3-year-old shot and killed while playing with pink handgun thought to be a toy


98 Responses to “3-year-old shot and killed while playing with pink handgun thought to be a toy”

  1. Stooge says:

    The color of the gun and how it came into being are red herrings: anyone who leaves a loaded handgun of whatever color where small children can get their hands on it should be put on trial.

    • Caffeine99 says:

      Here’s a pic of the gun similar to the one I was talking about. While I agree about your point about gun access and kids, looking at this thing, I don’t think the appearance is just a red herring. I think its crazy.


    • Navin_Johnson says:

      How is it a red herring? If the children thought it was a toy because of its ridiculous color, then it’s certainly a crucial and interesting part of the story, whether it should have been loaded, or locked away or not. I frankly didn’t know that such a thing existed. Just ridiculous.

      • mattatlaw says:

         So you’re saying a 3 and 7 year old wouldn’t have played with the loaded handgun they found while totally unsupervised in a room that contains unsecured loaded handguns? And the issue is the color of the gun?

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          If I’m saying that, then you are having much difficulty reading.

          Is Xeni trying to confuse or mislead the reader somehow by including that completely interesting and relevant info? Nobody said the “issue” was the color of the gun, but it’s a very interesting part of the story. It’s not a “red herring”. Perhaps you guys are a little overly defensive because you too secretly know that making pink guns is ridiculous.

          • mattatlaw says:

             I agree that guns shouldn’t be pink. The reason being that guns are for killing people and are not to be taken lightly by painting them “fun” colors. But the post implies that the color of the gun had something to do with the kids playing with it. The fact is, a 3 and 7 year old left alone with a gun would probably play with it regardless of the color. In that sense, the color is a “red herring,” i.e., totally irrelevant to cause of the tragedy.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            The fact is, a 3 and 7 year old left alone with a gun would probably play with it regardless of the color.

            If the article is correct then they thought it was a toy, which they’d be less likely to think with a traditional weapon. So playing with, or touching it is likely, while pointing at a three year old’s head and shooting, perhaps a bit less likely. Either way it’s a completely relevant and interesting part of the story. Furthermore, we all know that at some point toy guns were made to be bright fluorescent colors to deliberately make them easily recognizable from real firearms. Also if you followed this blog much you’d know why Xeni would be interested in the Komen/pink aspect of this story.

        • Steve Taylor says:

           *An* issue. There’s room for two you know.

      • Happler says:

         After all, toy guns are normally bright colors:


        Having the gun be a “normal” color would have totally stopped the kid from playing with it. /sarcasm

        • redesigned says:

          The point is that it was a factor, not the only cause of the tradegdy.  obviously you shouldn’t leave loaded handguns where kids can play with them.  this is even more important when the gun looks like a f’n toy.  simple logic really.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          I explicitly said it would not. try again…

      • Stooge says:

        It’s certainly interesting, but hardly crucial.

        While I don’t have a firearm (I don’t like them, and they’re illegal here anyway) I have an electric chainsaw, which I consider similarly dangerous, as well as daughters aged 6 and 4. What keep the latter safe in the same household as the former are: there’s only one power outlet to which the chainsaw can be physically connected, and that’s on its own circuit whose circuit breaker I leave switched off, so when I want to use it, I have get a stepladder and head to the fusebox; the chainsaw is fixed by a combination lock to a wall bolt; the wall bolt is in a cupboard 7ft up on a wall in my garage; the cupboard is locked and the key kept out of reach in the fuse box; the cupboard is in a locked garage.

        What does not keep my daughters safe is the chainsaw’s color: I could paint “Pixie Summoner” on both sides and it wouldn’t make any difference to their safety.

        Arguing that leaving a child with a loaded Hello Kitty Uzi is more irresponsible than leaving them with a loaded dull gray MAC-10 is akin to saying Stalin would go down in your estimation if you discovered he was a poor tipper: a distinction there may be, but it’s very much a distinction without a difference.

