Sunday, June 09, 2013

Green Beret survives Iraq War only to accidentally die at the hands of his own four year old son.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

A man was accidentally shot and killed by his four-year-old son in Prescott Valley, Arizona on Friday afternoon, after the boy found a gun left unattended. 

Justin Thomas, a former Green Beret and Iraq veteran, and his son were visting from Phoenix. A witness says the son found the gun in a friend’s living room, asked, “Daddy, what’s this?” and accidentally fired. Police say that Thomas was visiting the friend unannounced, which potentially explains why the gun was left unsecured. 

Thomas died at the hospital, while the son stayed with police officers until his mother arrived. Authorities say Thomas also has a newborn child.

This is simply a tragic accident, and I don't even think the owner of the gun is necessarily to blame since he did not expect a visit from the four year old. 

But it is a reminder of how a gun bought to keep its owner safe can tragically take an innocent life even while in the hands of a child.


  1. Anonymous4:36 AM

    This is a tragedy, but how many more will it take before people wake up. Guns kill people. Guns kill more innocent people than 'intruders.'
    The NRA and their push for all of us to be armed is going to mean more and more innocent deaths. Come on Sarah, take a shot at this and tell us how sorry you are for a soldier's death. And how Obama is to blame. And how guns are good. And the 2nd amendment. And make sure you throw in God and country and patriotism and tyranny.
    That'll make it OK in the eyes of the followers. Oh, and show up for his funerla in your blue jeans too. Book in hand.

    1. And, don't forget the Belmont Girls and the CFM pumps.

  2. Anonymous4:44 AM

    The owner had a loaded weapon with the safety off that was not under his control. This is not an accident, it is stupidity.

    1. Anonymous6:16 AM


      I don't care if anyone else lived in the house or not. There was an unsecured, loaded gun that was obviously accessible to a child. That was wrong and dangerous...fatally so.

    2. I don't have young children in my home anymore either, but that doesn't mean I stop doing young-child safe things. I still have a trigger lock AND a cable lock woven through the bolt of my rifle (and it is put away!); I still keep breakable / spill-able stuff away from edges of a counter top or table, least little hands (or elbows or big butts) pull or knock them down; I still cook primarily on the back burners of my cooktop; I always say when I'm pulling something out of the oven "HOT dish coming through" - even when I know its just hubs and I at home; and I still walk around the back of the car before getting in and leaving. That's just common-sense type stuff - common sense that gun owner simply had NO CLUE about.

  3. Anonymous5:04 AM

    It also demonstrates how hyper alert you eed to be when there is a gun in the home. Why is a loaded gun lying around in the living room? Why is it nor secured in a gun safe? Was the guy o the way out to target practice? ....ok but as SOON as the 4 year old entered the picture, the gun should have been secured. You wouldn't leave a can of drano around, would you? You wouldn't leave other dangerous chrmicals out, would ya? You would put these things away when a kid entered the picture.

    1. Anonymous5:58 AM

      Even if he was heading out to target practice, the gun was loaded. people who are real gun experts know that you never leave a loaded gun anywhere, that it is always unloaded unless you are actually using it. And even then you always presume, and always treat your gun as if it were loaded. That is true gun safety. And as for those cans of Drano, etc., those accidents happen all the time. It's just not on the public's radar the way guns now are.

    2. Anonymous3:17 PM

      You carry an UNLOADED weapon to target practice.

  4. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Friend with kid arrives unexpectedly at my place. Scissors, medications, glassware, etc. get scooped up in a flash. Would I have left a LOADED gun in reach? No.

  5. Anonymous5:47 AM

    How come if the man's dog killed that man, he would be at fault, and be put on trial. A gun has the same killing potential as a vicious dog. Something is wrong here. How can any of us ever go to anyone's home or let our kids go to a sleepover anymore. So many have guns in the home, or cars. we don't where it is safe, We don't know how many children can innocently get ahold of one and think they are playing. But this is God's will?? Their God given constitutional rights? How dumb!

