Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mother ( and her boyfriend) of 3 year old who shot himself found guilty of manslaughter

A few weeks ago we wrote about a 3 year old Washington toddler who found a loaded gun in his car and shot himself. His parents left him in the car while they went into the gas station. Now the mother and her boyfriend have been charged with manslaughter. From the article:
“Nothing is sadder than the death of a child, and when the death is the result of criminal negligence, there needs to be accountability,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “Guns are inherently dangerous, and the law, as well as common sense, requires that guns be handled responsibly, especially around children.” 
(...) In Julio’s case, Vita and McIntosh had stopped for gas in Tacoma. Vita, who has a concealed weapons permit, removed his gun from his waistband to avoid alarming the clerk and placed it under the passenger seat, the prosecutor said.
Julio had unbuckled himself and climbed into the front seat to ask his mother for candy. McIntosh moved the gun from under the passenger seat to under the driver’s seat so Julio could not reach it. Then, she went inside the convenience store for food, leaving Julio unrestrained, the prosecutor said.
Julio found the gun and shot himself in the head. McIntosh’s 8-month old daughter was in the car at the time and was not hurt.
Friends and family told detectives that Vita routinely showed off the gun with a laser sight, including to Julio, and on one occasion he offered to let Julio hold the gun before another adult intervened.
The child shootings have raised questions about Washington’s gun laws. The state is one of 23 that doesn’t have a specific law to prevent child access to firearms, such as mandatory trigger locks or criminal penalties for adults who allow children to access guns, according to the San Francisco-based group Legal Community Against Violence.
Washington state law is specific about carrying loaded pistols in vehicles, however. A person with a concealed weapons permit must lock the gun and conceal it from view if it is left in the car. 
First of all, allowing a 3 year old to hold a gun is irresponsible. Second, why would Vita think he would alarm the clerk with his loaded gun carried in his holster?

All guns in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult. This story highlights that very well.

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