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Melissa Ann Ringhardt (courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Office)

“According to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, [Melissa Ann] Ringhardt [above] had been living in the Read family home for the past few months,” reports. “On Monday, Ringhardt was left in the home with 5-year-old John Read and another 6-month-old child belonging to Kayla and Joe Read. Ringhardt told investigators that she was carrying a handgun on her person in the home that day because she was scared being at home alone. The handgun was a semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol. Ringhardt left the handgun on a coffee table in the living room and went to the bedroom to take a nap. When she was awakened from her nap, she noticed she didn’t see John around the house. She began looking until she found him deceased in the living room with the fatal gunshot wound.” A few problems with the story . . .

First and foremost, a child is dead. As the proud parent of four girls, I can imagine the grief and horror John Read’s parents must be experiencing. Every parent can. We don’t want to, but we can. Second, how did Ms. Ringhardt sleep through a gunshot? That makes no sense whatsoever. And third, it’s important to realize that tragedies like this occur on a regular (if statistically insignificant) basis; children wander off and take themselves out of the gene pool. In other words . . .

Instead of a gun, it could have been drinking bleach, walking out of the house into the road, or anything. Kids do not watch themselves, RESPONSIBLE teens or adults do. Many prayers and blessing to the family. Poor chose [sic] on the 19 yr. olds part, not a particular good idea to take a nap was it? Now you have ruined the rest of your life.

Commentator Karen knows the score. But personal responsibility is not the guiding principle of those who would gladly sacrifice our liberty for their dystopian dreams of paternalistic social control.

Anyway, this is yet another argument for on-body carry. No human being is going to take my gun out of my holster while I’m napping without waking me up. (Note: my kids know better anyway.) And if you’re that paranoid, use a retention holster. Or drink lots of coffee. Meanwhile, remember: firearms responsibility starts at home. Unfortunately, tragically, so does irresponsibility.

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  1. Bull.

    I’ve heard a gunshot in a building-or should I say, I suffered temporary hearing loss from the same.You won’t sleep through that.

    • ..unless you r-e-a-l-l-y been tokin hard on the pipe beforehand. Then you sleep thru anything.

    • Put a couple walls between yourself and the gunshot, and it becomes no louder than any number of things you’re likely to hear during a normal day at home. Whether it makes sense for this girl to have slept through a gunshot really depends on where she was and where the gunshot happened.

      • Your normal day must be way different than mine. I wake up when the cat or dog knock something over in the basement two floors away and it is nowhere near as loud at a 40 cal going off. We are not taking a suppressed 22 here.

      • My first and hopefully last ND was indoors with Mosin-Nagant M38 Carbine.

        There is this massive noise that you cant hear, and you cant hear much for the next few minutes.

        was trying to diagnose a sticky on close bolt, had no dummy round, so I was the dummy in this case. Took a tiny crescent out of the side of the computer monitor, missed the case by less that a inch. Penetrated two 1 inch thick oak table leaves, the wall, broke the 2×4 in the wall, and the treadmill outside on the porch. computer monitor still has burned powder flecks imbedded on the glass face (old school).

  2. I don’t find the sleeping thru the gunshot all that surprising. Up at our cabin, we can shoot right off our deck, and have people sleeping right next to where we were shooting (Mosin-Nagant) and they never heard a thing.

    • Fire it from inside and note the difference between a loud banging noise and a pain inducing loud banging noise

    • shooting outdoors with sound dissipating is very different than indoors . . . . having experienced the indoor version, I throw the BS flag on the baby sitter’s story. Of course, looking at her (she is no Shannon Watts(TM). I know Shannon Watts(TM)), I have to believe there is more to this story. What sane person would leave a child let alone two with this freak of nature??

  3. Unfortunate tragedy. But like you said above it could have been bleach, or playing chicken with a semi that had taken the child’s life.

