On Tuesday, Veronica J. Rutledge, a research scientist who lived in Blackfoot, Idaho, died after her two-year-old son accidentally shot her in a Hayden, Idaho, Wal-Mart. Predictably, anti-gun liberals crawled out of the woodwork, calling for gun control while blaming the NRA and the Second Amendment.
“Guns don’t kill people … 2 year olds do. Is that your argument @NRA, #GunNutters, #tcot? #momsdemand and others want real gun reforms now,” one person said on Twitter, echoing the sentiments expressed by many others. “I repeat: Guns are simple. Point. Click. Simple. So simple a 2 y/o can kill mommy with it. A bloody tragedy, thanks to the #NRA,” another person said.
“NRA going to need damage control,” one person tweeted, linking to an article at Spokane’s KXLY. Jeff Humphrey said the store was evacuated and closed down after the shooting. Employees said they could not discuss the shooting and the manager confirmed the store would remain closed until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the young boy was sitting in the shopping cart when he grabbed Rutledge’s gun, which was in her purse, pulling the trigger. Rutledge died at the scene, Humphrey added.
“This is a pretty tragic incident right now that we’re dealing with,” Miller told KXLY. “The store actually evacuated all the patrons out of it, nobody else was hurt which is fortunate.”
The shooting prompted many to wonder why Rutledge would have a loaded gun in her purse. But many more pointed a finger of blame directly at the NRA.
“I repeat,” one person said on Twitter. “Guns are simple. Point. Click. Simple. So simple a 2 y/o can kill mommy with it. A bloody tragedy, thanks to the #NRA.”
“Hayden, Ohio, 2y old girl shoot her mother in a Walmart store,” another person said, apparently unaware the shooting took place in Idaho, not Ohio. “Your latest member #NRA?”
“Women carrying gun for protection shot by her 2 yr old in Walmart,” one person tweeted. “NRA issues stmt saying guns don’t kill people toddlers do.” But as of this writing, the NRA has not issued a statement.
Dwight Van Horn, a resident of Hayden who sits on the board of the National Rifle Association, told the Coeur d’Alene Press the NRA would not immediately issue a statement. “We prefer to give people some time and let all the facts come in before we weigh in on anything like this,” he said.
A post at the pro-Second Amendment Bearing Arms laid the blame for the shooting directly on the mother, arguing that purses simply do not provide the security a gun requires. Bob Owens was quite clear that in his opinion, anyone wishing to carry a handgun should either keep it in a holster or not carry it at all.
“I hate off-body carry with an unbridled passion, and personally feel that if you can’t carry a weapon on your body, that you should not be carrying a firearm at all,” he said. “I simply don’t feel that purses, personal organizers, etc have the requisite weapon security, even though some off-body systems do look very nice.” KXLY also said a purse is probably “the last place” one would want to place a handgun, suggesting that a fanny pack might be better. Robin Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range, suggested using retention holsters that block the trigger guard until a button is pushed to release the weapon. But according to reports, the purse Rutledge carried had a special pocket for a gun.
Owens continued, saying groups like Moms Demand Action will use the shooting as fodder for their anti-gun agenda. The group has already posted a link to the story on its Facebook page in an apparent attempt to use Rutledge’s tragic death for its own political purposes. If history is any teacher, it will only be a matter of time before anti-gun liberals begin — again — to call for the death of NRA members.