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Accidental Wii Suicide

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  • Suicide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:01AM (#31437438)

    This is manslaughter. Whoever left a gun near a 3-year-old needs locking up.

    • Re:Suicide? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skgrey (1412883) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:11AM (#31437612)
      Absolutely. I am a conceal-carry holder and I have a number of handguns. I also have a one year-old and a seven year-old. I have an electronic safe which all my guns go in, as well as trigger locks. It's called being a responsible gun-owner.

      It's also called being a responsible parent, not only for the gun part, but for the Wii part. Who lets their three year-old play shooting games on the Wii? I have a Wii and Xbox360 and my seven year-old does not play violent games. Any games which have any possibility of bad content which he plays are played with me there. He's a damn smart kid but I want to reinforce the right ideas and right values in him.

      This father should be hung. Who leaves a loaded gun in the house, let alone on the table, let alone with kids in the house? And you know what? Kids like guns, even before video game consoles. Even if this kid wouldn't have played Wii she probably would have grabbed it.
      • Re:Suicide? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:15AM (#31437692) Homepage

        Absolutely. I am a conceal-carry holder and I have a number of handguns. I also have a one year-old and a seven year-old. I have an electronic safe which all my guns go in, as well as trigger locks. It's called being a responsible gun-owner.

        Glad to see some other people are...it's getting harder and harder to find people that take the extra steps necessary to keep things safe.

        This father should be hung. Who leaves a loaded gun in the house, let alone on the table, let alone with kids in the house? And you know what? Kids like guns, even before video game consoles. Even if this kid wouldn't have played Wii she probably would have grabbed it.

        Not just loaded, but with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked back. Unless someone wants to try to convince me that a three year old had the knowledge and strength to pull the hammer back...

        • Re:Suicide? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by skgrey (1412883) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:25AM (#31437896)
          It's fairly common to chamber a round when you are carrying, especially concealed. I don't carry with a round in the chamber, as it too dangerous and too easy to snag the trigger and shoot yourself. Many current gen guns have a "palm safety" where you have to be gripping the gun correctly, which applies force to a pressure pad on the back of the grip and allows the trigger to be depressed into the firing position. Still though, too risky in my mind.

          My best educated guess is that what happened was that the little girl was holding the gun upside-down and looking down the barrel, with her thumb looped through the trigger. Basically imagine holding a gun where the barrel is directly up in the air, and you've got your thumb against the trigger and are holding the bottom of the grip with your fingers wrapped around it. She squeezed to hold it tight, as it natural to do in that position, and shot herself. I've read a few cases of this position in holding the gun causing this accident. It's absolutely terrible.
      • Re:Suicide? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ircmaxell (1117387) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:23AM (#31437852) Homepage
        Not to mention the fact that if guns are in the household (even if locked up) the kids need to be educated about them. Even if so much as "Don't ever touch them without my direct supervision". And I do think a 3 year old is old enough to be taught that. They may not understand it, but they are old enough to understand consequences. I honestly wonder how many of the child gun deaths are due to the child either being completely unaware that the parent owned one (and hence "found" it and thought it was cool) or wasn't taught anything about it (and hence had no idea about proper safety). My father owned guns when I was growing up. He taught me from day one never to touch them unless he was there with his permission. He taught me never to point a gun at something unless I planned on killing it (It's so ingrained in me, I refuse to play paintball because of it). And he did this while I was REALLY young. Sure, firearms are dangerous. But so are stoves and stairs. I would find it very odd if parents never taught a 3 year old that the stove was hot, or to respect stairs (so they don't fall down). I find it equally odd if parents never taught a 3 year old about simple gun safety if there was a chance that the child would come into contact with a gun. It doesn't matter if it is loaded or not, since all guns are loaded until proven otherwise (And even then, treat them as if they were)...

        And I agree 100% that the father should have the book thrown at him. There's no excuse for an accident like this...
        • Re:Suicide? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:27AM (#31437938)

          Not to mention the fact that if guns are in the household (even if locked up) the kids need to be educated about them.

          That requires parenting, and that's far too much work for most people it seems. They would rather use a scapegoat like the Wii, violent videogames, and music instead of taking responsibility for their actions.

          It's a horrible situation where someone innocent lost their life, but it's even worse when justice isn't made.

