It’s never too early to start teaching them, but young children can’t be depended upon to live by the Four Rules of gun safety. That’s why responsible gun owners never leave their guns where children could even conceivably access them without adult supervision. One might think, after all their training we give our police officers (and all the trust we place in them) that they would all be ‘responsible gun owners.’ One might think that. But one would be wrong. From Seattle’s KING5 News . . .
STANWOOD, Wash. – The 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer died Sunday after being shot by her young sibling on Saturday.
Police say at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, two children were left alone in a van parked just off Highway 532 in Stanwood.
There was a gun in the car. One of the children picked up the gun and accidentally shot the other.
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department says the van and gun is registered to a member of the Marysville Police Dept. The young girl is the daughter of the officer.
The sheriff’s office says their parents were nearby when it happened.
The officer was later identified as Derek Carlile, who has (you guessed it) been placed on ‘administrative leave’ pending the investigation. The shooter was allegedly Carlile’s young son.
Just like fellow officer and IGOTD etective Ed Owens, (whose son accidentally killed himself after Owens allegedly left his loaded 9mm in an unlocked gun safe) Carlile has not been charged with any crime.
Responsible gun owners like myself want to know, why not? Every responsible shooter knows that if you’ve got children your guns must either be 1) locked in the safe or 2) secured on your hip.
No exceptions. No excuses. Ever.
If a 9-year-old boy is charged with reckless endangerment and felony firearm possession for bringing a gun to school, why aren’t trained police officers like Carlile and Owens (who should and actually do know better) charged with reckless endangerment or even manslaughter when their negligently stored gun is used to kill their child?
It may seem heartless to put a father in prison after a tragic accident that takes his child’s life, but if Detective Owens had faced felony charges last year after his son’s death, perhaps Officer Carlile’s daughter would still be alive today.
Sadly, we all know that would never happen. Owens are Carlile are police, a special fraternity that looks out for its own and police get special treatment. Some of them don’t think the normal rules apply to them, but unfortunately for their children the Four Rules of gun safety don’t care if you wear a badge or not.