Four-Year-Old Girl Shoots Herself at Sam's Club


PDA






LiquidTension
June 9, 2008, 05:19 PM
Did a quick search and didn't see this posted.
-------------

Columbia (WLTX) -- The City of Columbia Police Department says a four-year-old girl had shot herself at a Sam's Club in Columbia, and they say the child is now in critical condition.

Investigators say the shooting happened inside the Sam's Club on Harbison Boulevard at approximately 10:50 a.m.

According to police, the girl was being taken around the store in a shopping cart by her grandmother. Police say the grandmother had a gun in her purse.

While the grandmother was pushing the girl near the pharmacy area, officers say the little girl took the gun out of the purse and shot herself in the chest.

The girl is in critical condition, but police have been told by family members that the girl suffered no damage to her major organs.

Investigators are looking at store surveillance video to get more details of what led up to the shooting. There were also eyewitnesses.

Police say the grandmother has a valid weapons permit. No charges have been filed in the case.

Sam's Club was closed during the initial investigation, but the store has been re-opened.

WLTX.com will have more information as it becomes available.

http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=62877

Tragic :( This could have been avoided by either keeping the gun on her person or keeping an eye on the kid. Be sure to read the comments section, lots of intelligent discourse there :rolleyes:

If you enjoyed reading about "Four-Year-Old Girl Shoots Herself at Sam's Club" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
xjchief
June 9, 2008, 05:23 PM
That's awful! :(

A good lesson for the rest of us to always maintain control of our firearms at all times.

Larry E
June 9, 2008, 05:25 PM
Tragic, and more ammunition for the gun banners unfortunately.

It's too bad that the little girl's parents and grandparents didn't want to damage her self esteem by teaching her to keep her hands to herself and out of other people's stuff. The grandmother could most certainly have been more careful and observant too.

nwilliams
June 9, 2008, 05:25 PM
This just goes to show there its never too young to teach kids about gun safety and responsibility.

I hope she pulls through ok and my thoughts are with her and her family:(

Gunsby_Blazen
June 9, 2008, 05:29 PM
WOW, I guess its not a good idea to just trow a gun in a bag and let children play with it.
That is wild, but I feel so bad for that family and the grandmother as I am sure she is loosing her mind.
She should have at least had her purse zipped up and not her her grandchild in it.

Keep your guns away from kids.

I hope the kid pulls through with nothing wrong.

give
June 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
very sad and we hope she recovers,this is the perfect example to why they make purses with holsters in them

JesseL
June 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
I really can't imagine a worse way to carry a gun than in a purse.

I might make an exception for purses made with a compartment specifically for guns and with a reinforced strap, but to toss a gun in with all the other junk and subject to being left behind or lost (or played with by a toddler!) is insane.

Tyris
June 9, 2008, 05:36 PM
Must have been some seriously weak caliber.
And a light trigger.

-T

jairadio
June 9, 2008, 05:36 PM
Just say a prayer for this child. Forget the rest.

Ready2Defend
June 9, 2008, 05:43 PM
Sad news. Tottlers have stronger thumbs than index fingers. A natural grip with the thumb on the trigger points the gun at the holders chest/head.

SCGirl
June 9, 2008, 05:44 PM
wow, not far from where I live..that is a tragedy

Ash
June 9, 2008, 05:45 PM
I always shudder when I read of these kind of stories. My son is 3 1/2 and so it hits close to home. I have already been teaching him about firearms and at his current age, he knows never to touch unless I am with him. He has his toys and knows that if he wants to see a real one, I will sit down with him. No forbidden fruit. But good golly reading something like this makes the heart ache!

Ash

mbt2001
June 9, 2008, 05:46 PM
Another strike against off body carry...

.cheese.
June 9, 2008, 05:49 PM
Why was she not watching the kid?

Or, if she was doing something that would prevent her from watching the kid, why did she not take her purse?

She knew there was a gun in there. I don't think it's too much to ask for her to be a little bit more responsible about leaving a gun easily accessible to a 4 year old. You wouldn't leave a bottle of pills open near a kid, so why a loaded gun?

Even if the little girl had been taught something about firearm safety, she's still 4.

I hope she's ok.

Moral of the story: Having a gun on or near you is a right, but it is also a responsibility!

feedthehogs
June 9, 2008, 05:59 PM
This just goes to show there its never too young to teach kids about gun safety and responsibility.


Yes there is an age limit and its not the same for every kid.
If it was, all kids would do equaly the same in school on comprehension.

This is sad for not only the kid getting hurt, but the irresponsible grandmother throws another log on the fire of the gun ban safety freaks.

Rokyudai
June 9, 2008, 06:00 PM
Prayers for all involved.:(

XD Fan
June 9, 2008, 06:06 PM
I found the comment discusion very interesting. Some very intersting discussion. Many people just can't conceive why a person would carry a concealed weapon.

3KillerBs
June 9, 2008, 06:10 PM
Poor, little thing. I pray that she makes it.

This is why, as the mother of intelligent, small children, I will NOT carry off-body.

It takes about 2 seconds, maybe less, for a bright and determined kid to get into something they know perfectly well that they aren't allowed into. No matter how well-disciplined they are, they test rules and try power games to see who is really in charge.

I'll bet grandma turned her back for less than 30 seconds to get something off the shelf or to compare prices. That's all it takes with a kid. :(

leadcounsel
June 9, 2008, 06:12 PM
I hope the girl makes it.

Negligence on the grandmother's part. This could happen with a gun, or just as easily with scissors, medicine, etc. Unfortunately the blame will fall squarely on the gun rather than negligence behavior:

1) Purse carry is about the worst way to carry, considering purse snatchings and such;

2) Who leaves their child and purse unattended in a store for a length of period where this can happen?

Just for starters...

Yep, irresponsible behavior can cost us ALL of our CCW rights.

3KillerBs
June 9, 2008, 06:12 PM
...
And a light trigger.

My 2yo can pull the trigger on a cap pistol that is heavier than the trigger on DH's S&W M&P. Even more, he can cock the hammer.

He can't rack the slide on the airsoft pistol I use for dry-fire practice in the living room, but he knows that he needs to if it is going to go, "click".

Little kids are stronger than people think.

nwilliams
June 9, 2008, 06:18 PM
Yes there is an age limit and its not the same for every kid.
If it was, all kids would do equaly the same in school on comprehension.

That may be true, but I think 4 years old is not too young to be instructed on the dangers of inappropriate behavior if you have firearms around. Of course if the child is not your own and you are not aware if the parents have taken it upon themselves to teach about guns then in that case the responsibility falls on the gun owners shoulder to make sure the gun is not accessible to the child.

Coronach
June 9, 2008, 06:28 PM
It's too bad that the little girl's parents and grandparents didn't want to damage her self esteem by teaching her to keep her hands to herself and out of other people's stuff. The grandmother could most certainly have been more careful and observant too.Dude. She's FOUR.

Mike

Bazooka Joe71
June 9, 2008, 06:35 PM
Very sad...But looking at the bright side of things, she didn't damage any major organs, so she can pull through this.

I'll be praying for her.

Officers'Wife
June 9, 2008, 06:36 PM
Hi Coronach

Dude. She's FOUR.

My child is two and has been taught that knifes, the stove and electical sockets are not to play with. She also knows that Mom is going to catch her if she gets into something she is not supposed to.

Selena

Bazooka Joe71
June 9, 2008, 06:39 PM
Dude. She's FOUR.

My child is two and has been taught that knifes, the stove and electical sockets are not to play with. She also knows that Mom is going to catch her if she gets into something she is not supposed to.


But all kids are different...We had a thread that talked about letting their kids carry around a pocket knife when they were 2.

Bazooka Joe71
June 9, 2008, 06:40 PM
DP..

Ash
June 9, 2008, 06:44 PM
My son knows not to touch, so much so that when he saw my wife with a firearm, he scolded her about it, that only dad can touch it. She stopped and complied with him for the short term to reinforce what he believed.

Ash

zxcvbob
June 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
About the only thing that won't get brought up is that it wouldn't have happened if Grandma was open-carrying.

Just an observation...

George C Morrison
June 9, 2008, 06:49 PM
About the only thing that won't get brought up is that it wouldn't have happened if Grandma was open-carrying.

