PORTER, TEXAS — A boy who had just turned three years old on October 24th tragically and accidentally shot himself after getting his hands on a gun that is believed to have fallen out of a adult family member’s pocket, according to a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The adult family members were attending the boy’s birthday party at a home in the 23000 block of Owens Road on Saturday. They were reportedly playing cards at the time of the incident and heard a gunshot, only to find the boy nearby with an apparent bullet wound to the chest. He was rushed to a nearby fire station where he died.
This is an incident that should never happen anywhere, anytime. If an adult is going to assume the responsibility of carrying a firearm, they must do everything in their power to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands…especially the hands of a child. The age at which a child can comprehend the life and death reality of a gun is debatable, but it is certainly a number higher than 3. The boy may have thought that it was a toy and pulled the trigger while playing with it, or he may not have even known that it was a gun.
If you’ve ever watched a young child with an inanimate object, especially one that they are not familiar with, you will notice that they will twist, turn, push, pull, hit, squeeze, spin and press it as they explore it. This may have just been a horrible accident where the trigger was pulled at the exact moment that it was pointed at small vital organs, but the fact that it was in the child’s hands was no accident…it was the direct and inexcusable result of an irresponsible adult.
Pocket, waistband and off-body carry can be extremely dangerous, as the firearm can easily fall out unnoticed, only to be picked up by anyone…even a toddler.
Any firearm should always be carried in a proper holster that, 1) is designed for the particular model of handgun being carried to ensure a good fit, 2) includes a secure means of attachment to the carrier’s body to prevent accidental drops, 3) has a retention device that securely holds the gun and requires a specific action to remove it, and 4) provides protection of the trigger to guard against negligent discharge while carrying, drawing or holstering the firearm.
Carrying a gun is a tremendous responsibility, and the individual who chooses to do so must take that responsibility seriously. The responsibility does not end when the gun is not being carried. Whether in a home, hotel room, car, restaurant, entertainment venue or other environment, the owner must make sure that the gun is safely secured at all times.
EVERY PRECAUTION MUST ALWAYS BE TAKEN to ensure that the gun is not accessible to anyone who is untrained, irresponsible, or incapable of understanding what it is and what it can do…especially a child.