Pro-gun activist Jamie Gilt is in a stable condition after being shot in the back by her four-year-old son while driving in Florida in the U.S. He saw the loaded .45 semiautomatic in the back of her truck, pick it up and fired it. It went through the seat and through Gilt.
It wasn’t his first time handling a gun. Gilt, 31, had previously boasted about his shooting skills.
America has a problem with guns. There aren’t many people who would dispute that. Not only do they have a problem with guns, they have a problem with gun-related crime. This includes mass shootings, accidental shootings and the illegal trade of firearms. It defies logic, and due to the power of the NRA and pro-gun lobbiests, it seems that nothing will change until each individual gun owner reassesses their decision to own a firearm.
The gun debate aside, it’s one thing for adults to make a decision to own and use a gun, it’s another for them to allow those weapons anywhere near children. Children cannot be held responsible for what they do if they come across a gun. It certainly sounds as though Gilt’s toddler son wasn’t aware of the consequences of his decision to fire the gun while his mother was driving the car. How could he be?
Also, it’s one thing to own a gun, it’s another not to secure that gun properly.
What was it doing unsecured in the back of her truck?
I grew up on five acres in rural Sydney. It was a mini-farm complete with an assortment of animals and a large fruit and vegetable garden. My dad obtained a gun permit so he could shoot at the foxes that kept on stealing our chickens and the crows that were flying off with all of our eggs.
I think I saw that gun a handful of times. I had no idea where it was kept and couldn’t have messed around with it if I had tried. My dad had been handling weapons since he was young and knew how to use them and store them responsibly.
We eventually moved to a smaller house after buying a convenience store. The gun came with us although we no longer needed it for its original purpose. My dad continued to store it properly, except one time when my little brother saw it unsecured, picked it up and fired it into the dirt in the backyard.
Former PM John Howard talking to U.S. reporter Christiane Amanpour about Australia’s 1996 Port Arthur tragedy and subsequent buy-back scheme. Post continues after this video…