I agree.But in South Carolina OC is, unfortunately, not legal.

http://www.opencarry.org

Kentak
June 9, 2008, 06:49 PM
Well, it won't be long before all Sam's Clubs are posted "No Guns."

Kentak
June 9, 2008, 06:56 PM
And, we don't know anything about what this child may or may not have been taught about handling guns.

Parents--Do not believe teaching your child, young, or not so young, not to mishandle guns is a guarantee they will not.

K

Eric F
June 9, 2008, 07:05 PM
So many ignorant comments on this thread. I can clearly see that many do not have children. At 4 the child can barlely control themselves. Low impuls control and they are all naturaly curious. The child is not to blame here. The Grandparent is to blame. As far as keeping an eye on your kids. The child was in a cart and your shopping tell me you never turn your head to look at somthing for a minute or leave the cart a few feet behind to grab a few items. The womans purse should have never been left in the childs reach.

I might be a bit off on this but I remember reading a child is not counsciously aware of their actions until 6 years.

George C Morrison
June 9, 2008, 07:10 PM
I might be a bit off on this but I remember reading a child is not counsciously aware of their actions until 6 years.

You are so correct Eric.
Only the grandmother can be blamed for not having control of the firearm, violating, I believe ,the all important Rule 5.You must keep control of the firearm at all times.

jairadio
June 9, 2008, 07:39 PM
Eric, Right on the money. I am a gun owner for many, many years. A 4 year old child has been shot because of the negligence of a adult. How simple could it be, Open Carry, this grandma would eventually shoot herself in the leg. No more gun carrying in Sam's, you can bet on that one for sure, and probably more stores to follow. This idiot grandmother's actions, isn't doing a damn thing positive for my or your gun rights. I am very upset with some of the postings on this thread. AGAIN!!! A 4 YEAR OLD YOUNG CHILD. Has sensitivity left the mind's of Americans?

Kentak
June 9, 2008, 07:46 PM
My 2yo can pull the trigger on a cap pistol that is heavier than the trigger on DH's S&W M&P. Even more, he can cock the hammer.

He can't rack the slide on the airsoft pistol I use for dry-fire practice in the living room, but he knows that he needs to if it is going to go, "click".


May we assume the real guns are locked up, or otherwise secured, when not under your immediate control?

K

Prince Yamato
June 9, 2008, 07:51 PM
That grandmother is an irresponsible idiot. An unholstered gun left in her purse with her 4 year old granddaughter right next to it. How could anything possibly go wrong. It's too bad the gun didn't discharge into grandma instead. She deserves a Darwin award.

H088
June 9, 2008, 07:56 PM
Its sad, but its hardly our problem. People make bad decisions once in a while but overall its not a good enough reason to reduce freedom.

Eric F
June 9, 2008, 08:01 PM
this whole thread...........I have a 2 year old daughter at home which is why I unload and put away when I walk through the door after work. I can understand the unholstered thing I often just cary in the waist band or stuff it muzzle down between the seat cushions in my truck. But I never at any point leave my gun where my daughter can get to it.

Some on this board will call you an anti for not carying 24-7

most on this board will call you irresponsible if a child get hold of your gun

everyone will call you negligent if the child shoots themselves with your gun.

Moral of the story some times you just dont need a gun.

mljdeckard
June 9, 2008, 08:06 PM
I try to tell all people I know who carry, that they must develop a conspicuous sixth sense of awareness about where the weapon is at all times. You know where your wallet is, and you know immediately when something is missing from your back pocket. Your weapon must be at least as conspicuous to your senses.

cassandrasdaddy
June 9, 2008, 08:07 PM
Even if the little girl had been taught something about firearm safety, she's still 4.
wise words from cheese as well as ericf my kid started moms car at 18 months and tried to get it in gear

Coronach
June 9, 2008, 08:13 PM
My child is two and has been taught that knifes, the stove and electical sockets are not to play with. She also knows that Mom is going to catch her if she gets into something she is not supposed to.That's all well and good. I'm teaching my daughter the same things. I'm still not going to be foolish and irresponsible enough to leave a loaded gun within her reach. Period.

Should the child have reached in the purse and played with something that is not hers? No. But she's FOUR YEARS OLD. They do that. Think yours won't? Want to bet her life on it?

Should the grandmother have had a loaded gun unattended around a four year old? No. She should not, and you know what? She's not a child, and should know better.

The grandmother was negligent, period, unless there is something huge unreported here (always possible).

Mike

BigO01
June 9, 2008, 08:15 PM
Sad story and I hope the little girl fully recovers and Granny reads the permit it's called concealed carry , not sorta carry by having it in your purse that you toss down just about anywhere when you get tired of lugging it around .

.cheese.
June 9, 2008, 08:21 PM
So many ignorant comments on this thread. I can clearly see that many do not have children. At 4 the child can barlely control themselves. Low impuls control and they are all naturaly curious. The child is not to blame here. The Grandparent is to blame. As far as keeping an eye on your kids. The child was in a cart and your shopping tell me you never turn your head to look at somthing for a minute or leave the cart a few feet behind to grab a few items. The womans purse should have never been left in the childs reach.

exactly!

bdjansen
June 9, 2008, 08:27 PM
Tottlers have stronger thumbs than index fingers. A natural grip with the thumb on the trigger points the gun at the holders chest/head.

Yes! I remember when my son was 2 and playing with a little squirt gun my friends had to spray their cat when it misbehaved. He would put both hands on the gun, both thumbs on the trigger, and shoot himself in the face/chest.

TAB
June 9, 2008, 08:38 PM
About the only thing that won't get brought up is that it wouldn't have happened if Grandma was open-carrying.


you really think so? its clear to me that the child was intrested in the gun, she could have just as easily removed it from a holster.

ilsrwy27
June 9, 2008, 08:45 PM
She should have shot grandma instead, that would have tought her not to leave a loaded gun unattended! :D

Eric F
June 9, 2008, 08:52 PM
Quote:
About the only thing that won't get brought up is that it wouldn't have happened if Grandma was open-carrying.
you really think so? its clear to me that the child was intrested in the gun, she could have just as easily removed it from a holster. It would have been really hard for any one to remove a gun from a holster while a conscious person is still wearing it with out their knowledge.

TAB
June 9, 2008, 08:57 PM
you would be amazed at what a child can do. If some one paying attention or is doing something that would keep thier hands occuiped( say getting something off a top shelf) it very well could happen. I've seen trained miltary personel have thier side arms taken from them when they knew it was coming( before they could even get thier hands on the gun/ guy grabing it).
If it could happen to them, it could happen to an aging grandmother.

AntiqueCollector
June 9, 2008, 08:58 PM
From what I've seen all my life, young children frequently go through women's purses--their mother's or grandmother's, makes no difference. Children tend to be curious by nature. This woman really should have had the gun on her person and not in the purse. I hope the child pulls through okay.

Elza
June 9, 2008, 09:00 PM
Teaching a child does not relieve us of the responsibility of protecting them. Curiosity has killed far too many children to believe that training is all that is needed. Curiosity is very compelling. It can easily overpower all the training in the world.

AntiqueCollector
June 9, 2008, 09:12 PM
Training/education works with some, not others. I knew very well never to touch my father's guns without his permission when I was little. He said if I did I'd have the beating of my life with his belt, and I believed him. But others are not so easily deterred, especially with less and less emphasis on discipline these days...so it is the duty of every gun owner with children to both educate their children and ensure they aren't allowed to slip up...that doesn't mean I wouldn't have loaded guns in my home, but any that were loaded would be in my holster or on my back...

zxcvbob
June 9, 2008, 09:19 PM
Training is important, but it doesn't shift the responsibility from the adult to the child! Especially one that young.

airforceteacher
June 10, 2008, 01:07 AM
Eric F: So many ignorant comments on this thread. I can clearly see that many do not have children. At 4 the child can barlely control themselves. Low impuls control and they are all naturaly curious. The child is not to blame here. The Grandparent is to blame. As far as keeping an eye on your kids. The child was in a cart and your shopping tell me you never turn your head to look at somthing for a minute or leave the cart a few feet behind to grab a few items. The womans purse should have never been left in the childs reach.
100%

I might be a bit off on this but I remember reading a child is not counsciously aware of their actions until 6 years.

As a parent of 4 kids now in their teens, I find this hard to believe. My kids knew the difference between right and wrong on many things long before 6. Now, knowing the ramifications of choosing to do wrong? That takes a lifetime - most adults only get it right about half the time.

