I went to bed last night with this question: Why would a mother, accompanied by her children and other members of her family, ever feel the need to put a loaded gun in her handbag to go shopping in a Wal-Mart in an Idaho region best known for its potatoes? This morning, I read this more or less satisfying response, supplied by a police officer from the area:

“It’s pretty common around here — a lot of people carry loaded guns.”

According to this article, Veronica Rutledge, 29, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Yet, as everyone knows today, her two-year-old son, who was sitting in the front seat of a shopping cart, killed her while handling the gun that was in her handbag.

The saddest thing in this story, is to read this type of phrase in a dispatch from AFP:

“A two-year old boy accidentally killed his mother in an American supermarket by shooting her with the handgun she was carrying in her handbag, a tragedy that runs the risk of reviving the gun control debate in the United States.”

The risk is slim, even nonexistent, and other Veronica Rutledges will lose their lives in just as absurd a way in the United States, this country that is crazy about its guns.