What Can We Learn: 3-Year-Old Boy Shoots Himself After Finding Gun

Gun in car_croppedAccording to ABC News, a 3-year-old boy shot and killed himself with a gun that his mother's boyfriend left under the seat in their vehicle as the family stopped for gas at the Tacoma, Wash., station off Interstate 5 at about 12:30 a.m.

The man exited the vehicle to pump gas and the child's mother went inside the station, leaving the boy and the man's daughter inside the vehicle.


The boy managed to climb out of his child restraint seat and retrieve the firearm, with which he accidentally shot himself.  The girl was uninjured.



According to Tacoma Police Officer Naveed Benjamin, investigators who questioned the boy's mother and her boyfriend are calling the shooting a tragic accident.

Unfortunately, this is the third recent shooting of a child in Western Washington.


"You can't predict what children are going to do. You need to unload and lock it up if you're not carrying it. And keep it out of the hands of children. It's really not that hard to practice firearm safety," said Benjamin.


What can we learn from this tragic accidental shooting? The obvious "catch-22" with owning a gun is that the more securely it's stored, the less accessible it is and vice-versa. In my opinion, responsible gun ownership is about striking a balance between security and accessibility.

To one extreme are gun owners whose unloaded guns are locked away so securely that they would be virtually useless to their owner during a home invasion, which of course is why the owner purchased the guns to begin with.

At the other end of the spectrum are gun owners who leave their loaded guns on kitchen counters with young children in the house. This type of gun owner has usually taught his or her children about the dangers of guns and is confident his children will not handle the gun. The problem here is that even if his or her children don't find the allure of Daddy's or Mommy's gun irresistible, other children who visit the home might not be so disciplined.

Obviously, wearing your gun is the best way to ensure that it's with you when you need it yet is inaccessible to others. But most people I know don't wear a gun at all times while inside their home. I've found biometric safes, which require authorized fingerprint identification to unlock, to be a good way to keep your gun loaded and ready yet safe from children and irresponsible adults.

Some states have criminal statutes for unsafe storage of a firearm. However, even facing criminal charges would probably seem minor compared to the burden of knowing a child was injured or killed with your gun.

What are your thoughts?

Recommended for You

Shopping for Father's Day gifts? A great dad deserves a fantastic present. Take a look at these gift ideas handpicked by our Guns & Ammo editors. Gear

2018 Father's Day Gift Guide

G&A Online Editors - May 15, 2018

Shopping for Father's Day gifts? A great dad deserves a fantastic present. Take a look at...

I often hear stories about this or that instructor. They range from awesome to keep it positive Tactical

Finding the right shooting instructor

Kyle Lamb - September 22, 2017

I often hear stories about this or that instructor. They range from awesome to keep it...

Normandy through the eyes of a 13-year-old. Historical

D-DAY: 75 YEARS LATER

Jacob Avery

Normandy through the eyes of a 13-year-old.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

A New Season of G&A TV

A New Season of G&A TV

In this new season of Guns & Ammo TV, we introduce two new series and bring back a viewer favorite - Camera's Don't Lie. We look at long-range tech and see how to make shots previously thought impossible. Next we visit ISS Prop House in Hollywood.

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

A group of competitive shooters talk about new products from Aguila , the Aguila Cup, and everyone's favorite new guns launched at the 2019 SHOT show.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market. Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box race horse ready to help you win 3-Gun matches. Rifles

Savage Arms MSR 15 Competition Review

James Tarr - May 21, 2019

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box race horse ready to help you win 3-Gun...

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of Mossberg, Tikka, Savage, Howa, Bergara, Weatherby and Remington. Rifles

Starter Rifles for Under $1000

Aaron Carter - May 09, 2019

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of...

See More Stories

More Handgun

During the NRA Show in Dallas, OSG did a Facebook Live at the Kel-Tec booth talking to Kris Handgun

Kel-Tec's PMR-30

G&A Online Editors - June 13, 2018

During the NRA Show in Dallas, OSG did a Facebook Live at the Kel-Tec booth talking to Kris

 G&A Editor Eric R. Poole hunted hogs in Texas with the Pulsar Trail XP50.
Handgun

Pulsar Helion and Trail XP50 Thermal Optics Heat of the Night Hog Hunting

Eric R. Poole - June 01, 2018

G&A Editor Eric R. Poole hunted hogs in Texas with the Pulsar Trail XP50. "When equipped...

Magnum Research crowns a new .44-caliber king. Handgun

Magnum Research .429 Desert Eagle (DE)

Joseph von Benedikt - June 13, 2019

Magnum Research crowns a new .44-caliber king.

See More Handgun

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×