In a small, northwest Missouri town, a baby has died after his 5-year-old brother picked up a loaded gun and accidentally shot him in the head. After a woman frantically called 911 and reported that her son had shot her 9-month-old in the head with a paintball gun, emergency crews sped to her Elmo, Missouri, home. Instead of a paintball injury, they found the baby suffering from a gunshot wound. The child was life-flighted to a large children's hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, but he unfortunately didn't survive his injuries.
The case is still under investigation, but initial reports show that the baby was in a playpen when the older boy found the loaded .22 caliber Magnum revolver lying on a nearby bed. It's said that he picked it up and it discharged, sadly into the head of his little brother. The gun is reported to belong to a family member, not the boys' mother. No foul play is suspected in this incident.
Had this family practiced gun safety in the home, they would not be in the news, they would not be being discussed, their baby would be alive, and their young son wouldn't be completely traumatized and scarred for life. This mother wouldn't be grieving, this family member wouldn't be kicking himself for leaving a loaded handgun within reach of a child, and there wouldn't be a funeral to plan.
This tragedy is even greater because it was completely preventable. This wasn't a random stranger breaking into the house and taking shots at children. This was a family not practicing gun safety. You have to keep firearms unloaded and locked away, with ammunition also locked away in a separate location. It may be a pain in the butt to constantly unload your gun every time you come into a home, but that's part of the responsibility of owning a firearm. If you don't feel like keeping people safe, just don't bother buying a gun. Just don't.
I can't imagine the horror this mother experienced when she heard the shot and discovered the scene. I myself have a 5-year-old child, and I know the terror she'd experience if she accidentally shot a baby in the head. This situation is so tragic and so horrifying. Please, if you have a firearm, don't leave it loaded anywhere in the house, even where you don't think a kid can get to it.
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