Two 3-Year-Olds Wounded in Fort Worth Parking Lot Shooting – Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day

Few good things ever come from a trip to a Chuck E. Cheese. Last week was no exception when a three-year-old boy, pictured above, found a loaded .380 pistol in an SUV. From cbslocal.com:

Fort Worth Police said It happened in the parking lot shortly before 6:00 p.m. when the children were getting into a vehicle after another child’s birthday party.

“Two 3-year-old boys were getting out of the passenger side of vehicle and one of the boys located 380 caliber pistol in a storage area that’s below the side of the passenger side front door. (One of them) evidently picked up that firearm and it went off in his hand,” said Fort Worth Police Spokesperson Marc Povero.

The bullet went through the child’s hand, then hit his three-year-old friend in the back and exited his abdomen.

One of the responding officers had a quick clot pad as part of his first aid kit, and applied it to the body wound. His action may have saved the other boy’s life.

Both boys were rushed to Cook Children’s Medical Center, one in serious condition.

Authorities have yet to determine whether any parents will face criminal charges for what happened.

“Right now it does appear to be an accidental shooting. One child is in good condition with a gunshot going to the hand.  The other child is in serious condition but he’s going to make it,” said Povero.

It is unknown if any charges will be filed.

Small children manage to get into everything. The safest place for your gun is on your hip or in your safe. Leaving a loaded, functional, unattended pistol in a car with multiple toddlers is almost asking for tragedy. The little boys’ parents are our irresponsible gun owners of the day.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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comments

  1. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I’d like to know what kind of gun that was, that a 3-year-old can cause it to fire in the tiny amount of time the child should have had to try, while getting into a vehicle. The story sounds *very* unlikely, I have several .380s, I don’t think a 3-year-old could make any of them fire, even given a significant amount of time. Seems more likely that daddy or mommy was removing the gun from a pocket to replace in the car door while carrying one or both kids, when it “went off”. And a 3-year-old was selected to take the blame, since who is going to put him in jail?

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      It is hard to imagine that they won’t test to see has powder residue on their hands, no? I don’t have kids so I am no expert but getting a 3 year old to consistently and convincingly lie for you seems a tall order.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Given the experience I’ve had with my children and guns, I’d say it would take about 4 seconds for one of my kids when they were that age to fire a Glock 42. I’m not kidding, 4 seconds, maybe less. Maybe as they were picking it up. I can tell you with direct observable certainty that my 4 year old can cycle an unloaded S&W J Frame.

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      The Glock 42 .380 ACP has the same 5.5 pound trigger pull that all other Glocks have.

      A child’s grip strength is more than some people realize.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Plus, people assume the are using a finger, and not fingers, the thumb, or the other hand to manipulate the trigger.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          That sounds like you are planning for the child to have a lot more time available for experimentation than passing by while climbing into the car. I admit, I was not considering the types of .380s which I would not buy because I consider them unsafe. I was thinking Sig P230, Ruger LCP, Walther, etc. But I still doubt the narrative as presented.

        2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          My 2 year old has an uncanny knack for doing things he “isn’t strong enough to do” he isn’t a super freak strong guy nor all that intellectual(not that most 2 year olds are) but he does have a knack for figuring stuff out and using tools when he can’t. I about shit my pants when he figured out how to use a staple gun, he doesn’t use his grip but wedges it a door and uses body weight. Needless to say staple guns and real guns stay safely on the hip or under lock and key.

      2. avatar Question Authority says:

        Children’s and women’s ability to fire handguns. The Pediatric Practice Research Group.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7489067
        RESULTS:
        Twenty-five percent of 3- to 4-year-olds, 70% of 5- to 6-year-olds, and 90% of 7- to 8-year-olds have a two-finger trigger-pull strength of at least 10 lb, the fifth percentile one-finger trigger-pull strength of adult women. Forty (62.5%) of 64 handguns require trigger-pull strength of less than 5 lb; 19 (30%) of 64 require 5 to 10 lb.
        CONCLUSIONS:
        Significant overlap exists in the trigger-pull strength of young children and women, limiting the potential use of increased trigger-pull settings to discourage firearm discharge by children. Young children are strong enough to fire many handguns now in circulation.

    4. I have kids, and I can definitely tell you that it takes about 2 seconds for them to find the very thing they’re not supposed to touch and then proceed to touch it. How long do you think it takes to pull a trigger?
      What most likely occurred here- is that these morons shoved their kids in the car, assuming that they would be getting buckled up, while they stood outside talking or smoking a cigarette. But instead of getting buckled, the kids- being kids- rummaged through their parents things and got hurt because their parents weren’t paying attention.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        That sounds more likely. Possibly 10-15 minutes.

