“A 7-year-old boy [Joseph Loughrey, above] had been buckling himself into his safety seat in the back of his father’s truck when he was shot to death after a handgun accidentally went off as his father got in the front seat,” the AP reports [via washingtonpost.com]. Normally these passively constructed negligent discharge stories eventually get around to pinning the blame where it belongs: on the gun owner who violated the firearms safety rules. Not here . . .
Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, told police he had been trying to sell the guns Saturday at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. He unloaded the magazine at home, but didn’t realize a bullet was still in the chamber . . .
State police Lt. Eric Hermick said Sunday the father had secured a rifle in the back of the truck and placed his pistol on the console when the handgun went off.
No wonder gun control advocates fear firearms. The damn things go off by themselves. An idea that you’d expect the official police statement on this terrible incident to refute. Unless you’ve read dozens of these tragic tales . . .
“It is very clear-cut exactly what transpired here,” [State police Lt. Eric] Hermick said of what he called clearly an accident. “As he’s laying it down, it discharges.”
The Mercer County coroner ruled the boy’s death an accident on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The results of the investigation will be given to Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems, Hermick said. A message left with Kochems was not immediately returned Sunday.
Hermick said the father was very distraught and cooperative; he said he doubts there will be charges, but that it’s up to the district attorney. The father could face charges, including involuntary manslaughter, Hermick said.
“It’s obviously negligent and reckless to some degree,” he said. “It’s obviously in that gray area, where it’s a true accident. But is there negligence or recklessness with him not clearing the chamber?”
Yes. Yes there is. Not to mention the negligence of pointing a gun at a seven-year-old and pulling the trigger. Note to the AP (again, still): the truth hurts but ignorance kills.
Firearms safety lies between the ears of humans, not with the guns themselves. To suggest anything else is, as Michael B says below, subliminal propaganda. That puts us all in harm’s way.