Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Michael J. Capozzi

“Police investigators said a Satellite Beach father failed to properly store a handgun with which his son accidentally shot an 11-year-old friend last month,” floridatoday.com reports. “Michael J. Capozzi, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with culpable negligence in the failure to safely store firearms, a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison.” As the rabbi will tell you, there are only two places to store a gun: on your person or locked in a safe. If you’re worried about quick access to a self-defense firearm in the dead of night, well, we can talk about that. But in this case . . .

After several interviews, the police determined Capozzi stored two rifles and a handgun, along with ammunition, in the children’s bedroom.

“We learned that even though the father educated his two young sons on gun safety, they did what kids tend to do: They made poor decisions outside the supervision of the adults,” [Satellite Beach Police Department Commander Brad] Hodge said. “They handled and played with the guns regularly because they had easy access to them, and someone got shot in the process.”

Investigators determined that a loaded, .22-caliber handgun was left unsecured in a bedroom drawer. The 9-year-old retrieved the handgun and was showing it to his friend when it was accidentally discharged, striking the 11-year-old in the upper chest.

And the reporter was doing so well, “daring” to lead with the undeniable fact that Capozzi’s son shot his young friend. But when it came down to it, “it was accidentally discharged.” Anyway, who’d a thunk that Mr. Capozzi’s safety instructions wouldn’t “take” with his son?

Anyone with children. There’s a reason why they’re called the devil’s spawn. Uh, you do call them that, don’t you? Well I do, if only inside my head. Especially when one of mine refused to hand back a [safety checked] revolver. Oh how we laughed about that one!

It pays to remember that children aren’t paid to remember. And even if they are (i.e. allowance), they don’t. Yeah I know the safety rules. D’uh. This goes double for boys, which, mathematically speaking, places the odds of them always following every firearms safety rule on the far side of infinity to one.

Do you remember the “high jinks” you got up to before you had to start paying Social Security? Like that. Only worse, ’cause you’re nicer (i.e. more permissive) than your parents.

Safety says that it’s safe to assume that it’s not safe to assume that children will not be safe around guns, no matter what you tell them, what they say or what they do when they’re in your presence. In other words, never trust and always verify. Teach your kids gun safety and then lock up your damn guns.

There’s only one way to keep kids completely safe from the possibility of a negligent discharge in the home: don’t keep guns in the house. Oh wait! That doesn’t work either. Lest we forget, young master Capozzi’s friend may have lived in a gun-free house. So . . . teach your kids gun safety, drill it into them through repetition, fear and repetition; lock up your guns and pray for your child’s safety in this and all things.