RaspberrySurprise
June 10, 2008, 01:30 AM
Another sad case when an adult makes a stupid decision and someone else pays the price. A child that was as unattended as this one was headed for some kind of disaster, it just happened to come from grandma's gun first.

Hopefully the little girl recovers and isn't horribly scarred mentally or physically by it.

Zoogster
June 10, 2008, 01:33 AM
I really can't imagine a worse way to carry a gun than in a purse.

I might make an exception for purses made with a compartment specifically for guns and with a reinforced strap, but to toss a gun in with all the other junk and subject to being left behind or lost (or played with by a toddler!) is insane.

A purse is always a bad way to carry a firearm, period, and not just in this situation.

If a woman finds herself attacked or robbed guess what one of the first things targeted is likely to be? Her purse. A struggle over an external container that contains your firearm does not leave it available for use.
Even if not taken, the purse is likely to be a focus of attention for a would be robber.
An attack can be violent, with someone falling, pushed, grabbed etc with a struggle that seperates a woman from her purse, or the purse not in a position that facilitates drawing before the attack continues.
A firearm carried for defense should be in a position that after some tumbling around or fending off an attacker with both hands it can be drawn.

Allowing a child, especialy one not introduced to firearms or that young to be around a loaded firearm and have access to it is a whole seperate issue.

I hope the child recovers and the actions are blamed, not the tool. You wouldn't leave a child with sharp objects either, it doesn't mean knives are bad.

ReadyontheRight
June 10, 2008, 01:42 AM
Best wishes for this family.

Poor choice of a way to carry a gun. A gun is just a tool. But a very powerful tool and should be treated as such. I hope this leads to better education and not more useless regulation.

Officers'Wife
June 10, 2008, 01:57 AM
Hi Bazooka

But all kids are different...

And all are the same, if they aren't reasonably sure Mom is going to catch them they will do as they please. Mine has a mother that doesn't let the child out of her mind's eye a second!

Selena

Old Guy
June 10, 2008, 04:38 AM
We have two kids, and four Grandkids, my carry gun is in a holster, or next to me at night, when any little kids were about (youngest now 15 YOA) the firearms were not assessable to them.

Even though Grandma was to blame, you have to feel for her, and what she is going through. We can only hope the little one pulls through.

La Pistoletta
June 10, 2008, 04:57 AM
You can bet the blame will fall on anything but the grandmother's negligence and the parents' failure to teach the child not to go through the belongings of others, and to not touch firearms.

Double Naught Spy
June 10, 2008, 08:30 AM
My child is two and has been taught that knifes, the stove and electical sockets are not to play with. She also knows that Mom is going to catch her if she gets into something she is not supposed to.

Selena

Selena, that is great. I bet your kids have also been taught many things. Have they ever disobeyed any of their lessons? Of course they have. They are kids. That is why the responsibility for them is with the parent or guardian. You can teach little kids many things, but that does not mean they will adhere to all of them 100%.

Geno
June 10, 2008, 08:39 AM
My daughter is 13, and I still keep my firearms locked in a 1-ton vault. If any firearms are out, they are with me, or on my person. My point is that we can teach them what we will, but in the end, do we really want to trust a child to listen to their parent?

SCKimberFan
June 10, 2008, 09:19 AM
+1 On prayers for the family.

Grandma (who is a magistrate) should know a lot better than to keep her weapon in an unattended purse, especially when she has care of her granddaughter. She should lose her CWP for this. (And yes, I have one myself!) You can't fix stupid and that was stupid.

lvcat2004
June 10, 2008, 09:29 AM
I have 2 small kids, 2 and 5. They are taught not touch things they are not supposed to, including firearms, but guess what, my 2 year old still goes through my wife's purse whenever he can get a hold of it..he even gets a chair to get to it from top of the kitchen counter. I still find my 5 year old sneaking into the cookie jar from the pantry when he KNOWS he's not supposed to. Anyone who thinks that the 4 year-old should've been taught not to get into the gun that was SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HER as if that was the solution to this problem is out of touch with reality and is lacking insight.

Bottom line is, you can teach your kids all you want, but they'll still find a way to misbehave...don't we all remember teenage years? and we knew what was right and wrong, but we still did things, didn't we? And I surely hope nobody expects a FOUR years old to "not go through the purse and pull the trigger because I told you so"....that's ludicrous.

If you REALLY don't want them to touch it, you keep it away from them, LOCKED-UP. All of my firearms are locked up, and my kids will not get into them unless they learn how to use an acetylene torch. If they occasionally sneak into a cookie jar, it's fine....it's not fine with loaded firearms, the responsibility rests on US, not the child.

I don't care if the grandmother feels bad, she should, and she should be prosectued for negligence, and she should have her CCW taken away....those who are not responsible enough to have control over the weapon should not be carrying one. Would you want this person shooting a firearm in public, I wouldn't....she'll end up harming an innocent bystander (which she did) or lose the weapon to a bad guy or random person (which she did) and end up harming an innocent person (which unfortunately happened).

leathermanwave
June 10, 2008, 12:01 PM
I read on some major news website that walmart was reconsidering allowing ccw's because of this incident. But for the life that is in me I can't find it now. Did anyone else see this? Did they shorten the story so as not to include this part.

MinnMooney
June 10, 2008, 12:24 PM
I'm so sorry that this happened. The little girl's recovery will make it much better.

That being said, I have never thought that having a weapon that is not in your immediate control is a bad idea. Grandma should have had a better, secured area in her purse for that weapon or had it one or two steps from being shot - i.e., chamber empty &/or safety on &/or de-cocked. These steps certainly don't absolutely stop a resourceful tot for figuring it out but it would sure as hell have given grandma or one of the "several witnesses" time to stop what they were seeing. If the gun was an autoloader (w/the chamber empty), the 4 year old would have had a near impossible task of operating the slide.

scrat
June 10, 2008, 12:33 PM
wow not cool at all.

3KillerBs
June 10, 2008, 12:52 PM
Quote:
My 2yo can pull the trigger on a cap pistol that is heavier than the trigger on DH's S&W M&P. Even more, he can cock the hammer.

He can't rack the slide on the airsoft pistol I use for dry-fire practice in the living room, but he knows that he needs to if it is going to go, "click".

May we assume the real guns are locked up, or otherwise secured, when not under your immediate control?


Most definitely!

Locked up, semi-concealed, and behind a baby gate -- in a room that is occupied by an adult for at least 80% of the toddler's waking hours.

And, of course, we don't leave him unattended.

He's number 4 so we've had plenty of experience in out-thinking bright children.

And yet, I cannot 100% rule out the possibility of one of our kids' getting into trouble. The teens are responsible enough and well-trained enough to have their own keys to the gun storage. The toddler is pretty well-guarded.

But the 8yo knows where the power tools are kept so if he were sufficiently determined he might achieve access to his Crickett. Thus I used this incident to reinforce his safety training and to underscore the fact that guns are dangerous.

We do our best and that's all we can do. BUT, IMO, the firearms community should use this incident to reinforce the idea that off-body carry is NOT our best where safety is concerned and that it should never be used when the gun's owner cannot maintain constant, no-exceptions, direct, hand-on control of the purse/briefcase/dayplanner/etc.

Ske1etor
June 10, 2008, 01:01 PM
BUT, IMO, the firearms community should use this incident to reinforce the idea that off-body carry is NOT our best where safety is concerned and that it should never be used when the gun's owner cannot maintain constant, no-exceptions, direct, hand-on control of the purse/briefcase/dayplanner/etc.

I totally agree.

3KillerBs
June 10, 2008, 01:04 PM
Even if the little girl had been taught something about firearm safety, she's still 4.
wise words from cheese as well as ericf my kid started moms car at 18 months and tried to get it in gear

Yep.

My experience as a parent includes a not-yet-2yo dragging a toy box up to a baby gate so he could reach around a doorframe to get a bottle of Sudafed off a counter. Then he retreated under the dining table and hid under the tablecloth to defeat the push-and-turn safety cap. This all occurred during the 5 minutes that I had gated him out of the kitchen so that he wouldn't get burned while I put dinner into the oven.

One can never overestimate the things kids might do.

They do things they know very well that they aren't supposed to do because either their impulses are stronger than their self-control or they are deliberately testing the rules to see who is in charge.

Robert Hairless
June 10, 2008, 01:23 PM
[Double post. Sorry]

Robert Hairless
June 10, 2008, 01:26 PM
Instead of generalizing to such a great extent it seems worth noting a couple of major points about this incident that nobody else seems to think even worth noticing.

First, with her CWP the grandmother of this particular four-year-old can legally carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the State of South Carolina. She is the Hon. Donna Hutto Williamson, Magistrate for Aiken County, SC. I feel for her. She evidently is a well-respected person and not habitually irresponsible or negligent.

And according to South Carolina law:

SECTION 23-31-240. Persons allowed to carry concealed weapon while on duty.

Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this article, the following persons who possess a valid permit pursuant to this article may carry a concealable weapon anywhere within this State, when carrying out the duties of their office:

(1) active Supreme Court justices;

(2) active judges of the court of appeals;

(3) active circuit court judges;

(4) active family court judges;

(5) active masters-in-equity;

(6) active probate court judges;

(7) active magistrates;

(8) active municipal court judges;

(9) active federal judges;

(10) active administrative law judges;

(11) active solicitors and assistant solicitors; and

(12) active workers' compensation commissioners.

So even were Sam's Club to prohibit CWP holders from carrying on its premises, Magistrate Williamson she could still do so if she were in some way "on duty." I'm not interested in how she might argue it if caught while shopping in Sam's Club again. Perhaps she could use the same argument used by uniformed police officers in donut shops. It's a side issue, not really relevant to what's happening. What might be relevant is that such violations often are decided in Magistrate's Court.

Second, another news story in the same newspaper on the same day involves another injured 4-year-old girl in the same area. This little girl was found locked inside a child-care center's bus for about 3-1/2 hours during a severe heat wave. Her screams went unnoticed until a nearby wastewater treatment worker heard them and informed the child-care center.

Same age, same sex, same day, and the same newspaper: the Columbia State. But the little girl who shot herself because of her grandmother's inattention made front page news and the little girl who was almost roasted because of a day-care center's inattention was put on the back pages.

I'm not excusing the grandmother nor do I think for a moment that she excuses herself, and I'm not advocating tolerance for carelessness or disregard for the potential dangers of firearms.

Child-care centers are dangerous too, though, and so are buses: they need careful supervision and rethinking, especially where our precious children are concerned. This particular child-care facility had nine deficiencies in a December inspection by the state's Department of Social Services.

If our society is indeed seriously concerned for our children's welfare, perhaps there should be a Zero Tolerance policy for child-care centers. Maybe they should be closed after even one reported deficiency. It's the surest way to protect our children against being harmed by day-care centers. Schools too: it might be worth considering Zero Tolerance policies for them. It's surely not excessive to consider immediately closing any school that is the scene of any violent incident or negligence. Should society tolerate schools in which the administration and teachers don't protect the children with whose care they are charged? Close any that have neglected that duty the very first time they do. Academically too: why tolerate a school that cannot educate all children it enrolls? One failing grade and the school should be closed.

Incidents like these one are opportunities for opportunists of all kinds to score points. The 4-year-old in the first sad incident is now the occasion for those who don't want other people to own or carry defensive firearms to score lots of points.

Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign said, "'The best way to make sure that kids don’t get injured with a firearm is not to have a firearm around,” he said. “If you’re going to have a gun around a kid, you should have a trigger lock on it so you can’t operate the thing.'"

With one modification in wording, Mr. Hamm has a good point. The best way to keep kids absolutely safe from specific guns is to get rid of those specific guns. The next best way is to make them inoperable. Many gun owners in this forum seem to prefer having inoperable guns. Who can argue that they shouldn't.

It probably is possible to impose such absolutist requirements on everybody in the United States. It's been done elsewhere in the world so it can be done here too, especially if increasingly significant numbers of gun owners favor the approach.

The only other alternatives seem to be trusting people to make judgments about their own lives and sympathetic understanding when bad things happen to good people. They've always been hard to do. I wonder if they're just impossible today.

crebralfix
June 10, 2008, 01:27 PM
The negligent parents didn't teach their kid to avoid touching guns.

Other than that, this isn't news. It's propaganda against those "evil guns".

Regarding "precious" children: BARF! We've created a nanny state around "precious" children. Children are LESS precious than an adult; they dependent and only "contribute" to society in the future sense.

I say screw the kids; have more sex if the ones you have are too stupid to listen to your warnings and kill themselves.

pyle
June 10, 2008, 01:34 PM
Ok, let me get this straight. A woman leaves a gun where a child can play with it? Loaded or not, what did anyone think would happen? Very sad story and I hope the little girl will be ok.

HANDLOADER
June 10, 2008, 01:46 PM
:banghead:This is just another example of peoples stupidy. You dont keep a loaded gun around little children if you do there is somthing wrong with you. I never do if i have some one coming over and they have a little kid I pick up all the pistols through out the house and lock them up in my bed room. That why I only have access to them. But the major question is when will people learn not to leave guns with children with out any adult supervision. My old man kept all of his guns in the garage when I was a child. Wasn't till I was 10 years old he brought them in the house. But there was a constint supervision if i was going to play with them. We know leaving kids alone with rat poison is just plain STUPID so when will we learn this about guns. When will the school system take the NRA programs needed to teach children about gun safety and what to do if the find a gun.

THE NRA IS GREAT:)

LiquidTension
June 10, 2008, 02:37 PM
Reports on the radio indicate that the girl may be OK. She's in critical but stable condition.

cassandrasdaddy
June 10, 2008, 02:53 PM
thank god/diety of your choice for that news.

SSN Vet
June 10, 2008, 03:12 PM
This sad story illustrates exactly why my wife does NOT want to even consider carrying a personal protection sidearm.

My own policies are that ALL of my firearms are kept:

under lock and key (to include loaded revolver in quick access gun vault)

or

holstered on the body

or

in glovebox in unoccupied (i.e. no kids) locked truck while I'm at P.O. or such

or

unloaded and unlocked, but cased for transport to range

or

unloaded and unlocked but under my direct control while I'm cleaning, tinkering, etc... (usually long after kiddies go to bed).

That's pretty much it and should be plenty safe with my own curious four year old daughter.

After reading up on many reported home invasions, I don't really feel that the "primary home defense" weapon upstairs in the gunvault will provide quick enough response for every situation and feel the need to have a piece more readilly at hand. But I ruled out "hiding spots" and such some time ago, after forgetting to lock things up at night on one occasion (There for but the grace of God go I). I sometimes carry in the house, but that's one place where I need to let my guard down (considering that I selected my state/town/home location to minimize these kind of risks to start with). Besides, if I fall asleep on the couch with my carry piece on my belt, that's not exactly my idea of secure storage.

Life is a never ending series of risk management decisions, however, and I've concluded that I am much more at risk to have a child accidentally shot than I am of having a premeditated preditory home invasion. Hence, I error on the side of keeping things lockedup.

I do want to get an addtional gun vault to keep on the ground floor. That would go a long ways towards improving my security plan.

Note to self....if ever convince my wife to carry, make sure we rule out purse carry.

And OBTW....

a four year old can be easilly and affectively trained to not touch Daddy's gun, the hot wood stove, or to stick there fingers in the fan or light socket....

BUT....

you can NEVER depend on a four year old to faultlessly follow those instruction 100% of the time. One mistake is all it takes. Four year olds make several mistakes every day. At least mine do.

woad_yurt
June 10, 2008, 03:17 PM
It's an avoidable shame. One should always be in control of their firearms, whether or not there are children about.

BTW, purse carry is crazy. A purse is the first thing a thief will grab. I was with someone who had her purse snatched. It took all of a 1/2 second and the guy ran like a cheetah into the crowd, around the corner and was gone before I knew what happened. A gun should be carried on your person.

Boanerge
June 10, 2008, 06:34 PM
Galco has a purse with a lockable Handgun Pouch!!!

swifteagle
June 10, 2008, 07:36 PM
On body carry is best. A fanny pack, IWB holster, or a garter belt holster would do nicely, and would keep the gun in the control of the gun owner.

RPCVYemen
June 10, 2008, 08:56 PM
My child is two and has been taught that knifes, the stove and electical sockets are not to play with. She also knows that Mom is going to catch her if she gets into something she is not supposed to.


