Covering Kentucky

May 14, 2013 11:09 PM

Grandfather On Mission For Gun Safety

Two weeks ago a Southern Kentucky 5-year-old accidentally shot and killed his 2-year old sister. Now the girl's maternal grandfather is on a mission for gun safety.

Mark Robinson lives 800 miles away in Maryland, so he never met his two year-old grand-daughter, Caroline Sparks. Until her funeral.

"That was the first time I got to see the child and it's sad to see the child in the box," says Robinson, whose daughter is Caroline's mother.

State Police say on April 30, Caroline's five-year-old brother was playing with a rifle when it fired, killing his little sister. The coroner says the Crickett Rifle had been given to the boy last year for his birthday. The family kept it in a corner of the house, and didn't realize it had a shell inside.

"You don't pick up the gun and use it as a toy. Because at 5 years-old that's what he was doing. He grabbed it up and played with it like it was a toy," says Robinson.

Robinson is a hunter, and he says people should exercise more caution when they have guns around children.

"When you get to the back door with a gun the best thing is to unload the gun. Never bring it in the house until you've completely checked it," he says.

The grandfather admits guns were kept around his own kids, including Caroline's mother, when they were growing up but he made sure to teach them the dangers of firearms.

"I showed them early in life what a gun will do. And they knew. They knew exactly what that thing would do," says Robinson.

As his family continues to mourn little Caroline, Robinson hopes this tragedy will serve as a lesson on gun safety.

"If we could save just one person, just one more by being safe, then it's worth everything we do," he says.

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