There is a column that runs in Daily Kos (www.dailykos.com) on a weekly basis which recounts the week's accidental shootings that result in injury or death. Sadly, there are plenty - guns going off when they are dropped, when Bubba stuffs one down his pants to look cool, and when unsupervised children come across unsupervised guns.
This week there was an accidental shooting by a toddler at the Walmart in the small Idaho panhandle town of Hayden. A busy mother was out spending her Christmas gift cards when she was accidentally shot to death by her two-year-old when he reached into mama's purse and discharged her small-caliber handgun. Three other minor children were with the woman as she lay dying on the floor of the Walmart.
There is so much that is "wrong" with that sad tale, that one hardly knows where to begin. Yes, she had an out-of-state permit to be carrying the weapon, and yes, Walmart does apparently allow concealed carry in its stores. But why would anyone ever do that - especially someone dragging along four little kids? Don't we all know how distracting those little tykes can be? And don't we all know how distracting a Walmart can be.
An in-law of the victim felt compelled to quickly come before the press and talk about how "responsible" the victim normally was - and I don't doubt that he was right. But with every state in the Union now allowing some form of "concealed carry," and with the United States being the most heavily armed (per person) country on earth, one has to wonder if perhaps it is society which is the irresponsible party: a paranoid citizenry who fear crime - and their government, spineless legislators who quiver and quake before the National Rifle Association and rush to pass every idiotic suggestion uttered by people like Wayne LaPierre or Ted Nugent, and store owners who fear their businesses will suffer if they use commonsense and prohibit the carrying of guns in their establishments.
It's all nuts.
My condolences to the family in Idaho. What an unspeakable tragedy they have endured.