(September 01, 2016)
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A South Carolina sheriff says a father told deputies he was trying to make sure a gun was safe when he accidentally fired the weapon, killing his 2-year-old daughter and wounding her 4-year-old sister.I don't know what to make of this horrible story.
Not only that there are few details available, apart from the above quote (and a few incidental comments in the original story), but I cannot comprehend WHY he was fumbling with his firearm.
We don't know why he was touching the gun, or where; was he in a car, where the gun was kept, and he had grown nervous about having his daughters in the car where a loaded gun was kept? I don't know.
One thing I DO know is ... a responsible gun owner doesn't touch a gun without a good reason. It should always be in a 'safe' condition, where-ever it is, and the gun owner should always know that it's "safe" (for various values of "safe").
Assuming the firearm was a handgun ... not that it matters ... he violated ALL the rules of gun safety.
(1) He KNEW the gun was loaded ... how was he trying to 'make it safe'?
(2) He had the gun pointed at the most precious people in his world
(3) He had his finger on the trigger ... else it would not have "... just ... it went off! ..."
(4) He had no target, nor intention to shoot, but he had his gun pointed at his daughters?
That first part is the most curious; what was he doing to "make sure (the) gun was safe"?
Set the safety? Unload it? Store it in a locked case? Any or all of these actions should have already been done before he touched it.
My guess is, either one of two things:
. He had only recently acquired the gun, and wasn't familiar with the rules of gun safety; or
. He had the gun in a car, and only began to worry about it AFTER his daughters had entered the car.
Probably wrong about both of these guesses, but one thing is for sure:
I don't know what kind of punishment The State should impose on this ... person; but I suspect there is no punishment which would be worse than the HELL which he will put himself through for the rest of his life.
He will never be forgiven ... by his family, or by himself.