So here, again, are some recent examples of the senseless shootings of and by toddlers. A Tennessee mother left a loaded gun on a couch which, of course, was found by her 3 year child who shot himself. Why? What is the matter with law abiding permit holders? Are they so cavalier with their guns that they just don't think anything could possibly go wrong for them? The next one involves a law enforcement officer and his careless behavior. Too many times I have read about and written about the unsecured loaded guns of law enforcement officers found by toddlers to a tragic end. Here is yet another one from the Kid Shootings blog. The article linked in the blog writes about a Utah 2 year old who got his father's service gun and shot himself to death. says this:
If the officer was this careless on the job, would he be reprimanded? He will not be charged for the death of his child. Child Access Prevention laws are often not enforced. Why? Parents already feel badly enough about their own careless behavior leading to the death of a child. Why punish them further? That is probably a good thing. But what will get parents to lock up their guns away from toddlers and older children? What will get gun owners to believe that having guns in the home is dangerous for their families? If the NRA would step up and actually do something to prevent senseless shootings instead of making excuses and convincing Americans that guns make us safer, perhaps our gun culture would change. Perhaps we would reduce and even prevent gun injuries and deaths. Will they? As long as the NRA is protecting the gun industry, the answer is no. Follow the money. From the article:The young child who died Tuesday night in Springville after accidentally shooting himself was the son of a police officer, and the Utah County Attorney's Office is now investigating the incident to avoid any potential conflicts.The 2-year-old boy died from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he grabbed a handgun in the home."I'm not quite sure whether it was the service weapon or not, but the child got a hold of the handgun and shot himself with it," said Tim Taylor, chief deputy with the Utah County Attorney's Office.
Children are dying from bullets. But money, to the NRA and the gun industry, is more important than human lives. We are better than this. Until people join together in common sense measures to prevent senseless shootings, this is the America we will have. Raise your hand if you think this is the America you want. Toddlers should be playing with toys, not guns. That is the America we should expect.And America can give some of the credit for that to the NRA. Bloomberg reported that the NRA ended 2011 as “a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year [that] intends to help unseat the incumbent president.”And the gun industry – led by Ruger – has benefited tremendously from the NRA. According to IRS fillings, from 2004 to 2010, the NRA’s revenue from fundraising — including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism — grew twice as fast as its income from members’ dues.
And last, but not least, is this awful story of a pre-school aged Minnesota child who found the dead bodies of his mother and a man in his house.
Good grief. Little children should not have to grow up with this memory. Guns in the home are dangerous. And now this child has become a victim of gun violence as well.The child of preschool age went to a neighbor and said his mother was not moving, said Police Chief Steve Smith.Officers arrived at the home about 9:25 a.m. and discovered the bodies "in close proximity to each other," Smith said. A gun was recovered at the scene, the chief added.Smith said that "at this time there is no one specifically that we're looking at" as a suspect."We're not quite sure what we have," he added, when asked whether this could be a case of murder-suicide. "We're hoping to know more later."
There are things that can be done to avoid children getting guns and shooting themselves. Here are great suggestions from my blogger friend at the New Trajectory blog. Common sense should inform every parent about guns in the home. If they have decided they must have guns, then they should be responsible for the safety of every person in that home because they have chosen to bring a deadly weapon into their home. From the blog post:
And if you don't believe what I have written here, please read the Kid Shootings blog. It should be required reading for all elected leaders, all parents and all gun owners.Here's what gun owners can do:• If you have children in the home, any gun is a potential danger to them. Seriously consider the risks.• Store firearms unloaded, locked up and out of children's reach.• Store ammunition in a separate, locked location.• Use quality gun locks, lock boxes or gun safes on every firearm. Gun locks, when correctly installed, prevent firearms from being discharged without the lock being removed.• Keep gun storage keys and lock combinations hidden in a separate location.• Take a course in using, maintaining and storing guns safely.Here's what all caregivers can do:• Talk to your children about the potential dangers of guns.• Teach children never to touch or play with a gun.• Teach children to tell an adult if they find a gun, or call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if no adult is present.• Check with neighbors, friends or relatives--or adults in any other homes where children visit--to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are in the home. See our ASK Program.