A Florida boy remains in stable condition just days after he found his parents' long-forgotten handgun in a closet and accidentally shot himself in the head.This terrible story is a perfect illustration of what we discussed yesterday. Gun availability is a major factor in many incidents of gun violence. In this case, I don't know why the police have ruled out suicide, if they have. It seems to me a bit strange that a 12-year-old would point a gun at his head and pull the trigger by accident. But, whether by accident or not, the point is clear: guns and kids don't mix.
Sheriff's detectives in Pinellas County, Florida, near St. Petersburg, say the boy found the .25-caliber European semi-automatic handgun in a box in a closet in their home.
The boy's mother explained that she had received the gun years ago and left it in a box inside the closet, never firing it. Is that normal behaviour? How many of the 50 million gun owners are like this? The passionate gun enthusiasts talk as if the entire body of approximately 50 million of them are responsible and practiced with their guns. What percentage is this negligent, I ask?
What's your opinion? Do you think people like this should be punished for their irresponsible gun storage? Or do you agree with this?
Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett says that although laws are needed, an accident with a firearm can be a greater penalty than any judge could ever hand down.
"Sometimes, the injury of a child is more severe from a punishment standpoint than any kind of criminal charge," he said.
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