Parenting

3-Year-Old Left Alone in Car, Finds Gun, Kills Self

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A tragedy in Washington State -- a three year old boy found a gun after his parents left him alone in a car, and he accidentally killed himself with it.

Police say the parents of Julio Segura-McIntosh pulled into a gas station on Wednesday in Tacoma, and when they father was pumping gas and the mother was in the convenience store, the little boy spotted a gun under the front seat. While he was playing with it, it went off, a bullet firing into his head.

The boy's infant sister was also in the car; she was not hurt.

The Associated Press reports that this is the third accidental shooting in the state over the past three weeks involving children, two of which died.

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"It is incredible in light of the other ones," Tacoma police officer Naveen Benjamin said of the parents' failure to secure the weapon in this latest case. "You would think people would take more care, not less."

Police say the father has a concealed weapons permit, so charges were not immediately filed. However prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine if manslaughter charges are appropriate.

State law allows a person with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a car, but it must be on the person. If the person leaves it in the car, it must be locked and concealed from view.

Twenty-seven states have laws restricting access of guns to children, but Washington is not among them.

Even with such laws, parents should just use common sense.

"You can't predict what children are going to do," Benjamin said. "You need to unload and lock it up if you're not carrying it. ... It's really not that hard to practice firearm safety."