more depressing stuff…

what is it with five-year-olds and guns?

Boy, 5, shoots himself; parents charged – and – Indiana boy, 5, shoots sister, 4, to death

now when i was five years old, my father owned a gun. i remember seeing it, once in my father’s closet. i’m fairly sure it wasn’t loaded, and even with nobody telling me what it was, i remember knowing that it was dangerous and i wasn’t to touch it, a sensibility that i have carried through to this very day – i went with a friend a couple of years ago when he was moving to los angeles and “needed a gun for protection” (from what? he never said), and i actually convinced myself to try target shooting with him. i still have one .45 auto round on the shelf in front of me at this very moment, but i don’t have anything to shoot it from, and while it is very dangerous to have a single bullet around, i’ve also got a bottle of lamp oil, a bottle of lighter fluid, a bottle of methyl alcohol and a bottle of paint thinner on the desk as well, and i don’t worry too much about them, either. a few years later, my father inherited an antique, single-barrelled shotgun from somewhere or another, and i got to “play” with that on several occasions, but it was so old that they didn’t make cartridges for it any longer, and someone had removed, and lost, the firing pin a long time ago, so it was more like the “broken gun beneath the bed” of the old jethro tull song than anything else.

but what i can’t figure out is why people who own guns keep them just lying around their house, in a loaded state, in a place where children are likely to pick them up and shoot people? i actually wrote “and accidentally shoot people”, but then i realised that if i didn’t know what a gun was, or if i did know what it was, but had the sensibilities of the normal five-year-old, the fact that i would shoot someone (including myself) is almost a given. the fact that parents would just leave a loaded gun in a place where unsupervised children could hope to find it seems so utterly moronic to me that i wonder why they were allowed to have children in the first place! you (theoretically) have to have a license to own a gun, you should also have to have a licence to have children, and in order to get that license, you should have to prove that you have more sense than a peanut… 8/

3 thoughts on “more depressing stuff…”

  1. My brother said when he has finished in our army, he is moving to Ohio from England to retire. But then he went on to saw he’d get a gas guzzling pickup, a hunting dog and a few guns and sit on his front lawn.

    After being in the army, a gun provides safety if zombies attack, but is more likely to get you or your family killed if you own one and keep it around civilians. They aren’t really necessary. Us Brits find a well balanced cricket bat is good enough to twat a burglar round the head with.

    I suppose the answer could be owned guns must be so heavy a child couldn’t lift it to fire. I remember at 8 or 9 years old my dad putting a Sterling 9mm submachine gun in my hands and I could hardly keep it level! Let alone fire it!

  2. just goes to show you how much i know about owning a gun… but one of these articles took place in indiana and the other one in illinois. i wonder about what the situation is there…

    and, obviously, you are a lot more prepared to have children than the parents of the (now dead) children in the articles above. why can’t everybody be as sensible as that? it doesn’t take that much more time, and it certainly doesn’t take that much more brain-power…

  3. You don’t need a license to own a gun in Washington.

    If you have children and guns in the same household you need to either lock them up (um, the guns, not the kids) or have personal control (i.e. at the very minimum be in the room where the gun is) at all times. If that means a few extra moments retrieving the gun and carting it with you to the next room you’re going to be in, oh well. It’s part of being a responsible gun owner.

    When the kids get old enough you train them in gun safety.

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