    • Michael Rosefield says:

      Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? It’s not a red herring.

      Are you some kind of an idiot?

      Do I have to spell it out?


      It’s a P-I-N-K herring.

    • Jangocat says:

      You are correct it is a red herring. In almost all accidental shootings involving kids finding a gun they think it’s a toy, and most of those guns aren’t colored. A pink gun is not as unusual as some seem to think. People have be coloring guns all sorts of colors for years. The only issue here is an irresponsible gun owner failed to have their gun locked in a safe where it belongs.

  2. Caffeine99 says:

    Long story short, friend of a friend on FB who is generally a nice guy but what I would call a gun nut… posts a lot of stuff about shooting at ranges, 2nd amendment rights, etc. He’s starting to freak me out (weird thing is he’s a hospital nurse and fairly religious) 

    Anyone, one day I see a picture link on his FB feed of an AR-15 painted what I would call Hello Kitty pink, some kind of custom job. Some women friend of his, a fellow gun enthusiast posted the pic with some comment about how ‘cute’ her gun looked. It absolutely looked like a f*cking toy, I can’t believe she in anyway thought it was a good idea, let alone, cute. I was thinking I could easily see something bad happening by accident with that gun, then today I see this article.

    • Deidzoeb says:

      “He’s starting to freak me out (weird thing is he’s a hospital nurse and fairly religious) “Not necessarily inconsistent. Gun nuttery seems to have a lot to do with identity. Owning a gun and shooting it reminds them of dear old dad, traditional values, hunting with uncles, whatever, just like going to church reminds people of performing the same rituals with family and friends in the past, maybe in better times. They may take positions on guns and religion as a signifier of what kind of person they want to be (or want to be seen as), instead of really thinking through all the implications of gun advocacy or trinitarianism or whatever.

    • ffabian says:

      What kind of mental contortions are needed to perceive an instrument for killing human beings as “cute”? 

      • wysinwyg says:

         First you get really used to being around guns.  Then you paint it pink.

        That’s really all there is to it.  A friend of mine in high school was in the national guard and told me about how she had completely stopped thinking of her rifle as a killing machine and saw it instead as just another thing.

  3. Mitch_M says:

    We really need more good news about guns.

    • Warren_Terra says:

      The only thing that stops a bad news story with a gun is a good news story with a gun.

    • len says:

      Well, going by accidental death statistics from the CDC, guns are less harmful to children than swimming pools, bleach, and plastic bags (ie. drowning, poisoning, and suffocation). In fact, accident rate-wise, they’re only about as deadly as a good fall down the stairs.

      So buck up, little camper, your chances of getting shot are the lowest of any age group!

    • redesigned says:

       what would that look like?  “john had a tight grouping on his targets at the range today”???  really only the tragedies are news worthy a good gun story is one we don’t ever hear about.

      • wysinwyg says:

        Not really true.  There was the old guy in FL, for example.  And some conservatives actually seemed to think the Trayvon Martin shooting was good news.

    • I heard some gun was melted down into hippie peace signs/CND logos and in the 23rd Century a giant peace sign/CND logo creature traveled through space to find its kin on the planet of its birth, and that planet was saved because some hippie guy wasn’t shot by a gun a couple centuries back and his ancestors still had it somewhere in their VW and totally didn’t bogart it.

      And that planet was… EARTH.

  4. vetnoir says:

    The headline here could just as easily be “Parent Kills child with stupidity for leaving loaded gun where kids could play with it”.  The color of the gun has noting to do with it.  Failing to supervise your children in the presence of a loaded weapon is the real problem.

    • Ipo says:

      When I was seven years old I was around real guns and also played with toy guns.  Real guns are ALWAYS loaded, and I knew that. 
      I might have thought that was a toy. 
      The color is this story.  Otherwise this would be just one of the about 30 accidental shootings of children that happen every day.

      • marilove says:

        “just one of about 30″ — 30 too many.