    5. avatar BLoving says:

      Sounds like we’re leading up to another installment of Question of the Day: Do You Keep a Gun In Your Car?

      At least a few times a week a young mother will insist on refusing to look at a gun in my shop “that doesn’t have a safety”. This, in turn, leads to an explanation that a “safety” will do little to stop a child older than an infant from firing a gun. “If it could stop a child, it could stop you – when you needed it most”.
      So, perhaps we need to ask, ” do you keep an UNSECURED gun in your car?”
      Discuss.

      1. avatar Somebody says:

        Safeties are meant to protect yourself from temporary but nonetheless inexcusable lapses in safe handling. Relying on them to protect one’s own child is the height of stupidity.
        Locks on the other hand, are meant to do exactly what the mother in question wants to do. Too many people conflate safeties with locks.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Absolutely! What I don’t keep in my car is children. And my car gun has the safety engaged.

    6. avatar Hannibal says:

      There are single action .380s

    7. avatar KenW says:

      My Sig P238 in condition one with the safety off takes very little pressure to squeeze the trigger. Junior could easily move the safety off on it to.

  2. avatar Warren says:

    Going out on a limb here, but maybe the parents wouldn’t have left a gun in the car if Chuck E Cheese didn’t insist on having 30.06/30.07 signs being posted (as they do all across Texas)? Yeah, it’s bad that the gun was left in a place a child had access to it. But this could just as easily illustrate the dangers of unnecessarily unholstering/reholstering weapons.

    1. avatar Locke_n_Load says:

      Good point. Parent(s) still negligent, but every Chuck E Cheese locations are posted from what I hear.

      1. avatar Warren says:

        In Texas they all are. I’m not sure about nationwide, as they’re not exactly a “finer dining” option I pursue for my children whilst abroad.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Funny, I am not a Chucky afficianado, but on that or other buildings, I have never noticed a 30.06 or 30.07 sign on any store I have patronized. And I never will notice one.

        1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          You know people keep talking about the 30.06 but I really haven’t seen too many. 30.07 is a bit more obvious but i think that’s for its own sake(open carry is open carry)

    2. avatar NickinTX says:

      I thought it might be due to a 30.06 sign as well, since Chuck E. Cheese locations were notorious for posting them. It looks like this location, however, is only 30.07 posted according to texas3006.com

  3. avatar James69 says:

    If it had been a revolver this *might* not have happened. Does sound “fishy” though. TG the kids are ok.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      Personal observation says a lot of people have locked and loaded semi-auto pistols with no safety engaged ‘hidden’ in places that are very accessible, especially to kids.
      The thinking is, “I am the only one who knows it’s there, and I’m safe, so what can happen?”

  4. avatar Swilson says:

    At this point, who wouldn’t bring a gun to Chuck E. Cheese?

  5. avatar Steve says:

    If you cannot own a firearm responsibly you should not own one. Loaded and ready and not in your control? Definitely irresponsible and probably a lot of other descriptions …

    1. avatar ripvw32 says:

      ….. Define control please… Rest of statement depends on this. If you mean to say you shouldn’t have a loaded gun anywhere than on your person or in your hands, I call BS and see you as a GCF…

      1. avatar Katy says:

        Most would consider control to mean on your person or within an area to which you reasonably have exclusive or primary access to _at that moment_.

        While you are in the passenger seat, that storage area is in your control. If you are the closest person to it and can reach it before another could knowingly reach for it, it is in your control. In this case the adult was not in control of the weapon, and had ceded control to the child. Had the adult been in the seat or (perhaps) more observeant, then they would have been in control of the loaded firearm, and the situation likely avoided.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Are we assuming this is some manner of “common sense”, and should be enforced? Because I have 2 cars, 2011 and 2012, and neither one has *EVER* had anyone under 13 years old in it, I see no reason for me to obey your arbitrary rules of firearm storage.

      2. avatar Steve says:

        Katy defined “control” better than I probably could. Call me what you will …

      3. avatar Hannibal says:

        I… what?!?

        If a kid can get hold of it, it’s not controlled. How about that?

  6. avatar EJQ says:

    Two sugared up kids and one or two parents (not clear on that) with a loaded gun in the car. Couldn’t leave out the round in the chamber? Locked in the glove box, if possible?

    My kids couldn’t buckle themselves in a car seat at age 3. So, I’d be focused on one three year old, while the other was left on his or her own. Since I didn’t have twins, in this situation, the second three year old would be a friend, one I didn’t necessarily know that well.

