An Arizona man was shot, and fatally wounded by his four-year-old son Friday. They were visiting a former roommate of the father. It became another case of a tragic use of a handgun not secured by an irresponsible owner.
“This appears to be an accident. There was no conflict in the stories of those in the house,” said police Sgt. Brandon Bonney. “The resident didn’t know his former roommate was stopping by to visit.”
Justin Stanfield Thomas, who was 35 years old, took his four-year-old son on an un-announced visit to the home of a friend. They were let inside. A few moments later the boy picked up a small caliber hand gun. He asked the adults in the room what it was he was holding. Seconds later, the gun was discharged. A bullet struck the boy’s father, fatally wounding him. He died from a bullet wound to the chest. The hospital was unable to save him.
Bonney said that no charges were expected in the accident.
Bonney did say that the first act of the gun owner should have been to secure the weapon, before allowing the child into the home.
A father is dead, and a boy will suffer traumatic stress for the remainder of his life. It all happened because a gun owner did not consider the serious responsibility of possessing a firearm.
This is an all too frequent occurrence. The gun lobby fights for the rights of every citizen to procure a weapon, but makes no effort to teach gun owners about the serious and dangerous nature of their purchase.
Over 35,000 people are killed by guns, (mostly handguns), in the United States each year. More than half of that number, are women and children.
Gun ownership has evolved into a ‘right’, when it should be a privilege. Only responsible adults, who have had a complete background check, should be allowed to purchase lethal weapons.
I do not own a gun for two reasons. I don’t want to, and I refuse to live in fear. If an individual feels the need to have a weapon in their home, they must secure it. Police have given advice to gun owners for years. Several methods are foolproof. There are trigger locks, gun safes and methods that will prevent a tragic accident like the one above. Police advise ensuring the gun is unloaded when not in use, and then place the weapon and ammunition in separate locations.
Statistically, there are far too many irresponsible handgun owners. Anyone can purchase one through one venue or another, and anyone can pull the trigger and kill another human being.
The Guardian Express