    1. Anonymous6:19 AM

      Anyone who has children should be asking the question before they allow their child to visit or stay over at a home - "Are there any weapons in your home?"

      And if that question insults the other person, they're not trustworthy enough to be responsible for supervising your child.

  6. I feel sorry for these children who will forever know they killed their parent, sibling, or friend. It is a burden no child should have to carry.

    1. Exactly. So very true.

    2. Anonymous10:30 AM

      I do too, that's what I was thinking about, that this poor child will be scarred for life. Hopefully his mother will get counseling for him so he doesn't grow up feeling nothing but shame for himself.

      This is just tragic.

      R in NC

  7. Anonymous6:03 AM

    This was no accident! This was stupidity in action. Who leaves a loaded weapon just lying around their house? Incidentally, it's in the LIVING ROOM? Can't be for self defense since any burglar would pick it up right away. The guy ought to be charged with involuntary manslaughter or something. And how will that little boy feel when he grows up, knowing he killed his dad?


  8. I guess we can add a new phrase to the lexicon: Stupid, paranoid gun-owners cause the death of good people.

    Now that child will have to live the rest of his life with the knowledge that he killed his father thanks to a moron and his "second amendment solution" .

  9. Anonymous6:44 AM

    I had a gun that was given to me by a friend for protection (about 30 years ago). I did learn how to use it but I hated having it in my home. It was always secure but I also learned a valuable lesson from my brother (Vietnam Vet). Every time he came to my house, the first thing he asked was to see the gun to make sure it was secure (he had six kids). And he always reminded me not to let my daughter stay at a home where the owners had fire arms without checking to see that they were secure...any parent that felt offended was to be dropped. After all, you would not leave your child in a home with a violent dog.

  10. Beldar Pew Pew Pew Conehead6:50 AM

    Once again, Gryphen, you have it completely wrong.

    Compulsive absolutist gun-rights advocates prefer to say that this brave patriot willingly martyred himself for the gun-rights movement. In a state such as Arizona - with zero restrictions on access to and handling of firearms - such an incident is predictable yet encouraging evidence that guns are everywhere and available to all proud Americans of every age, competency and mental state without government interference, as God and the Floundering Fathers intended!

    Until you're able to celebrate EVERY needless gun death in this country as a VICTORY for unfettered access to guns, you will NEVER be welcome as a member of the unyielding firearms fetishist right wing patriot movement! NEVER!!!

    1. Praise da Lord....and pass da ammunition.

  11. Oh please...accident my ARSE.

    Former military policeman allows four year old access to loaded gun, resulting in the child killing his own father...THAT ....should be the headline.

    If ANYONE ought to be aware and FULLY understand the dangers of a loaded weapon and the need to keep it secure it OUGHT to be a trained military policeman...give me a break!

    Good Gawd...if someone arrives unexpectedly at YOUR door...and you have a loaded pistol your bloody living room...your FIRST reaction would be to holler just a minute, while you put the gun away BEFORE you open the damn door, without knowing who it was.

    ESPECIALLY if you knew and saw them coming to your door with a small child, your first reaction would be to secure the weapon...would your leave a beer on the table, any other type of alcohol, prescription drugs, any illicit drugs, or poisons for a small child to have access to?

    Parents lose custody of their kids every day for giving them access to the aforementioned, when it is reported or something goes horribly wrong.

    It makes me wonder just how responsible you had to be for your own child in her tender years, if you think this is an "accident"...really

    A loaded firearm isn't a bowl of popcorn you forgot you had on the table, give your head a shake.

  12. Anonymous7:38 AM

    What a crying shame, taking the life of the father, and wrecking the life of the 4 year old, the newborn, the mother, of all the people who love the family, and also wrecking the life of the irresponsible owner of the gun. But, hey, it's better to rant and rave about a military person denied the right to take bombastic bumper stickers on base, proselytize while supposedly playing in a marine band and we should start a "rogue" campaign to glorify this band idiot, while ignoring yet another dreadful tragedy due to men having to have loaded guns laying around on the sofa, just in case his manhood is threatened that day.

  13. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Yes, it is the gun owner's fault. And that of our society that lets these people leave loaded guns in their living rooms, (or other rooms). So, the victim and his child just ran in, unannounced, and the gun nut "forgot" to mention the loaded gun? I certainly hope this irresponsible creep has his gun rights taken away for ever and is charged with a felony for enabling the death of the man. Isn't it a felony to basically put a loaded gun within reach of a 4 year old? Oh yes, that would be threatening a second amendment right. Of course.

  14. WakeUpAmerica7:55 AM

    Bullshit. Guns should be secured no matter what. What kind of person has a loaded gun just sitting in their living room? A paranoid person (with a tiny penis)? Guns should be unloaded, secured, and out of sight unless needed.

    1. Anonymous10:33 AM

      What kind of person? Someone who watches Fox news all day long and thinks he needs to protect himself from intruders/terrorists.

  15. hedgewytch8:13 AM

    Do you do electrical work, walk away and take a break with an electrical socket live and open? It's the same dam thing!

    I don't care who you are, what you do, what kind of training you have, where you are, who's house you are in, who is expected over or unexpected - THE GUN IS SECURED AT ALL TIMES!!!! Period!

    So this guy wasn't expecting a friend with a small child over. The first thing he should have thought of when that child entered is - what do I have here that could potentially hurt this child?

    It's everyone's fault in this case. The father should have been sure that the AREA WAS SECURED before allowing his child to roam it. The gun owner should not have left a loaded, unsecured weapon out on the table.

    I see this kind of parental carelessness all the time. The kid jumps out of the car in the parking lot and immediately runs out into the roadway. The parents who are too busy drinking beer and flirting with each other to be aware that their kid just fell into the pool, or walked into the dog yard, or......

  16. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Gryphen - I rarely to never disagree with you BUT this time - come on - a loaded,unattended gun and not watching the child's every movement? No pass on this a%%%* who clearly was too stupid to own a gun of any kind? I don't think so.

    Has the hype made gun owners arrogant so that they no longer even bother to secure, unload, or control their weapons? Of course I mean their unattached weapons.

  17. Beldar Parannoyed Conehead9:51 AM

    According to top firearms absolutists, a well protected home has:

    1) a homeowner 100% committed to maintaining the HIGHEST security alert status at ALL times! REMEMBER, YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER RIGHT NOW!!!!

    2) a minimum of two loaded shotguns leaned up against EVERY door frame, both interior and exterior. Safety OFF for MAXIMUM speed in responding to fantasy intruder shootout situation.

    3) EVERY family member over the age of two should be equipped with age-appropriate deadly force firearms

    4) EVERY manly man in the house should wear a MINIMUM of 2 high-powered, waterproof semi-automatic handguns with a round in each chamber, safety off READY TO ENGAGE INTRUDERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AT ALL TIMES, including during acts of personal hygiene and lovemaking. Oh, especially during acts of lovemaking....

    5) Always shoot first, ask questions later. Better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

    6) Make sure you're tithing directly to the NRA, as commanded in the Bible in Cordites 30:06.

    7) Regard EVERYONE you see with the highest level of suspicion. A common tactic of intruders is to adopt the appearance of family members and personal acquaintances. DO NOT BE FOOLED. EVERYONE is out to get you! EVERYONE is a threat.

    8) Line your walls and ceilings with double layers of aluminum foil to counteract wi-fi telekinesis ray packets beamed directly into your home by Obama's black ops quadracopter drones.

    9) Maintain a thick layer of petroleum jelly/peppermint oil mixture on your genitals to prevent the embedment of trained crab lice carrying nano-transmitters used by the government to eavesdrop on patriotic Americans like you and me. (although, I'm not that sure about you...)

    10) subscribe to Scared Shitless, our monthly newsletter with even more tips on maintaining a safe and secure home in the Age of Obama.

    1. Anonymous12:52 PM

      extra points for the trained crab lice

    2. Anonymous3:17 PM

      I've heard that those short people dressed in Girl Scout uniforms and roaming the neighborhoods where good, red-blooded Amurkans live are really terrorists. Those cookies they sell you are actually teeny, tiny little IEDs that will explode the moment they hit your stomach.

      Don't believe me? Eat a couple of boxes of Thin Mints and look in the mirror as you stand sideways. Your stomach will be all blown up by those tiny explosives!

  18. Anonymous12:20 PM


  19. ibwilliamsi2:46 PM

    "Police say that Thomas was visiting the friend unannounced, which potentially explains why the gun was left unsecured."

    FUCK that. No guns should be left unsecured. And what will the gun owner be charged with? Not a damned thing.

  20. Anonymous3:21 PM

    After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet

    In NEWTOWN, Conn. — They had promised to try everything, so Mark Barden went down into the basement to begin another project in memory of Daniel. The families of Sandy Hook Elementary were collaborating on a Mother’s Day card, which would be produced by a marketing firm and mailed to hundreds of politicians across the country. “A difference-maker,” the organizers had called it. Maybe if Mark could find the most arresting photo of his 7-year-old son, people would be compelled to act.

    It hardly mattered that what Mark and his wife, Jackie, really wanted was to ignore Mother’s Day altogether, to stay in their pajamas with their two surviving children, turn off their phones and reward themselves for making it through another day with a glass of Irish whiskey neat.

    “Our purpose now is to force people to remember,” Mark said, so down he went into his office to sift through 1,700 photos of the family they had been.

    The Bardens had already tried to change America’s gun laws by studying the Second Amendment and meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office. They had spoken at tea party rallies, posed for People magazine and grieved on TV with Katie Couric. They had taken advice from a public relations firm, learning to say “magazine limits” and not “magazine bans,” to say “gun responsibility” and never “gun control.” When none of that worked, they had walked the halls of Congress with a bag of 200 glossy pictures and beseeched lawmakers to look at their son: his auburn hair curling at the ears, his front teeth sacrificed to a soccer collision, his arms wrapped around Ninja Cat, the stuffed animal that had traveled with him everywhere, including into the hearse and underground.

    Almost six months now, and so little had gotten through. So maybe a Mother’s Day card. Maybe that.

  21. Anonymous3:56 PM

    A. I have a gun.

    B. I have friends with small children.

    C. In order to reach my gun, a person must either be at least six feet tall or have a ladder.

    D. The bullets are not stored in the same room as the gun.

    E. The gun is NEVER loaded and in my home at the same time.

    I fully support gun control measures such as registration, background checks, mandatory liability insurance, bans on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and bans on handguns. I support these measures because not all gun owners are responsible adults, as illustrated by this 'tragic accident' story. This was no accident. Tripping on a loose area rug and bumping one's head is an accident. Leaving a loaded gun in plain sight and within reach of a curious child is just plain fucking stupid. I nominate this dad for a Darwin Award.

  22. Anita Winecooler6:04 PM

    Add me to the "sorry, this wan't just an accident".
    How many stories like this or similar to this have we seen over the years? I suspect they're dismissed as "unfortunate accidents" because police officers, who are accustomed to carrying guns are desensitized/sympathetic because the "object" is a familiar as a cell phone to those who are used to following the law and handling guns safely.

    If someone owns a gun that's not secured and something happens, clearly it happened because of their negligence. There aught to be a law.

    The only victims here are the kid, the father who died, his wife, other child and the friends and family that love them. I feel especially badly for the boy who shot his father. How does he pick up the pieces? He's lost his innocence and the "helper" he looked to when bad things happen.


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