Millions of people derive enjoyment from firearms. They’re mechanical marvels that still fascinate us despite the overall premise of modern firearms being quite old. They’re great in so many ways.

But guns have to be respected. If you don’t, bad things can happen. It’s something most gun owners know and understand, but far too many people go through life without being taught that respect. Then they get guns and they can get stupid.

One such case has claimed the life of an innocent woman.

Prosecutors said that a Gurnee man cried out “Oh my God, I didn’t mean to” and “Don’t die” after he discharged a pistol, fatally striking a woman at a Gurnee residence.

Isaiah J. Cole, 19, of Gurnee, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, possession of a stolen firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm without a FOID card, three counts of unlawful possession of a control substance, and two counts of unlawful possession of cannabis.

Cole was charged in connection with the shooting of Ameyah T. Brewton, 21, of Gurnee, which occurred around 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 600 block of Creekside Circle in Gurnee.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Tara Ferrari said that Cole racked the slide on a semi-automatic pistol and ejected a bullet in the gun’s chamber.

He then removed the gun’s magazine and reinserted it before the gun fired, Ferrari said. Brewton was struck in the arm and rib cage by the round.

Now, Cole was clearly not the kind of guy who can legally buy a gun and it’s also obvious that he wasn’t exactly the type to call up an NRA certified instructor and get some classes.

And that may be part of why Brewton is dead.

See, so many people go through life not really learning about firearm safety. Their parents didn’t own guns so they didn’t pass anything along. Maybe they didn’t even know gun safety themselves. As a result, they don’t know what to do or what not to do. They simply get a gun and start screwing around with it. They don’t understand that ejecting a round and then removing the magazine doesn’t tend to do much for keeping the chamber cleared.

They don’t know anything and there was no one to teach them.

Regardless of how it’s done, we need to make sure people understand at least some basics of firearm safety. Yes, even the criminals who are getting guns. I don’t give a damn about them blasting each other off the face of the planet. That’s just trash taking out other trash. What I care about, though, is when other people get hurt because these knuckleheads don’t know how to work the weapons they bought illegal or stole from somewhere else.

In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be criminals in the first place, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in this one.

I’ve long advocated for broader dissemination of gun safety education and I stand by that, especially in light of an incident like this. Yes, Cole was apparently a bad man. Brewton was associating with a bad man. That doesn’t mean she deserved to die. It especially doesn’t mean the it couldn’t have been some child walking through the neighborhood, either.