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Veronica Rutledge and son (courtesy Facebook)

[NOTE: This post has been modified from its original form. The initial version was based on the incorrect assumption that Ms. Rutledge held an Idaho concealed carry permit, which mandates firearms training. In fact, she held a Washington State CPL, which does not. TTAG regrets the error.]

It’s a tragedy. The Idaho toddler who reached into his mother’s handbag, pulled out her gun and shot her dead is also a lesson to all gun owners that off-body carry is an inherently dangerous, potentially deadly proposition. Other than that . . . Veronica Rutledge’s untimely end at an Idaho Walmart has captured the attention of the bloody shirt wavers of the civilian disarmament industrial complex. “Nearly two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns,” Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Facebook page proclaims (without attribution). Over at The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Ladd Everitt has this to say about that . . .

The number and nature of shootings occurring at Walmart is grotesque. The mother in this case was a concealed handgun permit holder in Idaho, which as you know by now, means little in the way of required screening or training.

Ms. Rutledge held a Washington state Concealed Pistol License, which does not require any firearms training. Anyway, Everitt is implying that “rigorous” state control of the permitting process – including mandatory training and God knows what else – prevents accidents (a.k.a., negligent discharges) and “gun violence.” Where’s the evidence? And how much training is required to know to keep a firearm under your direct control (or in a safe) at all times? Millions of Americans practice that kind of “gun sense” every single day of the year. 

Might mandatory firearms training have prevented this tragedy? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But the expense, time and registration information associated with mandatory training does discourage/prevent Americans from exercising their gun rights. Bottom line: despite (yes despite) this horrific incident, what part of “shall not be infringed” does Everitt and his fellow anti-gunners fail to understand – other than all of it?  

As you’d expect, the mainstream media’s on the case, from the BBC to Russia’s RT. Closer to home, heres the New York Times‘ attempt to put the horrific incident into “context” . . .

Mr. Chatwin also said that guns are a part of the culture here. The city amended its gun laws just last week, he said, to conform with state laws and make it clear that a gun owner is justified in firing a weapon in defense of persons or property.

Judy Minter, a self-employed artist who was working on an art display at City Hall, said that she too supported the right to bear arms, though she said she did not carry a weapon herself. The wisdom of when to go armed or not seemed to her to be more the question at issue in Tuesday’s accident.

“There’s a lot of people who do carry guns in this area,” said Ms. Minter, who had spent most of the day photographing bald eagles, a common sight on Lake Coeur d’Alene. “But for her to have it within reach of her child — that was not very smart.”

True dat. But what Idaho’s stand your ground laws have to do with this tragic and preventable homicide is anybody’s guess. Other than as a harbinger of toddler-related anti-gun editorials to come. Watch this space.

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  1. Always have control of your firearm. In a purse is one thing if you have the purse and nobody else gets to touch it. Always always always have control of your firearm and don’t let anyone touch it or it’s container unless they are aware of it and trusted. Sad story but hopefully a reminder to everyone to always have control of that carry piece.

    • Like RF I’m very much against off-person carry in basically any form, but purse carry has to be one of the worst. If you’re going to get mugged, it’s your purse that’s going to be snatched. Plus they’re out of arm’s reach and one’s direct control much too often.

      On a side note, I’ve shopped in this very Wal-Mart many times. It’s not far from there where I do most of my shooting out in the woods.

      • I am also familiar with that facility, as it is on the way to Lake Farragut, which my wife, kids, and
        grandkids have been to on a few occasions.

        She made a stupid move, and has paid the ultimate price for doing so.

        A tragic way for the kid to learn that lesson…

        • Luckily at age 2 he probably wont have any direct memory of this, unless his family/caretakers continually remind him of it or make it out to be his fault. He will find out some day, the internet being what it is, and hopefully he has someone nearby who explains to him how foolish his mother was as opposed to beat him over the head with guilt about it.

      • A while back u reviewed Cooks holsters. I bought an iwb for a compact Glock and couldn’t be happier. You were right on the money. Thanks.

        • Sweet; glad you like it! They’re slim, simple, and perfect for a small pistol IMHO. I love that I can first put the pistol into the holster nice and safe-like, and then very easily slip it right into my waistband 🙂 …Cook’s Review

    • Yeah, off-body carry is not good, but many women consider that to be necessary. Given that, let’s suggest:
      1) Purse designed specifically for concealed carry (hundreds of them available).
      2) ALWAYS carry the purse slung over a shoulder – NEVER leave it in the shopping cart, on your car seat when you are pumping gas, etc.
      3) If the purse does not have a separate holster as part of the design, put the pistol in a DeSantis “Nemesis” pocket holster.
      4) Lock-box at home if you have kids. Please. The push-button ones open quickly. Do I have to say “don’t write the combination down where the kid can find it, and don’t mention it out loud when kids are in the house”?

      The Second Amendment is a serious right for serious people. “Personal responsibility”, folks.

      • First heresy: I carry off-body fairly frequently. It’s not best, and I recognize this. But these precautions you’ve mentioned are right on. First, when I carry off-body, the gun is a in a Maxpedition bag with a dedicated carry pocket where the gun is secure and easy to access. It’s never out of arm’s reach. If I leave my desk and can’t take my bag, it’s locked in a drawer.

        So, second heresy: I don’t keep a round chambered when I carry in the bag. I’ve got small kids. They leave my things alone, but if there’s the smallest chance they’ll mess with the bag, having to rack the slide is one more step in the way of a discharge. I’m human; the gun goes from the bag to my hip or to the safe, but I recognize that I might make a mistake and accidentally give them access.

        I understand that all this is a huge compromise. There may be situations where being armed will do me no good because I won’t be able to get the gun and rack it quickly enough. I practice drawing and racking to help compensate, but I know it’s slower. When I have the option, I carry on my hip. But this setup lets me have the gun with me every day.

        Point is this. Off-body carry sucks. You HAVE to be careful. If you’re around kids, you have to make sure they never touch the thing. You keep the bag on you, or you lock it up. You maybe shouldn’t have a round in the chamber, just in case; this is a scenario where maybe the orthodox cocked-and-locked guys need to step back. It’s a gigantic compromise. She had to break a lot of rules for this to happen. It’s awful, and it’s avoidable.

      • Yep.
        The Crossbreed purse holster works nicely too. I usually carry on my person, but when I don’t, I use that Crossbreed device in my purse, and holster purses of course work well too.

        I never leave my purse on the shopping cart, because around here purses get snatched that way.

  2. If she had been a student in one of my carry classes, I would have considered this a failure.

    I always tried to stress the dangers of off-body carry, and the importance of proper fitting holsters. I’d like to hope that none of my students would commit the series of mistakes that were necessary to create this tragedy.

    But I can’t see how the blame extends past the permit holder and her instructor(s).

    • Off-body carry is inadvisable, not illegal (nor should it be). At some point, we all have to take responsibility for our actions.

    • “series of mistakes” is an important part here. There were a number of dominos that had to fall juuuuust right in order to allow this tragedy. Most, if not all, were in her control.

      • Good point. Most failures tend to be the result of a series of seemingly minor bad decisions, rather than one enormous mistake.

  3. When the antis are allowed to weasel the argument around to public safety or crime rates, they can twist just about any incident. Keep the discussion about the individual right, deterring tyranny, and shall not be infringed so they cannot deflect the “conversation.” I cringe when the NRA and others focus so heavily on crime rates and public safety. These tragic incidents will happen and crime rates might not always go down or be low. Indeed, when crime rates are rising, the individual needs a firearm for self defense even more. The Second Amendment wasn’t particularly about hunting, collecting, or individual defense against ordinary crime. Those things would’ve been common place activities. The 2A is really about deterring tyranny; foreign or domestic. In a fully restored constitutional republic, news stories might be offering suggestions about better carry methods and the like but would not typically entertain calls for infringement on an individual right.

    Shall not be infringed; that is all.

    • That simply isn’t true, that firearms prevent tyranny. To believe that you must never have either served, or been to Iraq. Saddam Hussein passed out tons of AKs and pistols to the Iraqi population, both before the Gulf War of ’91 and the Coalition invasion in ’03:

      “More than 6 million ordinary Iraqis have been trained to take up arms to complement a military force of around 400,000.

      “In every house, every Iraqi has a machine gun and a pistol ready to surprise the American invaders,” said Mohammed al-Ubadi, a leader in the ruling Baath Party who led a pro-Hussein rally Monday. “We will hide under bridges and get them. Tell Mr. Bush he will make a big mistake coming into Iraq.”

      Qadafi pulled the same thing in 2011:

      “The embattled Libyan regime passed out guns to civilian supporters, set up checkpoints Saturday and sent armed patrols roving the terrorized capital to try to maintain control of Muammar Qaddafi’s stronghold and quash dissent as rebels consolidate control elsewhere in the North African nation.”

