In a state that has an official state gun, it comes as no surprise that attempts to introduce gun control legislation, even in the name of public safety, are incredibly unpopular.
This isn’t about political boundaries. This is no longer between those who believe in reformation of gun laws and staunch believers in the Second Amendment. The NRA has no say in this now.
When children are dying because of their parents’ irresponsibility, we need to take a step back and really look at what’s happening in our country.
More than 1,500 kids under the age of 18 are killed in accidental shootings each year. It’s a sadly commonplace story: Children get their hands on parents’ firearms, with tragic results.
Kids can find a gun under a pillow, in a closet or between couch cushions, and may wind up either accidentally shooting themselves or those around them. It’s gotten to the point that the National Rifle Association felt the need to clarify that more kids die from poisoning or drowning than accidental shootings, though a significant portion of those cases are classified as homicides rather than tragic accidents.
We know the problem isn’t the children. We can’t do what we always do when it comes to gun deaths in America — avoid the issue and call it a mental health problem. Mental illness isn’t the problem. Guns alone aren’t even the problem.
We need to realize that we have a people problem. The people who are buying and storing guns are careless and irresponsible. Only nine U.S. states have laws holding adults criminally liable if they don’t store their guns properly, away from children. Parents who have loaded guns sitting around for their children to find and use should be severely punished for their sheer stupidity and negligence.
If parents have a gun in the house, they should be required to have a safe and they shouldn’t be allowed more than one handgun. Keep your clip and gun close together, but never loaded unless in an emergency. And during the day, do your family the decency of putting the gun away in that safe you purchased.
Overall, our country has a gun problem, and it’s not going away anytime soon. But with all the tragic deaths of minors, it’s time we make a real effort to change our ways.
The most tragic part of this is that the problems of older generations are starting to harm the new generations. People our age and younger are dying because of gun violence, but it’s the 60-year-olds in public office making the decisions on whether they ought to change the gun laws — and they have decided not to do so.
When we have a society acting carelessly and irresponsibly, it’s up to the government to take action, and we should demand it.
Reach the columnist at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @shanetheodore