A couple of days ago I was reading this article from Sunday’s New York Times about accidental shooting deaths among children due to their parents or adult guardians being irresponsible about securing their firearms.
I can’t imagine the horror that these adults must have felt when they had the unbelievable realization that their own failure to keep their firearms away from their younger children or to teach their older children respect, responsibly and proper behavior around firearms had led to their children’s tragic deaths.
But I also can’t imagine ever being so irresponsible as to leave a loaded gun around small children or to allow older children to even hold a firearm without being absolutely sure they know what they are doing and that they demonstrate the proper respect for these instruments of death.
The question that always comes to my mind when I read these tragic tales is this: Did this horrific, tragic, avoidable loss cause those parents or guardians to change their thinking about children and guns?
I am all for responsible gun ownership but handing a 3 year old a gun is like letting that same 3 year old drive the family truck down the Interstate. You’re just asking for an outcome that is going to be tragic in its resolution. Letting older children handle firearms without teaching them responsibility and making sure that they treat those firearms with respect and caution is criminally negligent.