      A vet writing for TTAG has even acknowledged this point. Iraq was very well-armed before the CPA attempted to disarm the population:

      “In early June 2003, someone at the CPA decided that Iraqis shouldn’t have the means to defend themselves, and thus started a total ban on civilian firearm ownership.”

      • Lucas,

        In order to prevent/expel tyranny, the populace needs firearms as well as the conviction to use them. There was never a popular uprising in Iraq because the populace lacked the conviction to employ their firearms.

        • That’s not true either, check out the Shiite uprising against Saddam Hussein in ’92. Again, a well-armed populace, even one willing to collectively rise up against a tyrant, may very well be no match for a modern army willing to employ collective punishment.

        • …the conviction to use them…

          Another fine example of what the Left gnashes its teeth and wails against……the idea of American Exceptionalism.

          Not that we’re necessarily BETTER but rather we are an EXCEPTION to the general rules.

          But to be perfectly honest and non-PC, some of our exceptionalism is because we have better values.

      • @ Lucas

        He said “deter” not “prevent” tyranny. It’s impossible to completely prevent anything in life. The right to bear arms doesn’t automatically keep tyranny at bay. But it does indeed make it harder, especially if the political opposition has similar if not equal access to the same arms. You use the Shiite uprising as an example, but neglect the Kurds to the north. After enjoying safety from our aircraft during the no-fly zone and subsequent military operations after the Gulf War (Operation Provide Comfort), the Kurds eventually built up the will, logistics and armaments to establish and reinforce their liberty. Which is why Kurdish held territories were the few peaceful areas during the Insurgency, and the only force motivated enough to keep ISIS in check when the Iraqi army crumbled.

      • Im a OIF combat vet and you are missing several things.

        Yes, Iraq was heavily armed before the invasion. However, dissidents were not permitted to own arms (sound familiar? oh right pre-WW2 germany) and firearms were the huge contributing factor to the de facto autonomy of the Kurdish state in the north. Ask Saddam-era Iraqi soldiers how enjoyable it was having kurds throw copper/lead slugs your way…

        Yes, this supports the idea further that firearms are effective at thwarting tyrannies.

        And there was a uprising in Iraq and it was crushed because of US-betrayal in failing to support them. Does this ring a bell?

        Jesus you guys. You should know better than this as “gun people”.

        Must be the “experience” thing.

    • Its simply not true that an individual right to carry deters tyranny. Either having served in Iraq, or knowing a little recent history would reveal that more than a few recent tyrants have ruled over very well-armed populations. Saddam Hussein passed out tons of AKs and cheap pistols to the Iraqi population. (Google: “In Baghdad, a call to arms”) So did Qaddafi in Libya. (Google: “Qaddafi arms his civilian supporters”).

      Or read Dan Zimmerman’s June 20, 2013 piece here on TTAG about how the US-run CPA attempted to disarm the Iraqi civilian population . . .because Iraq was awash with guns under Saddam. Having control over a military with tanks and helicopter meant tyrants weren’t necessarily adverse to having their population armed with AKs and pistols.

      • With all due respect, there might have been other factors in play. As long as our people understand the true nature of freedom and rights while retaining an un-infringed (currently it is horribly infringed) individual right to keep and bear arms, it can be an excellent deterrent. The People need to be visibly armed as often as possible; in public and in private. As long as the RKBA is infringed and our leaders have security forces, laws, and equipment fit for kings/despots, then that is how they will act and will remain insulated from the deterrent value of an armed people. It’s unfortunate that you are so convinced that our Second Amendment is ineffective.

        I’ll just leave this here… 😉

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        • John, which countries have greater degrees of “freedom”: Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya


          Japan, Denmark, Germany and Australia? Which countries have a better armed populace? What you’re describing is not only completely ahistorical (you can’t provide examples of any advanced industrial countries where everyone open carries in public and private) but a anarchist utopia completely outside of Western political theory. From Hobbes to Locke to our Founding Fathers, the impelling idea of constitutional liberalism in a SOCIAL CONTRACT. Those who don’t abide by it are free to leave, or if they take up arms against the state, as they did in Shays Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion, then the heroes of the Republic, led by patriots like President George Washington, will restore peace with the US Army.

          Violent anarchism is not peace — it’s why societies form social contracts (i.e. governments) to begin with. If you really value your right to carry an AK-47 into Chipotle over the modern social contract, then what are you doing in a modern state that relies on the monopoly of legitimate force to secure peace and prosperity? John Locke argued for the necessity of government to secure the rights of property, that’s just basic.

        • @ Lucas

          You are confusing the notion of “Freedom” and “Liberty”. Although similar, they are not exactly the same. In those third world hell holes, you have the freedom to do whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean you live in a civil society, since it can still lead to varying degrees of “strongman” rule. The concept of Liberty, however, must always be nurtured and sustained by the individual and eventually society as a whole. If this is genuinely done, then social and political freedom will naturally follow. I have a saying, “Freedom can be given, but Liberty must always be acquired.” For places like Iraq, we gave them freedom, but they squandered their Liberty.

          The Founding fathers drew inspiration from the works and political thoughts of Montesquieu and Locke, but I would make the argument, not so much with Hobbes. The only thing that the Founding fathers drew from Hobbes was the concept of Social Compact and some aspects that eventually formed “First Principle”. However, they disagreed on Hobbes’ proposal for an all powerful Sovereign government, similar to what he advocated for in The Leviathan.

        • >> If you really value your right to carry an AK-47 into Chipotle over the modern social contract

          Why are these two contradictory? I’m a liberal on the political spectrum, so I think I have a broad understanding and agreement on what you mean by “the modern social contract”, but I don’t see anything there that requires me to surrender my right to armed self-defense, and to own and carry tools for said self-defense.

      • Brother, I advise some common sense. It says very clearly in the text you posted that firearms were passed out to supporters of the tyrannical regime, not to those that opposed the current regime in the countries mentioned.

        Firearms in the hands of a significant subset of Americans that oppose the current administration and recognize the personal freedom the constitution gives them and are leery of any administration that wishes to curtail the freedoms that all Americans enjoy certainly acts as a deterrence to tyranny. Otherwise there would be widespread sweeps of homes in Conn and NY looking for unregistered weapons and magazines and about 3000 people in jail in Oregon right…right…right

        • Brother, check that article again and you’ll see that “six million ordinary Iraqis” were armed in 2002, in a country of about 32 million with a massive youth bulge (maybe as high as 52% under 18 in ’02. Even now that median age in Iraq is 21.). So that makes up a pretty substantial portion of the adult population that was both well armed and . . . seemingly fine with the tyrannical Saddam!

          The point is further strengthened: a well armed populace is no guarantee against tyranny.

      • It says very clearly in the text you posted that firearms were passed out to supporters of the tyrannical regime,
        Key text in this situation.

        • AJ187, read the article for yourself and you’ll see that those arms went to “six million ordinary Iraqis.” Given the massive youth bulge in Iraq, with a majority of the population under 18 in ’02, how many adult Iraqis out of a population of about 16-17 million were armed under Saddam.

          It’s quite adorable of you to bash my reading skills if you haven’t read the article yourself.

  4. It is unfortunate, but no amount of training can overcome carelessness. I recently took the enhanced class and my instructor mentioned holsters a billion times.

  5. Freedom kills. Driving on public roads is regulated, with training required, but drivers still do stupid things that injure and kill themselves and others. People die in boating accidents, swimming pools, and all sorts of other ways. The freedoms of speech and the press incite people to do all sorts of destructive and harmful things. The freedom to eat and drink allows millions to harm their health. The list could go on and on. And yes, the freedom to keep and bear arms for sport, hunting, and self-defense (up to and including self-defense against a wicked government) has negative consequences.

    But all of these potentially dangerous or harmful activities and items have their benefits as well. And what drives anti-gun activists to focus on firearms (instead of swimming pools, or boats, or cars, or whatever else) is their own personal psychological problems and phobias.

    • Amen to that.

      Heck, death occurs even without freedom. Folks still get murdered in prison. Crime is about criminals, not tools.

      A child drowned in a swimming pool, poisoned, or killed in a car crash would be no less tragic. My condolences to the family.

    • Aye. I believe that the more extreme anti is very much cognizant that they are pushing an agenda, by whatever means, to disarm the People for the purposes of paving the way to their statist dystopia.

    • Where do these statistics come from that “nearly two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns”? First off who are these people who are responding to surveys saying that they keep unsecured guns in their homes? Secondly, liberals love to label any citizen under the age of 18 as “a child”… If that figure is accurate it includes a parent’s son who is an Eagle Scout and enlisted in the United States military on his 17th birthday, but has yet to turn 18 and be a legal adult… Is he at risk of randomly pulling a handgun from his mothers pocketbook and accidentally shooting her?

