Two Utah Children Two Tragedies

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There were two more tragedies this week in Northern Utah involving young children.  A three year old girl shot and killed her 2 year old brother with a rifle that their father had left in the living room.  (news article) The family living room was transformed in an instant into a dying room.  It was clearly an accident, but the parents and especially this young girl will carry this trauma inside them for the rest of their lives.

A couple of days later, another child was run over in his own driveway by a relative who did not see him behind the car.  (news article).  The boy was apparently playing with other children in his front yard.

I do not want to bring more grief to the parents of either of these two children, but “accidents” like these two happen almost every week around here.  They are preventable. If parents have guns in their homes they need to keep them under lock and key, not sometimes, but all the time.  Don’t let your kids play in the front yard until they are at least school age.  If you don’t have a fenced back yard, take them to a park or keep them in the house.

Utah parents worry about school shootings, but so many more children are killed by accidents like these in or outside their own homes.  It is frightening how often they happen here.  When I was living in California, I only recall one instance of a child being run over in their driveway and  I don’t remember any who died playing with their parent’s guns.

For a so-called “family friendly” state, Utah needs to take a lot better care of the children.

Utah’s “gold standard” families can be very dangerous for kids.  I wrote about this same issue last December (here)

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One response to “Two Utah Children Two Tragedies”

  1. Amy Zucker Morgenstern says :

    What might be an accident in some cases may become a case of criminal negligence or reckless endangerment when it involves children too young to make cogent decisions. What if the father had set a glass of sulfuric acid near his unsupervised children and one had drunk it? What if he had left them alone in a car with the engine turned on and one had put it into gear? Would these be accidents? I would call him criminally liable for the harm done in both cases.

    Within reason, people are responsible for keeping young children safe. There is probably nothing the law can do to these parents that’s worse than the harm they’ve already inflicted on themselves. But I hope some kind of restorative justice is carried out.

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