Child Gun Safety, Kentucky, and Tragedy

Everyone has their own opinions on gun safety.  Some think that gun safety is only doable by eliminating guns.  Some think that gun safety means shoot the other guy first.  I’m pretty sure the majority of us lean towards “increased background checks” as a reasonable alternative.  But when it comes to child gun safety, there are far fewer grey areas.

By now, everyone in the world has heard about the recent events in Kentucky: a five year old was left unattended with his own gun.  He shot and killed his two year old sister.

Child Gun Safety, Kentucky, and Tragedy (Motherhood Looms)

Some people (probably the majority?) think that the child had no business even touching a gun.  I’m not so sure about that.  You see, my own father received a .22 rifle when he was around five years old.  His mother taught him how to shoot.  Mind you, this was also in rural Alabama nearly seventy years ago.  Back then, it was also not uncommon for a high school kid to drive his pick up truck to school with a gun rack mounted in the back window.

Child gun safety does not necessarily mean keeping all guns from children.  It doesn’t mean that keeping children from even knowing that guns exist.  But child gun safety does mean being responsible.  Teaching a child to clean a firearm is not irresponsible.  Teaching a child how to shoot a firearm at the gun range is not irresponsible.  Even allowing a child to have his or her own child sized firearm is not irresponsible.

What’s irresponsible?  Keeping guns out.  I don’t care if you have children or you don’t.  Basic safety (child gun safety or adult) means that firearms are kept secured.  Basic child gun safety requires that firearms are only handled in appropriate locations like the gun range.  And common sense means that you don’t walk out of the room even for a split second.  Leaving two children unattended with a gun is irresponsible.  A two year old girl is dead because of that stupidity.

I don’t doubt that the family is suffering.  I fervently hope that five year old will never remember it.  That being said, it is not a “freak incident.”  It’s bad parenting.  Some will say that the family is suffering enough.  Perhaps they are.  However, that doesn’t change that the behavior is criminal and someone should be going to jail.  Sure, she won’t make that same mistake again, but maybe sending someone to jail for neglect (because it’s pretty freaking neglectful to leave two kids alone with an unsecured weapon), or wreckless endangerment of a minor, or failure to secure a firearm or something will serve as a reminder to other parents who get stupid about child gun safety.

What are your thoughts on child gun safety?

*Point of clarification: before someone determines that I must be some sort of “NRA gun nut,” I should point out that I am not a member of the NRA.  I do not own firearms.  I have never fired a weapon and have no intention of doing so any time soon.  My children have also never handled a firearm.  However, my personal distaste for guns does not negate second amendment rights.  Nor should it.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Guns are NEVER toys. This tragedy could have been prevented with supervision of the 5-year-old. The parents should be punished for their neglect that lead to the death of their toddler. People with guns kill people. Those deaths can be prevented with a little common sense and better laws.

  2. Savannah miller says:

    I wish more people would educate their kids on the dangers of guns. And make it so that tragedies like this never happen because the truth is they are 100% preventable if adults take the rights steps!

  3. I love your disclaimer at the end. I’m not a gun person. I’ve never shot one, and I wouldn’t allow my son to do it. Well, except a BB gun, which is part of his Cub Scouts badges, but I’m all for 2nd Amendment rights. I think those who do feel it is acceptable to let children have a gun (and I’m not judging, that sounded judgy but it’s not meant to be) need to ensure that those children are always supervised, and have a strong understanding of safety.

  4. I do support the second amendment and believe that people should be able to own guns if they desire. However, a 5 year old kid is too young to have a gun. I wouldn’t let my 5 year old girl drive a car and I would not let her handle a gun. That, said, for whatever reason, this family thought their little son should have a gun, ok that’s their decision. But, they are beyond idiotic to leave the kid alone with a loaded gun and with a 2 year old baby in the room. I, mean, really, how beyond stupid can someone be??

  5. I could go on and on, but I’m not a fan of guns, for any reason. Fighting guns with more guns is not a way to fix ANYTHING!

  6. I had not heard of the story in Kentucky. I prefer to not watch or read most of the news because it’s saddening. I also personally do not like guns, but that is my personal opinion. I do, however, agree that children should be educated about gun safety and how to properly handle a gun should they be in the presence of a gun. We do not have guns in our home so gun safety is not a concern for me, but if we were a hunting family or hubby was in law enforcement that required a gun to be in my home, I darn well would take my kids to classes on gun safety and how to properly handle a gun. That is only responsible parenting.

  7. What sort of parent would leave a gun lying around for a child to come along to play with? Sorry, I don’t respect guns or the law that approves of them. Guns should only be allowed to those who are licensed to use them

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