    • He won’t. But eventually he will learn the facts, and will have to live with the fact that he killed his mother. Double tragedy.

    • He absolutely will. This is a severe trauma that will scar his psyche for life. Losing his primary care giver at that age is highly problematic for his development.

      • I see this child very easily slipping into the anti’s grasp and being a very poignant spokesperson for their side when he gets older.

        “I shot my mother because she had a gun. Without her having that gun, I would still have my mother.”

        Emotionally very powerful, as is the anti’s signature. Without a strong caregiver to help that kid deal with this in a constructive way (as constructive as can be given the circumstances), he will be irreparably broken.

        I honestly hope he gets the help he will need. This is an absolutely horrible tragedy.

  6. Certainly this is a tragedy for the deceased, her 2 (?) year old child, and her family. It does make a common sense case for a carry weapon having some safety devices that a 2 year old could not easily circumvent. A safety for one (My S&W Shield has one and I use it), Or a long firm double action trigger difficult for a child to pull. I would be very interested in what handgun she used that a 2 year old, or any young curious child, could activate.

    • Pardon my French, but f$&@ safeties. Don’t for a second buy into that anti-crap that guns need child safety locks. Plenty of anti gunners will be more than happy to bastardize guns with locks, bracelets, batteries, safe storage laws, etc. Guns need to be immediately dangerous or they are useless for self defense. If you want a safety (which are fine for rifles and shotguns) go for it. I don’t want any on my handguns.

      • I think he was referring to safeties, not child safe locks. I’m not as rabidly anti-off body carry as most around here, but on or off body, if there’s any chance a child can get his or her mitts on your firearm you need to keep the trigger covered and/or have a safety engaged and/or carry Israeli.

      • Yes, and you have the freedom to carry loaded, cocked, and unlocked if you wish. Do not however presume to tell me or any other free person how we must select and carry our firearms. That’s what we’re fighting for, the freedom to protect ourselves as we see fit. I refuse to purchase a handgun that does not have a mechanical safety, because I just like it that way. Yeah, I wear a belt and suspenders most of the time also, belt to clip things on, suspenders to carry the weight on my shoulders. If the half second it takes me to thumb the safety off on the way out of the holster gets me killed, that’s my choice, but in my own mind I feel more at ease knowing that safety lever is on “Safe” That’s my freedom, agreed? Be safe.

        • Clearly you didn’t read what I wrote. There are plenty of forces out their pushing mandated safeties. This tragic incident will fuel their fires. Don’t be one of them. Otherwise, my last sentence says it. I won’t tell you how to carry or what to carry or what caliber or mag capacity. Just be responsible, as will I. This poor woman was carrying irresponsibly, and paid the ultimate price for that mistake.

      • @Accura81 – Have you seen what Massad Ayoub has to say about safeties on handguns (it might be in one of his books if you don’t find it on Google)? He’ll points out real life examples of people’s lives being saved by safeties in ways you may not have imagined. I don’t remember if he made a recommendation one way or the other, but he does bring valuable data to the table.

        • I remember reading an article by Mas a few years ago citing several cases where cops had their guns taken from them and their lives being saved by the fact that the criminals couldn’t manipulate the safeties. Being familiar with the particular weapon in your hand is a pretty big advantage.

    • I would be interested in that info as well, and would also like to know how we know the child shot it’s mother. I own 2 .38 Spls, 2 .380 autos, 2 9mms, and 2 .45 acps, and I do not believe a child under 3 could fire any one of them if given days of instruction how. IOW, I do not believe the child is the shooter, don’t believe the child COULD be the shooter. Was there a security video? Because if a witness says it happened, I would arrest that witness. If there was no witness, I would suspect suicide.

      • Larry, your extreme prejudices are interfering with your ability to think rationally.

        Without even knowing what kind of handgun it is, you don’t believe a two year old could pull the trigger. There are many instances of two year olds firing handguns, and all too often, it is fatal.

        Keep in mind that both the deceased and her husband were gun nuts. The nuts probably fitted a reduced pull weight trigger as so many wacko’s brag about and recommending order to get the action “sweet”. Oh yes, how sweet it is.

        Arming yourself in order to shop at Walmart is nutty (this has caused a number of gun toting shoppers their lives in recent years) but what is even nuttier, to the point of criminal negligence, is leaving a loaded and chambered handgun, unattended and unsecured in a shopping cart in Walmart. But this sad story takes the negligence to a whole different wacky level. She left her chambered handgun unsecured within easy reach of a toddler. Of course she paid for her crime with her life but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that her three nieces aged 12 and under had to witness this horrific, bloody event at close range and that there will be a young man without a mother to raise him that will have to live with the knowledge that his mother was taken by his own little baby fingers as well as the unavoidable fact that his mother was careless to the point of being criminally negligent. That is not going to sit well, even with the most well adjusted young man.

  7. Terribly sad story, a gun in the purse is just not a good idea for so many reasons but it must seem natural to some. I’ve had this dilemma myself as a paraplegic when I carry a pistol.

    There are ways I could mount a holster to my wheelchair, but it just seems like a bad idea. The advantages would be concealment (if that were an option) and comfort. My other options are a crossdraw, driving type holster or a shoulder rig (Only if I’m feeling very “Don Johnson”). Sitting down all day, small of the back or IWB is not very comfortable.

    The thing is if someone decided I was an easy mark they would be smart to knock me out of the chair ASAP. No matter how inconvenient it may be, on body is always the safest option. I don’t want to die by my own pistol because someone gets the drop on me or in a case like this where wandering hands go some place they should not have.

    Personally I think all pistols should come with some kind of generic holster, it would make much more difference than a silly cable lock.

    • Some ladies I know prefer purse carry because it allows them to carry a larger sidearm than they could conceal on body. Purse carry also affords them instant presentation ability, by holding their pistol within the purse and ready to shoot through it, completely concealed as they cross parking lots.

      • Yes, I always feel safer walking across parking lots with my hand wrapped around my handgun. Here are some good tips for greater effectiveness:

        1) Make sure the safety is not engaged.
        2) If someone approaches you who you do not know, turn your body so the handgun is already pointed in their direction. With bad people things can happen unbelievably fast and you need to be ready to defend yourself..
        3) If they look unsavory and don’t have both hands in plain sight it’s often safer to take preemptive action. They could have a handgun in their pocket already pointed at you.
        4) If you need to pull the trigger, do not stop at just one shot, that may not be enough, even with a large caliber gun. Handguns are inherently inaccurate and shooting from the hip makes your task more difficult. More shots increases your chances of neutralizing the threat.
        5) In the unfortunate event there was not a gun in their pocket, you can always get creative with your story. Remember, the perpetrator is likely dead now, or will be shortly, and cannot testify against you.
        6) Keep your story simple and don’t say anything that could inadvertently incriminate yourself. Never accidentally refer to the perpetrator as the “victim”.
        7) If the perpetrator was black or homeless you can breath easier. This makes it much less likely that you could be successfully prosecuted or sued in civil court. If the perpetrator was bigger than you it will bolster your story that you had reasonable fear for your life. Stay calm and rational and emphasize your fear for your life.

    • Hi Fug,
      Have you considered a fanny pack designed for concealed carry?
      I pocket carry partially for ease and convenience, but mostly because it affords me a very quick and inconspicuous draw. If I believe I may have need of my pistol in the near future I place my hand(s) in my pocket(s), a very natural, inconspicuous and non-threatening posture seen everywhere many times each day. If I should actually need to use my pistol, instead of needing to reach for it, my pistol is already in hand and ready for a very quick, unexpected draw.
      Having read your post I believe a fanny pack would meet your needs and more.
      It would be more comfortable than waist or SOB carry. More convenient than pocket carry in a chair with arms, when driving or riding. Less conspicuous than shoulder or cross draw carry and without need of a cover garment.
      While a fanny pack is technically an “off body” carry method, should someone “knock” you out of your chair your fanny pack will remain with you and in the same position.
      Some are opposed to fanny pack carry because they believe a fanny pack “screams handgun”.
      In your case it represents a convenient and logical way to carry needed items such as keys, money, ID, bank/ credit cards, phone and such. Many of my jogger friends carry a fanny pack for this reason. Most also carry a spare mag (or two), spare batteries, nutrition bars, fruit juice packets, flashlight and more.
      While all of these I believe to be good reasons to choose a fanny pack for carry, the main reason I suggest you consider a fanny pack is because ( as with pocket carry ) it can present a very fast and unexpected draw.
      Choose a fanny pack with a snap and/or Velcro closure for the gun pocket. Right or left hand as per need.
      If you believe you may have need of your gun in the near future, grip the top corner of the gun pocket closure with your non-firing hand then place your firing hand on top of your non-firing hand. This is a very natural, inconspicuous and non-threatening posture. Should you need to draw your gun, jerk the gun pocket cover open, your firing hand will fall into the gun pocket and onto your gun. While not as fast as having gun in hand, it is much faster and much less conspicuous than having to reach for your gun. Almost as fast as having your exposed gun lying in your lap.
      You can test this theory without buying a fanny pack. Place your EDC in your lap. Place your non-firing hand over your EDC, move non-firing hand slightly in the direction of the firing hand. Make a fist with your non-firing hand. Place your open firing hand on your non-firing hand with you thumb and index finger loosely around your wrist. Jerk your non-firing hand from beneath your firing hand. Your firing hand should fall onto your gun. Lift and aim.

