“Just one of those crazy accidents.”
That’s what the Cumberland County coroner in Lexington, KY said of the horrific accident in which a 5-year-old boy shot his 2-year-old sister dead with his PERSONAL RIFLE. I have a terrible feeling that the parents of these children won’t be charged for reckless endangerment or anything else. Isn’t losing a child enough? Maybe. What would we do to a parent who drove drunk and killed their child in a “crazy accident?” Unfortunately, stories like these happen regularly enough that we aren’t even shocked. Consider the off-duty policeman who left his unsecured weapon within reach his four-year-old nephew. The child picked it up and shot the deputy’s wife dead. Predictably, the sheriff called it a terrible accident. “It’s a sad, sad set of circumstances,” he said. Talk about an understatement! The deputy was not charged.
Looks like accidents like these will be an ever growing trend in the future, because the gun industry aggressively markets to children, hoping to ensure a new generation of consumers, while lobbying against even the tamest of regulations to prevent accidental discharges. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimated that 31% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms could be prevented by the addition of a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator. Trigger locks are somehow an infringement on the Second Amendment, however. Keystone Sporting Arms, manufacturer of the “My First Rifle,” markets deadly weapons to the kiddie crowd, with smaller barrels and stocks in primary colors and hot pink for your little princess. It is (currently) illegal to sell guns to minors, but given the current climate of Second Amendment worship, that could change. At this point, I am not shocked by any proposed legislation.
My father taught me how to shoot at a young age. I knew how to check if it was loaded and was taught basic safety such as rule number one: NEVER POINT YOUR WEAPON AT ANOTHER PERSON! I was punished if I even pointed my FINGERS shaped like a gun at my little sister. Nevertheless, he always kept his guns locked up when he wasn’t using them. Because children cannot be trusted to use good judgment. Grown people have enough trouble with that.
It is apparent that no number of tragedies or deaths will spur the government to finally take action to enact sensible gun laws-not until the NRA and the gun lobby are prevented from buying politicians. Clearly, campaign finance reform is not even on the horizon, so you had better buy up those bulletproof backpacks and teach your young ones to duck and cover. Do they manufacture baby bulletproof vests yet? Hmm, perhaps that’s a niche market I could exploit…KiddieKevlar?