The Stranger used to have a recurring series of these excerpts – it’s amazing how many there are (without the irony):
A proud, pro-gun mom was accidentally shot by her 4-year-old son—just a day after the Second Amendment-loving woman boasted about her tot’s shooting skills. The Florida boy found the loaded weapon in mom Jamie Gilt’s car Tuesday and shot her as they cruised down a Putnam County road, officials said. The 31-year-old mother survived the mid-drive attack and is in stable condition.
“Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22,” Gilt wrote on Facebook Monday during a fiery online debate about guns as a means of self-defense. The Jacksonville mom maintained she has the right to shoot anyone who threatens her and her family—and she’s teaching her kids to do the same…
Officials said her son in the backseat fired a .45 caliber handgun into the back of the driver’s seat. The bullet pierced through the cushion and struck the mom in the back. It’s not clear how the tot got his hands on the loaded weapon or where it was stored in the vehicle…. The 4-year-old was not injured. He is now in the care of other family members, and the Department of Children and Families is investigating the case, officials said. Detectives are now trying to determine exactly how the boy got a hold of the gun. He will not face charges.
One more excerpt:
“This is definitely not a criminal event. This is an accidental shooting,” Capt. Joseph Wells of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.
There ought to be criminal charges – not against the child, obviously, but against the parent.
As a country, we used to treat drunk driving in this way – as an unfortunate accident. And when you injured or killed a member of your own family because of your drunk driving, we’d say, “It’s a tragedy. They’ve suffered enough,” and – as in this case – no criminal charges would be filed.
But foreseeable negligence with a car that results in death or injury (due to alcohol) is no different than foreseeable negligence with a gun that results in death or injury. The result is the same – death or injury – and the cause is the same (negligence). Only the means is different – but not a difference that should have any legal distinction.