    • I’m not comfortable with off body carry. There are many ways to carry on body. I have small LCR .38 revolver, pocket holster carry. In cold months I can use carry with a coat with cross draw built in holster. and still have LCR in pocket. No way I would ever purse carry, for all the reasons, already mentioned. Ladies do an internet search for concealed carry apparel, there are a lot of on body carry options available now. Do wish manufacturers just stop making the purses, it adds an additional layer of risk for women.

  8. Off body is bad, but at home is worse.

    She should have been paying better attention to her kid. Especially knowing that the purse was probably right next to her 2 year old in the shopping cart.

  9. So typical of MDA to dance in the blood of victims, ironically a Mom.
    Progtard propagandists following Joseph Goebbels ‘big lie’ tactics.

    • There is a reason why some states require a 10 pound trigger pull weight. This incident will be a poster for that law. I would easily wager that the gun involved was not a S&W Bodyguard with its long heavy trigger pull. One way to prevent this mishap was for the deceased to simply decide not to carry a round in the chamber as a two year old would not likely be able to rack the slide. Not the best carry condition for self-defense but one has to remember that the two-year old was probably by her side night and day.

      • What asinine state requires a 10 lb trigger weight? That’s just begging for inaccurate shooting, much like NYPD’s ludicrous 12 lb trigger weight requirement likely contributed to bystander woundings in some high-profile cases.

        “One way to prevent this mishap was for the deceased to simply decide not to carry a round in the chamber as a two year old would not likely be able to rack the slide.” You know what would have been any even better way to prevent this mishap? Not allowing a two year old access to a pistol. The problem ws not a lack of safeties, or too light trigger pull, or a slide that’s too easy to pull. The problem was that a two year old was allowed unsupervised access to a handgun.

  10. Regrettably a tragic candidate for a Darwin award.

    Always respect the gun. Yes it is a mere tool. It is also a tool with an extremely small, almost non existent margin of error. Once the trigger is depressed, the bullet is long gone and your only hope is no human life is in its immediate path.

    You can discuss and debate best practices, off vs on body carry and so forth, but this boiled down to this you mother not having the proper respect for that weapon and what it can do, otherwise she’d know to keep it out of any possible reach of the 2 year old or any child not old enough to be taught how to react around a gun.

    As RichardA stated, this was carelessness and we see how high the price that maybe paid for it.

    • Agreed. A gun, when handled with respect and properly, is not in itself dangerous. But, given as proof, a two year old can inflict death upon an adult with a slight twitch of a finger, guns, being great equalizers, when handled improperly, are, obviously, very dangerous. What an awful tragedy all around, and unfortunate the two year old was permitted unsupervised access to a loaded gun. Awful

    • “Regrettably a tragic candidate for a Darwin award.”

      Wrong, James.

      A Darwin award is ONLY when the now-dead died *before* they had a chance to reproduce.

      Example – Some idiot 10 year old dies when their home-made parachute failed to open.

      That woman had at least 1 child.

      That instantly disqualifies her for the Darwin Award.

      • Incorrect. Excerpts from the Darwin “Reproduction Rule” page:

        ” The candidate must remove herself from the gene pool…
        …Should those who already have children be banned from winning?…
        …The existence of offspring, though potentially deleterious to the gene pool, does not disqualify a nominee. Children inherit only half of each parent’s genetic material and thus have their own chance to survive or snuff themselves.”

  11. There is purse carry, which has its risks, and then there is really stupid purse carry.

    Hey mom, if you’re going to throw a gat in your handbag, get a Ruger LCR or similar double action revolver that no toddler can fire. And for God’s sake, use a proper holster!

  12. Sad story, but that is all it is. Yes, this could have been avoided but especially with children it is hard to keep complete supervision all the time. More the reason to be vigilant but that does not mean that accidents should not be expected. And to put this in context there are 300 million people in this country and incidents like this are likely to be given lots of attention and we still rarely hear about them. Gun owners and Americans are pretty responsible people.

  13. According to the sources I’ve seen, her permit was issued in Washington, not Idaho. Idaho accepts permits from all states, but has different standards from many, including Washington. Washington, to my knowledge, does not require any sort of firearms training… so the assertion that this woman had training is (for the moment) unfounded.

    Also, some of the articles have been worded such that it’s unclear if the weapon was pulled out of the purse or if it was fired inside the purse. In either case I’m left wondering if the weapon was holstered.

  14. It’s not necessary for the state to regulate firearms when Darwin already does the job so well.

    I don’t believe common sense can be taught, so training someone who is without common sense is just a waste of time.

    I hope the mother’s “dumb” gene in this child is recessive.

    • Gee, all I can think from your post is that it is hateful. She was young. Young people make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes yield lucky breaks and at other times they have deadly consequences. Perhaps she did not have a father figure in her life to help guide her decisions.

      • I hope you are being facetious, but just in case you’re not:

        Young person? If you are old enough to have a child and get a gun permit, you are clearly an adult and fully responsible for all your actions. She deprived her child of a mother and caused her child to be traumatized for life. Can you imagine what it will be like for that kid to spend the rest of his life knowing he killed his mom? She deserves no sympathy.

        I had a plain clothes security gig when I was her age and was able to carry long before permits were common. My gun was on my hip, or unloaded and locked up, period. No chance of anything like this.

        • I agree with John F.

          This is tragic, but I hold the mother 100% at fault and it sounds like she was both:

          A. Not watching her kid
          B. Not carrying a safe pistol in a safe way for CC

          For instance, carrying a 1911, cocked, safety off floating around in a purse is probably not wise. I’m not saying that is what happened in this instance, but my mind boggles how a 2 year old:

          A. Got into the purse in the first place
          B. How the weapon was (un)secured to the point the 2 year old could access the trigger
          C. What type of pistol it was

          My girlfriend is in her late 20s and can barely pull the trigger back on some production pistols.

          I feel terrible for all involved, but this lady was an idiot. Concealed carry is a lifestyle choice and requires a great deal of responsibility.

        • “my mind boggles how a 2 year old:

          A. Got into the purse in the first place
          B. How the weapon was (un)secured to the point the 2 year old could access the trigger”

          I’m guessing you have not been around many 2 years olds. They are surprisingly resourceful in their explorations of the world around them. One could say frighteningly resourceful.

        • TheBear, I have 2 1911s, there is no way a 2-year-old could fire them, even if left in the purse loaded and cocked with the safety off. Firing them requires you to hold the grip safety depressed at the same time you pull the trigger, and while that is unnoticed when you are firing it, a child’s hands just are not large enough to reach that far.

      • “Young person? If you are old enough to have a child and get a gun permit, you are clearly an adult and fully responsible for all your actions.

        I took his comment to basically mean that we have all made stupid errors in our lives and in many cases, it is only a matter of good luck-bad luck how bad or immediate the consequences turned out to be.

        There’s some truth to that.

        The “young person” part may have meant that as we get older, we learn from those mistakes we got away with.

        She didn’t, of course; hopefully, others will learn from her mistake and not say “that can’t happen to me.”

        “She deserves no sympathy.”

        Sorry, but I disagree with this. Everyone deserves sympathy. Without that, we are psychopaths.

        Sympathy is calling this situation a tragedy; sympathy is saying, “Holy Sh1t, what a mess.” Sympathy is that sick feeling in the stomach after reading the story, that sorrow that someone needlessly died.

        Sympathy fuels the realization that “there but for the Grace of God Go I,” that moment of clarity where we know we all do things that can cause tragedy.

        • I sympathize with you in your sentiments.

          However, too many people feel that having a feeling is all that is required to resolve a tragedy.

          Guns will not be disinvented so we must learn to live with them. I wouldn’t have it any other way because there is no other way.

        • Gawd, that sounds like the kind of liberal amatuer psychobabble that the anti-gunners use against us. I suppose we should have “sympathy” for her and blame it all on her gun.

