Tragic Handgun Accident in Ward 2
As you can read here, a Second Ward two-year-old named Neejnco Xiong was accidentally shot to death yesterday by his four-year-old brother.
I cannot begin to express how tragic this is and how devasting it must be the child's family. My thoughts and prayers go out to them all.
Let's commit ourselves to make sure this kind of tragedy is not repeated again.
It seems that this child's father brought a handgun into his home for "personal protection." It sounds like the gun was stored loaded and unlocked, which Minneapolis Police were right to point out is against state law.
There is a vigil for Neenjco this Saturday, December 8th, at 3:00 pm on the 1900 block of South 7th Street.
There is some question as to whether the gun owner was told in his gun safety training that he could store the weapon in this loaded and unlocked state. Protect Minnesota is calling for an investigation by Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman into whether the gun safety training was conducted properly. They have a letter online that concerned people can sign to join this call.
I am convinced by the evidence I have seen from, among other sources, the Harvard School of Public Health, that handguns are simply not safe to have in our society. More handguns mean more deaths of children - whether accidental, suicide or homicide. Handguns are rarely used by law-abiding for self-defense. Having a handgun in one's house increases the chances of suicide, homicide, accidental death, and does not meaningfully increase one's safety from outside threats. A handgun does not increase your safety, it puts you and your family at risk.
If you have a handgun in your home, please consider getting rid of it - especially if there are children in the home. The police are available to take and properly dispose of handguns. To turn on in please call 311. If you decide to keep it, please follow the law and store it unloaded (no rounds in the chamber or the magazine, and bullets stored separately from the weapon) and locked.
One child's tragic handgun-related death is too many. Unfortunately, in Minneapolis and around the country, these deaths - whether accidental, self-inflicted or homicide - are all too common. We have to change this.