  4. A suppressed .22 rife is loud with earmuffs on, how could she have possibly slept through a .40 in a closed space?

    • Some people are weird when it comes to sleeping. It’s a well documented fact, for example, that some people simply don’t respond to blaring smoke alarms in the middle of the night.

      I got to test that one out myself last week. My back was hurting a bit so I opted to sleep on the couch out in the living room, when I was awoken at 5AM by the smoke detector in the bedroom blaring. I immediately hopped up and ran into the bedroom, to find my wife laying in bed and oblivious to what was going on. The unit must have been defective because there was nothing wrong.. I guess she’s one of those people.

      If there are people who can sleep through continuously blaring alarm clocks and smoke alarms, then I can imagine that a single pop of a firearm might not rouse them from their sleep.

      • Maybe it was growing up on Air Force bases with F-16s banking over the house and SR-71s going supersonic, but I sleep through anything. When I was 11, I had a sleepover with some cousins at my grandparents farm. Lighting struck a barn containing a couple dozen propane tanks. The whole town was at the house inside of 15 minutes. (The farm was just a half mile outside of town.) Me? Sound asleep. And I was sleeping in the room closest to the barn. In the dead of night, I doubt I would wake to a .44 magnum going off if it was on different floor. Situational awareness and sleep are not my friends.

  5. She lied. Or it was drugs. Or both. Or she had a male – or female – caller. But I can’t see how the lie might improve the situation she finds herself if. Some people do it reflexively. They’d as soon tell a lie that casts them in a worse light than tell the truth. Like my grandson’s father – a truly awful liar who can’t fool anyone, but nevertheless is totally dependent on the lie, no matter what manner of hot water it may get him into, while the truth would have served him far better.

    One tangled web after another; but he still believes the lie is the better course of action.

    • “dependent on the lie, no matter what manner of hot water it may get him into, while the truth would have served him far better.”

      That’s how my x-husband, became an x-husband.

      Fool we once, shame on you, fool me twice, “Sir, you have been served”

    • I’ve seen this phenomenon in ex-cons, especially long-timers. Briefly in the eighties I worked for an outfit that refurbished steel business furniture. The boss was a pretty shady character who really liked to hire paperless immigrants and ex-cons, basically because he figured they probably wouldn’t drop a dime on him (no, I’m not going to explain what I was doing there. Too long a story). The guys who’d stacked time learned by experience that truth was a commodity, and not to be handed out for free. The less ANYONE really knew about them, the safer they felt. Those guys were really a challenge to supervise.

  6. Why the hell would you take a nap when you are supposed to be watching children and why on earth would you leave a loaded handgun on the coffee table with kids around while you nap!?!? I have a four year old and a 3 year old, both boys, I don’t even leave dog food out unattended let alone a gun, well unless it’s in pieces and I’m in the bathroom, even then it’s empty and broke down for cleaning and the solvents are put back in the tool box. I sincerely hope they throw the book at this woman she gives gun owners and babysitters everywhere a bad name.

  7. When I was a yoot, I slept through both an earthquake and a hurricane on separate occasions, but never gunfire. If she really was sleeping, Ringhardt must have been trippin’.

  8. She’s not old enough to buy her own handgun, did it belong to the family or maybe… her punk boyfriend? Moreover, what the hell was she thinking? Home alone at 19 should not mean “go strapped” more like “lock the damn door.” The story just doesn’t make sense.

    • The first thing my 2yr old did when he got a squirt gun was poin it at his face and squeeze the trigger with his thumbs. It was the only way he could muster the force to depress it. If he wasn’t familiar with guns it may have made sense to him at the time. I know my son has demonstrated sufficent intelligence, curiosity and determination to (unintentionally) kill himself with a loaded gun. That’s why I lock them up.

      Also if you can muffle a gun with a potatoe, you can do it with a 5 yr old.

        • Yep just gotta throw it hard enough… or put it in a sock and swing hard enough
          (Really shouldn’t have to say that statement was sarcasm but if I don’t someone on here will have severly knotted panties and lose their shit sooo…)


        • I’m still laughing. I have kids and grandkids. Love them all. but that’s still some funny sh1t there. Farside stuff.

