On June 8, 2001, I purchased a Browning Buck Mark semi-Auto rimfire pistol. I paid $312 for it. I still have the receipt. When I bought it, I had no idea it would be the gun that would end my son’s life 15 years later by my own hand.
At the time, my wife was pregnant with our son Jared. I remember thinking that my dad always told me about protecting my family and being a man. He always said that me when we were shooting.
But until that June afternoon, I never owned a gun. I still shot targets with my dad, but I didn’t feel a need to own a gun.
When my wife got pregnant, I felt like I had more to protect than just myself and my wife. There was a baby coming.
So I bought that Browning 22-caliber pistol and some bullets. Over the years I did go to the range a few times with the gun. I might have shot 200 rounds through it. But when my son Jared got be around 12, I felt like it was time to teach him the same lessons that my father taught me – how to be a man and protect your family.
Jared and I had been to the shooting range at least a half dozen times. We both appreciated the one-on-one time we had at the range. I’d give him pointers on how to shoot correctly. He’d tell me about school and what he and his friends are excited to do during the summer.
That’s what he was telling me on June 2, 2016 when I shot him in the head.
Jared and his friends were real excited about this camping trip they were going on this summer. It was going to be an entire month of canoeing, archery, hiking and whatever else kids do at camp. They had raised money all school year to pay for it.
I bought the bullet that killed Jared on the way to the gun range. I stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods and picked up 525 rounds of Remington 22-caliber ammunition.
While I was shooting and Jared was talking about his camping trip, a shell ejected from the Browning, bounced off the wall next to me and into my shirt pocket. The shell was hot, so I tried to quickly get it out. In doing so moved the pistol up to my shoulder, facing to my rear and up, my finger was still on the trigger and the gun fired. The bullet hit the ceiling above Jared, bounced off and struck him in the head and he died right there on the floor.
This is a fictional story, based on the very real tragedy of Stephen Brunby, 14, of Florida. He was accidentally shot and killed by his father at a gun range. We, as a society, had a duty to protect Stephen. It is time to repeal the 2nd amendment and regulate gun ownership like driving a car. With proper training and regulation, it’s quite possible that Steven would be alive today and his father wouldn’t be living with the reality that he shot and killed his own son.