I am not sure I buy that training a child is very effective at a young age. I saw a study quite a while back (I don't have a cite) that didn't find much difference in the actual behavior of young boys (under 10) who found a handgun under a coffee table in a room who had received (probably brief) handgun safety training, and who had not. Whether they had been trained or not, the really young ones picked up the gun pointed it at each other, pulled the trigger and shouted "Bang!" Training didn't make any difference in the behavior - unless an adult was present in the room.

This was a long time ago (my kids are older now). But I pretty much decided that even though I had my kids sit through the Eddy Eagle training, I would never rely on that training.

Mike

LiquidTension
June 11, 2008, 12:13 PM
The girl is in stable condition and on a respirator. The bullet was recovered from her clothing apparently. .32 caliber.

Owen
June 11, 2008, 12:18 PM
with the four year-olds I've been around "Don't Touch" means "don't Touch while I'm watching"

john917v
June 11, 2008, 12:22 PM
I agree with Larry E "Tragic, and more ammunition for the gun banners unfortunately.

It's too bad that the little girl's parents and grandparents didn't want to damage her self esteem by teaching her to keep her hands to herself and out of other people's stuff. The grandmother could most certainly have been more careful and observant too."

I also agree w/ the post right above mine. I tested my cousins once with my unloaded 917V, w/o a bolt, and watched from where they couldn't see, they passed, not even a touch.

I taught a very close friend's son that knives, strangers, Michael Jackson, etc. were dangerous to kids, and that he should never be around them. I would test him, and ask if he wanted to play with the knife, and he'd get anxious if I insisted.

It's good that the child is in stable condition. I hope everything goes well for her. I wonder if the gun had the safety on while it was in the purse, and the round shouldn't have been chambered-nonhuman misfires, the mechanical failure-type have happened several times in the past.

Bazooka Joe71
June 11, 2008, 12:32 PM
And all are the same, if they aren't reasonably sure Mom is going to catch them they will do as they please. Mine has a mother that doesn't let the child out of her mind's eye a second!

Yes, well you are obviously not a fool that is going to leave a loaded firearm around a child...But in your first post it seemed to me that you insinuated it could somehow be the 4 year olds fault...Just because your two year old knows better doesn't mean this little girl would.

If I didn't read your post correctly then we really have nothing left to debate.:)

Rugerlvr
June 11, 2008, 12:36 PM
As the father of two small daughters, This story is my worst nightmare. I have my guns controlled at all times. But others don't. I'm a huge 2A supporter, and will defend everyone's rights, but I worry about how negligent some folks are.

bnkrazy
June 11, 2008, 12:47 PM
I saw a study quite a while back (I don't have a cite) that didn't find much difference in the actual behavior of young boys (under 10) who found a handgun under a coffee table in a room who had received (probably brief) handgun safety training, and who had not. Whether they had been trained or not, the really young ones picked up the gun pointed it at each other, pulled the trigger and shouted "Bang!" Training didn't make any difference in the behavior - unless an adult was present in the room.

This is interesting. My 4yo daughter knows not to touch firearms and instead to find us or an adult and tell them.

After several months of teaching her the basic rules and letting her look at my guns whenever she got curious and asked (removing the mystery), my wife and I decided to see if the training stuck.

We tested her on this the first time by leaving a confirmed unloaded pistol (and never out of our site) laying on the coffee table while I watched hidden inside a closet when she came into the room after playing in another. It took her a few seconds to notice it laying there and once she did she walked over to look it over, apparently trying to figure out if it was real or not. She never touched it, and after 5 seconds or so, she turned around and called for mom to come get the gun daddy left on the table.

We've done this test (in different locations around the house) 3 times over the past year and each time she simply looks at it and then comes to find us...despite us really not going over that rule very often. I wonder if it is a girl vs. boy thing.

Still, I would never expect her to make the right choice at 4, but it is good to know at least some of what we teach her sticks. :)

atblis
June 11, 2008, 12:49 PM
Somebody once pointed out to me that the squeeze cocker mechanism on the HK P series pistols are probably too strong for a small child to activate.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hk-p7-2.jpg

john917v
June 11, 2008, 01:02 PM
It's got ever-actuated loading? Is that that grip-like section under the trigger guard?

matt87
June 11, 2008, 01:16 PM
No, it's a squeeze-cocker. Squeeze the lever (the grip-thing under the trigger guard) and the striker moves back. Takes about 7 lb IIRC. I don't know many young children that could lift 7lb, let alone squeeze that single-handed.

WayneConrad
June 11, 2008, 01:28 PM
Used to happen-and I supposed, still does--that a negligent parent would leave a kid in a car, and the kid would fiddle with the controls and start the car rolling. This was especially easy back when the shifter was on the steering wheel.

When that happens, is the news story about the parent, or the car?

When a parent leaves a toddler unattended and the toddler falls into a swimming pool, is the story about the negligent parent, or is the story about the swimming pool?

JesseL
June 11, 2008, 01:31 PM
No, it's a squeeze-cocker. Squeeze the lever (the grip-thing under the trigger guard) and the striker moves back. Takes about 7 lb IIRC. I don't know many young children that could lift 7lb, let alone squeeze that single-handed.

My 20 month old son (who is a little on the small side @ 24.25 lbs) can lift a full gallon of water (8lbs), has enough grip strength to suspend himself from a bar one handed, and regularly pushes furniture around that weighs several times what he does.

Rugerlvr
June 11, 2008, 01:33 PM
I agree with JesseL,

Never make assumptions about the physical capabilities of a toddler. They can, and will astonish you by what they can do.

JCF
June 11, 2008, 01:49 PM
Still, I would never expect her to make the right choice at 4, but it is good to know at least some of what we teach her sticks.

I think that's a great attitude.

To those who would suggest that 4 year olds are able to reliably exercise competent judgment around a loaded firearm, I would offer the following observation:

I have, during the course of my career, interviewed thousands upon thousands of children regarding their recollection of events as they relate to an abuse scenario and/or a criminal investigation. Many, many of these children have been in the 4 year-old range. I have also heard a very great number of their parents describe for me exactly what these children know, don't know, can and can't do, will and won't do, etc.

My experience has been that, developmentally and cognitively, there is no such a thing as an average 4 year old any more than there is such a thing as an average gun-owner. There is an absolutely ENORMOUS difference between children and their development at that stage. There are children that, at 4 years of age, can write full sentences, provide detailed descriptions, verbally express their emotions, play musical instruments, etc. There is also no shortage of 4 year olds who cannot be interviewed because their speech is unintelligible, they don't know even basic body parts (eyes and nose, etc.), they won't stop sucking their thumb when a stranger enters the room, they tend to poop in their diaper when a stranger enters the room, etc.

And, predictably, many parents are absolutely shocked at what their children say and do when objectively interviewed. In fact, the PD I worked for (in a very gun-friendly community) conducted a gun-safety experiment, like the one described, in conjunction with local media. Utilizing a disabled service weapon, several "well-trained" children, well over 4 years of age (one of them the child of a high-ranking police official), were observed in a room with a camera and one way mirror. Upon finding the weapon, to the astonishment and high dismay of each of the parents (all gun-owners and very confident of their children), all but one picked the gun up and began to manipulate it. All of them realized a need to tell a parent, but not before playing with the gun. One of the children began pointing the gun in various directions and having a pretend shootout. Another took up a defensive position behind the door as if waiting to shoot an intruder.

While I think it is reasonable to teach children about gun-safety at an early age, it is, IMHO, absolute negligence and madness of the highest order to expect good judgment from a 4 year old to the extent of leaving a loaded gun accessible to them.

YMMV.

Citroen
June 11, 2008, 02:02 PM
Prayers are in order for the girl, her parents and the grandparents!

To put this accident into some perspective we should also remember that every summer some parent (or guardian) leaves their child alone in a locked automobile - only to have the temperature inside the car reach a level that often is fatal for the child; every summer children, left unattended for just a moment, fall into a pool and drown and just recently, in my area, a child slipped from his parent's hand and ran under a protective guard rail in the mountains only to fall to his death.

The media my see it another way but in every case it was the ACTION of someone and not an object that was at fault.

John
Charlotte, NC

3KillerBs
June 11, 2008, 03:34 PM
No, it's a squeeze-cocker. Squeeze the lever (the grip-thing under the trigger guard) and the striker moves back. Takes about 7 lb IIRC. I don't know many young children that could lift 7lb, let alone squeeze that single-handed.