          The law should have gray areas, but there's nothing that should keep this man from facing some charge, even if it is to remove his second amendment rights.

        • Re:Suicide? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Richy_T (111409) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:52PM (#31439730) Homepage

          Even if guns aren't in the household, kids need to be educated about them. A fair chunk of the incidents that occur are when kids visit friends houses which do have guns and don't know how to properly behave if they come across them.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:01AM (#31437440) Journal
    I am so sorry for the Cronberger's loss of their three year old daughter. What a horrible tragedy.

    But the fact that there are no charges being pressed enrages me. The article says:

    Law Enforcement: If You're a Gun Owner, You Have to Be Responsible

    Or what? Someone will shake their finger at you?

    Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan was a victim of either neglect, ignorance or willful intent of her stepfather. Which one, no one can ever be sure of. Regardless of the circumstances he improperly stored a loaded handgun in his home in reach of a three year old.

    Saying "terrible lapse of judgment" and "be responsible next time" isn't enough for me. This man should be charged with child endangerment so that people take their Second Amendment Rights seriously and responsibly should they choose to exercise them.

    Were I a prosecutor, I would push for the jury to see that going through the trouble to find a toy (not regularly distributed commercially here) for your child identical to the loaded handgun that you "happened" to leave on the table one evening is more than suspicious.

    If you have children, invest in a home security system before a handgun, folks.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:11AM (#31437610) Homepage Journal

      But the fact that there are no charges being pressed enrages me.

      Are you a parent? There's absolutely NOTHING they could do to the guy that would be worse than losing a child. I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up comitting suicide intentionally, with the same gun. I can't imagine how much this guy's hurting right now.

      I'd also betting his marriage is over. Yes, charges of child endangerment could be filed, but no punishment is going to change anything; no punishment that state can inflict will come close to what he's done to himself.

      • by outlander78 (527836) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:17AM (#31437714)

        But the fact that there are no charges being pressed enrages me.

        Are you a parent? There's absolutely NOTHING they could do to the guy that would be worse than losing a child. I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up comitting suicide intentionally, with the same gun. I can't imagine how much this guy's hurting right now.

        I'd also betting his marriage is over. Yes, charges of child endangerment could be filed, but no punishment is going to change anything; no punishment that state can inflict will come close to what he's done to himself.

        I am a parent, and my eyes tear up thinking about a child dying, mine or one I've never met - they are all tragedies. However, in this case the *stepfather* left a gun around that killed a child that wasn't his. He may or may not be suffering, and it should be investigated.

      • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:31AM (#31438016)
        Link to an appropriate story: [washingtonpost.com] the "crime" is somewhat different (I consider it a more excusable crime than leaving a loaded gun lying around), but it's still a case of memory failure, and the fact remains that any accidental death tends to punish the parents incredibly severely; they aren't about to do this again just because they weren't punished the first time.
    • by thue (121682) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:13AM (#31437652) Homepage

      This is not what law is for.

      The parents have been punished enough by the natural consequences of their own actions. What purpose could it possibly have to add an artificial punishment on top of that?

    • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:25AM (#31437898) Journal

      Were I a prosecutor, I would push for the jury to see that going through the trouble to find a toy (not regularly distributed commercially here) for your child identical to the loaded handgun that you "happened" to leave on the table one evening is more than suspicious.

      Yeah. A stepfather wanting to get rid of his/her stepson or stepdaughter isn't exactly unheard of.

    • by qoncept (599709) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:27AM (#31437944) Homepage

      Law Enforcement: If You're a Gun Owner, You Have to Be Responsible

      Or what? Someone will shake their finger at you?

      Or your daughter might accidentally shoot herself. If punishment is intended to deter or rehabilitate you, what more do you think they really need? Any punishment now would just be for the sake of making these people pay.

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:02AM (#31437442)

    Did a dog pop up from behind the bushes and chuckle afterwards?

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:15AM (#31437690) Homepage
      You are so going to hell for that comment...And I hate you for making me laugh....now I'm going with you.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:02AM (#31437450) Homepage

    Why is the Wii controller even mentioned in this freakin' story? The kid shot themselves with a loaded gun left laying around by the parent. This has nothing to do with the Wii, and everything to do with some dumbfuck leaving a loaded gun laying around with a three year old in the house. I don't care what you child does for fun, leaving a loaded gun all willy-nilly where the child can reach it is the height of responsibility.

