Three-Year-Old Kills Herself With Game Controller-Shaped Gun

A three-year-old in Wilson County, Tennessee died Sunday evening after accidentally shooting herself in the abdomen with a weapon she may have mistaken for a plastic Wii facsimile.

At least that's how the news is being reported today in The Tennessean. Three-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan had been playing a Nintendo Wii game in her living room using a gun-shaped controller which, according to the story, "looked very similar to the real handgun" her stepfather used to scare away dogs that were hanging about the family's home.

The child had been playing a Nintendo Wii video game, Ashe said. The game's controller was shaped like a gun that looked very similar to the real handgun, which her stepfather had put on a table in the living room. Ashe said the girl pulled the gun off the table and it went off.

My question is this: why is the Wii even mentioned in this article? Someone left a loaded handgun in reach of a three-year-old girl. That's the story here.

The fact that the child was playing with a Wii controller that looked like a real gun is a non-issue. This is a three-year-old we are talking about. Three-year-olds touch everything, regardless of whether or not it looks like something they were allowed to touch previously.

Not to mention the fact that most Wii gun controllers are either white and blue or Nerf-coloured, neither of which are colours commonly found in handguns.

This story is horrible, unfortunate and tragic, but the way that things are worded here make me wonder if there aren't pair of parents out there thinking that had they not let their child play that Wii game, she would still be alive today.

I don't think the majority of our readership needs clarification on this, but just in case, no - if her stepfather had not left a loaded weapon within reach of a curious three-year-old's hands, she would still be alive today.

Accidental shooting kills Wilson County child [The Tennessean]



    Sensationalised journalism at its best. It is typical media hype to write such articles to get that knee jerk reaction.

    Thank you Kotaku for actually keeping some integrity in journalism and calling this article out for what it is...

    A parent who left a loaded gun in reach of a 3 year old. How sad.

    I totally agree. It's just insane how the focus of the article is taken away from the real issue. It is insane that the fact that this dude had a real gun in a house with a 3 years old is not even explicitely addressed as a problem. Yeah sure, you need a gun to scare dogs away - that's just the pinnacle of dishonnesty...

    Society seems to demand that someone or something is to blame. It's just a pity it's never the people actually responsible.


    Seriously... a loaded gun on a coffee table in a house with a 3 year old.

    What I find most interesting is that the uncle is able to describe the event that occured "Ashe said the girl pulled the gun off the table and it went off."

    See the problem here? What he is saying is "I was in the room, present, lucid, capable of thought, and yet I made no attempt to stop a 3 year old child from going near the loaded handgun with it's safety off".

    I can't think of anything that could possibly excuse that. I understand, as retarded as it is, it is still an accident. But thats why they invented the charge 'manslaughter'.

    +1 to your editorial comments.

    But don't ban guns, its the Wii that makes us want to shoot each other. Or ourselves, apparently.

      Ban guns? You're making the same mistake as the quoted article. A gun is neither good nor bad, it's just a weapon. On another day it might save lives when used in self-defense. The parents are to blame, not the weapon. As Mike said: "Someone left a loaded handgun in reach of a three-year-old girl. That’s the story here."

        A handgun is designed and used to kill people. Killing people is, to me, wrong. Thus any tool that is specifically designed to kill people is a 'bad' thing. I don't want these deadly things sitting around people's houses or in the hands of anyone. The self-defence argument is weak to me, because the only reason one needs a handgun for defence is because the OTHER guy has one. Further, if I'm not mistaken, statistics have shown you're a lot more likely to hurt yourself or a family member accidentally with your firearm than to defend yourself or your family from attack with it, that is certainly the case here. Thus adding a handgun to the family home increases the danger, rather than decreasing it.

        Fact is if it weren't the norm to have deadly weapons in average American homes, this kid (and hundreds like her) would not be dead.

          A gun is neither good nor bad, like all things, it is merely a tool. It is not a sentient being - thus, it is not capable of being what we call good and bad. The actions and intentions of humans make it so.

            Handguns are designed to be concealable and lethal to other human beings. Contrast this with a shotgun or rifle, which are a necessity for a farmer, for example. I'm not Adam, but I personally find the idea of a device specifically designed to kill *people* repulsive. Ownership of such a device more so.

            Handguns don't contribute anything (positive) to society; yet they let accidents like this occur. I, personally, don't see any way to justify their existence.

            Yes, I get social constructivism, as opposed to technological determinism. I really do.

            The handgun has only one function, it is designed to kill people. When is it GOOD to kill people? Handguns are not good for hunting (as compared to rifles or shotguns), they are designed as sidearms for soldiers. You will not convince me that a handgun can be used for good. It might be used to prevent a greater evil, that's fine. But the average American household would be in better shape if there were no handguns in the world.

          Hey I'd like to live in your utopia as much as the next dreamer.. a world where the bad guys carried water pistols and all we had to fear was a good soaking.. back in the real world, self defense against armed assailants is sometimes useful.

            "... back in the real world, self defense against armed assailants is sometimes useful."

            I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here but I think the point Adam is trying to make is that hand guns have no positive contribution and would be better off if they didn't exist. This is that dream world you were referring to.

            You know... the same world where "armed assailants" also wouldn't exist. So...

    Certainly this is a tragic situation. I agree that in today's society people tend to look for others to blame at all times, but perhaps some patience is in order here. I am sure the step-father is probably, on the inside, blaming himself for this situation. In times of such loss it's just human nature to look for something to blame, to focus on rather than just that pure loss or the realistation that maybe you're to blame.

    What we can say, however, is that real journalism died a long, long time ago. Alarmism sells, however, and you can see it every day when you turn on the news. Global warming, global cooling, more drought, more flood, terrorism, extremism, youth out of control, super-volcanoes and super-viruses. It's a little pathetic, but nothing gets viewers like the threat of impending doom.

    Let's assume for a second that leaving a loaded gun on a coffee table near a small child isn't incredibly stupid. Why was the safety not on? Why does this man own a weapon for which he does not know basic safety practices? This is like giving a car to someone who doesn't know how important the handbrake is.

    Perhaps gaming companies need to start branding their console packaging with comments like:

    **Nintento Wii is not sold to be used as a parenting device.

    Next it will be a story on how the Nintendo Entertainment System light gun was the start of all this unacceptable child associations with objects that have similar shapes.

    Also, apparently children these days are so dumb that white plastic DOES look a lot like gun-metal grey. And yes, all real guns DO have long cords coming out of the butt. I confuse console guns for real weapons ALL the time - it makes it really awkward every time I go to hold up a bank.


    Manslaughter for the step-father.

      agreed times 1000, they should also make laws to charge people for jsut being really stupid


      Let's all step back for a second from the fact that a game console device was coincidentally used in the same household by the same child and focus on the fact that there was incredibly careless parenting going on.


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