7lbs? That would be easy for my current 2yo or for his oldest brother when he was little (he helped us carry rocks and bricks when doing landscaping before he was 3). By 4 even my girl could carry a 10lb bag of potatoes.

And I would be certain that the one who disassembled the covers from the baseboard hot water heaters shortly after he learned to walk would figure out how to activate that squeeze cocker through some combination of tools and body weight.

Owen Sparks
June 11, 2008, 05:25 PM
I know of one dim witted female who had a loaded glock in her purse. A lipstick tube found it's way into the trigger guard. The purse was on the front seat of her car when a third passengers got in squashing the purse between her hip and his, BANG! No one was hit but it scared the crap out of everyone.

Zoogster
June 11, 2008, 06:48 PM
I don't know many young children that could lift 7lb, let alone squeeze that single-handed.

Also keep in mind that children can shoot themselves gripping the gun backwards and firing with thier thumb on the trigger.
So you could say the trigger pull on many firearms with heavy DAO triggers is too much for most children to pull with thier index finger, and you might be right. That however means very little since it can be held any number of ways and a thumb can pull the trigger just as well held in reverse.
Thier weight on top of the gun would cock it just fine. Little children often lean on things they are playing around with.

I wouldn't assume mechanisms intended for adults carrying the firearm in the proper way apply to children holding the gun backwards or leaning on the gun applying thier weight.

OOOXOOO
June 11, 2008, 07:33 PM
Purse carry should still involve a holster. It takes my wife ten minutes to find her keys or her cell phone in her purse.

JesseL
June 11, 2008, 07:37 PM
I wouldn't assume mechanisms intended for adults carrying the firearm in the proper way apply to children holding the gun backwards or leaning on the gun applying thier weight.

Yep, it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see a determined toddler prop a gun up on the floor with the muzzle pointing up and use their toe to actuate the trigger.

Bazooka Joe71
June 11, 2008, 07:59 PM
Used to happen-and I supposed, still does--that a negligent parent would leave a kid in a car, and the kid would fiddle with the controls and start the car rolling. This was especially easy back when the shifter was on the steering wheel.

When that happens, is the news story about the parent, or the car?

When a parent leaves a toddler unattended and the toddler falls into a swimming pool, is the story about the negligent parent, or is the story about the swimming pool?

Don't you just love the double standard antis AND fence sitters have on guns?:rolleyes:

cassandrasdaddy
June 11, 2008, 08:24 PM
you ever see the demo of "child proof" caps

matt87
June 11, 2008, 09:02 PM
Okay guys, my bad on two points:
1) cocking force of the P7 is c.70N, which is c.15lb not 7
2) underestimating the strength of toddlers. Suppose that not havingnay of my own doesn't help there :D

And of course I was in no way condoning relying on the squeeze-cocker mechanism to be blase about leaving a loaded gun around kids.

Kentak
June 11, 2008, 11:06 PM
While I think it is reasonable to teach children about gun-safety at an early age, it is, IMHO, absolute negligence and madness of the highest order to expect good judgment from a 4 year old to the extent of leaving a loaded gun accessible to them.

You are absolutely correct. Many of the comments here about "training" and "teaching" their young children to do right are obviously made by naive or first-time parents. Yes, absolutely train and teach, but do not think that is a guarantee they will not stray. Certainly, don't bet their lives on it by allowing access to loaded firearms.

K

plexreticle
June 11, 2008, 11:14 PM
Grandma was flubbing up by the numbers:

1. CCW in a purse
2. Put kid in cart with purse
3. doesn't manage child or handgun

ScottsGT
June 12, 2008, 01:38 PM
I just found out last night that a very close friend of mine is the first cousin of grandma. Things are not looking too good for the little girl. She has Cystic Fibrosis, and her lungs are filling up with fluid. Doc's are working as hard as they can.

atblis
June 12, 2008, 01:56 PM
And of course I was in no way condoning relying on the squeeze-cocker mechanism to be blase about leaving a loaded gun around kids.

Right. It would simply be another layer of prevention. Something like that could very well have bought Grandma enough time to see what was going on and...

Anyways, I very highly doubt a small kid could actuate that lever. It is sized for adult hands.

Now, if we start talking about 5-6 years of age, then...

06
June 12, 2008, 03:44 PM
If you "glockies" promise not to beat me on this--IMO two things happened that should not. #1 was leaving her pocket book instead of carrying it. #2 was leaving her gun where a kid could get to it. Then there is this--if it had been a 1911 style I doubt the child could have fired it. First it had to be cocked, thumb safety off, grip safety on, and then pull the trigger. With a "glock" style you simply have to pull the trigger on a loaded chamber, wc

Bazooka Joe71
June 12, 2008, 06:53 PM
If you "glockies" promise not to beat me on this--IMO two things happened that should not. #1 was leaving her pocket book instead of carrying it. #2 was leaving her gun where a kid could get to it. Then there is this--if it had been a 1911 style I doubt the child could have fired it. First it had to be cocked, thumb safety off, grip safety on, and then pull the trigger. With a "glock" style you simply have to pull the trigger on a loaded chamber, wc

I doubt any "glockies" are going to beat you for that, since most of the "glockies" hear have enough common sense to not leave a loaded firearm around a 4 year old...Keep it on your hip/ankle/etc. where it belongs.

Johnnykat
June 12, 2008, 07:16 PM
Looks as though the grandma will be charged and I think she is a magistrate judge, maybe in Aiken county where I live.

Old Guy
June 28, 2008, 10:46 PM
Many years ago, 20? My Daughter was an early childhood education teacher, two of the parents who came to pick up little Johnny? Sam, whatever, were both Lawyers, totally/rabidly/anti-gun, which my Daughter found out... Little? chap, aged 4, playing in sand box, with an other child's toy.

A toy plastic pistol, when Mommy and Daddy arrived, he promptly pointed it at the two parents and said Bang-Bang! Sue said they went nuts! ending the tirade to explain to their child "Guns are bad Miss Susan hates them, don't you?" Susan said "not really, my Dad is a Firearms Instructor"

Law laid down, no toy guns! OK, that's the way it will be.

Night # 2, same sand boxed child (he apparently liked the sand box) Mummy and Daddy had a little plastic shovel pointed at them... Bang-Bang!

FCFC
June 28, 2008, 11:42 PM
Has Donna Hutto Williamson been charged with a crime yet?

Seems to be a blackout on this one. No news stories on Google News since June 12. That's a bad sign. Whenever there is a delay in reporting details about a bad shooting done by a person who has some political pull it usually means coverup or whitewash.

I hope her license to carry a firearm is revoked immediately. She's dangerous.

distra
June 28, 2008, 11:57 PM
Tragic story. I hope the little girl pulls through. Grandma on the other hand...

Many of the comments here about "training" and "teaching" their young children to do right are obviously made by naive or first-time parents.

I don't think that's the case, k. We've trained our 3 yr old to never point a toy gun (he does not have any) or anything he is play shooting with at anyone including himself. Now I absolutely do not condone leaving a load firearm in reach of a 3-4 yr old and all mine are locked up unless on me. I may be a first time parent (who isn't with their first born), but I'm certainly not naive and training them does work. It may save their life or prevent a tragedy some day. With childeren you need redundency with safety. Education is one level, gun safe another, storing ammo seperate from the gun yet another level. I don't like purse/fanny pack carry unless absolutely necessary. They have a hard time gaining access to a holstered pistol.

gym
June 29, 2008, 12:43 AM
We all are for our 2nd ammendment rights, but maybe an IQ test should be given first. I have 3 grandaughters uner 7, and I start putting things in order ASAP if I even think they will be by our house. Never should the kid and the gun have been in that close a proximity, anyone that scatterbrained should have never been given a permit.

Double Naught Spy
June 29, 2008, 07:50 AM
We all are for our 2nd ammendment rights, but maybe an IQ test should be given first. I have 3 grandaughters uner 7, and I start putting things in order ASAP if I even think they will be by our house. Never should the kid and the gun have been in that close a proximity, anyone that scatterbrained should have never been given a permit.

So scatterbrained people should not have the right to 2A self defense?

