Facebook gun rights activist Jamie Gilt, 31, was shot by her 4-year-old from the backseat of her pickup truck on Tuesday.
Jamie had established a small following on social media as a voice for “gun sense” laws that seek to protect the 2nd Amendment. Gilt had created a Facebook page titled “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense” that had attracted more than 800 followers, and she could also be seen elsewhere on the website using her personal account to speak out about the issue. Since her name began to trend, the account has been deleted.
While one might expect those pushing for gun control to latch on to Jamie’s tragedy to bolster their argument, it is some of her allies who have been the harshest critics of her parenting. Before it was deleted, Gilt’s Facebook page was inundated with angered people who told her she is not only a terrible mother, but an irresponsible gun owner.
“I’ve owned guns all my life and I can’t get my son to execute me let alone wound me. How do you do it? I’m really at a loss here.”
Moreover, many of them are worried that Jamie’s shooting will becoming a rallying cry for those who want to limit the sale of guns in the United States. Gilt’s proud Facebook activism makes her an easy target for those who say that even close care cannot prevent all accidental firearm injuries and deaths.
“Thanks for bringing our second amendment rights under attack with your utter STUPIDITY. I do hope you recover quickly, truly I do. But honestly–I am just glad it was YOU who was shot and not your little boy! How stupid can you be to have a firearm within reach of your child? I was raised in a house full of guns and taken to the shooting range to shoot them but they were NEVER within my reach without proper supervision. I honestly wish people like you never owned a firearm… now gun haters will lump us into the same category as people like you.”
Florida’s Putnam County Police Department has been overwhelmed with questions over Jamie’s death. The Facebook sharpshooter may actually be facing criminal charges as it is a misdemeanor to leave a loaded gun out in the open where a child may gain access to it. As the law enforcement press release noted, Gilt is currently unable to engage in interviews with authorities to determine whether or not she committed a crime.
Some of the most brutal slams on Jamie’s Facebook came as the result of a message she had written several days earlier about her 4-year-old. Gilt wrote that every single one of children knew how to shoot a gun, including the one who sent a bullet through her back two days later.
Whether or not it’s fair, Jamie has just launched herself into the center of the polemic debate on gun rights in America. The fact that she has a Facebook filled with fodder for those who want to turn her into a poster child of poor judgment doesn’t help. Even former CNN anchor Piers Morgan posted about Gilt’s shooting.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 9, 2016
Officers first found Jamie behaving “frantically” inside of her four-door pickup truck near Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday. Gilt was able to tell officers that she had been shot by her child. She was then rushed to the hospital. Her history of gun rights activism on Facebook was immediately noticed by the Florida Times-Union, who included the detail when they broke the story.
Do you think the Jamie Gilt Facebook gun right activism page should factor into the conversation about the shooting?
[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]