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A five year old boy here in Kentucky accidentally shot and killed his two year old sister with a rifle he was given as a gift. The weapon had been left in the corner of the room and, unbeknownst to his mother, it was loaded. She walked out of the house for a few seconds, and when she came back inside, her daughter was dead and her life was ruined. Tragic. Awful. Incomprehensible.

Obviously the rifle shouldn’t have been left out like that, obviously it shouldn’t have had a shell in it, and obviously the kid shouldn’t have been unsupervised in the vicinity of it for even five seconds. Obviously. It was an accident. A mistake. A horrible oversight. The mother will never be the same, her daughter is dead, and her son will have to live with this for the rest of his life. Is there any need to pile on? Is it really necessary to stand on the rubble of their shattered existence and shout “I told ya so”, with a smug tone and a victorious grin?

No. In fact, that’s not just inappropriate. It’s not just gross. It’s evil. Plain and simple. Yet that hasn’t stopped many people. The national media has picked up the story, liberal blogs are running with it, and Internet commenters are using this as a platform for everything from gun control rhetoric to good ol’ fashioned anti-southern bigotry. One sample comment I saw on a left wing website: “Well, at least now there’s one less redneck in the world”. I’ve seen many folks calling for prosecution of the mother. Because she is burying her daughter this week, and it’s necessary to follow that up by throwing a grieving woman in jail, apparently.

Listen, lynch mob, this has nothing to do with gun control, or the south, or Republicans, or the court system, or whatever other bull crap political obsession you harbor in that shallow, petty mind of yours. It’s simply an accident. It highlights the need for gun SAFETY and DISCIPLINE, but I don’t think that even needs to be said. Not every fatal event in the country needs to be a freaking chess piece in this national game of rhetoric and propaganda.

Besides, accidents claim the lives of thousands of children every year. A tiny fraction of them are killed by guns. Your kid is FAR MORE likely to die from a car accident, drowning, choking, fires, falls and poisoning. You know all those unnecessary medications in your medicine cabinet? They’re all more likely to kill your child than the gun in your bedroom. The cord hanging from the blinds in your window is more likely to cause a fatal accident. The cleaning chemicals under the sink are tragedies waiting to happen. For all this talk about how a gun “isn’t necessary” and how it’s “an undue risk”, I can’t help but wonder about all the people who use poison to clean the tub and keep a bottle of synthetic heroin in the bathroom for their back pain. That stuff isn’t necessary, far from it, and they kill more children, accidentally, than firearms.

But we don’t talk about that, do we?

No, we just wait for a gun-related tragedy to strike so we can pounce like a bunch of soulless vindictive vultures.