I do think you are confused on what IQ is and what being scatterbrained is. Higher intelligence isn't mutually exclusive from being scatterbrained or responsible. The gun owner in question may have had a very high level of intelligence. Many horribly irresponsible drivers of vehicles are intelligent as well.

FCFC
June 29, 2008, 08:17 AM
The gun owner in question may have had a very high level of intelligence.
There should be some kind of dangerous quotient (DQ). If someone scores as high on DQ as Judge Donna Hutto Williamson, then they get their carry permit revoked immediately.
There is no need for the general public to be exposed to an armed idiot as she.

Let her carry some pepper spray or something. Not a gun.

Why hasn't that woman been charged yet, I wonder...

SCKimberFan
June 29, 2008, 08:50 AM
I just checked The State, the newspaper in Columbia SC. There has been nothing new since June 11. The story that day just talked about magistrates carrying guns for protection in & out of their offices. If this were not a .gov official, you can be certain they would no longer have a permit to carry.

KI.W.
June 29, 2008, 09:03 AM
This is impossibility in my country. Our God dot allow carry guns.

Kentak
June 30, 2008, 08:58 AM
distra,

No disrespect to first time parents, we are all such at one time or another. I've never said, in this or similar threads, that teaching and training aren't a good idea. Obviously, they are. But, it's the naive parent who believes their precious bundle of joy will never stray from their appointed path. The training is an important layer of protection for them and others, but it shouldn't be the only one. Secure their access to the guns when they are not in your direct control and supervision. Every gun accident involving a child is, foremost, a tragedy that will haunt the parents forever. It is also ammo for the antis.

K

ScottsGT
June 30, 2008, 09:13 AM
No disrespect to first time parents, we are all such at one time or another. I've never said, in this or similar threads, that teaching and training aren't a good idea. Obviously, they are. But, it's the naive parent who believes their precious bundle of joy will never stray from their appointed path. The training is an important layer of protection for them and others, but it shouldn't be the only one. Secure their access to the guns when they are not in your direct control and supervision. Every gun accident involving a child is, foremost, a tragedy that will haunt the parents forever. It is also ammo for the antis.

Ditto!!
Example, my 12 year old (almost 13) can handle an M1 Carbine like nothing you have ever seen. HIs favorite is the Ruger 10/22. Great shot, I've pounded in the 4 basics every time a gun comes around him. I felt real comfortable with his gun handling safety, so I let him buy a BB gun, and I allowed him to make the judgement call when and where to shoot. All was great until last week when a neighbor kid returned from reform school for the summer. He managed to talk my son into shooting a golfer on the golf course behind his house. Cops brought my son home in the back of his cruiser, but guy does not want to press charges. Thank God! All trust is gone, he no longer gets his BB gun, and won't until he's old enough to move out. Now he's working his butt off as punishment, and I won't even take him shooting next time I go.

MakAttak
June 30, 2008, 09:45 AM
Example, my 12 year old (almost 13) can handle an M1 Carbine like nothing you have ever seen. HIs favorite is the Ruger 10/22. Great shot, I've pounded in the 4 basics every time a gun comes around him. I felt real comfortable with his gun handling safety, so I let him buy a BB gun, and I allowed him to make the judgement call when and where to shoot. All was great until last week when a neighbor kid returned from reform school for the summer. He managed to talk my son into shooting a golfer on the golf course behind his house. Cops brought my son home in the back of his cruiser, but guy does not want to press charges. Thank God! All trust is gone, he no longer gets his BB gun, and won't until he's old enough to move out. Now he's working his butt off as punishment, and I won't even take him shooting next time I go.

In your defense, I think you did the right thing.

You gave your son responsibility. Parents need to do more of that.

Now that he has proven himself unworthy of that trust, he has to re-earn it. You have proven to him you thought he was worthy of trust and now you have proven there are consequences to his decisions.

Children need growing experiences like this.

FCFC
June 30, 2008, 10:20 AM
...my 12 year old (almost 13) can handle an M1 Carbine like nothing you have ever seen. HIs favorite is the Ruger 10/22. Great shot, I've pounded in the 4 basics every time a gun comes around him. I felt real comfortable with his gun handling safety, so I let him buy a BB gun, and I allowed him to make the judgement call when and where to shoot. All was great until last week when a neighbor kid returned from reform school for the summer. He managed to talk my son into shooting a golfer on the golf course behind his house. Cops brought my son home in the back of his cruiser, but guy does not want to press charges. Thank God! All trust is gone, he no longer gets his BB gun, and won't until he's old enough to move out. Now he's working his butt off as punishment, and I won't even take him shooting next time I go.

This is a powerful example of how children cannot really be trusted with guns. Their cognitive and emotional processes simply are not developed enough to rely on them to avoid doing stupid stuff like this--even with clear, strict and persistent training, some kids will not use adult-level judgment when they should. It's gotta give parents gray hair dealing with that.

Adult supervision of any child using a gun anytime is a must. If some kid shoots me, I'm pressing charges. It would be a hassle but it is definitely the responsible thing to do--for both the kid and the parents. Shooting out windows or even pets is one thing, shooting a human is pretty unforgivable. It is strong evidence of dangerous anti-social tendency. And if the kid does it once, then again sometime later, whoa, talk about liability and consequences...and regret.

This is a good cautionary tale. Thank you for sharing it.

MakAttak
June 30, 2008, 11:10 AM
This is a powerful example of how children cannot really be trusted with guns. Their cognitive and emotional processes simply are not developed enough to rely on them to avoid doing stupid stuff like this--even with clear, strict and persistent training, some kids will not use adult-level judgment when they should. It's gotta give parents gray hair dealing with that.

Adult supervision of any child using a gun anytime is a must. If some kid shoots me, I'm pressing charges. It would be a hassle but it is definitely the responsible thing to do--for both the kid and the parents. Shooting out windows or even pets is one thing, shooting a human is pretty unforgivable. It is strong evidence of dangerous anti-social tendency. And if the kid does it once, then again sometime later, whoa, talk about liability and consequences...and regret.

This is a good cautionary tale. Thank you for sharing it.

Kids can't be trusted with firearms?...

I guess I need to go look at the statistics from the 40s and 50s of all the deaths caused by the children allowed to carry firearms to school, into the woods, to the range all by themselves....

FCFC
June 30, 2008, 11:25 AM
Kids can't be trusted with firearms?...

I guess I need to go look at the statistics from the 40s and 50s of all the deaths caused by the children allowed to carry firearms to school, into the woods, to the range all by themselves....

It's 2008...

MakAttak
June 30, 2008, 11:51 AM
It's 2008...

Indeed it is.

How are children different now than they were in the 40s and 50s? Has some change to our genetic structure been caused by exposure to microwaves and cell phones so that children are different entities in 2008 than they were in the 40s and 50s?

/sarcasm off

To make a blanket statement that children cannot be trusted with _____ when they have, in the past, successfully been trusted with such is a review of the FAILURE OF PARENTING, not of children.

Why can't a child be trusted? It is only due to the failure of a parent.

FCFC
June 30, 2008, 12:15 PM
How are children different now than they were in the 40s and 50s? ...

Got any data for your notion of "from the 40s and 50s of all the deaths caused by the children allowed to carry firearms to school, into the woods, to the range all by themselves....?"

/anecdotal data and nostalgia bias off


To make a blanket statement that children cannot be trusted with _____ when they have, in the past, successfully been trusted with such is a review of the FAILURE OF PARENTING, not of children.

Why can't a child be trusted? It is only due to the failure of a parent.


Only? Both the parenting and the kid's behavior are obvious variables. The child is a willful, thinking creature.

As I said before, above, I thought I was clear, child cognitive and emotional processes simply are not developed enough to consistently make the right decisions, like not shooting humans as was the case I referred to.

I don't trust 10 or 12 year olds with guns. They're not responsible enough for my sensibilities. I'll be happy to take a chance with a properly supervised kid with a gun. No knock on the children. They're still developing.

FCFC
July 1, 2008, 10:42 AM
Still no reporting of any charges against Magistrate Williamson. Looks like a whitewash.


I checked with WJBF TV and they say they they've been calling the Columbia Police Department nearly every day for info since initially reporting the story on June 12.

Capt. Thomas Dodson and his office have ignored the calls.

Stonewall....

Looks like that idiot grandma shooter is going to get off. Pity, if that happens.

