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Child Accidentally Shoots Brother, Media Blames Marijuana

Categories: Crime, Drugs

gun_tara.JPG
Wikimedia/Gale82
A tragic accident involving a four-year-old shooting his three-year-old brother occurred Sunday. Fortunately, the younger brother is OK, but because the father was in another room allegedly smoking marijuana, the St. Louis County police and local media decided to make that the focus of the story.

The shooting happened around noon on Sunday. A loaded gun was hidden inside a closet, and the child was able to reach it. He and his brother played with the gun and it went off, a bullet striking the younger brother in the left shoulder. The child was treated at a local hospital for soft-tissue injury and released.

As the kids were playing with the gun, their father, Larry Madison, 27, was in the next room. Police issued a statement that claims Madison was smoking some weed while his wife was taking a nap. He was arrested for felony child endangerment and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Predictably, local media covering the case displayed some reefer madness and not-so-subtly suggested that marijuana was the reason for the shooting.

KMOV (Channel 4)'s headline reads, "Police: Father was smoking pot when boy shot brother in St. Louis County." And in their newscast, the reporter says, "Police say a father left a loaded shotgun where his small children could access it while he smokes marijuana. The result? A four-year-old accidentally shoots his three-year-old brother."

The Post-Dispatch ran a similar headline: "Father was smoking pot when young son shot brother with shotgun, St. Louis County police say." The marijuana charge is then repeated in the lede: "A man was smoking marijuana in another room when one of his young sons shot his brother with a loaded shotgun left within their reach, police say."

KTVI (Channel 2) used the same headline as KMOV, but it didn't bring up the marijuana charge in the newscast.

Brian Schellman of the St. Louis County Police Department tells Daily RFT that Madison legally owned the gun that shot the three-year-old.

It is not certain that, if Madison was in another room ironing clothes, drinking whiskey or being an irresponsible gun owner, the arresting police officers would have issued a statement detailing these activities.

However, the official police press release did mention 420:

On 4/20/14, Defendant left a loaded shotgun in easy access to a 3 year old child and 4 year old child. The 4 year old took the gun and shot his 3 year old brother. Defendant was in another room in the house smoking marijuana.

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255 comments
bobberner
bobberner

I think it is very irresponsible for the Riverfront Times Blog to post a photo of a semiautomatic handgun in a blog about an accidental shooting by a shotgun. Two very different animals. And yes, the gun should have been secured and not accessible to the children. 

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Gun safety and bad parenting. Weed is secondary. Alcohol is worse.

Glen Williams
Glen Williams

How do you tell a responsible gun owner from an irresponsible gun owner?

Conor Holtz
Conor Holtz

It was ignorance. If he was working on his truck, would we blame Ford? I'm sure trucks kill more people every second than marijuana has since we've been growin' and smokin' it. Don't be naive.

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

No it means that the dad should not be in the company of his young children because he is a moron

Laura Hamm
Laura Hamm

It wasn't marijuana's responsibility to watch the children or to lock up the gun, it was the father's. His lack of responsibility is to blame.

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

FIRST. OF ALL IT WAS A SHOT GUN .....NOT A HAND GUN !!!!!!! THAT'S ABOUT 3FT LONG !!! AN THE GUY'S A IDIOT !

Paul Johns
Paul Johns

im blaming it on gay marriage rights.....

Lynn Croxton
Lynn Croxton

It means the father's to blame for getting intoxicated on ANYTHING when he should've been watching the kids and for not keeping the gun inaccessible.

Kathy Brackett
Kathy Brackett

No, thats an excuse its the dads fault for not being responsible. He could have been doing anything, even simply watching tv and this happen. The gun NEVER should have been loaded, or not under lock & key then put put of reach.

Jim Rhoads
Jim Rhoads

Post something that doesn't have anything to do with god and I'll believe you're capable of rational thought.

Jim Rhoads
Jim Rhoads

And anyone that doesn't agree with Norm Mannis is on drugs apparently.

Paula Williams
Paula Williams

No. More reefer madness. Hello?? Missouri, wake up.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

These prohibitionists are really grasping at straws now. Yea it was not the fact that the children had access to guns, it's the pot....What a load of Bullshit.

Jeffery Puder
Jeffery Puder

According to a radio commercial I heard its impossible for marijuana users to be criminals

Ronda Evansco-Brooks
Ronda Evansco-Brooks

No. It means that the gun wasn't on safety and locked up. That father shouldn't have been a parent.

Brad LunarImpact
Brad LunarImpact

You mean they aren't blaming it on the gun?!?!? This is unheard of! Now it's the weed's fault? Is the gun even a suspect?

