A Fatal Birthday Gift

boy playing with toy gunThere’s been a steady stream of gun tragedies involving young kids. This one could be the worst: On Tuesday, a 5-year-old Kentucky boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with his own gun. The .22-caliber Crickett rifle, a child-sized model, was a gift that the boy received on his birthday last November. The firearm, marketed as “My First Rifle,” is one of many children’s firearms made by Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms LLC, according to USA Today, and comes in colors including blue and pink.

Although teaching children to use rifles may be an age-old tradition in parts of this country, 2-year-old Caroline Sparks’ death should serve as a stark warning of the dangers of allowing children access to firearms.

The AAP recommends that all kids’ environments be free of firearms. But if you choose to own one, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe. Teach him what to do if he sees a gun:
1. Stop.
2. Don’t touch.
3. Leave the area.
4. Tell an adult.

If you haven’t done so already, take the Parents Gun-Safety Pledge to show your support for protecting kids from gun accidents.

Image: Boy playing with toy gun via Shutterstock.

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  1. by Kim

    On May 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Um, I`m sorry, I support gun rights, and I don`t think gun ownership is even remotely appropriate until teen years. That is completely idiotic. There`s a reason there are age requirements for driving, the same applies for guns. Its not a toy, and if his parents still have custody I damn well hope they know it now.

  2. by scarlet

    On May 4, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Bad news !!sorry for the girls but it has become very important to discuss these matters as parents have to be alert before buying gifts for childern as they can fatal

  3. by Teresa

    On May 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Thats sad to hear, but that could,have been prevented. What an irresponsible parent to give something like that to your child! That’s just as bad as letting a kid play with a knife, I believe the parents should be held responsible.

  4. by jennifer jones

    On May 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Why was the gun not put up and locked when not being correctly supervised in teaching a child how and when to use a gun. I was raised with guns in the house. We all knew where they were but were taught never to touch them or ever go near them. And they had safety locks, even though we never needed them. Safety,respect and knowledge are key to avoiding tragedies like this.

  5. by Jenny davis

    On May 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    This is so sad :( i have three sons. my oldest is fifteen We have guns in our home. BUT there are rules we follow. The first rule is the guns are not to be out unless there is a parent around and second rule is they are not to be loaded until ready to shoot at there target or the animal they are shooting. And the Ammo is never in the same place as the gun.

  6. by Concerned Parent

    On May 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    This is the kind of BS that is going to get gun rights taken away. I’m not one to judge one’s parenting style, but these parents were beyond stupid. Who lets their 5 year old play with a LOADED gun? They obviously weren’t concerned with their son’s safety, or the safety of those around him. A child doesn’t understand that if he “shoots” someone he is going to kill them.

  7. by UnBelievable

    On May 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I cannot believe that a child can have access to a gun and that there are guns made for children. Are you serious??! Children are to be protected not to be left to protect themselves and in this case ruin their lives by murdering another person. WYes, guns don’t kill people but many gun owners are IDIOTS. It is too easy for anyone to own a gun.

  8. by Brytni

    On May 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I support gun rights. With that being said, I do not support guns being left out for tiny hands to get a hold of. I think if a parent is going to buy their child a gun, then they need to do the responsible thing and teach their child about gun-safety, just like you would on not touching a hot stove, or walking into a street. Teach them about it when you have nothing going on, and complete one on one time. Never leave them alone with it, and never load it until they are at the maturity level to realize what death is. It doesn’t have to be this way, with kids killing other kids. We as adults owe it to our children to know that this is dangerous just like knives, lighters, and toxic chemicals we all possess in our house. And we owe it to our children to show them about these things and teach them these things can hurt you and other people. It is all about parenting, maturity on the childs part, and understanding of both on the parents.