          Also, your definition of psychopathy shows you don’t even understand the term. A psychopath typically has a diminished capacity for empathy (as opposed to sympathy), but that is just one of the characteristics and that alone does not make one a psychopath. Choosing not to, as opposed to not being able to, sympathize with an irresponsible person is just holding that person accountable. It has nothing to do with any pathology I know of.

        • JohnF: Extrapolate much?

          It must be a dark, lonely world you live in that you cannot exercise even a modicum of human decency about the death of a woman.

          Am I calling for gun control? No. Am I saying it was not her fault? No.

          I am saying have some compassion and stop acting like other people are cardboard cutouts there for your pleasure. We don’t have to be as solipsist as the anti’s in how we see the world.

    • Glenn, it only qualifies as a Darwin if the candidate died BEFORE they could reproduce.

      The POINT of the Darwin Award is that the stupid DNA dies before it contaminates the gene pool.

      She’s NOT eligible for a Darwin Award.

      “The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor, originating in Usenet newsgroup discussions circa 1985. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions.”

      • I didn’t learn Darwin’s ideas from the Darwin Awards.

        It is a certainty that she will be issuing no more offspring.

        Nature can be more cruel without meaning to be than people can be intentionally.

    • She couldn’t have been that dumb:

      Veronica J. Rutledge worked as a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory investigating the handling of nuclear fuel waste. She grew up in Harrison, Idaho, as Veronica Hendricks, where she was the 2004 valedictorian of Kootenai High School.

      This is a learning moment for everyone. Should keep your firearm always on your person.

      Regardless, I never enjoyed TTAG darwinism posts. It’s like… lets make fun of this person because they died. Maybe we should all try to be a bit more morally vigilant and keep empty comments like that to ourselves.

      • There are a lot of really stupid smart people. I used to be one until a few drill sergeants and senior NCOs kicked my ass for a few years.

      • It’s coping mechanism. Laughing at the horror/tragedy that life can be is one of the unique qualities of being human and it puts that horror/tragedy in perspective.

        Plus, it marks what this woman did to her child by her carelessness as something for all of us to take the lesson. If it’s not on your body in a well made holster that covers the trigger; (why not?) then make sure if off body, that the gun is in a well made holster that covers the trigger and is under your control at all times. (Which by definition, off body means it isn’t under your control at all times.)


        A horrible but very effective lesson.

        • “Laughing at the horror/tragedy that life can be is one of the unique qualities of being human and it puts that horror/tragedy in perspective. “

          Yeah. Morgue humor.

          I learned a lesson about that, though. Was at a traffic collision where a 15 year old girl died, and one of the firemen on the scene was doing the morgue humor bit (he wasn’t the only one…).

          He stopped laughing when he realized the girl was his cousin.

          It’s harder to face these things head-on than develop (ineffective) defense mechanisms, but in the long run, the head-on approach causes fewer nightmares. At least, that’s been my experience.

        • Hmm, I’m thinking JR that being able to find the humor in tragedy/death is a very good coping mechanism. The times I’ve seen people laugh the most is when they are talking about some extreme situation they’ve been involved in.

          At a wake, much of the story telling and laughter about the person being honored are stories of extreme difficulty and even of tragedy.

          Maybe you could give some examples of what you mean by “facing things head on”.

        • “Maybe you could give some examples of what you mean by “facing things head on”.”

          There is a VERY big difference between remembering good times and laughing about the good things at a wake and making fun of someone else’s tragedy.

          I’ve never been to a wake where the laughter was at the expense of the deceased or his/her family. Would you walk into a wake and announce to the loved ones, “Hey, I guess your idiot family member won a Darwin Award, huh?”

          I’m guessing no.

          Morgue humor is an escape; it’s a way to minimize the impact of an event that one might fear would tear you up if you didn’t minimize it. In that sense, it may have some value; I argue (based on my own experience) that that value is only an illusion in the long term.

          By facing ‘head on,’ I mean realizing the truth of what has happened. In this case, a woman died and her family lost a loved one. Perhaps that sort of thing should not be a joking matter.

          Being cute about that loss of life and saying she earned some kind of “award” is, quite frankly, rather nonsensical. The Darwin Award concept is sarcastic humor literally over the loss of life. I find myself unconvinced that that is healthy.

        • my friend (a recipient of over thirty stents) collapsed on his way to meet his daughter for lunch. she eventually located him in the icu where she told him she had looked everywhere for him including the restaurant, his apartment and his car. he asked her, “well, did you look under the car?” before he passed.

        • By facing ‘head on,’ I mean realizing the truth of what has happened. In this case, a woman died and her family lost a loved one. Perhaps that sort of thing should not be a joking matter.

          Being cute about that loss of life and saying she earned some kind of “award” is, quite frankly, rather nonsensical. The Darwin Award concept is sarcastic humor literally over the loss of life. I find myself unconvinced that that is healthy.

          Yep. Morgue humor is part of a mechanism of coping in the moment. It helps keep an individual from freezing up or breaking down to the point where they cannot function in the moment. It’s part of survival. If the information is not properly processed in the long term, morgue humor becomes a way of dissociating the individual from the event and can aid in repressing memories of the event. On it’s own, morgue humor can be beneficial in the short term but can be destructive in the long term. When it’s bantered about ad nauseam by total strangers in a media that records it forever, it’s asinine and crass.

      • Hopefully the culture of nuclear waste handlers is not as lacking in common sense and as inadequate to the task as this young woman was.

      • Strongly agreed. Working mom, small toddler. Probably with a million things on her mind, trying to do the best she could. I knew the comments would be all over the place before I finished reading the post. Have you guys with your Darwin Award crap no compassion? It is a dangerous world. Mistakes happen. Dumb luck doesn’t always save your butt.

        • It might be a dangerous world where you are, but the rest of the Western world sleeps at night knowing that there’s not masses of idiots out there with weapons.

    • Saying “It’s not necessary to regulate guns when Darwin does it so well” is very similar to saying:

      “It’s not necessary to regulate drunk driving when Darwin does it so well”.


  15. I wonder why the tragic story about the automobile related death in Idaho, around the same time, didn’t get national attention. Oh, right… agenda. Carry on.

  16. I’m in Spokane and our local paper closed comments, otherwise I would have my 2 cents worth, but really, you can’t regulate stupidity. She had her purse with a GUN in it where someone else could access it. ESPECIALLY A 2 YEAR OLD!!! Yes she’d dead and paid the price for that transgression in judgment.
    I’m sorry, well…no I’m not, don’t leave guns around where children or anyone else can get hold of them.

  17. This is a tragic incident, but it does suggest the mother had a casual attitude about how she carried her gun and how she handled it around the toddler. I did not see any indication of what Make/Model the pistol was, but it must have had a pretty light trigger for a toddler to discharge it. My sympathy to the Family. Sad very sad.

    Insofar as the “Spin” from MDA, NYT et al…no surprise there. Standard “Bloody Shirt Waving”. Lip Service sympathy and lots of “Tut…tut…tut…” followed by standard propaganda we’ve heard before.

  18. Tragic accident. I guess it’s to much to ask the left to pass up an opportunity to score political points over someone else’s tragedy.

    • Moreover, everything is political now regardless of whether we want it to be that way or not. The totalitarian nature of most on the left is revealing itself.

    • Passing more laws will only serve some political interests but will do nothing to inform those who would most benefit from it. It is not laws that are lacking but common sense.

      If this woman’s death does not become a hard earned lesson in safety then she will have died in vain.

      I saw a picture of a finger yanked out of an aircraft mechanic’s hand, laying there by itself, because his ring caught on the aircraft when he jumped out to the ground. Wearing the ring on the flight line was a prohibited safety violation. That picture worked better for me than reading a flight line safety manual.

      The armed forces are a bit more explicit with their safety advisories and, I think, more effective.

      Guns will not be disinvented so it is better to learn to live with them.

  19. ” The number and nature of shootings occurring at Walmart is grotesque”

    Huh? I haven’t seen a rash of Wally world shootings, though I’m sure there’s one now and then like any chain store. The only one recently that got lots of media attention, though not nearly enough in my view, is where a young black man picked up a BB rifle off the store shelf and was SWATted by another shopper. Cops came rolling in full tilt boogie, guns drawn, gave the poor guy all of two seconds to figure what was happening as he talked to his g/f on his cell phone, then blew him away. Of course then they had to cuff him and have a huddle before they bothered to call the paramedics. Personally I blame the guy that phoned 911, but the full on guns blazing intervention is typical police training these days. Where was I now?

    • BBC America was really eating this story up last night. You could see the gleam in their reporter’s eyes!
      I was really wondering if the gun was unsecured in the purse with no external safety, sort of like a Glock.

