This rather odd tragedy caught my eye:
Minneapolis police are trying to find out how a 2-year-old boy allegedly ended up with a gun and shot his father. The 24-year-old man walked into Abbott Northwestern Hospital last Saturday with a gunshot wound to his arm. The man told police that his 2-year-old son had taken the gun from his mother’s purse and fired it at him.
I say odd because two year olds typically do not have the hand size or finger strength to manipulate and pull the trigger on a firearm. But a local gun range operator had this to say:
However, Joe Penaz, who teaches local gun safety classes at gun clubs and gun stores, said that it was possible for a small child to fire a gun if it was an automatic, which are as light as 7 ounces.
“Women seem to gravitate to small automatics,” he said. Penaz said he carries an automatic that requires only 16 ounces of pressure on the trigger to fire.
The facts in this case haven’t come out yet, and may never, but this brings up a number of things we should all remember:
- Lightweight triggers should be for competitive and range use only. A carry gun should have a minimum trigger pull weight of 5 lbs. You’re asking for trouble if you carry something with a hair trigger.
- You must be exceedingly careful with off-body carry. The best place for a gun to be is on your person, if it’s not, it should be unloaded and/or secured. Purse carry is often the only choice for women. There are purses out there that work well for this, but you must be careful not to leave the purse lying around. If this woman had a gun with a hair trigger loose in a purse, she’s an idiot at best.
- If you’re a gun dealer, instructor, or just plain shooter, do not talk to the press about stuff like this. You’re going to say something stupid that will be taken out of context. They will be looking for stuff to make us look bad. If you do talk to the press, I’d keep it to e-mail, where it’s easier to police yourself.
We’re fortunate that stuff like this is exceedingly rare, and generally holders of license to carry have been responsible. But every incident gets used by our opponents to show we’re all a bunch of reckless fools who can’t be trusted, and the press is only happy to help. We must be careful.