According to Police, a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father, Michael Payless, after finding the man’s loaded handgun in a southern Indiana home.
Indiana State Police says the 33-year-old Martinsville man, Michael Payless, brought his gun with him Friday to a home he was remodeling in Salem, Indiana. For some reason, he also brought his entire family with him to a work site.
Michael Payless, his wife, their three children and a juvenile relative were at the home. Payless was watching television with two of his children when he was fatally shot and wounded by his 3-year-old son.
Michael Payless, 33, was pronounced dead on the scene.
This is why I donâ€™t believe guns and children mix. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. A family has lost their father, a wife has lost her husband and a child will always feel that he was the one who is responsible for the loss. Obviously, the loaded gun should have never been left unsupervised in a house full of children.
This could have been prevented in so many ways. The family could have been left home and not been with Mr. Payless and where the gun was. The gun could have been left behind. The gun could have been unloaded. The gun could have been left in a locked box. The gun could have remained on Mr.Paylessâ€™ person and under his supervision. The children could have been taught gun safety and that it is not okay to touch a gun.
Unfortunately, Mr. Payless paid for his mistake with his life. It could have just as easily have been the 3-year-old boy shooting himself. Then Mr. Payless would have been the unfortunate one who would have had to live with this guilt.
I hope this sad and tragic, easily avoided scenario, serves as a wake up call for all gun owners with children to practice gun safety and education. If you must have a gun, please, for your children, lock it up, unload it, keep it under supervision and teach your children what a powerful thing a gun is. It can mean the difference between life and death.
What steps do you need to be taken to ensure that our children are safe in households with guns?
Photo Credit: Josh Pesavento