No Fun With Guns

December 31, 2014 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

Y’all, there is an unspoken rule with Fun With Guns:  the only person allowed to die is the person shooting the gun.  Otherwise, it’s not fun or funny.

This is tragic.

Yesterday, this 2-year-old boy unintentionally shot his mother in the head inside an Idaho Walmart after pulling the trigger of a loaded handgun in her purse. The mother, a nuclear scientist, died instantly. She was only 29-years-old.


This little boy will grow up knowing he killed his mother.  His siblings will also try to make sense of this.  They will wonder who to blame – their mother for not locking the gun or their brother for shooting it.

I hate to end this year on a downer but since so many of you sent me this story I figured I better say something.  And I will.  Damn you NRA.  Damn you for not letting us know there is an epidemic of accidental gun deaths in America that puts ebola to shame.

I hope our new surgeon general (thank you Ted Cruz for unwittingly making this possible) makes children and guns a major priority.  Right now the NRA is working to keep us from recording accidental gun deaths.  Let’s fix that.

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45 Comments to “No Fun With Guns”

  1. It’s just so darned sad….. that this innocent child will carry this….totally preventable…..tragedy….. with him for the rest of his life.

    What is anybody in a small town in Idaho… afraid of… that they carry a loaded gun….. to go shopping?

    Boggles the mind…. and breaks the heart.

  2. There isn’t an epidemic of accidental gun deaths, there’s an epidemic of negligent homicides that are being called accidents.

  3. Marcia in CO says:

    Evidently the 2 other children with the woman and her son were nieces or nephews [don’t know which] … so all of these kids will have this horrific scene seared in their brains or they will opt to block it from their memories.

    Everyone hollars about having their 2nd Amendment rights taken away … by God they want to be able to carry their guns any damned place they want and don’t try to tell them any different. Why? Because their right to carry is a helluva lot more important to them then their husbands, wives, or kids are … and that fact has become quite evident in 2014.

    Happy New Year to the folks at and in the Salon!!

  4. So very sad for that child.

  5. Polite Kool Marxist says:

    Will we hear from the NRA about this latest “accident” and how guns makes us safer?

    There are two lessons here. Children and guns don’t mix. And, think, are you really safer with a gun, if anyone can take it away from you.

    “accidental gun deaths” … deaths while cleaning guns, deaths from improperly carried guns, death from improperly stored guns. I see a pattern there. Guns kill. Maybe it’s time to remove “accidental” from the lexicon and demand both the manufacturers and the NRA admit guns kill. Then maybe, we can have a discussion about gun safety.

  6. Don A in Pennsyltucky says:

    Carry a gun for self-protection. Yeah, right.

  7. This is the tragic result of the “guns make you safer” crowd. Owning a gun may make people feel safer – but it doesn’t usually work out that way in reality. Pity that the NIH is barred from gathering statistics on how many good guys successfully defend themselves or other with their guns, versus all the folks injured or killed by accident, or through suicide.

    If you want to be safer, be cautious where you go and look to your perimeter defenses. To be safer at home, put bars on your windows, buy a guard dog, get motion-sensitive lights and an alarm system. This is why forts had walls around them – the walls offered protection, the weapons within the fort merely allowed defenders to kill attackers.

    All guns do is give one the ability to shoot things. That may give one a feeling of security, but does nothing to protect one from danger – such as the danger from accidental discharges, or some other armed individual shooting first.

    Indeed, all these guns floating around make the police and the vigilante wanna-bes really nervous – which makes them trigger-happy. I figure I’m in more danger from careless and/or trigger-happy armed individuals than I am from criminals.

  8. Sad, yes, for the child, but not as tragic if the 2 year-old had killed himself instead. I appreciate your unspoken rule about fun with guns, Miss Juanita, but my rule for gun farce is that only those displaying extreme stupidity with firearms can be harmed. In this case, that was the mother. Unfortunately her stupidity meant that someone else was involved.

  9. “I hope our new surgeon general (thank you Ted Cruz for unwittingly making this possible) makes children and guns a major priority.”

    Coffee on keyboard! I somehow doubt Teddy-boy does much of anything wittingly.

    So sad about the youngsters, especially the toddler. The woman was supposedly a nuclear scientist. Obviously brainy but not smart.

    Husband and I were especially freaked because we shop at that store on occasion.

  10. Ralph Wiggam says:

    I guess we needed a good guy with a gun to shoot the child with a gun?

    That’s the NRA way!

  11. This wasn’t “accidental.” Leaving a loaded gun within the reach of a child, and then taking your eyes off that combo even for a moment, is just stupid. It’s sad that she paid for it with her life, but it would have been worse if it had been someone else’s life.

    I agree that part of the blame goes to those who convinced this woman to be so afraid (of what?) that she needed to carry a loaded gun in her purse to go shopping at a Wal-Mart. That’s stupid too. Hundreds of millions of us don’t feel the need, whether in Wal-Mart or Safeway.

    And I also agree with RepubAnon that all these fools walking around with guns is why so many police are shooting people: they assume that anybody could have a gun and be about to shoot them or somebody else. The morons sashaying around with their “open carry” penis substitutes certainly aren’t helping.

