A Jacksonville, Florida, woman who was shot by her son earlier this year plans to teach gun safety classes.
Jamie Gilt released a statement on Facebook on Wednesday. She was shot in the back by her 4-year-old son while driving in Putnam County.
In part, Gilt said:
“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.”
Gilt could have faced an unsafe storage of a firearm charge, a second-degree misdemeanor that could have landed her in jail up to 60 days.
As part of Gilt’s deal with the State Attorney’s Office, she has to give 10 speeches about what happened and the need to safely store guns. The deal also requires Gilt to complete a gun safety course, install a mounted gun holster in her vehicle and prove to the state she has safe gun storage in her home.
Gilt’s full statement:
I guess it’s time that I make a statement.
I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone that said a prayer or a kind word. It made more of a difference than you will ever know. I apologize for not replying to each and every one of you, but please know I read all of your messages and I truly appreciate it.
As for all of the negative messages and comments, I read some, but I really can’t take to heart something negative coming from someone that does not know me, or what truly happened. I will however say a prayer for all of you. Having so much hate in your heart for someone you don’t even know, I can’t even imagine how negative the rest of your life must be.
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.
To answer some of the questions asked…
My son was buckled into a booster seat. He is also 4 years old and perfectly capable of unbuckling himself. Anyone that has ever had a child this age should realize that.
No, the gun was not on the seat beside him, nor did it slide from under the seat onto the floor below him. He dropped a toy and it bounced under the seat. He then unbuckled himself to get down and get it.
The safety was not off. I was not shot with the compact 1911 that was shown in pictures. It was a Springfield XD Mod 2. That particular handgun does not have a thumb safety.
I have never claimed to be an expert. I am just very passionate about keeping our Second Amendment rights and I have conservative political views.
Yes, I do realize what “could have happened”, but I also live in the reality that what could have happened didn’t happen. I was shot, and I survived, and in the end I will be fine. My son is also fine.
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.
I am sure there is more, but that’s all I have for now.Jamie Gilt”