The bullet was fired from his Dad's auto-loading pistol, the one that was "rendered safe" by removing the clip. What wasn't removed was the bullet still in the pipe, the one lone bullet that was discharged by the Dad as he pointed the "un-loaded" weapon at his son and pulled the trigger.
An accident is defined as an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. This senseless tragedy goes beyond being a mere accident. In my humble opinion this boy's death rises to the level of gross negligence - "carelessness in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people's rights to safety."
I am not suggesting that this "Dad" be punished under the law. His punishment was swift and will be long lasting. He will have to live with his gross negligence for the rest of his life. What I am suggesting is that this nation's gun laws are sorely lacking. It is just too easy to acquire firearms and permits for concealed carry.
Too many in this country are still laboring under the "wild west" mentality that all a person needs to do is to arm oneself and miraculously we will all be safer and more secure, all the while displaying a blatant disregard for gun safety, responsible gun ownership, and training that goes well beyond how to simply pull a trigger. Something more than just a cursory glance at the law would also go a long way towards enhancing firearms safety.
The death of this young boy in Pennsylvania is a senseless tragedy that could have...should have been avoided. How many more innocent people have to die before we realize that this is the 21st century and what may have worked in the 1800s is not working today?