      • Glocks, while I don’t personally trust them, do have a significant trigger weight, I’m not sure I believe a child that young could manage it. But NOBODY could be dumb enough to leave a Glock loose and unholstered in a purse with a round in the chamber.

  20. Ke-reist; so sorry for all concerned, but amazed that a two-year-old could hold (let alone fire) whatever it was – small-handed-woman-friendly, no doubt.

    Glad I’m a guy who doesn’t need to worry about appearances, and that my weapon of choice has a safety.


  21. “But what Idaho’s stand your ground laws have to do with this tragic and preventable homicide is anybody’s guess.”

    I dunno, RF; seems to me that mention of a body being unlikely to get into hot water over defence of self is relevant, acknowledging as it does an inducement to carry – or at least the absence of a common deterrent to carrying.

    I see it as “People ’round here know that it’s O.K. to carry, and that the cops won’t even hassle you about it.”

    Were it alright here for me to carry – with the caveat that actual use would land me in a world of hurt – I might carry less often.

    Just my 2¢

  22. To bad the moms demand action instead of just demanding gun sense, likley discouraging some people from searching for more info on gun ownership out of fear of being criticized. I have never saw somebody recommend off body carry without a compelling reason and definitely not without some type of trigger covering holster or dedicated pocket and certainly not taking your attention off of it, kids or no. If it was more accepted to talk about it I’m sure somebody would have given her some reasoning why her method was flawed and im thinking she could have made an informed decision as to her option. Instead we are in a situation where she, for whatever reason, was unwilling to get feedback or input on her plan, with tragic consequences

  23. This woman is DEAD and all I see are a bunch of smug self-righteous comments about how this woman was stupid for the way she chose to protect herself.

    It wasn’t her fault, it was an ACCIDENT. It could have happened with on-person carry, too.

    TTAG sure is full of a lot of assholes lately.

    • Uh, how exactly? Are you suggesting that a 2-year-old could reach out, grab my gun as it sits in its holster, defeat the thumb break and pull it out without my noticing, and then shoot me with it? If you honestly think that can happen… well, there aren’t words. But on the off chance that you don’t think that could happen, then we’ve just found a) a rebuttal to your claim that this could happen to anyone and b) the reason everyone is making ‘asshole’ comments about why this happened and how she should (and shouldn’t) have been carrying.

      This kid killed his mother because his mother didn’t take necessary care with her weapon. That is her fault; if you disagree then I’d love to hear whose fault you think it is that she left a gun out where a damn 2-year-old could get to it. And let’s not forget the other children she had with her, all of whom had access to the same purse–or the other people she passes every day, who could also access to that purse. In fact, this “access” is so commonplace that it even has its own term: purse-snatching.

      Moreover, what woman hasn’t lost her purse at least once in her life, if not more? What mother hasn’t had to tell her kids not to dig through her purse? For these reasons and more, we’re more than justified in commenting on the negligence and stupidity that got her killed; the same negligence and stupidity that could have gotten the 2-year-old killed, or perhaps one of the other children, or another bystander.The same negligence that could have seen a gun fall into the hands of a criminal had her purse been stolen. The same negligence that could have seen a gun fall into the hands of anyone else, perhaps even someone else’s kid, had she misplaced her purse.

      Tldr: You’re wrong. Learn from it, and don’t make the same mistake again. Happy new year.

      • “Are you suggesting that a 2-year-old could reach out, grab my gun as it sits in its holster, defeat the thumb break and pull it out without my noticing, and then shoot me with it? If you honestly think that can happen… well, there aren’t words.”

        Maybe not your particular holster, but there are plenty of non-retention holsters where this could easily happen with a 2 year-old who has not been taught not to touch the gun.

        This was not negligence, this was an accident. Thanks for reinforcing the last part of my comment.

        • I don’t think you know what the word “negligence” means; until you do, there’s nothing we can do for you. Once you do, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that this event practically defines negligence, and you’ll understand why so many other people are saying the same thing. She negligently left an unsecured firearm in close proximity to a 2-year-old. The accident fairy didn’t do that–she did. Accidents have causes, and she was that cause. (See Jerry’s excellent automobile example.)

          Also, your position is pretty shaky if it rests on the notion of 2-year-olds pulling out holstered weapons (be they on a hip, in a pocket, or on a thigh) and opening fire. Has that happened? Ever? Even once? Has some dude just been around Cabelas when bam, a wild 2-year-old draws his weapon and shoots someone? Right, probably not. But kids killing themselves or others with weapons which were left in foolish places–closets, purses, glove compartments? Far from unheard of.

          I’m not trying to be uncivil, really, I’m not. I’m just struggling to comprehend how anyone could feel the way you do on this. That you really think this wasn’t negligence. That you think it ‘just happened’, and the mother’s poor decisions had nothing at all to do with it.

        • No Micheal, Jeff’s position is just the typical Leftist, liberal/progressive idea that no one is responsible for their decisions, especially bad decisions. Then if there is a reason for someones bad place in life, then it’s just the “systems” fault that some one is poor.

          Or in this case, the woman didn’t make a series of bad choices, she was a victim of an “accident”.

          Victim mentality, taken to the extreme.

        • You’re getting close ThomasR….the Left just hasn’t dug deep enough yet to find a white-privileged male to blame.

          But hold on, knowing the Left, I’m sure they’ll find one soon.

        • ThomasR, so the belief that an accident can still occur despite precautions is a liberal/left attribute? Absolute WTF statement.

          If your child falls in a pool and drowns (a favorite TTAG analogy), despite your best efforts to fence out that pool, install a secure cover, and watch over them as best as you can: what is that called?

    • Not an accident. It was a negligent discharge of an unsupervised firearm. Same deal as when a parent leaves a kid in a running auto and they shift it in to drive.

    • Hey Jeff
      On a website devoted to strong second amendment rights, where we are commenting about a tragedy that took the gun owners life through their own mistake, however unusual the circumstance, as commenters, we remain in our steadfast position of promoting gun safety and gun rights. Platitude is easily easily dismissed around here. To your displeasure, you won’t find us holding candles and singing Kumbaya.

    • An accident would have been if the gun went off all by itself, due to some design or manufacturing flaw. This was clearly negligent. If gun people show any sympathy for a situation like this, we would be admitting MDA might be right.

  24. This was really horrible. Quit with the Darwin award crap too. Almost as bad as dancing in her blood as the anti’s do. I have 4 sons and 2 year olds can be a handful. Purse carry bad-body carry good.

    • Stupid people who permanently scar their children for life should be mocked.

      Death doesn’t magically make someone’s actions less retarded.

      • “Stupid people who permanently scar their children for life should be mocked.

        Death doesn’t magically make someone’s actions less retarded.

        How’s the air up there on that lofty high horse?

        She made a mistake / error in judgment; she paid for her mistake. How does your calling her “stupid” or “mocking her” change that outcome in any way?

        What does being an a$$hole toward her bring to the table?

        Constructive comments pointing out her mistake are one thing; ‘mocking someone’ for being ‘retarded’ is…something else entirely.

        You need to grow up. I don’t care how old your body is, you are acting like a 13 year old in this story’s comments. A woman died and a child lost his mother. How about you show some respect?

        There’s this thing called human compassion and sympathy, and a little bit of it goes a LONG way for bettering oneself.

        • Sorry, but she was an idiot and that is the only reason that she is dead. Someone who dies purely as a result of their own stupidity does not deserve “sympathy” or “compassion” – if they’d taken two seconds to think before acting like an idiot, they’d be perfectly fine. The only person here acting childish is yourself, claiming that people should pretend like this woman wasn’t a moron just because her idiocy resulted in her death.

        • Thank you Publius.

          To everyone whose little feelings I hurt by calling a spade a spade, feel free to get back to me once you’ve had a good cry in the corner.

        • “The only person here acting childish is yourself, “

          Ah. The old “I know you are, but what am I” defense.

          In a discussion on being childish.


          Bear: You didn’t hurt my feelings. I just think you are being

          (a) crass and classless in your comments in this thread


          (b) a bit of one who will someday stand in his own glass house and may well remember it is best to not throw stones…just because you can.

          What she DID may have been stupid (that is arguable but ultimately pure speculation…you don’t know ALL her circumstances). That’s very, very different from saying SHE IS stupid.

        • And… somehow I sleep just fine at night.

          I guess you call it blaming the victim when we revile drunk drivers who kill themselves too. /golfclap

  25. Everytime a hoplophobe uses this tragedy as some kind of justification to ban ALL concealed carry or ALL guns, point them to the number of cases where cops shoot their own kids or where kids shoot their LEO parents with the cop’s gun. Then posit that it means cops should no longer be allowed to own or carry guns.

  26. She paid the ultimate price for her mistake and her child payed as well. But rather than us all to take this example, learn from it, and apply that responsibility (personal responsibility) in our own lives, instead the answer is… legislation – laws – restrictions on 300 million Americans for the mistakes of the very few.