      • winkybb says:

        30 per day? 11,000 per year? Are you fucking kidding me?

        (When I was 7 years old I had never even seen a gun. Joys of growing up in Australia I guess)

        • Ipo says:

          No, my number was wrong, sorry, if I had the internet this couldn’t happen. 
           Bad enough.

          “Six times as many children and teens—34,387—suffered nonfatal gun injuries as gun deaths in 2008 and 2009. This is equal to one child or teen every 31 minutes, 47 every day, and 331 children and teens every week.”

          • rrh says:

            Looking at the stats you link to, it looks like around 11 kids shot by accident per day.

            So the other 36 were shot on purpose.

    • Steve Taylor says:

      There’s not room enough in your head for two concepts?
      - bad to leave guns lying around
      - stupid to make guns that look like toys

  5. Green Ghost says:

    I think there is a major problem with guns like this. If you saw somebody walk into the local mall carrying a pink AR15, would you think twice about it? Would you call 9-11? Heck no! Of course in Texas, it could have its original color and most would think nothing of it.

  6. oneswellfoop says:

    I remember when I was a kid and had toy guns with a little fluorescent orange tip on the end the bullet would come out of to help police differentiate between toy guns and real.  Then they stopped making guns in black at all and they became bright colors.  It seems like the next step is no toy guns at all.

    I’m iffy on that because I think we ought to have the right to own hunting rifles, and toy guns can be a good way to teach respect for and the proper handling and treatment of real guns.  I do, however, acknowledge, that the dumbasses will ruin that for the people like myself who are contentious and treat any gun, whether I know it is unloaded or not, as if it will go off, of its own accord, at any moment.

    • Brainspore says:

      …toy guns can be a good way to teach respect for and the proper handling and treatment of real guns.

      Why do I suddenly get the impression that you’ve never met an actual child?

      • Steve Taylor says:

         It certainly doesn’t make me recall my childhood!

      • Dancy Lawrence says:

        I’m not sure a harmless toy is something you want to be conflating with a real gun, and teaching someone weapon handling before they’re old enough to be trusted with a real gun, or at least something like a BB, is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      …toy guns can be a good way to teach respect for and the proper handling and treatment of real guns.

      Can we extend that logic to dildos and fleshlights for tots?

    • winkybb says:

      I just don’t get this whole “let’s kill things for fun” meme.

      • bcsizemo says:

        I don’t necessarily either, but a lot of my extended family hunts and I wouldn’t call it “fun”, it’s more like sport.  I see it more as an accomplishment, or the enjoyment of doing something you like.  They mostly hunt deer (and yes they do keep the meat and mount the head/horns if it is nice enough) and it’s not something that you just go out and do on a whim.  I mean you certainly can go buy a gun and all the accessories you’ll need, and then try and find somewhere to hunt, and if you lucky you might see a deer.  Hunting in some ways is like other serious sports, it requires a decent amount of preparation to get any results. 

        • redesigned says:

          i’m all for hunting.  you can’t hunt with hand guns or assult weapons.  kids are a lot less likely to play with hunting rifels.  hunters are more likely to keep their rifels locked in a gun cabinet, whereas the #1 most common place to store a hand gun is the bedside nighstand drawer.

          • Dancy Lawrence says:

            “You can’t hunt with hand guns or assault weapons”

            I’ve seen this said a few times, and it is silly.

            In some areas where assault weapons or handguns are restricted, you can’t hunt with them, but otherwise, while you don’t need to hunt with them, there’s no reason you can’t. The statement is sort of like saying “you can’t go grocery shopping in a Porsche.”

            Is there any particular reason you can’t hunt with a semi-automatic military-appearing “assault weapon”?

            It uses the same ammunition (many hunting rifles are chambered for .223 or .308, the calibers used in military rifles.)

            The fact that you can fire more rapidly with it does not prevent you firing single aimed shots with it. The only difference is you aren’t likely to use all your ammunition.

