Toddler’s Fatal Shot of Dad Should Open Conversation About Greater Gun Control

Divine Chambliss
Divine Chambliss

*By now you have heard about the terrible accident at the hands of a toddler, resulting in the death of his father. What more reason do we need to address the issue of gun control? Better yet, what greater example to envision a society where there are no guns…eliminating these types of accidents?

I can’t help but “go there” for a minute and think (putting this very, very unfortunate accident aside for a minute) how many lives would have been spared if there were no guns to end them. How would differences be settled? What other alternative would police officers take if it were not so easy to reach for their pistol and shoot a suspect?

Maybe we’d go back to the old days of man up…dukes up and fight it out. I don’t recall many people dying from that, just bloody.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of people dying from being shot!

By all accounts 31-year-old Divine Vaniah Chambliss was a great dad. He was at home watching the kids while their mother was at work. Chambliss’ parents believe the toddler and his dad were napping together, when the child woke up and found the semiautomatic weapon and pulled the trigger.

“We’ve talked with the detective, we’ve talked with the coroner and everything is pointing to the baby,” said the victim’s father, Larry Chambliss. “I just can’t comprehend it.”

Though Mr. Chambliss, Sr. and his wife, Marilyn, pray that the little boy won’t remember what happened, they say they can’t deny that even at his young age, he knows something is wrong, and told his mommy,  “I hurt my Dad.”

Can you imagine returning home from work and finding your child sitting on the bed, next to his dead father, with a gun in his possession?

This is the sight a toddler’s mother came home to on Tuesday, when the incident occurred. She immediately dialed 911 and told police that her children’s father was dead.

father shot by toddler

Though Chambliss didn’t live at the home where he died, he was often there to watch the children while their mother went to work. The two also have a daughter, who was at school at the time.

Because authorities found no signs of forced entry, they had no reason to believe foul play was involved.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has not yet released its official ruling on the deadly shooting, but family members and police say all evidence leads them to believe it was a tragic accident. 

On Wednesday evening, Hoover police released this statement: 

“Detectives have spent the past 24 hours collecting and analyzing evidence, interviewing numerous individuals and constructing a meticulous timeline of events. Detectives have considered every possible scenario in an attempt to determine who shot the victim. There is still no indication that an intruder or any third person was involved in this incident. Physical evidence has also helped us determine that the victim could not have shot himself. All indications at this point still lead us to believe the child found the loaded handgun and accidentally shot his father.”

“Detectives have left no stone unturned in their efforts to determine exactly what happened in this case. There’s never a good scenario when it involves a tragic death but it appears that this case may represent the unthinkable,” Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector told “It’s just an absolute horrible tragedy. Our hearts go out for Mr. Chambliss’ family and friends. They’re going through a rough time right now and they need prayers and support.”

This is another life that could have been spared by a greater measure of safety in maintaining a weapon. But again, the conversation of finding alternative ways to protect ourselves should be happening. I know it seems impossible because all signs point to a world that will never be free of guns; and there have been many attempts by local organizations to encourage gangs and others to relinquish their guns. It’s one of those things I believe we should keep working towards. What greater encouragement does one need, than the number of killings that continue to happen as the result of a gunshot.

Read more about this tragic story here. 

RIP Divine Chambliss and our deepest condolences to the Chambliss family.

5 thoughts on “Toddler’s Fatal Shot of Dad Should Open Conversation About Greater Gun Control”

  1. So in your perfect world 100 pound women being sexually assaulted by 200 pound men, 80 year old women being assaulted by 25 year old men, and youngsters hiding in closets while their home is being invaded by a group of criminals are supposed to “duke it out”? Your intentional (?) ignorance of the benefits of firearms for self-defense is only one of the glaring fallacies of your “vision”. Absurd, preposterous, and either disingenuous or deliberately misleading.

  2. …While yours is just to shoot and kill everybody. If that’s not ignorant, I don’t know what is.

  3. First of all, that baby didn’t kill his father. His father is dead because he was carless and allowed a situation to develop that never should have.

    In the perfect world you contemplate, you fail to consider the numerous mass graves that are found in many parts of the world that predate firearms. Killing is nothing new, it has been happening since the beginning of time and firearms are not needed to do it. The largest school killing in this countries history nor the largest mass murder (not done by the government) were not done with firearms.

    You also fail to consider that crimes are stopped or not committed because the good guys have guns and that they are a great equalizer. Without them, it would most definitely be the biggest and baddest person prevailing in any fight. If you truly believe the idea of coming across armed people doesn’t deter crime, it has to be because you are deluding yourself.

    Your fantasy of a gun free world is both poorly thought out and completely impossible. Neither of those ideas make this wholly unnecessary situation any less tragic.

    I and others are willing to work with anyone who wishes to learn to use and store firearms safely.

  4. brainuser1 wrote:

    …While yours is just to shoot and kill everybody. If that’s not ignorant, I don’t know what is.

    * * * * *

    Good job. Another fallacy. Strawman. When one has no rational and logical valid response, the strawman argument (falsely attributing a particular argument or claim to the opponent) is a common choice of those incapable of reasoning or using critical thinking skills. The irony of course is that you have chosen to name yourself “brainuser”. Far from it.

    I never wrote anything even vaguely suggestive of “shoot and kill everybody”. I was merely pointing out that firearms used in SELF-DEFENSE against criminals intent on harming innocent people are morally and ethically correct and proper, and practically useful, especially in conditions of disparity of force (young big thugs against the older, smaller, weaker, slower, very young, etc.). Your suggestion to “duke it out” is preposterous. More people are murdered annually by hands than by so-called “assault weapons”.

    You are welcome to live in a world of fantasy, where simply eliminating all firearms (like I said, fantasy world) would end violence. You’ve heard of knives, and blunt objects, and fists, and cars, explosives, and, well, the list goes on forever. Some people act violently against innocent people, using whatever tool happens to be available. Your fantasy of removing one of those tools would do nothing at all to stop violence by violent people. But by all means, continue in your fantasies, fallacious arguments, and ignorance of facts of reality. It seems to suit you. But don’t try to tell me how I and others may or may not defend ourselves against criminals.

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