A 3-year-old boy has died after shooting himself in a Tampa, Florida apartment Tuesday. Jadarrius Speights reportedly found the weapon in his uncle's backpack. While investigation is still underway, this event serves as yet more collateral to serve in the growing gun control debate in the U.S. The boy's tragic death sheds light on the seriously flawed state of American parenting today.
The young Speights fired a 9-millimeter handgun and eventually died after being brought to a nearby hospital. Authorities arrested the uncle in question, identified as Jeffrey D. Walker, 29. Walker has since been charged with culpable negligence. Police assured the public that Walker had a concealed weapons permit and that he was not in the room when Speights fatally shot himself. However now that news has broke of this tragedy, the finger can't help but be pointed at Walker.
This story comes on the heels of other gun-related tragedies involving children. Just over the weekend, a 13-year-old Florida boy shot his 6-year-old sister after finding a handgun in their home. Both children were left home alone at the time. On April 30, a 5-year-old Kentucky boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister. The toddler used a .22-caliber rifle that he received as a gift: yes, a gift. The fact that each of these cases involve guns just adds fuel to the fire in a time where the national conversation is dominated by the gun control debate. However, all of these tragedies shed light on a whole other issue entirely, in that there are serious flaws in parenting in American society.
As for Walker, keeping a handgun is such close proximity to a 3-year-old is absolutely absurd. The reality is that his simple negligence cost this child his life and the tragedy will have to remain on his conscience. Hearing these stories is not only upsetting, but makes someone question their faith in parenting. For instance, how is it justifiable to give a five-year-old child a gun as a gift? As this case develops, everyone will be looking for someone to blame, and Walker will have to take the heat for his nephew's death.