            As for handgun hunting – it’s a recognized sport, usually with larger caliber handguns with special sights, but it’s quite possible to hunt small varmints with a regular handgun.

          • redesigned says:

            I’m not really the best person to provide gun education, you can look up the answer to your question online or talk to responsible gun owners.

            There is a reason anyone serious about hunting uses a hunting rifle specifically designed for hunting.

            Your question is like asking “why can’t you pound in nails with a screwdriver?”  the answer is the same…because there is a tool specifically made for the purpose and trying to do it with something else is inefficient, dangerous, and just plain stupid.

            There is a reason is is illegal in most places.

            I do realize that there are a few specialized handguns for hunting, these are very very different weapons then the handguns most people are discussing.  apples and oranges.

            People “hunting” varmit with large caliber handguns aren’t hunting for meat.  they are simply killing things to eliminate them and reduce the population.

          • There is a reason anyone serious about hunting uses a hunting rifle specifically designed for hunting.

            You’re just factually wrong here. The AR-15 is a very popular hunting platform. Lots of people hunt with handguns because they enjoy the extra challenge, just like lots of people hunt with bows.

          • redesigned says:

             @google-fdc233e49cd0724ff8580732d8b8bd86:disqus please actually read my reply to Dancy, I already addressed both those points.

            There is a reason hunting with an Ar-15 is illegal in most states, all but 10.

            There is also a reason hunting with handguns is illegal in most states.  Not to mention the “handguns” people hunt with are very different then the handguns that most people think about when discussing handguns.  apples and oranges.

            Why does the nutso group of gun owners consistently do more damage to gun rights then anyone anti-gun?  They give responsible gun owners a bad name.

          • wysinwyg says:

            @google-fdc233e49cd0724ff8580732d8b8bd86:disqus According to a recent conversation I had on BB about AR-15s they have small NATO-approved rounds and very little stopping power, which I would think would limit their utility in hunting.

        • eldritch says:

          A sport in which the competition involves the needless taking of a life – where shooting a non-dangerous creature from beyond the range of its ability to perceive you makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something worthwhile, and where the thing you enjoy doing is killing, or at the very least setting off explosions and destroying things with high speed slugs of metal.

          People should take up hunting unarmed, unaware humans. I mean, so long as you feel like you’ve accomplished something, or you enjoy doing it, and especially if you eat the meat and mount the heads, it’s morally defensible, right? It just good clean fun – a noble “sporting” activity.

          You want to feel powerful and sporting? Hunt with a knife, out of necessity, and make use of every part of the animal. Otherwise you’re just a cruel, rationalizing hypocrite who gets off on inflicting agony and death to creatures that are weaker than you.

          • Eric Rucker says:

            Although, from the perspective of modern automobile-based society, deer are very dangerous animals. (That’s a topic for another thread, though.)

            And, many states actually rely on hunting of deer to prevent deer overpopulation (which can hurt the deer far worse than a few being killed off by humans).

        • Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet says:

          I like eating venison, but I don’t get deer hunting the way it’s done around here.  Get up before dawn in the cold, sit in a tree without moving for hours, if a deer walks by, shoot it.  Go have lunch with your buddies, back to the tree for dusk, hang out in the cabin all evening, repeat.  Get migraine from cold, lack of movement, and weight of gun strap around neck.  Grouse hunting makes more sense, since there are friendly dogs and walking in the woods involved, but grouse are kind of gross.  It’s a deep and abiding mystery.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            A friend of a friend is a bow hunter. He walks out the back door of the kitchen and comes back twenty minutes later with a carcass slung over his shoulder for his wife to dress.

  7. GawainLavers says:

    I have to say, I’m not sure if it was Sandy Hook, or perhaps Obama’s agressive stance afterward, but it seems to have blown the lid off of reporting gun deaths.  This sort of thing used to be page 10 if reported on at all (i.e. not if the victim wasn’t white), but now the steady stream seems to be getting real visibility.