Kentak
July 2, 2008, 10:43 AM
ScottsGT,

I think you handled that well and appropriately. Seems like a few on this board have the "Not my kid!" syndrome. Good luck to them. Good parenting, even great parenting, is not a guarantee of good behavior. It certainly increases the chances of avoiding bad things happening. But, it is naive to think it won't or can't happen to *their* kid. Kids are not programable robots, thank goodness. They do have minds, emotions, beliefs, and issues of their own. You do the best you can and trust as much as is prudent based on the trust they have earned and the maturity and judgement they have displayed. Still, no guarantee. Good parent's do have kids that misbehave in school, experiment with drugs, have sex, get pregnant, commit minor crimes, drink, etc. There will be times in a kid's life when the influence of peers is almost sure to be as important, or more so, than that of his parents.

That's reality.

K

ScottsGT
July 2, 2008, 12:29 PM
There will be times in a kid's life when the influence of peers is almost sure to be as important, or more so, than that of his parents.


Understatement of the year!!!! From the time they can figure out what a friend is, till they are grown!

FCFC
July 9, 2008, 08:07 AM
Here is a sad example of political pull trumping basic citizen responsibility for clear negligence with a firearm.

Donna Hutto Williamson, a legal firearm owner and carrier in SC, endangered the public, caused a 4-year-old to shoot herself, forced a major retail store to be shut down temporarily, and used up gobs of police and emergency services resources---and suffers no legal consequences for all of that.

She accepted no responsibility for her negligence involving a deadly weapon.

Williamson is a disgusting example of the gun owner and carrier community in the United States.

I fart in her general direction.




No charges for grandmother in accidental shooting
Posted on Tue, Jul. 08, 2008
The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. --Officials say a woman whose 4-year-old granddaughter accidentally shot herself with her grandmother's gun at a Columbia store last month will not be charged in the case.

Columbia Police Department spokesman Brick Lewis said in a news release Tuesday evening that Lexington County prosecutors and Columbia police decided not to charge 47-year-old Donna Hutto Williamson in the case.

The girl was shopping with her grandmother at a Sam's Club on June 10 when she found the weapon in her grandmother's purse and accidentally shot herself in the chest.

The girl was treated and released from a local hospital.

Williamson is a South Carolina magistrate and has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

http://www.charlotte.com/205/story/705025.html

TAB
July 9, 2008, 08:12 AM
Now that just makes me sick.

LAK
July 9, 2008, 10:31 AM
Not good, perhaps avoidable - except most grandmothers are likely to keep a HG in a purse or handbag. And alot of grandmothers mind their grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.

Law of averages; 300m people. Alot of grandmothers, most of whom if armed, likely carry it in the purse. It is going to happen once in awhile.

This granny shouldn't be hung for this - the event itself will have been enough.

HK G3
July 9, 2008, 06:50 PM
I think that this just shows that keeping a gun in a purse is a stupid idea.

A gun in a purse is not secure and on your person. They hammer the "ALWAYS MAINTAIN CONTROL OF YOUR FIREARM" stuff into you at the CCW course, and then they let and even encourage women to carry in a purse? Seems very counter intuitive.

If grandma were carrying IWB, the child would be okay, and she wouldn't have had to sacrifice her personal safety for the safety of the child. Another problem with carry anywhere but on your person is if the attacker decides to immediately go for the purse. If they simply snatch the purse, the CCW winds up on the streets. If they snatch the purse and toss it aside (seeing as most crooks realize that just the purse itself can be swung as a weapon), what then?

At any rate, I'm sure the grandma in this story is going to be haunted by this incident for the rest of her life.

Robert Hairless
July 10, 2008, 01:01 AM
Here is a sad example of political pull trumping basic citizen responsibility for clear negligence with a firearm.

Donna Hutto Williamson, a legal firearm owner and carrier in SC, endangered the public, caused a 4-year-old to shoot herself, forced a major retail store to be shut down temporarily, and used up gobs of police and emergency services resources---and suffers no legal consequences for all of that.

She accepted no responsibility for her negligence involving a deadly weapon.

Williamson is a disgusting example of the gun owner and carrier community in the United States.

I fart in her general direction.

Ah yes, here's yet another horrible situation in which the people who have the facts overrule the legal and moral decisions made by real experts who inhabit Internet gun forums and are not hampered by knowledge or judgment.

Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Donnie Myers said not pursuing charges was the right thing to do because there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed. He said he doubted he would have been able to persuade a jury to convict Williamson if the case had gone to trial.

“It was an accident,” Myers said.

...

Williamson has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and presented it after the shooting.

Roughly 27 percent of the state’s magistrates — 85 out of 314 — have such permits, according to information kept by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Many magistrates say they carry the weapons to protect themselves and their families outside the courtroom from disgruntled parties from past court cases.

Myers said Williamson had received a documented death threat shortly before the June 10 incident, which might have been why she was carrying the weapon on that day.

How could the solicitor and the police possibly know more than someone who can produce wind on demand? In the end, it's the wind that counts on the Internet.

I especially appreciate your belief that there's a "basic citizen responsibility for clear negligence with a firearm." A citizen who is required to be negligent with a firearm should be obligated to have that negligence be clear instead of fuzzy.

You must have a special source for your statement that the magistrate "accepted no responsibility for her negligence involving a deadly weapon." The conclusion of the police and the solicitor (who admittedly did not consult the gun forum legal experts) is that they could not prove any negligence.

As for the magistrate's being "a disgusting example of the gun owner and carrier community in the United States," that's what the anti-gun people have been saying for some time only better.

TAB
July 10, 2008, 01:09 AM
So she got a death threat? So have I. So has just about every contractor, lawyer, Accountant, FTB/IRS employee I know.

FCFC
July 10, 2008, 01:34 AM
Not good, perhaps avoidable - except most grandmothers are likely to keep a HG in a purse or handbag. And alot of grandmothers mind their grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.

Law of averages; 300 people. Alot of grandmothers, most of whom if armed, likely carry it in the purse. It is going to happen once in awhile.

How would you feel if some person, say a grandmother, went out to a bar for a little celebration. She gets kinda sloshed..has 7 or 8 drinks...decides it's time to go home. She is driving out of the parking lot and as she is touching up her makeup she kinda swerves onto a sidewalk into some pedestrians. She plows into a 4-year-old girl and the grille of her SUV punctures the little girl's chest. The kid is rushed to the hospital and they manage to patch her up. She'll have some scars for the rest of her life. But she'll live.

What do you think, the grandma's getting soused and swerving into some pedestrians is perhaps avoidable, right? Just because she is a grandma doesn't mean she can't party down once in a while, right?

Law of averages; 300 drinkers. A lot of celebrants might have one or two too many and they'll get behind the wheel to get home. It's going to happen once in a while.

No need to hang the drunken driving grandma, right?

Slips!

ScottsGT
July 10, 2008, 09:24 AM
How would you feel if some person, say a grandmother, went out to a bar for a little celebration. She gets kinda sloshed..has 7 or 8 drinks...decides it's time to go home. She is driving out of the parking lot and as she is touching up her makeup she kinda swerves onto a sidewalk into some pedestrians.

Hey!! This happened in SC too! But it was our highly regarded SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean H. Toal. She's bounced of a car or two in her time!
Hell, she was even smart enough to keep going until she got home, fixed herself ANOTHER mixed drink, then called the law to report it. Can't prove she was drinking before she got home now! Ticked for leaving the scene of an accident, that's all.
Gotta love SC :fire:

zxcvbob
July 10, 2008, 10:36 AM
(Paraphrasing Mel Brooks just a little) It's good to be a judge.

Old Guy
July 12, 2008, 08:38 AM
I have looked all over for the facts as to how our little girl is! And seeing the fact that she was treated and RELEASED! tells all, reference the Judge being charged or not.

There is no doubt in my mind that had that bullet killed the 4 year old, charges would have been laid! Treated and released means (to me) very minor damage to that little sweetie pie!

Granny has suffered enough from seeing and hearing that incident to have been devastated, give her a break already.

We have 4 Grand Children, and looked after them for years, since they were tiny baby's, the oldest is now 19, and got himself a job teaching skiing in New Zealand, 4 year olds are in to everything! Granny should have been trained to "Dress armed" which means gun on person.

Bottom line "Treated and released" that has made my day.

If you enjoyed reading about "Four-Year-Old Girl Shoots Herself at Sam's Club" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!