A staunch anti-gun control figure has been shot in the back by her child, only a day after she bragged that the four-year-old feels “jacked up” while using a firearm.
Jamie Gilt, 31, was shot by her son as she drove down a highway in Florida, United States on Wednesday (AEDT).
But on Tuesday (AEDT), Ms Gilt concluded a discussion on Facebook about possessing weapons for self-defence by boasting: “Even my 4-year-old gets jacked up to target shoot the .22.”
That Facebook page has been disabled since the incident made the news.
Florida police were investigating the incident, but several reports suggest that the child found Ms Gilt’s .45 caliber handgun in the back seat of the family car.
The child located it while Ms Gilt was driving with him to pick up a horse.
The toddler then reportedly took the gun and shot his mother through the back seat.
The bullet passed through Ms Gilt’s body and left her seriously injured.
A nearby police officer stopped to help Ms Gilt when he noticed her driving erratically.
She was taken to hospital and remained in a stable condition the next day.
The four-year-old was returned to family members.
The bizarre accident was the latest in a long line of controversial gun incidents in the US.
The most recent was the San Bernardino shooting which killed 14 people and seriously injured 22 more.
Backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the US gun lobby has been keeping politicians from legislating for gun control.
President Barack Obama struggled to get gun control laws through Congress, however he did announce some limited changes in to background checks in January.
Mother could be charged
Police from the Florida county of Putnam were trying to establish how the toddler got his hands on the weapon.
The firearm was appropriately registered, police said. Police also confirmed they had notified the Department of Children and Families in the state.
“The child came to possess the firearm without the victim’s knowledge,” Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“Florida statute makes it a misdemeanour for a person to store or leave, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm in such a manner that it is likely a child can gain access to the firearm,” said the statement.
“Due to her medical condition, detectives have not been able to interview the victim and any decision on the filing of criminal charges will not come until after we speak with the victim.”
Other posts on Ms Gilt’s Facebook page demonstrated her passionate advocacy of the right to bear arms.
Her Twitter page, which has not been used since late January 2015, did show pro-gun posts.
Got to play with my new toy today! Time to clean it! pic.twitter.com/1lkYo8b3sh
— jamie gilt (@jamiegilt) January 24, 2015
How to be safe with cars and guns
In Australia, each state and territory has its own gun safety and storage regulations.
For example, Victoria Police listed “10 basic rules” that all gun owners must know about firearms.
“No. 8: Never have loaded firearms in the car, home or camp,”, the Victorian Firearm Safety Code says. It was unknown whether Ms Gilt’s gun was loaded when the child found it.
The code goes on to state: “It is advisable that you, make the firearm inoperable [when in the car] e.g. by taking out the bolt.”
Mr Obama was moved to tears when he announced the measures he could in January.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Mr Obama said, tears rolling down his cheeks, as he remembered the victims of the Sandy Hook primary school shooting of 2012.
“That changed me, that day,” he said, flanked by the families who lost 20 children and six adults to the violence.
“My hope earnestly has been that it would change the country.”
Despite his pleas, Republicans, the NRA and gun-freedom advocates in the US have pushed back hard on Mr Obama and those in the country who want firearms to be better regulated.