Monday, February 27, 2006

5 yr. Old Shot In Head, By her 8 yr. Old Brother Dies

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A five-year-old girl is dead after being shot in the head inside a Northside apartment.

It happened Saturday at the River Oaks Apartments on Harts Road. Emergency teams rushed the girl to Shands Jacksonville. Last night she was in critical condition but passed away Sunday morning.

Police say there were a few other people inside the apartment when the shot was fired. Detectives say the girl's eight-year-old brother squeezed the trigger. They believe it was an accident.

The little girl's uncle talked only to First Coast News before heading to the hospital. He had been coming over to take his niece out for pizza when he heard the news.

"And they say she had been shot! And, I'm like, 'Shot where? Shot how?' I'm thinking with a BB gun or something. And then, as I'm riding [to the apartment], they call to say she'd been shot in the head. I'm like, 'The head!'" her uncle, George Webb, said.

Webb said the girl's mother had run to the laundry room for just a minute, "put her clothes in the dryer, and [come] back. And as she was getting out of the car, somebody said that a baby had been shot, and she didn't even know it was her own child."

Officers said it looks like the gun came from somewhere inside the apartment.

Police have no suspects in custody and say they are not actively searching for anyone. They say the shooting may have been an accident.

Stories like this tick me off.

Actually I think it's the knee-jerk reaction to the story that gets me.

All we'll hear about now is how people need to lock up their guns. And I'm all for that if you've got kids in the house. But people also need to teach their kids about guns. By that I mean if you have guns in your home take them to the gun range and bring a few Cantaloupes along and show then when happens when you shoot them.

My guess is this 8 year old thought the gun was a toy and not a real gun. I don't think he should be charged, he should have know better if he was tought about the dangers of guns, but who ever is the owner of the gun needs to be charged.

We have laws here in FL EXACTLY FOR THIS REASON, there's not a need for MORE LAWS if you actually charge people under the current law.

Here's the law.

790.173 Legislative findings and intent.--

(1) The Legislature finds that a tragically large number of Florida children have been accidentally killed or seriously injured by negligently stored firearms; that placing firearms within the reach or easy access of children is irresponsible, encourages such accidents, and should be prohibited; and that legislative action is necessary to protect the safety of our children.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that adult citizens of the state retain their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms for hunting and sporting activities and for defense of self, family, home, and business and as collectibles. Nothing in this act shall be construed to reduce or limit any existing right to purchase and own firearms, or to provide authority to any state or local agency to infringe upon the privacy of any family, home, or business, except by lawful warrant.

History.--s. 1, ch. 89-534.

790.174 Safe storage of firearms required.--

(1) A person who stores or leaves, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm, as defined in s. 790.001, and who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor's parent or the person having charge of the minor, or without the supervision required by law, shall keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure or shall secure it with a trigger lock, except when the person is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity thereto that he or she can retrieve and use it as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body.

(2) It is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, if a person violates subsection (1) by failing to store or leave a firearm in the required manner and as a result thereof a minor gains access to the firearm, without the lawful permission of the minor's parent or the person having charge of the minor, and possesses or exhibits it, without the supervision required by law:

(a) In a public place; or

(b) In a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner in violation of s. 790.10.

This subsection does not apply if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.

1(3) As used in this act, the term "minor" means any person under the age of 16.