12-year-old boy shoots his 9-year-old sister while mom takes a shower

GunIt happened again. This time in Newark, New Jersey. A 12-year-old boy found a loaded gun at home and accidentally shot his 9-year-old sister in the chest. The little girl is now in critical condition at University Hospital. The mom, who was taking a shower when the shooting happened, is devastated. As the mother of three children similar in age as those poor kids in the news, I just cannot imagine what it must feel like to have one of your young kids shot by a sibling. And then I can't help but wonder how the boy got ahold of a loaded gun? Wait until you read the whole story and perhaps you'll be as upset as I am about it.

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The details are still a little sketchy, but it's pretty much the same scenario as all the other stories about kids who find a loaded gun and shoot a sibling. From what witnesses say, the mom is a nice person. She takes good care of her kids. But from the looks of it she has a boyfriend who just happened to leave his 9mm handgun in the house, loaded, and unsecured. Now a little girl is fighting for her life, her brother is riddled with guilt and a mother is heartbroken. 

The girl's 12-year-old brother found the gun and capped the poor little girl by accident. He was just playing around with it. The mom was in the shower at the time. Now, the girl's mother, 33-year-old Catrease Thomas, has been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a weapon. It appears the gun was stolen in Alabama. The police are also expecting to charge Thomas' boyfriend. Of course I'm angry at the boyfriend for leaving a firearm lying around the house. But I'm angrier at the mom for allowing this to happen! What is she doing with a boyfriend who has a stolen handgun that is casually left lying around for little kids to play with? I was once a single mom too and boy was I careful about who I let into my kids' lives! 

Look, a study conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety says two kids die every week from accidental shooing by another kid. Between Dec. 14, 2012 and Dec. 12, 2013, one hundred children died from unintentional gunshot wounds. And in most cases the shooter was another child. Hello? When are we going to wake up to these facts?

These stories, the statistics, are heartbreaking. Not just for the victims who lose their life, but how would you feel if you were an 11 or 12-year-old who shot his sibling to death? That would mark anyone for life. And it happens way too often! In my eyes, once is already too often.

Despite the fact that the National Rifle Association's lobbying claims that criminals who mishandle firearms are responsible for most fatal gun shot accidents (as opposed to law-abiding gun owners), a recent New York Times article found that the majority of cases of children being shot to death involved a child's access to firearms. Turns out the shootings are usually either self-inflicted or done by another child.

Meanwhile in Newark, yet another mother is living a nightmare. Her 9-year-old daughter is hanging on to life by a thread. The mom herself will likely go to jail. And who will take care of the kids? On top of that, her 12-year-old son is probably freaking out. Psychologically, he will never be the same. Neither will anyone in that family. Me, I'm not allowing guns in the house, even less so loaded, unsecured guns. We moms have enough wories concerning our kids as it is.

My heart goes out to this family, and especially the little kids, who are certainly not to blame. As far as I'm concerned they're both victims of the negligence of the adults in their lives. 

Image via Corbis

Topics: accident  arrest  bad parenting  shooting  siblings  array