Last month, the 10-year-old daughter of a Spokane, Washington police officer unintentionally shot herself with her father's service weapon. Prosecutors have announced that they will not file charges against the officer.
According to reports: It was Easter Sunday and officer Barry O'Connell cleaned his gun and then left it, loaded and unlocked, on the dresser in his bedroom. After dinner, his 10-year-old daughter went upstairs with her friend. They went into the bedroom so they could look out the window to try and see where the Easter eggs were hidden. The girl began to play with the gun and unintentionally discharged the gun, shooting herself in the leg. The girl was hospitalized and released a few days later.
O'Connell told prosecutors that the children "had been taught about gun safety and the dangers of guns" and that the parents' bedroom was off limits. That's why prosecutors concluded, "By all study and legal review, this is an accidental shooting. It may rise to the level of negligence, but does not constitute chargeable criminal conduct under these facts."
By teaching children about the dangers of guns and then leaving a loaded, unlocked gun on top of a dresser you are putting the responsibility for gun safety on children instead of adults, where it belongs.