    We don't need gun control, we need idiot control.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by reiver102 (1667945)
      The Wii is relevant because the kid thought she was going for a control...while it is the parents' responsibility to keep dangerous weapons away from children, it is also understandable that a 3-year old would not know how to differentiate between a real gun and a fake one that looks similar. Sadly, it was two problems that combined to make this tragedy possible. In this case, impossible to blame one without blaming the other, but in the end, blame is pointless, as it won't bring their child back.
  • by amaupin (721551) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:03AM (#31437474) Homepage
    Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan was a girl. Perhaps reading the story, Taco, might have been useful?
  • Suicide, my ass! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rurik (113882) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:06AM (#31437518)

    WTF is wrong with you submitter? This is negligent homicide by the family. They left a loaded, cocked, pistol on a table where a three year old can get it. A three year old does not have a concept of life and death, and does not commit suicide. By throwing around the S-word you're taking the blame off the people it truly belongs to: the parents. People who cannot treat firearms with the respect they deserve should not have them.

    Already the news is making an issue out of the fact that it's a Wii-related death. It's not. It's a loaded gun left out in the open. It doesn't matter if the Wii gun "looked" real, it wasn't. You can have a real, pink, Hello Kitty revolver there. It doesn't matter. A loaded and cocked gun was left where a curious child can get it.

    • Re:Suicide, my ass! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kingrames (858416) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:18AM (#31437738)
      I'd also like to ask: Aren't real pistols much much heavier than fake ones? as grim as it may seem, they're leaving out a lot of details on how she was shot. Did the trigger get pulled while it was resting on the table? Was she injured by the kick of the pistol? Did she literally pick up the gun and point it at herself? Some of the possible scenarios incriminate the parents more than others, for certain.
      • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:35AM (#31438148)

        All of them incriminate the parents equally. There are a few common sense rules of gun safety which get violated far too often. Obeying them religiously is a good idea. For anyone unfamiliar, here are the utter basics:

        1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded - especially if you are certain that it isn't ("unloaded" guns accidentally kill more people than the loaded kind)
        2. When handed a gun, double-check that there is not a round in the chamber by visual inspection of the chamber - even if the person who handed it to you had just done that in your presence
        3. Never leave a loaded gun sitting out unattended, even for 30 seconds and even if you live alone (it's far better to be in the right habit than the wrong one and forget yourself when you have company or children around)
        4. Never point a gun's muzzle at anything you do not intend to shoot - for living beings, at least 45 degrees away, and this rule applies even after you've verified the gun is unloaded

        I don't know how a 3-year-old girl was able to shoot herself. But there are many, many types of pistols on the market, some of which are not much heavier than a Wii controller even when they're loaded, particularly those chambered for .22 Long Rifle cartridges. The real point is that it doesn't matter what kind of gun it was or how a 3-year-old was able to mistake it for a Wii controller (which itself is mostly speculation since, had there been any witnesses to the kid's supposed mistaken thought process, you'd think they would have stopped her from playing with a loaded gun at some point before she shot herself). What does matter is that a child is dead because someone didn't follow the most basic rules of gun safety.

  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:08AM (#31437572)

    Do you have to be to leave your gun out with people in your home, let alone a child? Dad wasn't allowed to do anything upon entering our home after work, not even take off his shoes or coat, until he walked straight to the safe and put his gun away. If he ever forgot, Mom would have kicked his ass out of the house faster than you can say First Post!

  • Typical /. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hargrand (1301911) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:09AM (#31437582)

    It's good to see that the /. editorial bias is still very much well and truly alive. What's the point of this story (especially posted under games?) if it isn't to exploit one family's tragedy to promote the political ideology of the /. gatekeepers? I guess common decency and good taste are not among their core competencies.

  • by Patrick Manderson (1403265) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:10AM (#31437586)

    First of all, this wasn't an "accidental suicide", it was an accidental death.

    Second of all, putting "wii" in the title is highly misleading and is typical of today's media which is more interested in tabloid journalism, trying to grab everyones attention by assuming all your readers are more responsitive to these kind of headlines.

    My respect for Slashdot just went down a few.

