COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It happened again - a Georgia man shot the 9-year-old daughter of his girlfriend in what investigators say was a race to see how fast he could dismantle and reassemble his gun.
Now Tyler Lewis of Barrow County near Atlanta is charged with reckless conduct, cruelty to children, possession of a firearm, and possession of marijuana.
The girl is in critical condition.
Police say he was having the girl and two other children time how fast he could put the gun together. This tragedy was the result of several obviously poor choices.
Anyone handling a gun needs to remember the five cardinal rules of responsible gun ownership:
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded, because some guns that people think are unloaded are loaded.
- Never point gun at anything or anyone you don't want to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- Beware of your target and what's beyond it - in other words if you aim at an intruder you could kill your wife if she's behind him. Or if you aim at a deer in front of a building, the bullet can travel farther than intended and harm others.
- Keep all guns locked away from children.
This case is another sad reminder that some people either don't know or don't follow these simple, common sense rules.
Once you fire a gun, whether accidentally or on purpose, you can't take the bullet back.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906