There are often danger signs when children are having problems with school or at home. But when guns are left around the home for children to access, shootings like this one can and do happen. And now, a little girl has life long injuries and the boy and his family will never be the same. Easy access to guns is preventable.The family of a young Washington state girl severely injured when a gun in a classmate's backpack went off filed a $10 million claim against the Bremerton school district Wednesday, saying it failed to heed clues that the boy might be dangerous.Third-grader Amina Kocer-Bowman, now 9, spent about six weeks in the hospital, required numerous surgeries and suffered critical, lifelong injuries when the bullet pierced her internal organs and lodged in her spine on Feb. 22. Police initially reported that the gun went off when her 9-year-old classmate slammed the backpack down on a desk, but the claim said the boy told investigators that he had reached into the backpack and had his hand on the gun when it went off.The boy was sentenced to a year of probation and was required to apologize to Amina, and his mother – a felon who did not have custody of the boy but nevertheless spent time with him – has pleaded guilty to weapons charges in a deal with prosecutor. Police found several loaded, unsecured handguns in the home where she lived with her boyfriend, the Bowmans' lawyer, Jeffery Campiche, noted at a news conference.According to the claim, the girl's teacher had been concerned about the boy's behavior since late last year, as he became more aggressive and bullied other pupils. He was unhappy with his teacher after he was moved into a lower, remedial reading class. And about one week before the shooting, he was suspended for fighting on the playground, and he began telling other students that he was going to bring a gun to school – information that apparently was never relayed to teachers or administrators.The boy later told police that he brought the gun to protect himself against bullies.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.