The Short of It
Just one day after bragging about her 4-year-old's gun-slinging skills on Facebook, a Florida mom is accidentally shot by him.
According to a statement released by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Jamie Gilt was driving her truck with her son in the backseat, when he picked up a loaded .45-caliber handgun from the floor and fired it into the back of the driver's seat.
The bullet pierced through the seat cushion and hit Gilt in the back. Deputies spotted the truck stopped in the middle of the road, and found Gilt in the front seat with a bullet wound.
"She was shot through the seat, and the round went through her back," Sheriff's Capt. Joseph Wells told The Florida Times-Union. "There was a booster seat in the back of the vehicle, but, however, the boy was not strapped in when the deputy got to them."
The deputies rushed her to the hospital, and she is now in stable condition. Her son was unharmed.
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Before she went into the emergency room, Gilt reportedly told police that she'd been shot by her son, who is now in the care of family members while the Department of Children and Families investigates exactly how the little boy got a hold of the gun.
According to officials, the gun was legally owned by Gilt. She has not been charged, but under Florida law it's a misdemeanor for a person "to store or leave, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm in such a manner that it is likely a child can gain access to the firearm." The investigation is still ongoing.
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This is a tragic story that is all the more ironic because Gilt is an avid gun supporter whose Facebook page is littered with pro-gun messages, posts supporting the NRA, and glam shots of her posing with weapons.
"My right to protect my child with my gun trumps your fear of my gun," the 31-year-old mom declared in one post.
"Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22," she wrote in another just hours before she was shot.
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Gilt also runs the Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense Facebook page, where she frequently voices her pro-gun opinions. But after being inundated with commenters taking her to task in light of what happened with her son, both pages were taken down.
I'm not necessarily anti-gun and I don't want to get all political, but I would never keep a loaded gun with kids in the house. I can't even imagine the guilt this poor little boy is going to have to live with for the rest of his life. So many thresholds are in place to protect our children—minimum ages for things like sitting in the front seat of a car, buying alcohol, driving, and working. And yes, you have to be 18 to buy a gun, but why isn't there a law in place that dictates a minimum age to fire one?