Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Tragedy

A teenager is arrested after (allegedly) shooting and killing his younger brother, possibly by mistake. It's a tragedy all around.

...But local police are not blaming the weapon: "Police say this is a wake-up call to many parents. Whether they're gun owners or not, they need to warn their kids that if they find a gun to tell an adult and leave it alone." Gosh, that sounds kind of familiar. Doesn't a large (N) national (R) organization (A) offer an education program with just that message at little or no cost?

Didn't happen in time here; the father says "he never thought to teach his kids gun safety because he never imagined they would get a hold of one. 'He shouldn't have had a gun in the first place. I just don't understand.'"

I don't want to downplay the situation; this is indeed terrible. But the shooter, "'...had taken a firearm from the home of an incarcerated relative and it was while this 16-year-old was handling this weapon that it discharged, striking his brother in the head,' said Sgt. Linda Jackson, IMPD." Shouldn't happen and won't happen are not the same.

Educate your kids. Please. And it wouldn't hurt to try to get Eddie Eagle in more schools; kids are exposed to careless, ignorant gun-handling all the time in films, in videos, sometimes even by friends and relatives. A little real information -- yes, even Eddie Eagle's basic, "IF YOU SEE A GUN: STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult." -- might help tip the scales.

I've read of opposition to the program from the antis, presumably on the basis that if the NRA is for it, they're agin' it. So here's the question: If it prevents even one tragedy, isn't it worth it?


Anonymous said...

So many dangers parents teach their children about, but for this one they stick their heads in the sand.



Anonymous said...

You can't fix stupid. To bad.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Here's what I understand: The guy who shouldn't have had the gun in the first place is the father.

He's proven himself terminally stupid by that single statement. It's almost as bad as "I didn't know the gun was loaded."

Unknown.Rodent said...

Nathan - In defense of the father, the article says as far as the family knew there were NO GUNS in the home. The sixteen year old had taken the gun from the home of an incarcerated relative. I am a big one for both personal and parental responsibility, yet I know when I was 16 I had lots of things my folks knew nothing about. I is possible the parents had no idea the firearm was in the home.

Wraith said...

Eddie Eagle works for the little ones, but I doubt a 16-year-old would listen. Remember, we knew everything at that age, right?

Unfortunate all around.

Roberta X said...

Yeah, Wraith -- but suppose instead of staring, fascinated, at Uncle's Gun, the nine-year-old had set off running, hollerin' "Daaaad...." Possibly different outcome all around.

Roberta X said...

...We can play after-the-fact forever without setting things right; the only good that can come of this is to stop some of the next incidents before they happen. And that can't be done by hiding from it.

Sabra said...

I've asked anti-gun parents why they think ignorance is the proper reaction toward guns, when we all generally agree it isn't with anything else. I have yet to get an answer beyond GUNS ARE BAD. (Well, I suspect a more honest answer would be "Guns are scary!") Of course, even if I accept the argument that guns are bad--which I don't--it doesn't explain not teaching kids about them. Parents teach stranger danger, right? For crying out loud, my four-year-old can say "All guns are loaded" and knows to leave them the hell alone.

If you teach them at four, they'll know what to do at sixteen. Parenting isn't rocket science. (Hell, by sixteen I sure as heck had made the not-so-huge mental leap that getting shot would HURT, and therefore I wanted no part of messing around with my Daddy's guns that I didn't know how to use.)