shutterstock_2414203This is horrifying. A 16-year-old boy accidentally shot his 12-year-old brother in their Orlando home, mistaking him for an intruder. A teenager shoots his brother. But our easy access to guns in this country isn’t dangerous at all.

From the ABC News:

A teenager shot and killed his 12-year-old brother because he mistook him for an intruder in their Florida home, police said today.

According to police the 16-year-old was home alone on Friday when his younger brother came home.

Scared that there was an intruder in the home, the older boy grabbed a gun and shot his brother, according to police. Once the teen realized what had happened, he immediately called 911.

There are so many stories of children accessing guns and wounding themselves or someone else. It’s hard for me to even read them any more. I’ll usually see a headline and skip it. What’s incredibly frustrating is that each time something like this happens – if you suggest we have a gun problem in this country you are “politicizing” a tragedy.

What is the solution if parents can’t be trusted to keep guns safely locked and out of reach of children in the home? I think that many call for stricter gun laws purely out of despair. What are we supposed to do? A couple of days before this incident, a four-year-old shot himself in the face in the same county in Florida. He is expected to live.

As a parent, I’m wondering if I need to ask other parents if they keep guns in the home before I schedule a play date. Is that paranoid? Maybe. I’ve managed to live in states with a low percentage of gun owners – New York, California and Florida – but I’m still worried. And to those who think that mentioning gun control when these horrific incidents happen is ridiculous – what is the correct response? What am I missing here?

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement affirming that “the most effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from homes and communities.” But many who may be happily willing to follow advice about crib bumpers and co-sleeping, will scoff at a recommendation as seemingly common sense as not having a weapon in the same vicinity as your child.

I give up.

(photo: ARENA Creative/ Shutterstock.com)