The Myth of “Accidental” Shootings

Dear Editor:

Gun violence has become a daily topic of conversation for Americans. But even though the issue is so ubiquitous, there are still some fundamental misconceptions, including the the term “accidental shootings.” There is no such thing as an “accidental shooting”. Some shootings are unintentional, but none of them are accidents.

You can’t avoid accidents. If you’re driving, hit black ice, then hit another car, that’s an accident. If you hit a deer because it jumped right in front of you, that’s an accident. And because they’re unavoidable, we try to brush them off and say, “Accidents happen.” But 100 percent of unintentional shooting are completely avoidable.

Recently, a child in California was sitting in the back seat of a car, picked up an unsecured shotgun, and shot his mother through her seat. A few days ago, a 17-year old shot himself as he was playing with a gun with the safety off. In August, a man in Fair Lawn shot himself and his friend as he was showing off his loaded .380 special. These gruesome incidents were unintentional. But with proper handling and storage, they were absolutely avoidable.

If we want to start preventing unintentional shootings, we have to call them what they really are: a neglect of the responsibility that comes with our 2nd Amendment rights. They are tragic. They are horrific. And they are completely within our power to stop.

Eytan Stern Weber