Todd Hilgert
Todd Hilgert

no, the gun owner is to blame for having a loaded gun around small children who weren't taught its proper safety protocols. Bad parenting all the way around.

Holly IceQueen Elder
Holly IceQueen Elder

No, it's irresponsible parenting! Period! The gun should not have been where the kids could get to it & it wasn't secure, where's the gun lock? Hmmmmm! & the mom was there too, sleeping! Is her nap time to blame also?! Get a grip people, some folks just shouldn't have kids cause they can't take care of themselves! Ugh!

John Lupia
John Lupia

You know what is funny Norm? There are people who go to work everyday and lead productive successful lives. Guess what? We out numbered these so called burnouts 100-1. Looks by your profile pic you just couldn't handle recreational alcohol and drugs. Dont put your shortcomings onto everyone else. You are further brainwashed by AA as well my deluded friend.

Justin Burnett
Justin Burnett

He could of been pulling the pudd and the kids still would of got the gun... So NO...

Devon L Johnson
Devon L Johnson

Marijuana=drugs Have you never heard someone ask someone if they were on drugs because they were acting stupid. Gun safety negligence is compounds the issue but isnt the only problem

Drew Starr
Drew Starr

Saint Louis is a alcohol town, so many people were involved in it all. Move on. There are so many millennials... We need to open up as a society.

Drew Starr
Drew Starr

My family happens to be in the Alcohol business, but Facebook won't allow me to post so many posts at once in relations to the deaths involving alcohol. Pot does not kill, Alcohol does.

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

Done with dillusional people on here. Get to a12 step recovery meeting and surrender your self will to god. Good night.

Chris Mcnabb
Chris Mcnabb

If he were doing laundry is the washing machine to blame?

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

John Lupia the world passes those by that are in a fog of drugs and alcohol. I'm clean and sober by the grace of god. I'm not going to let a dilusional fool like you and others as well, tell me drugs and alcohol are OK? That's bullshit ! Go ahead and keep lying to yourself. I know clean and sober people agree with me. Those who don't are on something.

Trish R Bertrand
Trish R Bertrand

I don't use cannabis, but think its parental irresponsibility not cannabis that caused this. What am I addicted too?

John Lupia
John Lupia

Norm you are a sad uninformed member of a generation that holds on to lies that they have been told their entire life. Your generation refuses to believe in facts and science. Go ahead and hold on to your old wives tales while the world passes you by.

Trish R Bertrand
Trish R Bertrand

Kids get ahold of guns on a daily basis because of completely sober parental irresponsibility. This is no different.

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

Its funny all the drugs addicts band together. Lol. A drug is a drug is a drug. Alcohol,weed, cocaine, meth,pain pills,heroin,acid,shrooms,LSD,mescaline,PCP,crack,bath salts,k2. All drugs can be equally addictive. If you don't believe so your a damn fool in denial. Less chance of crazy shit happening if your clean and sober. So go to rehab all you drunken dope fiends........lol. God loves you.

Eric O'Brien
Eric O'Brien

Of course pot and lax gun laws are to blame. Personal accountability be damned!

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

Your in denial. Classic symptom of addiction.

Kaela Marquart
Kaela Marquart

It's sad to read your comments so blatantly bashing marijuana and those who use it.. Clearly you think it's something harmful and those who partake should be rehabilitated.. Truth is, kids get into things.. Lots of things.. All the time. Accidents happen. The father should have kept his gun unloaded and put up high in a safe, kid-free zone.. The fact that he was in another room, no matter what he was doing, and not keeping a close eye on his boys is the issue. The issue is NOT the marijuana. Get over it buddy.. Pot isn't bad. Those who smoke it are NOT bad. People like you, you're the problem.

Tim Horch
Tim Horch

People get fat from fast food is fast food to blame?

Doug Tull
Doug Tull

No, poor parenting and an unsecured firearm. Weed has nothing to do with it.

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Bad parenting and obvious gun control retardation is no reason to blame marijuana. Man probably shouldn't own a gun or be allowed near children.

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

If he wasn't a burnout stoner he would have remembered to lock gun up. Treat his drug addiction and go from there. Its not rocket science people.

Robert Mitchell
Robert Mitchell

Don't go spouting fallacies now calm down. The father is stupid for not paying attention

Bobby Duebelbeis
Bobby Duebelbeis

RFT infers that anyone blamed it on the weed. No one did. Fuck RFT.

John Lupia
John Lupia

Stupid is stupid. Pot is not the cause. If he was outside washing his car would car washing be to blame? Get real.

Paige Miller
Paige Miller

No. You blame the idiot dad for leaving his loaded gun in place where his kids could reach it. It's not like marijuana gave the kids this idea to play with gun..

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