When I was in high school, some eight your old kid found his father’s gun and accidentally shot and killed his best friend. I remember the entire town feeling devastated and beset by an uncomfortable and sad malaise for at least a few weeks. People weren’t sure whether or not to feel worse for the family of the deceased child or the poor survivor who would have to live the rest of his life knowing what he mistakenly did. Anyone who reads the news on a regular basis knows these stories are common and happen with a disturbing regularity. Usually, they involve kids amidst circumstances very similar to the one I just described, but whenever an adult is the one who pulled the trigger, the whole thing goes beyond sad and into the realm of infuriating. Get ready to cue outrage.

Rachel Avila, a thirty year old mother from Banning, California accidentally shot her twelve year old daughter after she mistook a gun for a novelty cigarette lighter. The pair were outside talking with a few friends in front of their mobile home when mom spotted the firearm. She pulled out a cigarette, placed the gun next to the unlit stick and pulled the trigger twice. The second squeeze activated the weapon, sending a bullet off the ground and into her daughter. According to Patch, the daughter was treated at a local hospital for the wound to her arm and released shortly thereafter. She’s expected to make a full recovery. Police are still investigating the incident but are treating it as an accidental shooting at the moment.

First of all, how redneck do you have to be to assume something that looks like a gun is a cigarette lighter? I’ve heard these things exist, but I have never come across one. It strikes me as something that might be a prop in a shitty Larry The Cable Guy movie. Second of all, this woman better thank God everyday the bullet hit her daughter and not one of the random friends. If one of those bystanders were hit, there’s at least an eighty percent chance all parties would end up on Judge Judy. Rachel Avila would lose too. There’s no way she wouldn’t be liable for both medical bills and punitive damages on her stupidity.

Either hilariously or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, Banning Police issued a statement telling residents if they find any objects outside which could be firearms, they should alert police and not play with the weapon themselves. We live in a world where announcements like that have to be made. King Solomon would be proud. Take a look at a picture of the gun below courtesy of the Banning Police Department…

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