  12. When I was 2 the NRA was an organization that was mostly concerned about promoting gun safety. More than a half century ago.

    So the mother was a nuclear scientist? I wonder if she was as careless with radioactive materials.

  13. It’s high time to quit being sad about these 2A gun deaths and get mad about it. An turn that anger toward change. I enjoy target shooting and hunting game but not so much that I will tolerate this consequence. It is time this stopped.

  14. Right on! The gun cult and its rabid supporters are a disgrace, a danger to everyone and certainly not what the constitution envisioned when it included “the right to keep and bear arms shall no be infringed”.

  15. Leaving a gun in a purse is stupid under any and all circumstances. The things in my purse are pushed around and pressed on every time my purse is moved and when I reach into it for something. Purses sometimes get dropped and that could trigger firing.

    This was an accident waiting to happen and it happened. The irony is that she probably carried a gun with her in order to keep herself and her family safe. Major fail.

  16. W. C. Peterson says:

    Andy Griffins’ character, Sheriff Andy Taylor on Mayberry RFD, had the right idea when he gave his deputy, Barney Fife, only one bullet. And he made ol’ Barney account for that one bullet every day. Let’s let the NRA push for a gun in every pocket if they want to, but restrict bullets to one per person and have that person account for that one bullet every day. Make replacement bullets cost a thousand dollars a piece (thanks to Chris Rock for that idea).

  17. I learned to shoot a rifle safely from the NRA. They have gone off the rail ever since 1950 or so when I appreciated what they did.

  18. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

    The Declaration of Independence should trump an amendment to the Constitution, don’t you think NRA? That is, when one interferes with the other.

  19. Sorry but I’m the heartless cruel one.
    In a positive light….
    She may have been a scientist but in live she was a double ended idiot of the highest caliber (pun intended).
    One… guns+kids=someone in trouble.
    two …. a non-secured gun in purse with kids = 2x stupid.
    three….a gun at all is stupid….do you know what you call a gun in a purse??? A really stupid club!!!

    So it seems that kids are better off, because she demoed that she is very STUPID with guns so it may have happened that the kids themselves would have eventually killed themselves or each other, better the stupid die rather then the innocent!!!

  20. In connection to this story….. the prize for the absolute dumbest question of the day…. goes to CNN……on-line.

    “When and how do parents educate children about guns?”

    With apologies to Momma…. in advance….

    O.K. a**holes…… you don’t “educate CHILDREN about guns. Educating the adults who buy them…. would be the place to start.

    You…as an adult owner of a gun are totally and completely responsible for the “gun” safety of everybody in your household. Don’t put it on your kids. It isn’t their responsibility….. at all.

    Sorry….. you don’t educate toddlers on gun safety. Parents are responsible for keeping their kids safe….. not the other way around. (end of rant.)


  21. Honestly, what do you think when you walk past a shopping cart that has some woman’s purse sitting in the upper rack? Not that she is a “trusting soul”, but that she is stupid. And this woman not only walked away from her purse, knowing the gun was in it: she walked away from her son. Unlike the gun and the other junk in her purse, her son can’t be replaced. Whatever is worse than a tragedy, this is it.

  22. I’m sick and tired of the NRA and its enablers. As far as I’m concerned the NRA is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. It’s past time for action. In my neck of the woods (East Tennessee) you never know who’s packing heat. These ammosexuals scare the crap out of me. I’ve said this to anyone who will listen. It’s hard to get shot if you’re never around guns. But when guns are around your chances of being shot go way up.

  23. Ann Richards lost both her campaign for re-election as Texas Governor and her fight for gun control in 1994. A reporter asked Richards why she didn’t want Texas women to be able to defend their virtue by carrying concealed guns in their purses.
    Richards is supposed to have replied “I don’t know a woman who could find a gun in her pocketbook fast enough to use anyway.”
    But all of us with children know they can find the exact item in Mom’s purse that you don’t want them to have.

  24. in texas a CC permit holder cannot lawfully carry a firearm in any business that sells alcohol. idaho?

  25. The really disturbing thing is that this woman was walking around with a chambered round. In a pistol. Rattling around in her purse. I don’t know if the gun was a revolver or a semi-auto, but she had to have had a round in the chamber. Because i don’t know any 2 year-olds that could chamber a semi-auto. Revolver, yeah. Maybe.

    But walking around with a chambered round in her purse? Come on. I’ve seen what goes on in women’s purses (nothing personal or sexist, but DAYUM ladies). It’s a wonder that gun didn’t go off by itself. Or perhaps it did; kid just looking for something in mom’s purse and gun goes off.

    And what in Santa’s name was she so afraid of that she needs to keep a chambered round in a gun in her purse? Really? Is the threat so substantial that she wouldn’t have the few seconds it takes to chamber a round or put in the clip?

  26. Mark J, rightwingers succeed by making people afraid– of criminals, of immigrants, of homosexuals, of the federal government, you name it. They’re happy when people are scared and look to them for leadership. One of the problems for the rest of us (besides these jackwagons getting voted into positions of power) is that some of their followers run around armed and dangerous or blow up the occasional government office building.