  8. Boundegar says:

    Nobody Could Have Predicted…

    • spiessbraten says:

      sometimes reality is more surreal than surrealism could ever be…

    • winkybb says:

      And with that we get a glimpse into the psyche of gun ownership. It seems they’re not tools for killing things, they’re fun-to-own possessions.

      • eldritch says:

        What’s not fun about putting great big holes in living things? Watching weaker beings suffer and die is sublimely entertaining! …so long as there’s no chance of someone even stronger doing the exact same thing to you, of course… That’s why murder is illegal, don’cha know.

        (I actually kind of wish duels were still legal. Two idiots want to solve their differences with pistols at dawn, that’s fine by me. Regulate it, make it strictly opt-in only, and let them have at each other, the bloodthirsty SOBs.)

        • Adam B. says:

          I mean, I just like the challenge of putting holes in a piece of paper that’s really far away, but that’s just me. You seem too enraged to recognize bullseye shooting as a legit hobby/sport. Never mind that there are several Olympic events for pistol, rifle & shotgun. To each their own.

          I do feel that this was the fault of the parents. No one should be calling for a ban on pink guns though.

          • eldritch says:

            Putting holes in a piece of paper can be done with a BB gun or other type of air rifle, or even with low powered lasers, which are now used in the modern Olympic shooting sports.

            Hell, if you really want a challenge, take up archery, or slingshooting, or stone throwing, or bullwhipping, or any number of ranged hole-in-paper-making-capable sports that don’t utilize devices that can also very easily put holes in people. If you absolutely have to feel like a badass, you could even take up throwing knives, hatchets, woodaxes, darts, spears, machetes, et cetera. They’re still nowhere near as dangerous as firearms.

        • Eric Rucker says:

          The reason why dueling is illegal is because there was incredible societal pressure to participate in a duel, to the point that someone who refused a duel would be treated as an outcast in some areas. So, society made it incredibly coercive.

  9. Mr. Spocko says:

    Xeni. I’d like to point out the curious construction in this article and others of it’s sort. Especially the passive voice.

    Investigators say the child and a 7-year-old sibling were playing with a pink handgun that they thought was a toy when the gun went off.

    The shooting has been ruled as accidental. No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation continues.

    Officials are reminding gun owners to keep them locked at all times and out of reach of children.

    I know that there is a difference between intentional and accidental, but the way that this is worded in passive voice removes the actor from the picture.

    Someone was negligent in storing the gun. So often the media writes about “accidental” shootings when it is really a case of someone negligently storing, using, carrying or transporting the firearm.

    Guns don’t just “go off” in this case a little finger when around the trigger and pulled it. Because the owner stored it loaded and with in reach of the child (with the safety off?) That person was negligent, and there should be consequences for that as well.

    I know there is the whole, “he/she is already being punished enough” theory, but when these kind of stories are written that remove the agency of a human from the mix it gives cover to the person (or persons) who were negligent. And when there are not consequences for the negligence it makes it like an ‘act of god”

    Gun enthusiasts want credit for all the times they say the mere sight of a gun stopped a crime then shouldn’t we also count all the times someone was negligent with a gun? Espceially those that lead to injury or death.

    There is a blog that I read that has daily stories of death and injuries from people negligently storing a gun, using a gun or unloading a gun. It’s at ohhshoot.blogspot.com

    Let’s start using the word negligent instead accident in these gun shooting stories.

    • marilove says:

      I think murder-by-negligence works pretty well. That’s what this is, really. Parents/adults REALLY need to start being thrown in jail for this crap.

      • mulveyr says:

        It’s insane.  I’m a target shooter.  I have my rifle in the closet, with a trigger lock.  I have my ammo in a small safe, locked.  I have the bolt for the rifle in ANOTHER safe, also locked.  Because even though my kids are perfectly familiar with firearms and have both shot them safely under supervision at our local range – they’re still kids, with less than fully formed brains.

      • eldritch says:

        Murder-by-negligence isn’t murder. It’s manslaughter.

