As much as I adore Halloween, I hate the tragic news stories we always hear about during the fall holiday. The fact that a little girl is fighting for her life after being shot is heartbreaking, and I’m not sure what could have been done to prevent this accident from happening. Except, well maybe, not bringing a firearm to a family Halloween party.
A little girl was fighting for her life early Monday after she was shot outside a Halloween party by a relative who mistook her costume for a skunk.
Police in western Pennsylvania’s New Sewickley Township said the 9-year-old girl was dressed in black with a black hat for the Saturday evening party.
As the two to three dozen guests milled about, the girl went to hide on the edge of a hill.
It was past 8 p.m. and the sun had long set. A relative spotted the dark figure in the distance, mistook it for a skunk and fired his shotgun, said Officer Greg Carney with the township police.
The girl was hit in the neck, back and arm – and flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, about 30 miles away. There, she remained in the intensive care unit, Carney said.
Police will determine later Monday whether they will charge the shooter, whom they did not name. Nor did they say how he was related to the girl.
Another surprising fact about this awful news story? Authorities said the relative had not been drinking. One would think that if you were at a Halloween party where children are present, you would be extra careful about firing a loaded weapon, even if you are trying to shoot a vermin you see way off in the distance. Not to get all gun-judgey on people, but why would you shoot what you think is a skunk if it is far away and not bothering you to begin with? I don’t own a gun. I don’t feel the need to own a gun. I have no issue with people who feel they need to own a gun in order to kill and eat animals. I have no issue with people who have firearms in their homes who are responsible gun owners, who are extremely familiar with gun safety and keep guns away from children.
I do take issue when someone whips a gun out at a party when there are children present. This accident should have never happened, and now a little girl is fighting for her life because someone fired a gun at a family party. This Halloween, I hope that people carrying guns double-check to make sure what they are shooting at is an actual animal, and not a child dressed as one.