Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A tragic reminder to SECURE YOUR FIREARM!

I've harped on the fact that you need to secure your 'ready' firearm, either by keeping it in a holster on your person, or keeping tight control of the handbag or briefcase in which you're carrying it.  Tragically, there are still those who don't . . . and sometimes, like today, that turns deadly.

A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his mother after he reached into her purse at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart and her concealed gun fired, authorities said Tuesday.

. . .

[Sheriff's department spokesman Stu] Miller said the young boy was left in a shopping cart, reached into the victim’s purse and grabbed a small caliber handgun, which discharged one time.

“It appears to be a pretty tragic accident,” Miller said.

The woman’s husband was not in the store when the shooting happened at about 10:20 a.m. Miller said the man arrived shortly after the shooting. All the children were taken to a relative’s house.

There's more at the link.

What an absolute tragedy for all concerned.  It need never have happened if that woman had kept tighter control over her handbag, and prevented her son from rooting around inside it - which she should certainly have done if it contained a firearm.

I hope the family can survive this.  The boy will be too young to understand, but he may find this held over his head, deliberately or inadvertently, as he grows up.  I don't know how his father, or his older siblings, will ever be able to look at him without remembering . . . and I don't know that they'll be able to keep their mouths shut.



Glenn B said...

I saw that too and blogged about it. Usually wait some before posting on a tragedy like that but felt it not a bad idea to post right away with a warning for folks who carry similarly. It certainly is a sad day for that family and will be a tough life for the boy if he grows up knowing what happened.

Will said...

For some reason, women tend to leave their purses sitting in the shopping cart, pretty much unattended. It's handy, but stupid. I gave up commenting on it to women I saw doing this, as the response, no matter how I approached the subject, was incendiary, shrill, or menacing. Maybe later they might have given it some thought, but I decided that discretion was safer for me, and I abandoned the practice.

Also, I recall a story from SA about a guy who got jailed for leaving his fannypack holster in a shopping cart, after loading his car. He quickly realized his mistake, but someone else spotted it and security got called, IIRC.

Snowdog said...

my wife purse carries-but she went out and bought a purse MADE for that-with a separate lockable compartment with a built in holster for her firearm. Keeps small curious fingers from finding what they shouldn't (as well as nosy hoplophobe mothers). I'd prefer she'd wear a holster myself-but it's better than leaving it at home, maybe one day we'll find one that fits her comfortably-being curvy, short and left handed doesn't leave many options.

Old NFO said...

Sad, and preventable... And tragic for this family. Thoughts and prayers.

Bob said...

Just how hair-triggered was that gun? I can't imagine a two-year-old being strong enough to pull the trigger on an uncocked revolver, so it must have been a semi-auto of some sort.

My S%W SW9VE has no hammer and no safety, the hard trigger pull is its only safety feature. Its pull is hard enough that no two-year-old would be able to fire it.

My wife's Walthers P-22 has both a hammer and a safety lever, so it has an easy trigger pull, but she does not carry it around with a chambered round and a cocked hammer.

My .38 revolver also has a fairly heavy trigger pull when uncocked, most likely beyond the ability of a small child to overcome.

So what sort of pistol did this woman have in her purse? And if it was a semi-auto, why was there a round chambered?

Color me curious.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many folks put guns into containers with "other stuff" and no holster/trigger cover. Not sure the 2YO couldn't remove a holster, but it seems less likely, doesn't it? BoydK

Will said...


a chamber empty auto is nearly worthless for self-defense, especially for a woman with a child on hand. The odds of her having both hands free, during an attack, is not worth betting her life on. And don't give me that bull**** about being able to chamber one-handed. If you think that is practical, you aren't dealing with the real world.

It's tragic that she seems to have not given thought to a purse designed with a separate holster compartment, but I haven't seen any data on the gun or purse yet.

Ruth said...

I'm making the assumption that the gun was loose in the purse (rather than in a holster), and that the kid grabbed something that got caught in the trigger. THAT I can totally see happening. Even by a 2yr old.

And I totally agree about not putting the purse into the cart in the first place. ESPECIALLY if you're carrying a gun in it, but even if you aren't. And yet a walk through any grocery or dept store will show you a LARGE number of carts with purses set in the child seat and the owner not really paying that close of attention to it....

That whole situation's gonna suck. Cause you know, even if the FAMILY can keep it quiet, SOMEONE will eventually tell the kid!

Mogrith said...

New Info indicates this was a newly received 'carry' purse with a separate "zippered" pocket for the gun. But I also wonder how a 2 yr old was able to pull the trigger.

Anonymous said...

Currently OCONUS I have had to suffer the incessant CNN/BBC reports for days now.
They are all doing the same anti-gun act. They never fail to identify it as "concealed" because that somehow makes it more evil and just eager to kill. The other issue is they all state that she had a concealed permit. Someone please tell me what that has to do with the story?

Charles said...

Do not assume that a stiff trigger is an obstacle. When I took my kids to the range both struggled with heavy triggers but quickly worked out that two fingers or even the fingers from both hands would allow them to shoot ‘stiff’ actions.

BTW, when William Fairburn was on the Shanghai Police he had their .380 Colt Autos modified to disable the safety. They were to be carried with an empty chamber. Clearly his experience had taught him that an accidental discharge was a greater threat to his officers than having to chamber a round in an emergency. Just saying...