    • Peter says:

      While I agree mostly, I think that, possibly, in this case, the “the gun went off” is a mercy to the other child, because it carries a lot less baggage of intentionality that a kid, in particular, might feel susceptible to. 

      So I’m fine with saying ‘the gun went off’, but yes, let’s include the fact that gross negligence on the part of the gun owner allowed the “accident” to happen.

  10. Alexander Borsi says:

    Jesus Christ… Could someone PLEASE find some stories where people with guns do some GOOD rather than just reporting all these negative stories over and over again? I think we got the point that some kids die every day from guns–where is the other side to these stories? There has to be some…

    I also find it disturbing that it seems to be a spinoff of the “Missing White Girl” syndrome that happened a few years back and all I seem to hear about is white kids being reported. Where are the stories about Black and Hispanic kids? What about Chinese and Japanese? Also, you don’t hear about any stories from way down in the south where all the “hillbilly” people live either… Are they just better trained to NOT touch the guns?

    (Some of this post was meant to be taken as satire.)

    • redesigned says:

      like what?  besides hunting with hunting rifels, what would good with a gun look like?  i’m genuinely curious.

      • Dancy Lawrence says:

        Guns are used to initiate or threaten violence. In most cases “doing good with a gun” would mean using the gun to threaten or shoot someone who was about to do something bad, like commit home invasion, assault, rape, or murder. Or, more often, who is in the process of committing a burglary or criminal trespass in someone’s home..

        These stories are regularly reported when they happen, with a widely reported incident typically every month or so, especially in conservative news forums. Whether you consider shooting shooting an intruder “good” or not depends on your viewpoint.

        • redesigned says:

          So the good story would be to use the threat of violence to prevent another threat of violence, or to use violence to stop a violence that is curretnly occuring?

          I guess i can see how some people would consider that a “good” story.  It isn’t what I think of as good, but rather a not so great thing that had to be done out of necessity to prevent a worse thing. Like war, not good, but hopefully to prevent something worse.

    • RElgin says:

       . . . like people planting trees while wearing sidearms or feeding the homeless while the servers have guns slung over shoulders?

      This sounds more like unicorns and other mythological things.

    • Mother Joker says:

      This happened today: “Utah store owner pulls gun to foil knife-wielding robber”

      • $19428857 says:

         And then there is the more than seventy mass shootings since Tuscon and the 9705 shot this year and the 255 shot today to balance out that happy fact. http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts?s=1

        I’m a gun owner, and I hate a lot of gun owners. I used to shoot competitively, but I got tired of listening to dumbass gun owners at the range justify inaction, so now I avoid them.

    • $19428857 says:

      The dead child was African-American, if that allays any of your potentially satirical concerns about “missing white child” syndrome. And it happened in Greenville , South Carolina, so it was down south. Having a hard time finding the “satire” in your post. Could you point it out for someone who doesn’t see much room for satire in relation to the death of a toddler?

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Easy, those GOOD events almost never happen, except in Hollywood and and gun fetish fantasies. And on the extremely rare occasion that they do happen gun extremists trumpet them to the skies.

    • Peter says:

      Stories where guns did some good?

      Well, there was that guy who used a gun to change the channel on his TV.

      It may be apocryphal, but I think that counts as “doing good”… it was on FOX News at the time.

  11. DJBudSonic says:

    I wish the NRA would get back to it’s original mission of promoting firearm safety.  For all the money they have wasted on politics they could have given everyone a free gun lock, and a lesson about safe storage.  The Walther P22 shown is a decent sized handgun, with a tight slide and a decocking lever, this gun was likely left loaded, with a round in the chamber, in the vicinity of unsupervised children. That’s just idiocy, and sad, too.

  12. marilove says:

    When a child gets a hold of a gun, the parent and/or adult that owns that gun should be charged with murder. This is ridiculous. LOCK UP YOUR FUCKING GUNS.

    And I grew up with guns! My dad has quite a few.

    He also has two gun safes. Which he uses.

