A 3-year-old North Carolina boy died after accidentally shooting himself with a gun he found underneath the counter of his father’s store.
The boy has not been named but his father, Manal Abdelziz, was reportedly briefly distracted when his son got ahold of the loaded gun he kept under the cash register.
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Now, the district attorney has to make the difficult decision whether to charge the father in his toddler son’s death as it is against the law to have an unsecured gun in the presence of a child in North Carolina.
Stories like this, unfortunately, come a dime a dozen. People old and young are frequently shooting themselves and others accidentally due to negligence, ignorance and inadequate gun safety training.
As a store owner, Abdelziz may have kept that gun for “protection” in the event of a robbery but instead of protecting his livelihood, it claimed the life of his child.
The ongoing gun control debate isn’t only about stopping mass shootings and gang violence; these kind of tragic situations are also very important to include in the conversation.
You could argue that the toddler died because he was left unattended or because the father didn’t have the gun more securely placed. You could even question why the child was at work with his dad in the first place, which are all valid points to consider.
The type of negligence Abdelziz exhibited is a reflection of the gun culture that causes people to treat firearms more like accessories than very dangerous weapons and therefore tend to be very lax with their handling of them.
Another example is a recent case in Missouri when a teen was accidentally shot by her father who was casually cleaning his gun in the house with his family at home when it “inadvertently” went off.
A report by the Violence Policy Center revealed that gun owners rarely use guns in self-defense. They tend to do more harm than they do good.
We don’t know if Abdelziz’s gun ever actually came in handy to stop or deter crime at his store, but what we do know is that because of that gun he won’t see his son grow up and he might even face criminal charges.
His life is forever changed for the worst, thanks to that gun.
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Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Max Rossi