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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

5-year old Kentucky boy kills 2-year old sister with his .22 rifle

2-year old Carolyn Starks and her 5-year old brother
A 5-year old boy was playing with a .22 rifle that had specifically been purchased for him to use, and unintentionally shot his 2-year old sister, Carolyn Starks, killing her.

From an article:

The 2-year-old was taken to Cumberland County Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday. 
Cumberland County Coroner Gary White identified the girl as Caroline Starks.
He said the children's mother was at home when the shooting occurred, and the gun was a gift the boy received last year. 
"It's a Crickett," he said. "It's a little rifle for a kid. ...The little boy's used to shooting the little gun." 
White said the gun was kept in a corner, and the family did not realize a shell had been left in it. 
He said the shooting will be ruled accidental. 
"Just one of those crazy accidents," White said.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/04/30/2621458/5-year-old-boy-accidentally-shoots.html#storylink=cpyhttp://www.kentucky.com/2013/04/30/2621458/5-year-old-boy-accidentally-shoots.html#storylink=cpy

No, it wasn't just a "crazy accident."  It was negligence on the part of the parents who purchased the gun specifically for the 5-year old boy to use, then left it loaded where he could access it.

A child, unrelated to this case, shooting a Cricket .22 rifle
(image from HERE)
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

ADDENDUM:  From a CNN article:

The Crickett website features three .22-caliber rifle models for kids, with shoulder stock colors ranging from pink to red, white and blue swirls. "My first rifle" is the company's slogan.
Family members Wednesday described the shooting as an accident.
"He just picked (the gun) up before he realized it," grandmother Linda Riddle told WLEX.
Riddle said her granddaughter enjoyed singing and playing outdoors, and she loved her brother.
"It's just tragic," uncle David Mann told the CNN affiliate. "It's something that you can't prepare for."
Riddle said she is devastated, but comforted knowing that her granddaughter is in a better place.
"It was God's will. It was her time to go, I guess," she told WLEX. "I just know she's in heaven right now and I know she's in good hands with the Lord."

We respectfully disagree with uncle David Mann and grandmother Linda Riddle.  It IS something you can prepare for, by storing the gun locked and unloaded, or by avoiding having guns in homes with children.  And you don't have to accept that it was "her time to go" when it was completely avoidable.

ADDENDUM (5/3/13):  A good article, questioning what age is too young to be given access to loaded guns:

[Gunsmith] Swanda has no problem with children and guns, and says he got his first rifle when he was three. 
“It’s just like anything else,” said Swanda, “they are easier to teach at a young age and it gets ingrained in their minds. They are apt to grow up to be more responsible adults and more responsible gun owners.” 
But the recent accidental shooting of a two-year-old girl by her five-year-old brother has some asking why a child so young should have a gun, especially a kind manufactured just for children.
“You can’t provide a child below a certain age a weapon like that, it’s ridiculous said Anchorage resident Bernard Wheeler, who added that he believed the parents in the Kentucky case should be prosecuted.

Children of this age have not yet acquired critical thinking skills and responsibility to handle lethal weapons.

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