If you’ve been reading here long enough, you know that I fully support the 2nd Amendment and all the rights it guarantees.
I believe an armed society is a polite society, that any adult that’s not a felon or certifiably mentally ill should be allowed to purchase a firearm, and any individual who can demonstrate a little higher degree of responsibility than the average person be allowed to carry concealed.
I believe that children should be taught at a young age the safety and responsibility of having firearms, and be allowed to experience the joys of target shooting and hunting, if you’re into such.
But the previously mentioned sentence has a few caveats, of course.
Children should be taught about firearms (handling, shooting, responsibility) as their maturity dictates. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that, as children, they are generally not up to full adult standards in the good decision making or trustworthy department. To be more specific – they shouldn’t own their own gun (at least, not one they have unrestricted access to) until they are at least in their teens and have demonstrated enough responsible behavior to trust them. Even the best behaved kids get curious, or bored, and get into mischief sometimes, no matter how well the parents teach them. This reason is enough to make sure guns and ammo are locked up, and any ready home or self defense weapon be kept well out of their reach. Because good kids sometimes do stupid things without grasping their ramifications, sometimes with tragic results.
And this goes double, even triple, when you have kids with behavior or emotional problems.
My stepson had some major emotional issues in his teens, including an anger management problem. This was around the time period that school shootings were becoming a depressingly common news item. Because I could not guarantee to myself, in my heart, that my stepson would not find my shotgun and use it on someone (or himself), I took the steps of breaking it down and storing it, with the firing pin mechanism securely stored far away from the rest of the pieces. This was despite the fact that we lived in a dodgy neighborhood at the time, with shady characters all up and down our street. I was simply unwilling to risk the possibility that my stepson would do something drastic for a little added security, preferring to trust my home defense to a baseball bat at that time.
And something I would never allow is for a friend or family member to give my child a firearm, if I don’t believe he (or she) is old enough or responsible enough to have one.
Well, let’s just say we have some family members that don’t see a problem with this. Despite the fact that their ten-year-old child is diagnosed ADHD, with impulse control issues. Yet he has his own .410 shotgun. Given to him by a family friend. Kept in his bedroom. No ammo, but if he really put his mind to it he could find it in the house.
This is the same child that’s otherwise ruled with an iron fist in his home. That’s normally kicked aside, told to shut up, has no voice in things, not respected, often gets in trouble over trivial matters, etc.
Yet they allow him to have a gun in his room. Either that, or they’re too busy to notice. That is, when they’re not picking at him over something.
At heart he’s a good kid, and I’ll vouch for that. But he is ADHD and impulsive, and as prone to doing dumb things as any 10 year old, if not more so.
Does anyone see potential problems here? Major problems? Anyone? Bueller?
And his “caretakers” are damned morons for allowing this setup. No wonder my wife gets so frustrated with members of her family.
Worse yet, this is just another example of the kind of irresoponsible idiocy that gives the anti-gun lobby more ammo to show how we can’t be trusted to own firearms.
Not to mention, his older uncle managed to shoot himself in the knee due to mishandling of a rifle. The all-too-common “but I thought it was unloaded” excuse.
I pray that a tragedy never happens there. Or that my nephew never ends up in a horrible situation because his caretakers didn’t take the proper preventative steps to see to it that he never does.