Inanimate objects don't kill people; recklessly disregarding the danger of inanimate objects, ie guns (if we ditch the euphemisms),that are weapons, in the hands of people kill other people.
This was a preventable tragedy. This was an avoidable death. This endangered not only the child who died but other people who could have been hurt, including in OTHER apartments, including an adult who had to take the gun away from the child.
Not every person who wants a gun - including those not prohibited by law - should have a gun. Not every person who wants a gun is safe with a gun, although I have yet to encounter any person who doesn't believe, emphatically, that they are safe with a gun, no matter what happens with it.
Gun nuts like the ones who comment here believe that we have to accept as a society that these things happen, rather than have stricter or more rigorous standards for gun ownership, and security requirements for storage of firearms.
I will follow this story as it unfolds. I'm betting given the absence of any reference to this gun being illegal in this reporting, that it was legally owned and transported.
I expect that this is another person who insisted he NEEDED a gun for protection for that self defense occasion that in practice rarely if ever occurs, and which so very very often could be handled instead with non-lethal alternatives like pepper spray or stun guns or tasers. This is one more case that makes the argument that those who need guns to make them FEEL safe, not BE safe, are dangerous. That is a danger to us, and a danger to themselves and their family and friends, far more than they are hazardous to threatening criminals.
Any of those things used by the 3 year old would have been horrible for the 5 year old, but it is unlikely they would have been fatal. Any problems resulting from one of those alternatives could be reasonably expected to be resolved, to be gotten over. No one needed to die just so someone else could have the illusion, the DElusion, of safety.
Where was the trigger lock? Where was the locked container securing the gun, unloaded? Where was the separately stored ammo in a similarly LOCKED container? This man was from another state - how securely was this weapon transported? Gee, do you think deaths like THIS could just maybe explain why stricter states DON'T want reciprocity for careless gun owners from other states, who can too easily acquire weapons and then behave like this?
Events like this are a good example of why some parents don't want their children visiting the homes of their children's friends where the parents own guns.
updated 12/24/2011 6:35:41 AM ET
Reports: Boy, 3, fatally shoots his 5-year-old friend
Kansas man faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and criminal negligence, KSNW says
A 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 5-year-old friend on Friday, according to reports. NBC station KSNW reported that a 23-year-old Kansas man was arrested following the incident in Lakewood, Colorado. He faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and criminal negligence, KSNW said.
The Denver Post identified the suspect as Adam Dean Laham. It reported that he was a family friend who was staying at the apartment.
Bonnie Marin, a spokeswoman for the Lakewood Police Department, told the newspaper that she was unable to confirm whether Laham was in the home at the time of the fatal shooting, which occurred at 9:45 a.m. local time Friday.
KCNC reported that the 5-year-old had been shot in the chest. It said that Laham was the 3-year-old boy's father.
NBC News station KSNW and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.