Parents, be afraid of your toddler. Very afraid.

Friends and neighbors, there is something certainly disturbing going on right now. It is scarier than Ted Cruz and Donald Trump combined. It seems toddlers are shooting their parents quite often.

This morning I read a news story that sounded familiar. It said “Mother shot and killed by her 2-year-old son.” I read the headline on story aggregator Google News. I had noticed for quite a while that some of my stories weren’t being refreshed. I often see articles two or three weeks old. I thought this was one of those articles.

It turns out that the story of the toddler shooting his mother Tuesday in Milwaukee was similar to a story I read last month. In that incident, a Florida woman who is known as a gun advocate was shot in the back with a .45-caliber pistol in early March.

The difference between the two stories was that the latest shooting proved fatal.

Patrice Price, 26, was reportedly driving a car belonging to her boyfriend who was a security guard. The child somehow got the weapon and pulled the trigger. In the Florida case, 31-year-old pro-gun activist Jamie Gilt told authorities that she had put the gun under the seat and the gun came out while towing a horse trailer with her  pickup. The toddler reportedly unbuckled his seat, then picked up the gun and fired it through through the seat in which his mother was driving. The shooting came just hours after Gilt wrote on Facebook: “My 4-year-old gets jacked up to target shoot,” the Washington Post reported. ­­

Just how often this type of accidental shooting occurs is not really clear. I saw one report say there were 41 incidents in which small kids shot a parent or someone else from October 2015 until present. Or maybe it was 41 this year. The fact it has happened twice in the past two months might spur those people who conceal carry to carry it better, at least in their automobile.

I first saw this happening a couple of times to be funny, not ha-ha, but rather in an ironic way. But parents aren’t being targeted by toddlers, rather children are the ones getting killed in more numbers than should ever happen. I have written here before that I was almost shot once as a “baby,” according to the family story. I have no memory of this, at least in my conscious recall. I think that is a good thing, I’m not sure. My brother John may have been 12 or 13 when he took a shotgun from a rack while visiting our cousins’ home and pulled the trigger. The shot went through the wall and missed me by inches, as the story goes. John died in 2014.

My nieces like to hear the stories of us five boys in our younger day. I really wasn’t around when all the mischief  was created as there was eight years between me and my next older brother, Robert, who passed away about two months before John. But during a family gathering the last time all five of us were together and were in relatively good health, we sat around talking and listening to the stories of our childhood. I brought up the story of my near hit and John’s near miss. I had always joked with him about it but he got serious this time and recalled how scared he and everyone was. One of my brothers remembered our mother saying at that time that she had never heard a sound as good to “hear that baby crying.”

I grew up knowing how to shoot. I like to shoot targets or beer cans. I don’t want to see guns gone. And I don’t believe we will ever see them outlawed, at least in my lifetime. Like I have said many times about total gun control, that genie’s out of the bottle. But, and I have argued with my friends about this, that some sanity is needed in gun policy. I don’t expect NRA to be of any help. I don’t know what it will take for some self-control to keep people from accidentally shooting others, whether at home or in a crowd when someone tries to be Dirty Harry. Maybe I am wishing the impossible. Then again, I was almost a goner from accidental shooting. I can’t imagine how my family would have survived such a tragedy. But we, I, was spared.