No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Boy, 3, finds gun, kills self

This was an article I read in my Philly Inquirer this morning. It details the death of a Philadelphia toddler over the weekend when he had access to the loaded gun of his mother's boyfriend.

Here is the article in its entirety. It's fairly small, like the victim:

Boy, 3, finds gun, kills self

By Joel Bewley
Inquirer Staff Writer

Residents of West Raymond Street rushed outside yesterday afternoon after hearing a single gunshot. But the one-way street in the city's Feltonville section was quiet, until LaWanda Bailey burst out of her boyfriend's rowhouse onto the porch.

"My baby's dead, my baby's dead," she screamed in anguish. "He shot himself."

Moments earlier, Tylib Bailey-Hankerson, 3, better known as TaTa, had picked up a .45-caliber Glock handgun he found in the bedroom and pointed it at his head before squeezing the trigger, city police said.

"He was lovable, fun - anything good you could name, he was," sobbed Courtney Fleet, 17, a good friend of Bailey, 27. "Why would you have a loaded gun in the house with kids around?"

Police said the boyfriend, who was not identified, legally owned the gun. The shooting is believed to have been accidental, but the investigation is continuing and the prosecutor's office will determine whether any charges are filed, said homicide detectives, who took Bailey and her boyfriend downtown to be questioned.

Neighbors said the boyfriend lived at the house in the 400 block of Raymond Street with his young son and daughter.

Bailey and her two sons lived across the street, said neighbors, who feared the worst when they saw medics carrying the toddler into the ambulance.

"He was wrapped in a blanket, but I could see the wound," Bonnie DeVine said. "It didn't look too good."

The call to police was made just before 1 p.m. TaTa was pronounced dead at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children about a half hour later.

Four people were in the house at the time of the shooting, police said: TaTa, his older brother, 9; his mother; and the mother's boyfriend, police said.

The gun was in the bedroom on a piece of furniture next to the bed, Capt. Ray Convery said. Depending on the model, a .45-caliber Glock semiautomatic handgun can weigh nearly two pounds when fully loaded.

The older brother saw his sibling pull the trigger, said Fleet, who said she talked to him after the shooting.

"He was really upset," she said. "He's not doing too well."

Fleet was the first to talk to Bailey after she came out of the house.

"She said TaTa had shot himself in the face," Fleet said. "He was such a beautiful kid. This just doesn't make sense."

The paragraph which caught my eye most was this one:
"The shooting is believed to have been accidental, but the investigation is continuing and the prosecutor's office will determine whether any charges are filed, said homicide detectives, who took Bailey and her boyfriend downtown to be questioned."
Why is it that there are not charges filed? How many children will die before we get some sensible legislation about guns. How about we start with this one...gun owners have a legal obligation to, when there are children in the house, either have the gun locked up or have child safety features on the weapon and engaged whenever children are in the home.

We legislate all sorts of other "common sense" safety belts, motorcycle helmets (in some states), bike helmet use by youngsters, "wipers on / headlights on." Why shouldn't we create a rule to make adult gun owners responsible to make sure any children who could possibly come across a gun in the home be unable to gain access to or fire the weapon.

How many more toddlers and kids have to be killed in this way before there is some sensible behavior? And if we can't get that behavior voluntarily, then let's make it the law. Or is it not so important if the majority of kids being killed this way are poor people of color in downtrodden cities? You've got to wonder...

tags: children / gun accidents / gun control / guns / gun safety


Blogger Yvonne said...

Is it horrible of me to read this and be so fucking glad that Aussies take a much tougher stance on gun control?

I cannot and do not want to imagine that poor mother's pain and anguish. Nor do I want to consider the horrendous mental scarring and anguish for the elder brother who saw it happen.

The boyfriend should be charged with manslaughter at minimum as far as I am concerned. What kind of fucking idiot leave a LOADED gunwhere a bubby can reach it?

See, that's the problem. It's not the guns that kill people it's the ammo. STOP SELLING BULLETS! Then guns wont be anywhere near as much fun and maybe a few lives MIGHT be saved.

Seriously, someone needs to boot Bush out and vote in someone who actually has something more than air between their ears.

Now I am off to go cry quietly for a while. Poor bloody kid.

17/10/06 7:25 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I like the idea of banning bullets. Only cops could get them regularly. Hunters could only get them for their hunting trips, log the ones they use and return the ones they don't.

"Vote 'no' to ammo!" Sounds like a campaign slogan to me!

Sorry I made you cry. I hope I affect some Americans in that way and maybe we'll get a Congress that can actually get something done...or at least make Bush use his veto power and show the whole world his true mettle, not just the good ol' boy face he likes to present.


17/10/06 10:16 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

HA! I knew my husband had a soft side in there SOMEWHERE! And thanks to you Cher... I found it last night. I sat looking at my screen for ages, crying silent tears for the loss of yet another small child. I don't like the idea of anyone dying unless it is peaceful and in the arms of their loved ones.

But kids? Nup. Whacks me in the guts everytime! No matter what, I'll cry. I can't help it and I don't want to. I like the fact I am not ashamed to cry for someone I never knew. It shows me my heart and soul and goodness have not DESERTED me entirely.

And Justin loked around after a few minutes and asked "Honey, what's wrong? Why are you crying?" I shook my head and tried to speak past the concrete slab lodged in my throat. I pointed at my screen. He read slowly and I watched the eyes of the man I love mist over.

He just earnt a gazillion brownie points. Not 10 minutes later I caught him sneaking into the kids room, watching them sleep, tucking them in, kissing them and telling them he would never let anything happen to his special boys.

Yep, everytime I am ready to kill him, he does something like that to me.

Love Yvonne

17/10/06 6:08 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

grrrrrrrrrrrr looked not loked.

17/10/06 6:10 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Awww, he's a good egg, as much as he tries to be a shit sometimes. His core's decent, just got to peel through all the outer layers to get there!

xoxox to both of you...hell, all of you!

17/10/06 11:13 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I am not so sure about the egg part. Eggs are kinda smelly... then again it is an apt description LOL.

I think an onion would be better. Just cause of all the tears I cry as I peel off yet another layer :)

Love Yvonne aka comment fiend today

18/10/06 1:07 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

"I think an onion would be better. Just cause of all the tears I cry as I peel off yet another layer :)"

Awwww, that's so sweet, Von! And you can be my comment, or any other sort of friend, any time!


18/10/06 9:20 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Lol That wasnt a typo Cher. I meant it to say fiend, not freind. Maybee ahm spellink it wronk? PMSL

Ok maybe not so funny. But I got nho sleep last night and am BOMBED off my tits on pain meds.

Lalalalalalalalalalalala and I'm trusted with a small child?

LOL, I know you are smiling :)

Love Yvonne

19/10/06 6:20 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Why don't you ship Ayden up here for a while, Von? He can play with Bren.'d never let anything happen to your kids, no matter how stoned you were. Your Mom adrenaline would kick in and you'd swing into immediate Dragon Mum mode.


20/10/06 11:03 PM  

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