Monday, March 29, 2004

The Evil that Lurks Under the Couch...
Via the Detroit Free Press this morning:

DETROIT (AP) -- A 1-year-old girl was shot and killed early Sunday in what police called the careless handling of a shotgun by the child's caretaker.

The child's family identified her as Dai'Janell Clark, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The 46-year-old woman was cleaning her house when she found a shotgun under a couch, Detroit police Sgt. Eren Stephens said. She pulled out the gun and leaned it up against a wall.

The woman told police she wanted to see if the gun was loaded, so she racked it, Stephens said. But her finger was on the trigger, and the gun went off, hitting the sleeping toddler.

"Right now we really don't know what happened, but her finger was on the trigger," Stephens said. "At this time it seems more of a careless handling of the gun."

Police said three other children were home at the time: Dai'Jannell's twin sister, their three-month old brother and a 10-year-old girl. Police said Dai'Jannell's mother, LaDonna Lenoir, 17, was not home at the time

It was not clear who the gun belonged to, or how it ended up underneath the couch, she said.

The woman was taken in for questioning, and the results of the police investigation were to be forwarded to prosecutors for review, Stephens said.

Now I don't know about you, but I have found spare change, half-eaten pototo chips, my dog and dustbunnies under my couch, but never a loaded shotgun. My curiosity about potentially loaded weapons was never so great that I would point them at a sleeping infant while attempting to ascertain their status vis-a-vis ammunition.

Little Dai'Jannell will become yet another statistic about the dangers of having guns in your home. What will never enter the picture is the fact that there was irresponsibility and stupidity in the handling of that gun all the way down the line: it was left loaded, under a couch and eventually wound up in the hands of someone who knew how to handle it (although improperly).

Left to it's own devices, that shotgun would never have killed Dai'Jannell. It would have stayed under that couch (where it didn't belong in the first place) and collected dust, just waiting for the right sort of idiot to do something stupid with it, proving once again, that guns don't kill people, but that stupid people kill people.

I smell a Jason Williams defense in the offing.

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