Last month in a pair of separate incidents, toddlers who discovered their parents’ firearms fatally shot themselves, adding to an especially alarming tally of nearly two dozen such shootings in 2016. In one case, a writer noted that a Black mother was charged over the shooting while a white family walked away unscathed.
Raw Story reports:
As blogger David Waldman, who tracks gun violence and accidental shootings for Daily Kos, pointed out, one parent was charged while the other boy’s parents were not.
Kiyan’s mother, Kanisha Shelton, was charged Tuesday with a felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, while authorities announced Thursday that Holston’s parents, David and Haley Cole, would not be charged in their son’s death.
The 23-year-old Shelton is black, and the Coles are white.
Comparing those two cases is somewhat problematic, because Indiana — where Shelton lives — and Georgia — where the Coles live — have very different gun laws.
The outlet added that Indiana pushes for charges against parents whose children find their weapons and cause harm to themselves. Georgia does not have such a law regarding the storing of weapons but does push for charges against adults who place a handgun into a child’s possession.
Raw Story also shared that two Black Georgia fathers were charged in similar incidents while a white Georgia dad was not charged. In all, 23 toddlers have found their parents’ and fatally shot themselves or shot someone else.