    I went to youtube and watched a video about the incident. One commenter had this to say:

    Gebis Cripes
    Chalk one up for the NRA. One less republican vote. Ha Ha Red State.

    Progressives letting their moral compasses shine through.

  27. I read the toddler was in the shopping cart seat. Sounds like her purse was right next to the toddler.

    Always keep your firearm on your person people – always.

  28. More laws!!

    UBC’s would have kept the child from touching the gun. – NA
    Mandatory training would have drilled some sense into the gun owner. – Had it
    Safe storage laws would have kept the toddler out of the safe. -NA
    Magazine capacity restrictions would have reduced the body count. -One shot
    Pinned and welded flash hiders would have extended the barrel 1.5 inches. – NA
    Banning shoulder things that go up would have kept the shoulder thing from going up. -?

    Hmmmm…. or not.

  29. Some classes teach that unless one is in the chamber you might as well not have a gun. In this case each of us would have to weigh the odds of requiring instant response with no time to rack vs. what threat would give me time. How likely is my or any inquisitive child to reach in my purse? Are my children kids who do that or kids who wouldn’t?

    Could Mom have increased her situational awareness? Could that have been an adult pickpocket? How quickly did she notice his hand in there or didn’t she? Could she expand her situational awareness so she wouldn’t have to have a round chambered?

    • Chambered or not does not enter the equation in this case if she had had that firearm on her person and under her own control.

      Off body carry, and in particular purse carry, has a lot of drawbacks. In any failure analysis, one typically tries to focus weighted attention on the biggest correlates to that failure. In this case: purse carry on combination with leaving the purse close to the child.

      Eliminate that with ‘body carry’ and other factors that may have contributed in some theoretical are essentially eliminated as already-controlled risks.

      • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a complex methodology, whether applied to product defects or a large scale tragedy like the loss of the space shuttles. I agree with your observation.

        Very basically, it comes down to identifying in what ways a function could fail. For each way, or mode, of failure, determine the severity of the failure based on a scale from minimal to catastrophic.

        Then determine the potential root causes of each of those failure modes and the probability of each cause occurring.

        For each potential cause, identify what controls are in place, if any, to detect, prevent or mitigate the potential cause, and rate the control’s ability to do its job.

        Multiply those three values and you get a “risk priority number” for each, which you can then rank to reveal which items should be top priorities.

        All apologies to the Process Engineers or Risk Managers in the house, for this brutally abbreviated treatment. Those are the bare bones of it, though, and can be applied even in our daily lives. It’s a good paradigm.

    • There is a lot of discussion about the Israeli method of carrying with an empty chamber. In my opinion it’s all in the odds …I choose to carry Israeli safe, Not because of a lack of training, But because the level of threat is extremely low where I live, That happens to neighbor Hayden lake Idaho.. Mostly people here carry to exercise their 2A right, Not necessarily because of the threat of crime.

    • I see local police reports of unattended purses being snatched from shopping carts and from the back of chairs in restaurants.

      I never see any reports of unattended wallets being snatched in these very same situations.

      Something to think about for those who like to think.

      For those who don’t, carry on.

  30. I believe Education and training would have prevented this. Clearly some people are exercising their 2A rights, without the needed gun safety education that goes with it.
    I dont advocate mandated firearms safety classes because it never stops at just training and safety, eventually, it encompasses regulation, licensing, categorizing,limiting, and finally confiscation..

    The drivers license is a perfect example of what happens when we allow government to control us.. It starts with having to seek permission to travel, then proving you can the speed at which you travel then, they link it to the type of vehicle you drive, and it goes on and on and on..Now they have black boxes in cars ( you buy ) that monitor your every maneuver.. the control over you never ends..

    I hate to say the obvious, But people are going to have to accept the ugly side of freedom, we will have to accept a certain amount of loss if we want to keep our rights, and freedoms that we enjoy.. The best an individual can do is to take personal responsibility for their own safety and security, if they dont want to become one of the losses. But by no means should we give up our rights and freedoms because someone didnt take responsibility of securing theirs.

    • “I hate to say the obvious, But people are going to have to accept the ugly side of freedom,

      A lot of us have been saying this for a long time. It comes up whenever we in-fight over things like OC and OC-activism.

      Personal freedom is exactly that. It also includes, in a manner of speaking, the freedom to screw up (and the responsibility to accept the consequences if that happens).

      The best an individual can do is to take personal responsibility for their own safety and security, if they dont want to become one of the losses. But by no means should we give up our rights and freedoms because someone didnt take responsibility of securing theirs.”

      Well said, especially the part I bolded.

  31. It’s too bad that her stupidity didn’t remove her from the gene pool before she reproduced. Also, reason #1,297,834 to not have kids – they might literally kill you!

    • Sorry Publius. You win the Darwin Award. The first rule of a species to survive and thrive is to have enough of that species to desire to have progeny to at least maintain their population level.

      What you are proposing sounds, if enough people follow that idea, species suicide.

      That’s full of “stupidity” if you ask me.

      ( in fact, most of Western civilization is doing just that, they are in negative population growth. The USA would also be in the same population hole if it wasn’t for legal and illegal immigration)

      • Oh, yeah, right. Let me know when the world population hits 3 billion, and we’ll talk. Until then, the world is overpopulated, and cutting births is a marvelous plan.

      • Tommy, other than some parasitic organisms, human beings are the only species on the planet that aren’t intelligent enough to not reproduce beyond what their environment can sustain. We crossed the long-term sustainable population a couple of billion humans ago and dying from being OVER populated is much more realistic than the human race dying out because some of them choose not spend their lives being miserable.

        • Let us see. The population in western europe is about 397 million in 2009 and shrinking and 300 million in the US, and we would be shrinking except for legal and illegal immigration. A total of 700 million. I don’t think we as the west are causing the over-population you are referring to.

          Western europe and the USA, what we think of the west and the tradition of relative personal freedom and of “democracy” is shrinking, dying; while the rest of the world that has mostly a tradition of dictatorships and tyrants are growing, at least for now.

          Yep, like you most aptly show, when a species no longer has the desire to procreate, it dies. other wise known as species suicide.

          But this nihilistic, self-destructive selfish self interest is not new. I believe it is the precursor to collapse of all societies, Greek and Roman in particular since they are the basis for much of our western culture.

          But this focus on immediate self satisfaction, infanticide, break down of the basic family structure and the lack of interest or concern for the next generation is typical at the end of a society/culture. (Your excuse for nor having children is just an excuse, as our population figures show)

          There is a reason for dark ages; your perspective, which is typical for many, especially those on the left, is I believe, a major reason why.

        • And there we have your real problem, Tommy. You’re not concerned about the fact that too many people are having kids, you’re upset that not enough white Christians are having kids. Thanks for clearing that up, racist trash.

        • The world has quite sufficient resources to sustain all the people that live here today, and a few billion on top of that – if those resources are used rationally and distributed properly.

      • LMAO!!!

        Growing exponentially is NOT “maintaining your population levels” by any stretch of the meaning of terms.

        Ive had countless debates with buttknobs on here that believe population growth is a good thing and that the planet is a juicy nugget of inexhaustable natural resources ripe for our picking. Ha. Denialism at its finest.

        More on subject, I wouldn’t dismiss her as being stupid. It could have been prevented (in hindsight), but blaming the victim by calling her “stupid” and a “contender for the darwin award” is just mean spirited, and, well, behavior indicative of a buttknob.

        Congradulations, you are buying into the main stream media’s yellow journalism and intentions to divide gun owners.

  32. Sad, but preventable. She’s a scientist for Christ sake! She should have used the scientific theory or something, she would have found out that leaving a loaded gun by a 2 year will probably result in death or serious injury. I carry my gun on my body. When I take it off, I stick it in a steel safe and lock it with a key. I have the only key. Firearms and ammo should be secured and not accessible to kids and others at all times. Common sense, or lack of, can cause death. RIP young lady.

  33. My wife grew up in a house with dozens of unsecured, loaded guns. I’m talking shotguns and rifles leaning in corners of almost every room, pistols in random drawers. Go to grab a fork from the silverware drawer, and you’d likely have to sift through loose ammunition to find it. Nobody was ever negligently shot. Not saying that was safe or smart, but my wife and her 3 older brothers knew not to touch them. They were able to shoot well by the time they were in kindergarten, and knew the safety rules (laws). It’s just that my late father-in-law was a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of guy.

  34. I have a 5 yo grandson and NEVER carry with a round in the chamber when around him. I fully realize that slows everything down by about .25 seconds (or less, I’ve timed it and racking the slide actually adds a little less time than that) and I’m willing to live with that delay.