  27. Pollytiques says:

    I am so sorry to say this. I cannot help but think every time I see this kind of thing when the people responsible “goes” instead of the innocent. It is just “Thinning the turkey herd.”

  28. Guns make us safer? Yeah, tell that to all the DEAD victims of “accidental gun deaths.”

  29. Isn’t there something called a “safety” which is supposed to be on when the gun is not in use? In order to keep you “safe”?
    That family has been destroyed by a negligent act. Guns are too lethal to be taken for granted and John/Jane Q. Public is too negligent to be carrying them everywhere. Gun manufacturers
    have to bear responsibility (legal, financial) for this carnage.

  30. I can’t feel too sorry for these people. At least the kid didn’t kill a sibling which seems to be typical. But the “young” nuclear scientist shopping in Walmart with three of her kids story is some sort of stretch! Quite the achiever. Went to Pat Robertson U you betcha.

  31. Ray: YES. Been saying this. These aren’t “accidents”–these are negligent, careless acts.

  32. Marge Wood says:

    That poor baby.

  33. There is actually a difference between being smart and being intelligent. I bet she did have the IQ points necessary to do physics and such, but not the smarts when it came to survival. I pray that baby is too young to really recognize what he did and for God’s sake no one makes an issue of constantly telling this baby what he did as he grows up. He’s an infant for crying’ out loud. He has no moral agency. And I pray he will grow up with enough love and support and that he will eventually get past the stage of wondering where mommy went. But, hey, that’s just me.

  34. @maryelle
    Although I’m not sure what handgun was specifically involved in this negligent discharge, in general, revolvers don’t have safeties. I’m told there are new designed semi-automatics also that don’t have safeties.

    In the final analysis the adult human being who is in full control of the weapon IS the safety. And in this case the adult human being failed to control the weapon, with a fatal consequence.

  35. For a nuclear scientist, she wasn’t too damned smart, was she?

  36. Micr is correct I don’t know the brand but they now make pistols with the safety on the trigger so they can be shot faster, and go off on there own when put in something.

  37. Linda Phipps says:

    There has been much said in the intervening days about what a lovely women this mother was, not having a mean bone in her body, etc…It has also come out that she was a gun enthusiast. She would have to have been in denial about how potentially dangerous her hobby could be.

  38. She …not having a mean bone in her body, etc…
    What??? So only really nice friendly people carry guns???
    Carrying a gun points to she had to be mean about something.

    And where was the father in all this??? If there is one he aint too bright either.

  39. Mary in San Antonio says:

    maggie and Betty Adams, for an intelligent person, this mother really wasn’t too smart. But like some very intelligent people I know, she had very little common sense. Ya know, the kind that tells you not to carry a loaded gun in your purse. One of the very intelligent people I know would probably do the same thing simply because he had trouble doing the simplest things and would feel, “Well, I got it loaded this time and I might not be able to do it again.” He helped develop the trigger for the atom bomb but could not figure out how to light the pilot light on his furnace. No common sense whatsoever.

  40. Linda Phipps says:

    Plus, anyone who has kids – and purses – knows that when you can’t find your keys or your pen, hand the purse over to the child, he or she will find it in a heartbeat.

  41. This breaks my heart. And I’ve heard more than one claim that she was a “responsible” gun owner. There is so much wrong here I don’t know where to start.

  42. This story sickened me to my core.

  43. silly mamma says:

    What sickens me is that this little child could have killed another little child. I’m sorry but the mother brought it on herself, but a child could have died, and usually does.

  44. Ellen Childress says:

    I wonder how this would have played out if the child had killed someone besides his mother. Perhaps there would have been less support for the mother’s negligent handling of her personal firearm.
    I am ready for guns to be outlawed completely in this country . . . . completely ! Searched out. Confiscated. Destroyed. From the lowliest pellet gun to the largest nuclear missile. Until we have some mature adults to lead this nation and force the growing population of hooligans to live under laws that will control their lawless beliefs and actions,, there should be no firearms available to anyone at all. Not even the police and military. Too many people think a gun is the answer to all their problems, especially the problem of how insignificant, powerless, weak, stupid, and uncontrollable they are. The NRA is not the illness. It’s just a symptom of something much more invidious and evil that is creeping through our culture.

  45. @Biggomama:

    “the right to keep and bear arms shall no be infringed” is NOT the whole amendment. The whole thing reads: “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.”

    The NRA pays to absolutely NO attention whatsoever to that 1st phrase. I hear tell that writ large on the wall of the lobby of their headquarters, is just that 2nd phrase. Something that the NRA and their rabid followers seem to refuse to acknowledge is that that amendment was deemed necessary because at the time, the US had NO FRICKIN’ standing army. In case of attack, all of those guys who had jobs and businesses were to pick up their own personal weapons to come to the defense of the country. Of course since about all the NRA really is these days is the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers, they’ve made it their business to help sell as many guns as possible for their bosses. ;-}