    • When I was about 5 I was in a situation where I found a gun under a futon at someone’s house I was sleeping at. I remember looking at the gun and thinking, “cool a squirt gun” then pointing it at me, then the mattress, then me, ect. At that time I had never seen a real gun but there was something inside me that questioned the situation. I aimed the gun at the futon and squeezed off a round. This is one of the primary reasons I strongly favor gun education because you can be the “best” dad in the world and hide/lock your guns from your kids but you never know how responsible another dad might be.

      On a side note my wife and I were just talking about this and wondering what caused me to have caution and thought about the old PSA cartoons used to have. Something like “GI Joe” that might have said, “If you see a gun don’t touch it!”

      • I don’t recall my earliest gun safety training, but I do remember around the age of 4 or 5 believing that my dad’s crossman air pistol was a truly dangerous implement, and even though it was stored in the open I was well aware of the ass whipping I would receive for touching it. I was allowed to shoot it with supervision though. I can remember sneaking around to play with his guitar etc out of curiosity, but never a gun.

  9. If you think a suppressed 22LR is loud with ear muffs on, you’ve either never shot a suppressed 22LR, or you have comic book like hearing.

  10. I’m thinking there will be more to this story. But will it ever make it in the news a year or two from now.

  11. While one might not sleep through a gunshot, it’s typically over before one comes awake. One wakes up for an unknown reason, doesn’t hear anything and goes back to sleep.

    Happened with me on two occasions, once with a gunshot in the next apartment — not too different from being a couple rooms away, especially if a door is closed — and once when someone hit my parked truck (right outside my window) at 45 MPH.

    Also, ambient noises (say a loud television playing an action film or some especially frenetic kids’ show) might figure into this, and she might use earplugs.

    Either way, though, that’s one book you can judge by its cover.

    Ugh! Yuck! Bleah!

    • Maybe it’s an unusal ability, but if a sound wakes me up I can recall the sound and usually figure out what it was. It’s not like your ears are turned off.

      • Or she and I share a disability — although I’d rather share nothing with her, including the planet.

        No, the ears aren’t turned off; one does after all wake.

        In some cases, however, the recorder ain’t runnin’.

    • The spam blacklist contains the names of just about every “popular” prescription drug on the planet, because they’re a frequent target for spammers. I’ve been tweaking it over the last few weeks to try to cut down on the “why the hell?” false positives.

      I was super happy when I eliminated a bunch of them when I figured out that anyone who mentioned socialism or socialist (not that anyone ever uses those words around here, right?) was getting blacklisted by “cialis” in the middle of the word.

      In your case it was the “ambien” in “ambient” that put the filter to sleep. I’ve been operating on a three strikes basis, and your comment was the third strike in seven days, so I’ve removed that word from the list. It won’t happen again.

  12. Sleeping thru a gunshot is just an element of her lie, the whole story is unlikely to say the least. Without more information it wouldn’t be prudent to speculate further but I would be surprised if she doesn’t get charged with something like manslaughter if not murder later.

    Watching the video one thing struck me, the LEO saying that Ms Ringhardt showed no emotion at all. I spent some time as a criminal investigator and worked several cases were children were murdered by a parent or caretaker. Many times the murderer showed no emotion. One case a man beat his beautiful 2 year old son to death in his crib because the childs crying was interfering with his video game playing, I got a confession from him during which he showed no emotion whatsoever. The medical examiner said the child’s injuries were as bad as if he had fallen 10 storeys.

    Orange county Texas!, wonder if the death penalty will apply?

  13. Speaking from firsthand experience, I can tell you that the sound of a pistol going off in the same house, through a couple of walls and a closed door isn’t as loud as you might think. Is it noticeable? Hell yes. Got my attention. Is it earth-shatteringly loud? Nope. Could I imagine a sound sleeper not being woken up by it? Absolutely.

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