Childrearing

Boy Killed by His Own Father in Tragic Shooting Accident at Gun Range

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gun2A Florida family celebrating the Fourth of July at the gun range is going through an unimaginable tragedy after accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old son.

According to CNN, William “Clayton” Brumby was at the High Noon Gun Range with three of his seven children this weekend. Brumby says he keeps guns in his home for self defense, and that he had each of his seven children learn to shoot and learn about gun safety. That seems reasonable. If a person is going to keep guns in the house, drilling all the children on gun safety would be a matter of extreme importance. Guns are for killing. You can’t have them in a house without making sure everyone is as responsible with them as one should be with a handheld machine designed for killing people or things.

“We wanted our kids to be aware of guns,” Brumby said to CNN. “I wanted them to be comfortable around them and understand them.”

That’s perfectly reasonable. If you’re going to have guns in the house, it makes sense to do what Brumby did and make sure the kids were aware and respectful of guns and gun safety. But even though Brumby would have called himself a responsible gun owner, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate the capacity for human error in any situation, and this weekend he screwed up with a gun in his hand, and he killed his own son.

CNN reports that Brumby was shooting a gun when a hot shell casing accidentally popped off and went down his shirt. Those things are burning hot, and Brumby rushed to fish it out. In his haste to handle the burning casing, he neglected one of the main rules of gun safety and was unaware where his gun was pointing. He accidentally pulled the trigger and shot his 14-year-old son, Stephen, who was standing behind him.

Stephen’s 24-year-old brother, David, and his 12-year-old sister were in the room when it happened.

“There was a freak breakdown in the personal safety of owning and operating a firearm that never should’ve happened,” said John Buchan, the owner of High Noon Gun Range, according to Buzzfeed. “I’m not trying to blame anybody, won’t place blame on anybody. All I can say is it was a freak thing, and our thoughts are with the family.”

Training and practice with guns can help prevent accidents, but it can’t eliminate them completely. Brumby was trained. He was training his own kids. And yet he had an accident, and now Stephen is dead, and that is a tragedy.

“It was a very freak accident. I made a mistake,” Brumby said to CNN. “It doesn’t take but a split second for something to go wrong and that could be (the case) with a gun, it could be with the wrong medicine, it could be with any number of things.”

Police say there are no charges currently pending against the father. This tragedy was an accident just as surely as if Brumby had slipped and dropped the gun, and i’s why gun safety is of paramount importance when dealing with weapons. Brumby seems to be doing his best to keep the blame off the gun, saying that he is the one who killed his son, not the gun, which is true. He killed his son because he got distracted with a gun in his hand and violated one of the first rules of gun safety.

Brumby says he still intends to keep guns in his home for “self-defense of his home and family.” But as he said himself, it doesn’t take more than a split second for something to go wrong, and when something goes wrong with a gun, the result can be tragedy. It was for Stephen, and for his whole family, including his father. His mother and siblings will have to live with his loss for the rest of their lives, and his father will spend the rest of his life knowing that he made a mistake and killed his own son. It’s a devastating loss for everyone involved, including the father.