Police in Wilson County, Tennessee say 3-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan learned to play shooting games on the family’s Wii game console using a controller that is designed to look like a real gun.
This familiarity with fake guns, they say, led the little girl to picked up a loaded .380 caliber pistol her stepfather had left on the living room table.
Whether she truly thought it was a toy or was just being curious, what happened next is horrifying: She shot herself in the stomach. Cheyenne was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Physicians at University Medical Center in Lebanon.
Her parents, Douglas and Tina Ann Cronberger, say the gun is usually kept in a locked cabinet but had been brought out to scare off what they thought was an intruder outside. No criminal charges have been filed, but the shooting is still under investigation.
Some people may use this tragedy as an example of why kids shouldn’t play shooting games. That, of course, is ridiculous. Shooting games didn’t cause this to happen. A careless parent did.
Still, my heart goes out to the Cronberger family. The only thing more tragic than the death of a child is the death of a child from something so easily preventable.
More by this author: