Bill Nemitz: ‘Houses of prostitution’ are bad for Maine kids. So are loaded guns.

Bill Nemitz: ‘Houses of prostitution’ are bad for Maine kids. So are loaded guns.

Nothing shines a spotlight on Maine’s child-endangerment law like a 2-year-old boy who shoots both of his sleeping parents with a loaded weapon. It happened in West Bath on the morning of May 12. According to police, the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun was sitting on a night table when the toddler picked it up and pulled the trigger. The single shot hit the boy’s mother in the leg, and two bullet fragments hit the father in the back of the head. The little boy was injured as well when the gun recoiled and struck him in the face. Thankfully, all three are recovering. Even more thankfully, a 3-week-old infant in the same room at the time was not harmed. On Monday , the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office arrested the father, 25-year-old Derek Carr, on a charge of child endangerment, a Class D crime punishable by 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. “So far as we know, this is the first time that an adult has been charged (in Maine) in one of these situations where there’s been child access,” Geoff Bickford, executive director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition , said in an interview the day after Carr’s arrest. That might have a lot to do with the child-endangerment law, which Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, is hard at work trying to change. As she put it in a separate interview, “Why not make it crystal clear and spell out that you can’t leave loaded guns […]

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