  • by imag0 (605684) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:13AM (#31437658) Homepage

    Really? A toddler pulling the trigger of a .380? A toddler?

    I smell bullshit.

    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:34AM (#31438092) Homepage Journal

      Really? A toddler pulling the trigger of a .380? A toddler?

      I smell bullshit.

      Good point!

      AFAIK, S&W only makes one .380, the Sigma 380 [wikipedia.org]. This gun has no manual safety, instead it's a double action-only pistol with a long, heavy trigger pull. An eight to ten pound trigger pull. It's hard to believe that a toddler could have managed that.

  • by mary_will_grow (466638) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:20AM (#31437780)

    ... But you have to read the article to see "Smith and Wesson". Unreal.

    I can see where the conversation gets muddy when someone commits a violent act after playing violent video games. Not saying anything about that beyond that its at least an interesting topic. But when a TODDLER finds a LOADED GUN ON A COFFEE TABLE and SHOOTS HERSELF WITH IT are we really going to try to blame it on VIDEO GAMES?!?!?!

  • Suspicious Death (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoTerrified (660807) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:32AM (#31438048)

    I'm with the crew that says this doesn't add up.
    1) Stepfather goes out of his way to buy obscure Wii controller that looks like the handgun he owns
    2) Stepfather leaves loaded gun on coffee table in the living room, presumably where the Wii controllers sit. (Not in the bedroom, not on a shelf, etc. Even if he's lazy, you would probably leave a loaded gun somewhere other than your living room.)
    3) Stepfather leaves the gun on the coffee table with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked. (This is important because a 3 year old probably wouldn't have the strength to overcome the hammer action and pull the trigger otherwise.)

    Too many "coincidences" here. That's all I'm saying.

  • by swb (14022) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:35AM (#31438128)

    Let's get this out of our systems: The parents were horribly irresponsible and deserve to be charged with some kind of crime. In most states (including mine) it is a felony to leave a weapon where a minor can gain access to it.

    That being said, as a responsible gun owner, I don't like my son to have guns as toys. Toy guns are safe. Toy guns never hurt anybody. Toy guns teach every bad habit that gun safety teaches you not to do. Kids literally think guns are toys and can be handled cavalierly.

    From the time he could talk I have drilled my son that when he sees a gun, what does he do? "Run away and tell a grown up." What if your friend wants to pick it up? "Run away and tell a grown up." What if your friend has it first and wants to show you? "Run away and tell a grown up."

  • Just read the story (Score:5, Informative)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:45AM (#31438358)
    It took me a few seconds to figure out which was the controller. A picture of the controller, and the model pistol the father owns [abcnews.com] Granted I'm from the UK and have never seen a gun like that up close, but the realism of that unit is scary.

    The dad was an idiot, though. I don't see him recovering. As for it being accidental? I couldn't speculate, but to all of the people saying that a kid couldn't pull the trigger... Kids have two hands, remember?
  • by moxley (895517) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @11:56AM (#31438640)

    This man makes a horrible mistake that will likely haunt him and his family forever, and all some of the people here can say is "I'm upset that he hasn't been charged," or "he should be locked up."

    Because that's the solution here...For the state to lock the guy up. Yeah, because incarceration has worked so well to fix all of the problems in our utopia called America.

    As if jail time going to bring the girl back, or undo what happened.

    It was a horrible accident, and yeah, as a gun owner the man should have known better - but accidents happen. People forget to follow proper procedure on occasion, and on this occasion that error led to this accident.

    Trust me, if there was anything fishy about this situation or about this guy they would have him locked up.

    The parents should be left alone. The LAST thing they need is for the state lock them up after something like this happens - there is no worse punishment than what they are already going through.

    Then I am sure we'll have the usual crowd ready to throw all of our rights under the bus with the tired, old, ridiculous "let's ban guns" argument - you know, because criminals that are ready to kill or rob or break every law inm the book will definitely decide to obey a new gun law because.......because why?

    The only thing that I would hope for out of all of this is that it serves as a sobering reminder how very important safety and following procedure is when you are dealing with any tool that has the capacity to kill or maim (firearms, vehicles, power tools, electricity, etc)...

    In addition to firearms safety, this is as much about home safety and "childproofing" as it is anything else.

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