Cliff Edwards, 17, of St. Louis is charged with Manslaughter after he put a gun to his friend’s head and pulled the trigger. He claims it was accidental.
Edwards told police that he “did not believe the firearm would discharge without the magazine inserted.”
17 year-old Edward Hatcher was the victim. Hatcher died at the scene (his friend’s apartment).
The two teens were friends and officers didn’t know why he pointed the gun at his friend’s head.
There are numerous lessons to be learned here about gun safety.
Let’s go out on a limb here and assume the killing was accidental as the kid has stated. After all, he did shoot his friend in his apartment in the middle of the afternoon with no magazine in the gun.
A kid without proper gun safety knowledge had access to a gun.
This is why the accident happened, plain and simple. If your weapon is not on your person, it should be locked away.
You do not want your firearm to be the cause of a senseless death.
I’m not opposed to granting access to a firearm to a responsible teenager. It can save lives in a home invasion situation.
The keyword here is responsible teenager.
This teen obviously violated numerous gun safety rules.
Let’s look at some of them:
The teen didn’t assume all guns are always loaded.
If he operated the pistol with this assumption, he wouldn’t have pointed it at his friend’s head.
The teen pointed a gun at his friend.
You should never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
The teen had no concept of the pistol firing the bullet that was already in the chamber.
Maybe he thought the pistol had a magazine disconnect safety, maybe he thought the bullet being fired had to leave the magazine at the time of the trigger pull.
Either way, he doesn’t know enough about pistols to handle one safely.
Teach Your Kids Gun Safety!
If a teenager lives in your home, he/she is either responsible or they’re not. If they aren’t, there should be no situation in which they could possibly get their hands on your firearm.
If they are responsible, teach them the basics of gun safety! If someone had taken the time to take this kid to the gun range at least one time, his friend would still be alive.
In conclusion, teach your kids gun safety!
Do you trust your teenager with access to your firearms?
Let us know in the comments below.