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.

 

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

15 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Michael J. Capozzi

  1. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    Kids never think that anything bad is going to happen to them, and then something really bad happens when they least expect it. The father’s an idiot!

  2. avatar2yellowdogs says:

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

    Jeebus. Can you possibly tempt fate any more than this guy did? He practically dared them to play with the guns by keeping them IN THEIR ROOM. Once again, you can’t fix stupid. Too bad the son’s friend had to die finding that out.

    • avatarAndrew Wiggins says:

      “The victim was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando. After a week, the child was released, and he is expected to recover, the police said.”

  3. avatarRalph says:

    He stored the guns in his kid’s bedroom? WTF! That guy must be dumber than a box of hammers.

  4. avatarJavier E says:

    “What could possibly go wrong” Lighter fluid and a box of matches in the sock drawer.
    “Stupid is as Stupid does, sir”
    Ignorance can be fixed, this is STUPIDITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. avatarKevin says:

    Luckily this kid didn’t have you as his parent. Or he and his sister would be dead.

    http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=10741492&nav=menu57_2

    Deputies say Dean Favron and Roderick Porter knocked several times on the apartment door. The two young children, a ten-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl, stood on the other side, terrified. “He told his sister to be quiet and seconds later, they started kicking on the door and finally kicked the door in,” said Sheriff Mike Cazes. The two children ran to their mother’s bedroom closet.

    In a panic, the ten-year-old grabbed his mother’s gun for protection. “He did what I told him to do. I never told him to get the gun, but thank God he did,” she said. Once the two suspects opened the door, threatening the kids, deputies say the boy fired a bullet into the lip of Roderick Porter.

    • avatarerik says:

      He is my father.and I’m 16 and it was mostly my fault.the guns were not loaded at all and I did it myself.so enough critisism to my father.he is a good man and twice the person any of you will ever be .he made a mistake bye trusting ME.considering the youngest brother is at that house 1nce every other month

  6. avatarstateisevil says:

    Firearms were always accessible to me from a very young age. Gun safety consisted of this: “You see this, it will KILL! you if you treat it as a toy, always assume it’s loaded and never point it at anyone.” If they’re older than about 10 and you still feel the need to lock them up, then you’ve done a poor job as a parent or your kid stupid.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Is there a third option? Tell me there’s a third option. (Make one up if you have to.)

    • avataryakima2k says:

      Sheesh. stateisevil – isn’t that exactly what happened in the article? Father told 11 year old son “Guns kill.” Father didn’t lock up guns. 11 year old friend got shot.

      Humans make terrible safety decisions until they are about 25 years old. The insurance industry figured this fact out decades ago.

      There’s no third option, RF, and as usual your safety message about guns and kids is spot on.

      • avatarPat C says:

        Don’t give me that “you’ve failed as a parent” crap. Kids are nothing if not wildly unpredictable.
        Our 10-year-old, who much of the time fits RF’s definition of “the devil’s spawn”, takes our range time pretty seriously. His teenage brother, who is otherwise well-behaved, respectful, and studious, acts like a bumbling doofus at the range and I’ve had to remove him from the firing line several times for our own safety. I trust our youngest with firearms far more than the older one.
        Kids are individuals and will behave in nonsensical ways. There’s a reason that brain scans of a teenager’s have been found to bear a striking resemblance to that of a schizophrenic adult’s.
        Dittos to RF. Teach them safety, and lock the guns up.

  7. avatarJames Felix says:

    I don’t buy that children automatically can’t be trusted to follow the rules of gun safety. I was six when my father and brothers started taking me shooting and I was nine when I got my first rifle. Thirty-four years of shooting later I’ve thus far had zero negligent discharges.

    But this guy should have known that his son couldn’t handle that responsibility, and he certainly should have had the guns in a safe. Storing guns loose in a drawer is a bad idea even if you don’t have kids.

  8. avatarChris Dumm says:

    I suppose I was another very responsible teenager, which is a good thing since my parents let me keep my rifle, pistol and shotguns in my room from the age of 14. Along with all my gun gear and ammo. Is this a parenting choice I plan to emulate?

    Hell no. My guns live in the safe unless they’re in use, and the only person with access is myself. I’m always happy to show my kids the guns, and every time they ask is another opportunity to for me to demonstrate and teach safe gun handling.

    Our children today are growing up in a virtual gun world of Call Of Duty and other video games, where death is temporary and friendly fire does vastly reduced damage. If only the real world were so forgiving.

  9. I agree with the Rabbi.

  10. avatarUsmcbozzmann@aol.com says:

    The kid died? Dont know what you read. You must be the stupid one that did not bother reading the artical yet here you are running your mouth. The boy is alive and well. The facts should come before the lynching. The guns were not normaly kept in the bedroom let alone not locked up or loaded. Get your facts before your mouth.

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