If ever there was a time for Eddie Eagle...

July 1, 2004
Dayton Daily News

Story edited for space

Boy accidentally shot by neighbor, 5

DAYTON | A 7-year-old boy was accidentally shot Wednesday by his 5-year-old neighbor who was playing with a loaded .22 revolver the older boy found in an alley, police said.

Shaquonne McCarty was in good condition at Children's Medical Center, suffering from a gunshot wound to his left wrist, Sgt. Kelly Hamilton said, noting the bullet exited just above the child's elbow.

Shaquonne found the gun in the morning in an alley behind his house, Hamilton said. He hid it before returning to the alley to show the revolver to his friends, both 5-year-olds.

Neighbors said they think the gun might be connected to a recent robbery in the area.

"They were looking at it, playing with it and it discharged," Hamilton said, adding that the revolver was loaded with .22 Magnum rounds.

"It was in a trash can in the alley. The kids threw it in there after it discharged."

Marcia Fox, 34, said her son, Makhi Washington-Fox, told her he shot his playmate. She then told the victim's mother.

"I don't know why he was playing with a gun," Fox said. "I don't even allow him to play with guns, water guns, toy guns, anything. Period."

McCarty said, "I teach my kids not to play with guns."

Fox said, "To hear that they found it in an alley is nerve-wracking."

"He found it first," Makhi said of Shaquonne. "He gave it to me. . . . It made a loud noise. I put it in the trash can because I didn't want to go to jail."

The police talked to the scared Makhi about the importance of staying away from guns, Hamilton said. "He was afraid he was going to jail."

Hamilton said it is parents' responsibility to teach their children to contact an adult when they find a gun and for adults to call police.

Mommy creates quite a curiosity in a young boy when, instead of educating him on gun safety, she simply denies him all access to "water guns, play guns, anything at all, period". Unless a parent plans to be with a child 24/7/365 until they are grown, it is NOT safe to simply pretend firearms don't exist.

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program is a gun accident prevention program for children in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

A study published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing Online (October 2001) named The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program the best of 80 gun accident prevention programs evaluated.

Using instructional materials including workbooks, an animated video, and student reward stickers, the program's safety mascot, Eddie Eagle, teaches children that if they find a gun in an unsupervised situation, they should:

STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.

Would that little Shaquonne and Makhi had been taught by Eddie Eagle, instead of by parents with their heads in the sand.

Related Story:
November 16, 2003 - What do kids learn from gun education? - Gun ban extremists criticized the General Assembly for this new state progam, which could have protected Shaquonne and Makhi.

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