A Tragedy, and a Lesson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A 4-year-old girl shot herself in the chest Monday after snatching her grandmother’s handgun from the woman’s purse while riding in a shopping cart at a Sam’s Club store, authorities said.

Full story here.

Thankfully, the child survived. It could have been much worse. As much as I hate to speak ill of someone who has undergone such a horrible experience, this incident illustrates two important points that must be made for safety’s sake.

The grandmother in this case was negligent, and her granddaughter was hurt because of it. I’m sorry if that comes off as insensitive, but it’s the truth. She left a loaded gun in easy reach of a 4 year old child.

1) There are several flaws with off-body (i.e. in a purse, jacket, etc.) carry. One of which is that if the bag is out of your reach, then the gun is out of your control. If a thief snatches it from the shopping cart, he has your gun, and you’re left defenseless. If you set it down and forget to take it with you when you leave, you’re defenseless and your gun is probably lost forever. If your 4 year old looks through it while your back is turned, tragedy will follow.

2) Don’t ever assume that just because a gun is hidden, a child won’t find it. This is true at home as well as in your purse. Secure means locked up, or in your possession and under your immediate control. Ladies, if you leave your purse with a 4 year old, they will eventually decide to look through it. The purse is where mommy keeps all the neat stuff, and the money she uses to buy toys. If you carry your gun there, they will play with it, and they will get hurt.

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