    The only time I ever handled the guns was when my father was present and right next to us (we used to shoot at cans and stuff).

  13. Paul Jenkins says:

    18 States have laws that require guns to be kept out of the reach of children.  Contrary to popular belief two of them are Florida and Texas.  Although I am a proponent of gun ownership, I do believe it requires a great deal of responsibility.  Whether these laws help reduce accidental deaths or not might be uncertain, but I do believe holding someone criminally responsible for when a child gets hold of a loaded weapon is the right thing to do. 

  14. redesigned says:

    it takes a special kind of a-hole to leave a loaded handgun where kids can play with it, especially one that looks like a toy.  that being said, even though this tragedy could have easily been avoided i still grieve for the parents even if they were responsible.  the loss of a child is an unimaginable pain, i’m sure they regret their shortsightedness.

    • Dancy Lawrence says:

      it does seem odd that if you’re going to leave the kids with grandparents that would you leave unsecured firearms about, especially without warning the grandparents who are baby sitting. Perhaps they had hidden the gun in a place they believed was out of reach and the children were far more inventive than the parent’s imagined.

      I also grieve for the 7-year old girl, especially if she was the accidental shooter. It will be terrible for her growing up and then looking back on what happened.

  15. Daemonworks says:

    I rather doubt the colour had much to do with it, given that kids will play with just about anything. To a 7 year old, basically everything remotely interesting is a toy.

    • redesigned says:

      possible it would have happened either way.

      it is also possible that had the kids thought it was a real gun they wouldn’t point it at eachother and pull the trigger.

      just because it might have happened anyway doesn’t mean the color wasn’t a contributing factor in this tradegdy.  i think a fatal accident is a lot more likely if kids think they are playing with a toy.

  16. Scratcheee says:

    I just gave my young sons their first firearms safety training last week (Stop, Don’t Touch, Leave the Area, Tell an Adult.)  But I started by showing them a large handgun and a small handgun, and asking them which one they thought was real.  They guessed (correctly) that both were, but I did emphasize that they should not try to determine whether a found gun is a toy or not.  

    That said, I think almost any kid who finds a gun is going to want to play with it, pink or not.  This kind of story gives me knots in my stomach.

    • eldritch says:

      I think I’d make a terrible parent, because if I ever had children I would be sorely tempted to take them out to a gun range to teach them about guns. They’d probably not be happy to hear that I was going to, as I can’t imagine I’d be anything other than stony, somber, and dour while informing them, as well as for the entire length of the outting.

      They’d come away with a very strong impression of just what I think about firearms, and just what horrible, senseless things they are. I’m not sure I could find a way to not unnerve and depress them horribly. Because they’ve simply got to know what these damned things are, and what terrible things they can do.

  17. Deidzoeb says:

    The only way to stop bad toddlers with guns… aw, fuck it.

  18. JohnQPublic says:

    I bet if you asked those parents that if they owned a circular saw they would make damn sure to keep that object out of reach, unplugged from its power source, and not plastered with “Hello Kitty” or “Spongebob” stickers.  Right? 
    In this case, they applied less care around a thing designed to kill humans than they did a thing designed to cut some wood.

  19. Mike Hathaway says:

    They almost never seem to sentence the adults who are really responsible to lengthy prison sentences.  Who the hell leaves a loaded hand gun in a building with children.  There are gun safes, wall safes, lock boxes, trigger locks hell a zip tie through the clip entry point and out the breach would have made it impossible to load and fire.  But no these jackasses left it loaded.  Lock them up throw away the key, Arrest their parents for razing terminally stupid.

    • Eric Rucker says:

      But, but, but, how are they going to shoot a burglar quickly?!?!?!?!!?

      (Please note, the above is satire. I’m actually in favor of handguns being highly restricted, nearly as much as automatic weapons, except for (until handgun restriction is fully implemented successfully) those classes that truly do need it to defend themselves, and even then, quite a bit of restriction.)

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