On March 19, 2021, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 13-year-old Jah’sir Vasquez pointed a loaded handgun at his 12-year-old sister Jasiyah and pulled the trigger.
“Mom, Jah shot me!” Jasiyah screamed before falling to the ground, a single gunshot wound to her chest.
How did this 13-year-old get his hands on a loaded handgun?
His mother, Daisy Vasquez, asked him to retrieve the gun from her car.
“The very act of pointing a gun at somebody, whether loaded or unloaded, is sufficient to show malice.” – Montgomery County Prosecutor Brianna Ringwood
Jah’sir Vasquez, faces charges of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, possession of a firearm by a minor and possessing an instrument of crime.
As a result of her carelessness and cavalier manner with a loaded firearm, Daisy Vasquez faces charges for endangering the welfare of children, hindering apprehension or prosecution, possession of a firearm by a minor — responsibility of an adult — and recklessly endangering another person.
An entire family was destroyed by a mother’s stupid decision and her son’s even stupider act.
Why the boy pointed the handgun at his sister and pulled the trigger is anyone’s guess.
Judge Welsh said, “a picture is worth a thousand words” as he ruled the prosecution met its burden of presenting sufficient evidence to support the charges.
During the the preliminary hearing, Montgomery County prosecutors played a home surveillance videotape showing the boy firing the bullet that killed his sister. The boy sobbed uncontrollably as the video played, forcing Judge Richard H. Welsh to call a recess to allow the boy to compose himself.
“This is a most tragic situation,” said Welsh, explaining the evidence presented by prosecutors showed Vasquez holding the gun “without any pause” and without nervousness.
“There’s no indication this is an accidental discharge.”
Daisy Vasquez’s charges stem from the fact she lied to police when they arrived, claiming she, not her son, fired the fatal bullet. She eventually broke down and admitted the truth, that her son killed her daughter. She also admitted she asked her son “to retrieve her handgun from her locked vehicle and bring it to her bedroom to be placed in a safe.”
While Daisy Vasquez legally owned the firearm and held a valid permit to carry the firearm, she either failed to follow her firearm safety training or did not have sufficient training to handle this responsibility.
What About Constitutional Carry?
This tragedy brings to mind a question one reader posed to me recently.
“Christopher, what is your opinion on Constitutional Carry in the US?”
I hold to opposing thoughts simultaneously on Constitutional Carry and have no idea how to reconcile them.
- The US Constitution guarantees every person the right to bear arms without restriction. I support the 2nd Amendment 100%.
- If a person is going to carry a loaded firearm on their person, I believe they should be trained to the same level as police officers in the use of force.
Forcing a training requirement on firearm owners violates the 2nd Amendment.
Any thoughts on how to reconcile those two things?
As an American I believe that 2A is an absolute right not to be infringed just as it is written. That said, I’m not sure that asking for formal training is an infringement although, given the devious nature of gun opponents, I’m sure that it will be turned into an impossibly high bar in certain jurisdictions. My children were taught gun safety at a very early age and, at 13, would have never pointed a gun at anyone. This is just horribly sad.
Lynn Cournoyer says
Even though I support the 2nd Amendment, every person wishing to own a firearm should have to pass a competency program.
It is apparent the women in question made a huge mistake and caused a life to be taken. She should have never asked her son to retrieve the firearm. At his age he should not have had the firearm in his hands. He was not trained, had no idea of how to handle the firearm and unfortunately killed his sister.
Every firearms owner in Canada knows the rules of law and firearms. I’m not saying this could not have happened in Canada, but the odds are very low. People make mistakes, but this mistake caused a death. Something the mother and son will live with for the rest of their lives. So sad.
Lee Morrison says
You’re a bit hard on Ms. Vasquez. The action of her 13 year old son was unpredictable and the kid was absolutely old enough to know better. As a society we have gotten into the habit of infantilizing teen agers (and even young adults). Hell, back in the Jurassic period I was given my first .22 at age 10 (by a doting uncle) and was hunting rebbits without supervision.
Yes sadly there is no reconciling these 2 points , I believe stronger in the 2A with zero caveats , than I do in mandatory training. Voluntary training is great though and saves many lives I’m sure , it should be vigorously pushed , encouraged and offered for free (if necessary) to all who will take it.