A stupid, stupid death

by Pete Talbot

There ought to be a law against (alleged) boneheads like this having handguns.

An 18-month-old girl gets shot in the head when a man caring for her leaves (allegedly) a 9 mm pistol on the bed, within her reach, while he’s sleeping. Plus the gun doesn’t have a safety.

Please, my progressive gun-loving friends, explain to me how the Second Amendment applies to an (alleged) loser like this. I have a grandson about this age and this story sickens me.

  1. MTSentinel

    There will always be idiots to abuse any liberty – so should we have a law against all liberty? Or maybe a law against boneheads?

  2. First things first, Ruger doesn’t make a 9mm without a safety. It might be possible for an 18 month old to manipulate a ‘de-cock’ safety, but still; if the weapon truly had no safety, then it was altered, and that alone ought to be a crime.

    Second, I can’t be the only person who thinks that Smail’s story reads like total BS. He ‘wakes up’ just in time to witness the tragic happening? Handguns aren’t nearly as easy to manipulate as people seem to think; and that a toddler could handle a p90 with such tragic ease and accuracy just smells foul to me.

    Third, as much as I hate to point it out, Williams shares some of the responsibility for this. She knew that Smails was irresponsible with the weapon, and yet left a life in his ‘capable’ hands. I know that mothers are often forced into difficult choices as regards the care of their children, but the price for this bad choice was a little too high.

    Fourth, though I don’t share his obvious sense of snotty self-rightiousness, I do agree in part with MTSentinel. We, unfortunately, can’t legislate against stupidity … mores the pity. And if you consider that Smail already had an obvious disdain for law, it’s hard to imagine that an anti-gun law would have kept the firearm out of his hands.

    Finally, in explanation of how the second-amendment applies to this dipspork, it’s pretty simple. The 2nd is an enumeration of a right. For the word to have any meaning, it must apply to all … even Smail. A tragic as this is, the alternative (selective application of ‘rights’) is far more tragic, and has had far bloodier consequences in US history.

  3. Jim Lang

    Williams also said Smail, who has misdemeanor assault convictions in both Washington and Montana, left the gun out, giving the little girl access to it, court records state.

    Why isn’t she being charged? It seems that she knowingly endangered her child by leaving her in this person’s care.

  4. I don’t think that legally blaming the mother (charging her) makes any more sense than charging the hand gun with the crime. This was all Smail’s doing.

  5. Widowmaker

    Well said Wulfgar, well said.

  6. Dan

    My initial reaction was the same as Wulfgar’s second point. Something doesnt pass the smell test here with a toddler handling a Ruger 9mm.

  7. JC

    Well, not to harsh on anybody, but the obvious lesson here is to make as big of an example out of Smail and the kid’s mother as can be. People need to learn by example that playing with guns in general, and allowing children access to them at all, is deadly.

    Personal responsibility in parenthood is the goal here. How to translate tragedy into change is another issue, and shouldn’t have to get caught up in the larger 2nd amendment debate.

    Legally, making a loaded gun available to a child, or an unattended gun of any kind, should and could be a crime without resorting having to pass the constitutional muster. Then make examples of stupid people before they have to be prosecuted for negligent homicide.

  8. I don’t see anything wrong with being harsh here, JC. The two most important words in this case are definitely “parental responsibility”. It was that mother’s job to keep her daughter safe. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with this tragedy. Yeah, the guy’s a complete idiot, but this is all about bad parenting skills.

  9. Bob in Independence MO

    There is no kind of gun control, short of banning all guns, that will keep morons like this from doing incredibily stupid things. This is as idiotic as it gets. And yes, the mother is also at fault. My wife would have left or thrown me out before she would have allowed this. If the mother won’t put her child’s interests and safety before her child’s, how can we expect the state to protect the child?

    And, much as this bleeding heart liberal would love to do away with all guns, I am convinced and resigned to the fact that ownership of guns are an ingrained part of our country and always will be. There is really no point in talking about banning gun ownership.

  1. 1 Smail still under investigation; Wulfgar! wants to register his guns « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] March 10: … I can’t be the only person who thinks that Smail’s story reads like total BS. He ‘wakes […]

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