    This is a tragedy that NEVER should have happened.

  35. I am still curious about what handgun was involved that a 2 year old child could shoot with their tiny hands and fingers. A handgun with a manual safety on, or one with the grip safety would be difficult or impossible for a child to shoot. One with a trigger only safety, such as Glock’s “safe action” could be used by a small child. Anyone know what handgun was involved?

    • She was shot with a S&W Shield 9mm. One can easily assume it was the model having a 6.5 pound trigger pull weight.

      • I own a Shield 9mm, and can see a child could pull the trigger if it was one without the safety, or one with the safety off. I carry mine with the safety on, and train to turn it off when drawing.

    • It’s called policing our own.

      Just because someone is a gun owner doesn’t make them automatically responsible or smart. When people do stupid things they get stupid results. ^ See article.

  36. The Elephant in the room, concealed carry and chambering a round (hot loads).

    Why are 99% of these conversations not addressing the obvious problem here. Had she not been chambering a round, the accidental discharge would have been an impossibility.

    Looking over Youtube and the many videos that address this question, almost all advocate carrying a concealed weapon with a chambered round, claiming that you will not have enough time to chamber a round, or you will panic, or you will only have one hand in extremely probably situations.

    First, there are claims that their CCW instructor told them that this is preferable. Others come up with anecdotal evidence that you must always have a chambered round and show a video of a guy in a jewelry store who was unable to chamber a round quickly enough. There is of course no mention of 14,000+ accidental discharges per year that would suggest the evidence is not clear cut as they suggest.

    These advocates of course never want to show you all of the videos of people accidentally shooting themselves while either holstering or un-holstering a weapon. This is the case with trained professionals let alone housewives with the kids in Walmart.

    I found a gun forum poll with a fairly large number of voters (2400+ versus 220+) where 90% are carrying with chambered rounds. That number is shocking to me as I am obviously in the minority.

    The NRA has apparently not taken a position on this matter so far as I can tell. I spent some time with Google search and the only reference I found is that the ammo should not be loaded in to the gun until it is ready for use.

    Personally I do not chamber and never will. I also believe that your average CCW carrier with little experience should not be told to chamber rounds as a general practice.

    In many of the CCW classes, students are taught that they cannot get off a round if someone is charging from 21ft away and therefore they should carry chambered rounds.

    The truth is that far more people are going to shoot themselves in the leg than confront charging criminals.

    If you want to carry chambered rounds, please stay the hell away from me. I think it is a dangerous, reckless practice and you are far more likely to kill either yourself or others than you are protecting anyone with this practice.

    To the advocates of chambering rounds, please do not assail me with justifications and anecdotal evidence that you have. I have read and seen it all including lots of idiots shooting themselves on Youtube.

    I am only pointing out that in this case, this child firing the weapon, has everything to do with this practice of chambering rounds and nothing to do with some inherent danger of concealed carry or the need for some stupid electronic safety device when it could have been avoided with safe practices.

    • Very nicely written. Thank you. Truly knowing one’s “threat environment” is also important to the decision to carry or not carry with a round in the chamber. Is one carrying a gun in a dangerous city neighborhood or in small town Mayberry?

      Below is the threat environment for where the deceased lived and where she shopped. Mostly property crime rather than violent crime is contributing to the low overall safety rating for the towns.

      • You are correct but the problem is that every CCW/CPL trainer out there is telling every housewife in Mayberry that walking around with a chambered round is not only a “good idea” but also they are being told “you might as well leave it at home unless you do”. Go have a look on Youtube at the idiots over there giving out this same advice. Search for “chambering rounds” on Youtube. This is a systemic problem.

        I have met a lot of stupid people in my life and this topic has them bugging out with a neon “L” on their foreheads. You have to be a complete MORON to be handing out advice like this to a casual concealed weapon carrier.

        I am 100% behind the right to carry. I am 100% against these jackass weekend warriors that walk around with chambered rounds claiming that there are threats around every corner and telling everyone to follow this insanely moronic dangerous advice.

        Professionals who are out patrolling dangerous areas full of thugs packing weapons might be completely justified in chambering rounds in a semi-auto but these under educated hillbillies in Hicksville USA telling housewives in Mayberry to follow this practice are just as guilty as the idiot trainer that told this woman to follow the practice. Especially if they have children around. My God, what do you need to see? This woman had a full life ahead of her and her children will never really know her, let alone the psychological damage that this small child will have to endure once they realize later in life what happened. That is a hell of a burden to place on someone just starting life.

        These same idiots are here saying “Oh well, tragic, nothing to see, move along” only shows that these nitwits will cling to their heartless ignorance until the day they die. They never want to see the parade of idiots on Youtube accidentally shooting themselves and others who follow this dipsh*t advice. It is like watching the show World’s Dumbest Criminals and there is no shortage of these mental midgets. They are even here clamoring on this topic claiming that you are just an anti-gun commie puss*y unless you follow their idiotic way of thinking.

        Where I live there have been several cases where I live of morons sticking a semi-auto in their pockets and shooting themselves in the leg. In one case, the guy discharged the weapon with his kid in the car. He was damn lucky that his infant did not die over this stupidity. Another idiot at our local Home Depot shot himself in the leg as he reached in his back pocket to fetch his wallet and discharged the gun he had in the pocket. Again, lucky, these idiots did not kill anyone. If they continue this practice and shoot themselves or their family, so be it, that is Darwinism at work.

        These moronic advocates that talk about training are idiots. Police accidentally discharge their weapons all the time holstering and un-holstering their weapons. They are professionals and they handle these weapons every damn day. If they want to take the risk that is all good and well. They might need to depending on their situation. They are professionals and that is a completely different topic. We are not talking about professionals here.

        Only a damn fool is going to tell a casual shooter to be chambering rounds based on some fictitious scenario of a being rushed at 21 feet away. To that crowd, this is gospel. The truth is you are going to probably shoot yourself in your leg if you are in a high stress situation like that. Dealing with these scenarios and learning how to handle yourself in high stress situations are not going to be taught in any CCW class and would require specialized training to deal with these situations. Only a complete gun nut thinks that everyone is going to take such training and it is as unrealistic as the boogeyman hiding around every corner that is out to get them.

    • American mercenary argued the same thing, and frankly, carrying with an empty chamber because you aren’t suffciently trained is circular logic at its best, and IMO, FVCKING STUPID. That is 19th century, smith and wesson revolver “logic”.

      If you aren’t sufficiently trained, you NEED TO BE or dont carry concealed (or at all). Carrying with an empty chamber because you aren’t sufficiently trained is a crutch that doesn’t address any problem, except maybe appealing to the sensibilities of those that believe they are being “safer”. Worse yet, it does not address the lack of training problem, which is more dangerous in the big picture.

      So whatever. Bullpuckey.

  37. What a bunch of OBSCENITY DELETED you Americans really are. More gun deaths in the USA per capita than any other Western nation. Doesn’t anyone care that so many people are dying, just because you have your stupid 2nd amendment ?

    You all need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  38. I love how the gun community eats there own. With friends like them, who needs the anti-CCW advocates?

    Yes, it is a tragedy that could have been prevented with a large number of things. Her carrying it on her person in a holster (my solution), having a firearm with an external safety, carrying with an empty chamber (stupid, but whatever), etc.

    But what is done is done.

    The media is sensationalizing the entire thing, and the Idaho Statesman is infamously known for being anti-gun and anti-concealed carry (and they “updated” the article after being called out by a poster on facebook for mentioning the completely unrelated campus carry bill into the article ((yeah! i kid you NOT)), and disabled the comments because they didn’t like being called out IMO). The outspoken minority is jumping on the gun control soapbox, despite this being a tragedy, and not a 2nd amendment issue. Whatever. As much as id enjoy seeing a hobo throatpunch them, everybody is entitled to their stupid opinion…

    An outbreak of cancer in the homes of those who turned this into a “gun rights” talking point. Scum.

    Last but not least, she wasn’t a “stupid” person. Rare accidents like this, while preventable with a number of measures realized in hindsight, can happen to anybody and all it takes is one instance. Blaming the victim does nothing to solve any problems.

    • “Last but not least, she wasn’t a “stupid” person.”

      True, she wasn’t a stupid person but she was reckless to the point of negligence. In fact, if it was another customer her son shot, she would have been criminally negligent. Only reason she wasn’t charged is because she’s dead.

  39. Only in America could a bunch of idiots talk about carrying a weapon.

    The rest of the Western world manages to get along quite well thank you, and hey, guess what, the US has the highest gun crime in the Western world, by far !

    Does that make you feel good ?

    • Hey Steve, speaking of “the rest of the Western world”… check out the handgun carry laws in Czech Republic. While you’re at it, compare their crime rates to the neighbors, as well.


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