Wisconsin boy didn’t realize dad’s gun was loaded
A 10-year-old boy from Loganville, Wisconsin accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old brother during a game of ‘cops and robbers,’ according to the Reedsburg Times-Press.
The boy was playing with his brother and another 12-year-old brother when it happened. Reportedly, they were toying around with the rifle which had the magazine removed. But the boy didn’t know there was still a round in the chamber. The boy pulled the trigger and the bullet hit his older brother in the chest. First responders tried to resuscitate the 14-year-old. He died on the scene.
The father owned the rifle and it was accessible.
Authorities are investigating, but no one has been charged yet.
This is not a one-off incident — accidental shootings keep happening. Nearly 1,300 children died annually from gun-related injuries in the U.S. from 2012-2014, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. Additionally, boys account for 82 percent of all child firearm deaths. The same study found that gun related injuries are now the third leading cause of death for children in the U.S., behind illness and unintentional deaths like drowning or car accidents.
Regardless of where you fall on this politicized topic, we can all agree that our kids don’t have to keep dying this way. Safe storage laws could help curb these horrifying accidental deaths.
Fewer than 20 states have enacted laws to hold adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely and children access them and cause harm to themselves or others. Wisconsin, the state where this latest tragic shooting happened, does not have such laws. A gun owner only gets charged in that state if they intentionally or knowingly give a gun to a child. Why isn’t failing to keep a deadly weapon safely secured and away from children a crime?
We need safe storage laws for the same reason we need seatbelt laws; because we can’t just “assume” everyone will do the right thing. We have regulations on dangerous things like cars, drugs, alcohol — so why not guns? Laws exist to keep us safe, and gun ownership should not be exempt from that.
Our kids deserve better. We must do better.
Learn ways to make a difference at everytown.org