- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Florida woman who was accidentally shot in the back by her 4-year-old son earlier this year plans to begin teaching gun safety classes, she said this week.

Jamie Gilt’s announcement has been since deleted from the Facebook page where she first posted it Tuesday after her plans propelled critics to lash out less than six-months after she suffered a gunshot wounded at the hands of her 4-year-old son.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said Ms. Gilt was behind the wheel of her pickup truck on March 8 when her son found his mom’s .45-caliber handgun and pulled the trigger. The single shot was fired from the back of the truck and entered the driver’s seat before penetrating the woman’s back and exiting her chest.

Ms. Gilt, 31, has been a passionate supporter of the right to bear arms well prior to the accidental shooting, and a day before the accident she wrote on Facebook that her 4-year-old “gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22.” She avoided jail time when prosecutors said they wouldn’t charge her if she fulfilled a list of requirements that included completing of a gun safety course. As indicated by her post Tuesday on the “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense” Facebook page, she intends on soon giving gun safety lectures of her own.

“I have chosen to take this very negative and scary experience and make something positive out of it. I have gone through a lot of training since the accident, and am nowhere near finished. I realize that many of the classes offered are seriously lacking and I plan to do my best to improve that. I will be teaching classes as soon as I am ready, and I will continue to share my story in hopes that it will help just one person make a different decision or get a little more training,” she wrote.

“As for what happened, yes, I did make a mistake by placing a handgun under the front seat of my vehicle, and that mistake lead to a horrible accident. However, this is not something that is rare. A very large number of people place a gun under their seat every single day, I can only hope that what happened to me will help to open their eyes to what can happen by doing so,” she added.

Her social-media post reported “set off a flurry of criticism” before disappearing Wednesday within minutes of being picked up by Jacksonville press, The Florida Times-Union reported.

“I think the first thing you do is take down this site and stop associating your name with ‘Gun Sense.’ Until then you deserve all the ridicule that the internet can deliver,” commented one user, according to the newspaper.

Ms. Gilt’s Facebook page has since been purged of all but two earlier posts, yet critics have continued to posts negative comments nonetheless.

“Was going to join this group but decided to join the OJ Simpson domestic violence prevention group instead,” said one Facebook user this week. “Heck a damn hot dog has more sense than you do,” said another.

According to the Times-Union, however, Ms. Gilt has already completed the initial requirements needed to be an NRA-sanctioned gun-safety instructor and has been formally nominated by a licensed expert, Jeffrey Howell.

“I see this as a learning opportunity,” Mr. Howell told the newspaper. “It was a very near tragedy.”

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