and preventable) accident | Boing Boing


Same tragic shit, different day.


Thus begins another story of family trauma that will sour a number of lives for at least the next generation or two.


It seems far too charitable to describe this as an accident.

If a system cannot remain safe in the face of the possibility of human error among 3 year olds it’s either negligent or malicious, full stop; regardless of whether or not it gets lucky enough to avoid that becoming obvious.


I’m guessing our gun-clutchers will show up with some statistical FUD on this one, so…


The sheriff is incorrect, it harmed or murdered the two children, it involved hella more. The adults, the sheriff and anyone that accepts this through action or inaction are complicit.


And here is where I trot out my story of walking into the bedroom of the house we were staying at to find my friend’s 6 year old son holding a handgun asking “what is this.”

Yes, this was in Texas. Thank the FSM that I was able to gently take the gun from his hands and place it on a high shelf before finding the adult we were staying with.

Turns out it was loaded and had been kept in a nightstand, and the owner “forgot” (neglected) to secure it when young children were visiting. I don’t know about the safety situation but I don’t want that being the only thing standing between me and a child holding a gun. Still gives me chills remembering that moment.


That’s when you collect your things and say you’ll be staying in a motel.


Texas appears to have no laws concerning the safe storage of weapons when children are present, except to make the adults responsible for gun crimes committed by children who get those guns - so it’s vitally important that they frame this as “an accident.”

“Oh, an accident - well, in that case, nothing can be done and nothing should be done, in response.”


Like a three-year-old could commit a crime. (Rolls eyes.)
Oh, wait - this is Texas… dare I ask their age of criminal responsibility?


I think these are white kids, though.

Meanwhile, I’ll bet anyone here $20 there were no books in the home, so the adults were being very careful about the REAL danger to preschoolers.


Every time I read one of these stories, I wonder how many more cases there are where a child inadvertently – or deliberately – fires a gun and the bullet doesn’t happen to intersect the space occupied by another human being. I’m guessing we don’t hear about those.

I don’t think “No harm, no foul” really applies with inadvertent discharges. Any time that someone fires off a weapon without meaning to, that’s a critical failure of safe gun ownership and a fatal accident just waiting for its next chance to happen.


Well if they are old enough to work, surely they are old enough to open carry? Or am I confusing Texas with that other golden state - Arkansas?


Failure to secure weapon charge. Is that like a traffic ticket in Texas?


clearly the toddler should’ve been kept in a gun safe where she wouldn’t pose an immediate threat


Guns don’t kill people, toddlers kill people. Clearly the only reasonable action is to jail all toddlers until they reach the age where they can take an NRA course.


If only there had been another toddler with another gun, this would have been prevented.


It isn’t anything in Texas. As others have noted, the only reason there will be any authority concerning itself with this is that “The 3-year-old is the alleged shooter.” and cops needed to come check the child’s skin colour, income bracket and gender to know how to proceed.

You can store weapons in the crib, loaded and cocked, as long as nothing happens you’re golden. Thereby the rights of the individual are ultimately secure, for what if there had been some necessity in storing the firearms thus? Would you want to restrict the rights of the arms-bearer when nothing had happened yet!?, what if a rival pre-schooler had made threats of a drive-by, should the child or their parents be left vulnerable? Can the child get the gun safe open and return fire in the scant seconds between when the shooting begins and the rival speeds away on their big wheel?

/s explained: this isn’t a funny thing at all, words are emphasis on the mental gymnastics required to avoid safe storage laws. There isn’t any place to go but full ridiculous, and so they will.


I think that, in Texas, the criminalization of children starts pretty much at conception; for the mother, at least. :cry:


This just breaks my heart. This is why I don’t own guns even though I’m single. I have no idea wtf people do with guns but honestly if you need it to be so easily accessible maybe you have a problem with where you live and if you got cash to get a gun then maybe… move instead? Otherwise, keep the guns in a locked closet away from your kids and stuff. It’s not a toy that should be childishly brandished.