Friday, February 4, 2011

Kids Play With Gun

   This was in the local news today.

"EDMONDS, Wash. -- Four young children literally dodged a bullet after they repeatedly tried to fire what they thought was a cap gun.

But it turned out, it was a .22 caliber Derringer handgun. And not only was it a real gun, but it was cocked, and loaded with live ammunition."

   The article goes on to say...

"No one knows that better than Kara Green. Her 7-year--old found the gun under hedges on Saturday in their Edmonds neighborhood. Her son and his 12-year-old brother and two other neighbor boys played with it for two hours at a neighbor's house."

   First off, let me say how thankful I am that this story did not end in tragedy. I cannot express how elated I am that these four boys are all okay.

   That said, here is a real life example of one issue I have with the gun control crowd. Not liking something or even getting it banned does not make it go away. Do you teach your kids about illegal drugs? Why? They're illegal so we don't have to worry about them, right? Nope. Turns out that a lot of things we've declared illegal are still around. But I digress...

   Today in America, guns are legal. We even have an old amendment in the Bill of Rights about it. So, whether we like it or not, shouldn't we be aware enough to be informed on the subject? I am astonished that among four boys (presumably) between the ages of 7 and 12, not one of them knew what to do upon finding a gun and, more than that, assumed it was a toy and played with it for two hours.

   The primary rules of firearms vary, but they are essentially the same (I like Coopers):

1. Always assume the gun is loaded
2. Never point the gun at anything you do not want to destroy
3. Do not put your finger on the trigger unto you have your target and are ready to fire
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it

   Before my son was let loose to play unsupervised he understood these rules as well as mom and dad's rule: if you find a gun you leave it alone and tell an adult immediately. (What if it's a toy? Let the adult make sure. Of course he asked that question.)

   Now, if this story gets any traction it will be spun into rhetoric about banning small guns because they look too much like toys and/or banning toy guns because it's all just too confusing.

   Why are we so afraid to admit that it can be a dangerous world and we need to be aware?

   If we banned guns the day after that Derringer had been dropped in a hedge and successfully collected all firearms from their owners and had them destroyed, those boys still would have found that gun. Is it likely that there might be one or two other guns unaccounted for out there? (Before you get too worked up about this idea, please review the statistics.)

   Perhaps it might be better if we acknowledge that there are things in this world of which we need to be aware and educate ourselves and children accordingly? 

   I am suddenly reminded of the film, The Time Machine.

   I fear there is a cultural ideal that we can live in an Eloi Utopia.

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