I don’t even know what to say any more. I just know that I have to say something. Last night, within hours, I received alerts about two different stories involving preschoolers shooting guns and killing or injuring others.
This story involved a four-year-old (4!) shooting a rifle found on a bed at a cook-out – and killing a 48-year-old woman. Killing. As in – dead.
And then this story was about a four-year-old (4!) shooting a six-year-old in the head.
Thankfully, this incident seems like it won’t be as tragic. Still. In the head. Read the story. It could have been your child shot in your neighbor’s yard. Update: The six-year-old has died.
There was no evil-doing here. There was carelessness. Tragedy. Lives altered forever. No bad guy with a gun, you know? So as gun advocates scramble to say, “That guy was stupid – he didn’t lock up his guns.” Or something along the lines of, “They were drinking – don’t drink and show off your guns.” Or, “Every responsible gun owner knows….” People are still getting killed. Children are still getting shot in the head. And these two incidents were accidental. That’s not even the shooting a baby in his stroller or while her diaper is being changed.
Well, guess what? Now that we’re paying attention, we’re starting to see where some the 32 Americans killed with guns every day are coming from. The eight children killed each day. And there are many more than that injured – many times with a lifetime of pain and medication and injury to show for it. And we have tax-payer funded legislators threatening to stymie a conversation, a debate on how we can make a dent, a difference in the 30,000 people killed with guns a year. That’s just in the USA.
As mentioned above, I don’t even know what to say anymore. Common sense gun legislation needs to happen. And the casual gun culture needs to change. Many do, but all gun owners need to respect the power inherent in firearms. It’s not the same as a hammer, a screwdriver, a pair of scissors. And even those have “rules;” even those tools useful for myriad tasks other than possibly harming yourself or others while using them carelessly or dropping them or falling with them — have parents telling their kids “Don’t run with scissors!”
At the very least, we need to keep talking. And our legislators ought to be raising the bar on the conversation, not ending it. Feel free to use this link to tell the 14 US Senators threatening to filibuster the gun violence prevention package that you’d like to keep talking – that we, as a nation, owe it to those who no longer can.