    Needless to say, I need to make a choice. Even alone, if my car is parked in a parking lot, my car gun is locked in the glove box. Add two three year old kids to the mix, the gun might not have made the ride. That gun is there to keep me and mine safe. The kid could have just as easily accidentally killed the adult.

  7. avatar geogre from fort worth says:

    what a revoltin’ development this is.

    jesplain ol’ embarrissin. ah hate it when mah hometown gits in the news lack this. the whole story doan make no real sense. ah gotta agree there’s more to it, but who’s gonna know?

  8. avatar Owen says:

    I may be overly conservative but it’s either on my hip (most of the time) or in a safe. There are so many options today why not spend the extra seconds to protect what you love … and the kids.

    One great thing about car seats: they can nominally hold your kids at bay while you put your pistol in the trunk safe. I say nominally because kids will overcome most safeguards given a few minutes. Best bet is multiple layers and constant vigilance. Constant vigilance!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Do you drive with your pistol on your hip? Do you go inside places that do not allow firearms, and if so, do you have a safe in your vehicle?

      1. I do.
        The safe has a cable that I attach to the seat mounts.
        When I drive, I appendix carry.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yes, I go in places that do not allow firearms, and in the name of safety, I tell you, I carry concealed in such places, so my gun does not “go off” in my absence.

      3. avatar ropingdown says:

        I’m nonplussed by the carelessness of people. Of course very young kids will get hold of a gun and pull the trigger. Leaving a semi-auto is the simplest thing in the world: just drop the mag and put it in your pocket, together with the round you had chambered, if you had. Everyone is safe. Theft of the weapon is beyond this comment, of course.

        The same thing applies to a pistol in the house. If you can’t remain in control of it and can’t pop it in your safe, then drop the mag and take it with you.

      4. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        Yes I have a cable lock handgun safe in my car, I have kids so it’s either on my hip, in the consol or in the safe. To get at Larry’s point I figure the answer to that is situationally dependent. I wish that Texas gun signs didn’t have the power of the law that they do. Although I have never heard of one being enforced in a criminal court.

  9. avatar Arizona Free says:

    How about this. Take the gun with you. You buy and carry a gun to defend your family. So let’s go to a location with other parents and their kids. What could go wrong except for some domestic violence that spills over and endangers your family. I’ve seen a lot of women have this feeling that being around other moms is some sort of magical place that protects all those in that circle. A false sense of security just like walking around in stores or parking lots with a cell phone glued to your ear. A firearm give you an elevated level of real security. Take your gun with you always. When was the last time anyone searched your purse? Do you allow your small children to ransack your purse at will? Do you leave your purse lying around when you go anywhere? Do you not know about the tragic events at the Luby dinner. But for a posting you put your family in the same situation. I think women worry about what others would think of them if they get caught breaking a rule. Women tend to conform to other women in groups so they fit in. Even if they are put at greater risk. The perseption of safety with other moms around.

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      My wife used to frequent the mall that was shot up here, it was “gun free”, “safe”, and had a good play area for our kids. Until two thugs started shooting due to a robbery gone wrong. The worst part is that the jewelry store is right next to the play area. My wife decided to renew her permit and I hope the state injects those assholes.

  10. avatar Hannibal says:

    There is no excuse for this. No “well, I couldn’t carry it in there” excuse. No “well, I thought he was too young to pull the trigger” excuse. No “well, who could guess he’d get in there” excuse. Just like there’s no excuse if you put your kid in the car and they take of the parking break and roll off a cliff.

    I hope charges are filed. Because obviously whomever was in control of that gun doesn’t care enough about their kids to learn a lesson that way.

  11. avatar Racer88 says:

    “Police say two 3-year-old boys came out of the Chuck E. Cheese and went to their SUV ahead of their parents. When the boys opened the door, they picked up a .380-caliber pistol that either fell out or was found in the side compartment.”

    Let me get this straight. Two THREE-year-olds walked ahead of their parents (in a presumably busy parking lot), got to the SUV first, AND OPENED THE DOOR? Three-year-olds… were able to reach the door handle and opened the door? To an SUV?? Really???

    Must be some big-ass 3-year-olds!

    I’m calling BS on the story. I believe that’s what the parents TOLD the police. But, I do not believe that’s what happened.

  12. avatar Dave P says:

    I vote Glock 42, since the name of the gun wasn’t mentioned and the Glock faithful will do anything to protect their sacred firearms. No manual safety is OK in a carry pistol, but no manual safety combined with a 1/2″, 5.5 lb trigger pull is an accident waiting to happen. Just my opinion, and one of the reasons I carry a Kahr.

    1. They never identify the gun in news stories.
      Your tin foil is showing.

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