...comes this story about a 4-year old who shot and killed his 5 year-old sister and wounded his 7 year-old brother.
The piece is entitled
Gun control laws needed at homeAnd there are over 65 million handguns in circulation without built-in trigger locks. And, I'm sure, of the tens of thousands of guns out there with built-in trigger locks, the vast majority are not locked.
Whether or not you believe in gun control by the government, surely you and everyone else believe in gun control by parents.
Last Saturday in Prince George's County, Md., two young parents left unattended their four children, ages 4 to 10, and a handgun, a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic. A boy, age 4, shot and killed his 5-year-old sister and critically wounded his 7-year-old brother, leaving his 10-year-old sister yelling for help.
In Maryland, guns manufactured after Jan. 1 must have built-in trigger locks. This one didn't. It was loaded and ready for a 4-year-old to grab and pull the trigger. Simple as pie.
Anyone with half a brain could see that Maryland's trigger lock law wasn't about safety, it was about reducing access - because it severely limits the number of handguns that can be legally sold in Maryland. Remember, the gun
Even if a parent had been in the house, it is possible that the 4-year-old might have obtained the gun and fired a few rounds before anyone could intervene.First, "fired a few rounds????" The kid is FOUR! The author of this peice has obviously never fired a .45. I would imagine that ONE round was fired, killing the sister and wounding the brother. I doubt SERIOUSLY the 4 year-old managed to hang onto the pistol after the first round, I would be amazed if it didn't jam because he could not hold it properly, and I'm POSITIVE that after firing the first round he would have been scared out of his mind. However, if a parent had been carrying the gun, rather than leaving it lying around, the child would not have had access to it in the first place. But Maryland is a "may-issue" state, which means that unless you're politically connected or a celebrity you might as well not bother to apply, because they're not going to give you a permit. Maryland is the state where the Attorney General is a lobbyist for a handgun ban.
However, here you have two parents (Two! Imagine that!) who left the kids unattended. I don't know about you, but leaving a four year-old and a five year-old in the care of a ten year-old doesn't strike me as all that bright. Leaving a .45 where a four year-old can get to it doesn't either. Then again, there was the incident last year in Tennessee where a police officer was shot and killed by his 3 year-old son, so it illustrates that bad judgement can happen even with the responsible and well trained.
Many people feel safer with a loaded gun under a pillow or someplace handy. And some people don't want safety locks slowing their response times.IF you have a gun for self-protection, then having it unloaded and/or locked renders it useless. But if you have children you must weigh the odds of needing a firearm for self-protection against the odds of one of the kids getting to a loaded weapon. This means exercising reason and personal responsibility. Something that we seem to be systematically removing from the general public.
But when kids are loose in a house with loaded guns handy, something is far more likely to go horribly wrong than right.OK, I don't disagree with the last three paragraphs, but what "gun control laws" are going to prevent this? This was a horrible tragedy. The parents are responsible for the death of one child, the physical injuries of another, and the mental injuries to the whole family. What law can punish them more than this, and not inflict further injuries on the surviving children?
A lot of parents will not let their children visit homes where guns are kept, especially if the guns are not locked away. Neighbors may be offended when asked, "Do you have any guns in the house?'' Or, "Do you have any guns that children might reach?'' But when a 4-year-old can shoot and kill someone, those are questions worth asking.
You can read the Bill of Rights a thousand different ways without finding any prohibition against parents practicing gun control. Having seen guns in countless movies and TV shows, kids have a general idea how to use them. It is parents' responsibility to ensure that they never get the chance.
Yes, it's a tragedy, but it's a very rare tragedy in a country with nearly 300 million inhabitants.