I have been a writer for the Kid Shootings blog which has now remained silent for a while. Those of us writing could not keep up with all of the shooting incidents along with everything else we were doing. But today I noticed a number of incidents that I wanted to write about.
The first is the shooting of a South Dakota school principal by a student. Luckily for all, the principal only sustained a minor injury. It could have been much worse for all concerned. As more details come out we will learn where the boy got the gun. A good guess is that he got it at home. The Brady Center’s report, The Truth About Kids and Guns found that 2/3 of school shooters get their guns in their own home or the home of a relative. This is not OK. Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult. Kids can’t buy or own guns, thank goodness. They are just not responsible enough to handle guns. Too many adults are irresponsible with their guns- why would we believe kids would be any safer?
The parents of this boy should be having a lot of thoughts right around now. Will they change what they think about gun safety reform? Will common sense happen? Time will tell.
Meanwhile back in Washington state, the father of a 15 year old teen who shot and killed 4 classmates last fall was convicted on gun charges because it was his gun that was used by his son to murder classmates and shoot himself. Why should anyone have been shocked by this verdict? If adults can’t be responsible with deadly weapons, they should be held accountable. Maybe then we will find that parents will either not have guns around when they have young kids and teens or they will make darned sure those guns are completely inaccessible to their kids.
In the Portland, Oregon area a mother shot her own son to death. What is going on? This is beyond tragic. From the article with a quote from the boy’s father:
Jake, he said, was special to his mother. “She loved him more than anything in the world,” Ryan told KOIN 6 News.
The night of the shooting, Ryan said he got some strange texts from Dianne. So he called Jake.
His last words, Ryan said, were, “Dad. Come.”
There was screaming in the background, he said, and he tried to get there – but it was too late.
Too late indeed. It is always too late. The mother was unstable and “broken” according to the father ( they were divorced). This is a case for the passage of a gun violence restraining order law so that family members can make sure people like this mother can’t access guns or can have them taken from her.
We can’t get these lives back. It’s too late. It’s past time to be talking about solutions to our epidemic of gun violence in America. At the least we can make attempts to keep guns away from people who can be dangerous with them and who we know should not have them. There are just some people who should not have guns- period. Until our elected leaders do what they know is right, kids will shoot other kids or teachers or their parents or themselves and parents may even shoot their own kids.
The corporate gun lobby is lying to people when they make claims that guns make them safer. It is simply not true. It’s time to challenge this faulty assertion and call them out for their deceptions in the name of profits for the gun industry. Saving lives comes before making profits.
Our kids are our future. They are future stars- future leaders- future teachers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, Presidents, elected officials, law enforcement officers- and professions we have not even thought about. We will be gone from this world by the time some of these kids are responsible adults. What kind of world do we want for them? What will be our legacy? Will we leave them with safer communities or with the violence that is far too common today? I know what my answer is.
A 15 year old Indiana high school student was found with a gun in school. Where do we think this gun came from? I think we know.
As I am writing I am hearing about at least 10 dead in a campus shooting in Oregon. I will write more about this next but can hardly think.
5 thoughts on “More kid shootings”
My guns still make me safer. Many years of no negligent discharges or accidents or murderous rampages from my guns. Maybe it has something to do with the owner. Hmmmmmm…..
The owner is the key. Still, I now of a few examples where luck was key in avoiding gun injuries. (There’s no way to outlaw stupidity.)
Anyway, to protect the general public, the objective must be to keep responsible owners in possession of whatever guns they have, and require any gun transfers to be properly regulated. I don’t think, in this regard, you two disagree all that much.
A common complaint from Minnesota carry partisans, like Shelley Leeson and Kevin Vick, is that county attornies don’t enforce laws are already in place. If a violent felon is caught in possession of a gun or if a gun is used in the commission of a crime then enforce the laws and punish the criminal to the maximum extent possible. Too often, they say, this isn’t happening.
Extend that same policy toward gun owners who lose control of their gun. They deserve the same measure of justice. Guns that are lost or stolen but not reported. Guns that are lent to relatives or friends and go missing. Guns that are sold illegally.
Moreover, the owner of the gun found in the hand of anyone else, particularly minors, used to commit crime or to harm themselves or someone else, this owner needs to be punished as much as would an accomplice in the commission of that crime.
Anytime a gun owner discharges their weapon unintentionally, stop calling it accidental or unintentional and start calling it what it is; criminal negligence, assault, manslaughter, etc.
Stop infantalizing gun owners who call themselves law abiding. As long as these adults are immune from prosecution for this kind of dangerous irresponsibility, tragedies involving children and guns won’t change.
Many violations of specific gun laws go unpunished in Minnesota, probably other states as well, unless the perpetrator actually threatened or committed violence with the weapon. That is troubling. But it’s the same with most crimes that don’t involve acts of violence – prosecutors don’t follow through on some charges or plea bargain many others away. It seems to be the nature of the penal system and is a double-edged sword as far as its effect on crime reduction and criminal rehabilitation. It may be helpful to see how peer nations that have low crime & criminal recidivism rates handle this matter.
While punishing criminals, especially violent ones, is proper & necessary we also need to do a much better job of keeping guns out of their hands in the first place.
We punish airplane hijackers but also make it difficult for them to get on a plane or acquire explosive materials. All passengers must go through security, not just some. For the same reason all firearms transfers should require a background check. And all firearms not in immediate control or use by their owner should be properly secured.
Comments are closed.