Monday, November 2, 2009

3-Year-Old Shoots Self in Head

The Mercury News reports on yet another incident of a child shooting himself with a gun.

RIALTO, Calif.—Police say a 3-year-old Southern California boy is hospitalized in critical condition after shooting himself in the face with a handgun.

Rialto police Sgt. Richard Royce says the boy apparently shot himself with the .22 caliber gun while his 41-year-old grandmother was caring for him.

Royce says the woman is the boy's legal guardian.

Royce says investigators are trying to determine how the boy got hold of the gun but he said the shooting was an accident.

He says the bullet entered the boy's nasal cavity and the child underwent about an hour of surgery after he was taken to a hospital.

Police would not immediately say whether any arrests or criminal charges were planned.

Rialto is a city of nearly 100,000 people in San Bernardino County.

I keep hearing how rare these incidents are. Yet they keep appearing in the news. It's exactly the opposite of the claim that DGUs are so frequent, yet they rarely appear in the news.

I say incidents of kids playing with guns is much more common than the pro-gun folks admit and the incidents of DGUs are fewer. What do you think?


  1. "I keep hearing how rare these incidents are. Yet they keep appearing in the news."

    Try to find another fatal Coyote attack story.

    That's WHY its in the news.

  2. So people must not go to the store without incident, right? Because I never, ever have seen a story about that.

    And police officers probably never stop someone to give them a ticket and the offender is polite and admits that he was speeding. Because I have never seen a story about that.

    Nuclear plants probably don't operate for years on end without melting down. Because a NEXUS search doesn't show any stories about that.

    And millions of children couldn't go knocking on strangers doors each year begging for candy and have no razorblades in them, right? Because that definitely isn't in the news.

    The news is the news exactly because it is out of the ordinary, or in other words rare. Someone being raped and then hacked to death makes news in most places in America. It ain't news in Darfur precisely because it is happening all the time.

  3. I highly recommend the book, "Freakonomics". It's an economist's analysis of various topics using only data and facts, looking at a variety of fascinating topics.

    In this case, the topic is the danger to children of a gun vs. a swimming pool. It turns out the swimming pools are much more dangerous, yet you almost never see articles about those incidents in anything other than local papers. It's not sensational enough.

    Similarly, DGUs aren't sensational, yet if you look in the right places, they ARE present in a number of smaller newspapers, just not picked up by AP and the like. The story "A woman was confronted by a masked man in her home, but when she produced a pistol, he fled" doesn't sell a paper. Just not interesting enough to most...and it tends to violate most reporters' personal belief system. There is an entire podcast where the entire thing is simply reading through the recent DGUs it was able to find or were sent in from various locations. The NRA doesn't have a problem listing about 10 or 12 DGUs in each month's issue of their magazine either (search for "Armed Citizen"). And Clayton Cramer's blog collects such incidents as well at

    Just because you did or did not see something in the mainstream media does not constitute a valid study on which to base conclusions. They're primary goal is to gain recognition and money, and only exciting stories get the attention. Seeing media coverage recently, one might conclude that home-built balloons in Colorado backyards are a threat to children and should be banned...

  4. Gee MikeB,

    I'm starting to think you don't like my comments. Why not Sparky?

    I don't read stories in the papers about how intelligent gun control advocates are--does that mean that gun control advocates aren't intelligent?

  5. Similarly, DGUs aren't sensational

    Exactly. Look at Caleb's recent DGU. Suspect produced a knife and attempted to rob him, he threw his coffee at the attacker and drew a
    .25 caliber pistol, at which point the attacker ran off and the police were called.

    You'll rarely see instances like that in the news, instances where a crime was stopped without the intended victim firing a shot.

  6. Tho the fact that this story never made national news does seem VERY strange to me.

    It has all it takes to be a sexy news story. The criminals were VERY vocal about their violent intents, the victims were young college students, not inner city youth, or older professionals or retirees. And it was a person with a conceal carry permit who is a college student (lots of talk about conceal carry campus these days).

    Even more gruesome was the attackers were likely neighbors (or at least lived in the same off-campus housing) and it appeared that the women were to be raped before they were to be murdered.

    Even more interesting one of the party goers caught a stray bullet.

    This is a VERY sensational atypical defensive gun use story, and the National News didn't TOUCH it.

    Why? The most logical answer is an anti-gun anti-self-defense agenda.

  7. In the last year, I've heard of two defensive gun uses by people I knew of before the incident. One being Caleb's, the other an in-law in my hometown. In neither case was anyone seriously hurt.

    In both cases I know significant details-Full (and uncommon) name of the victim, the time and place of the incident.

    Although the local story did make our small newspaper (Circulation under 7000 copies) I was unable to find either story via either Google or Google News.

    I have no doubt both of these stories happened, but effectively neither story is available nationally.

    As for the incident in question--The initial story typically shows at least some signs of a dysfunctional family, a very young grandmother with custody. This is actually very minor compared to the usual family life in these stories, although the problems often don't show up in the news until follow up stories a few days later.

  8. MikeB,

    Since you don't like my analogy about criminals how about this one:

    Since we often hear about wrong way drivers in the media and we seldom hear about people driving the right way isn't it more likely that people driving the wrong way are more common then the people driving the right way?