OH.MY.GOD. I am amazed – and not in a positive way – at the utter stupidity of some people. The news has been full of this story since yesterday, and I was gonna blog about it then but decided to wait until the heat under my collar had died down a little. (And also to get some further information before I went off half-cocked) For better or worse at this point my ire hasn’t died down yet – in fact its worse since I have discovered more information- so I decided to start writing anyway. Oh, you lucky people…. So for those of you living under a rock, yesterday a troubled 9 year old third grader from Washington State brought a handgun to school in his backpack and when he slammed it on his desk the gun inside went off – critically injuring an eight year old classmate.
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, nor are these the youngest children involved in such a thing “In 2000, 6-year-old Kayla Rolland, a Michigan first-grader, was fatally shot by a 6-year-old classmate who brought a gun from home. Last year, a 6-year-old kindergartner at a Houston elementary school accidentally fired a gun as he was showing it off to friends, injuring three students.” As a human being, a parent, and a strong advocate of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY I am absolutely horrified by events like these. These things should not be happening – ever.
Let’s look at this logically for a minute – Gun Ownership is a constitutional right that carries a heavy responsibility. Safety Safety Safety. Guns must be kept locked up where children cannot get access to them and unloaded when not in use. It’s common sense. If you choose to own a gun, then it is also your responsibility to not only decide who has access, but also when; and to assure that they have the proper training and the maturity (physical and emotional) to handle the firearms in a safe and responsible manner. Elementary school age children do not have the arm or upper body strength, the fine motor skills, the hand/eye coordination- or most importantly the judgement – necessary to handle firearms safely without extremely close supervision and instruction – and any responsible parent/gun owner should know this. 8 year olds and Uzi submachine guns DO NOT MIX. This lesson was tragically learned by a family from CT at a Gun Show and Exhibition in my city in back October of 2008. It’s not rocket science. Unless you’re a DumbAss. And I’m choosing that word very very deliberately.
Back to current events: I guess my biggest rhetorical question is How in the hell did a 9 year old get hold of a handgun in the first place? I’ve made my share of parenting mistakes but I’m certain I had control of what my children were doing at that age. Allowing them access to firearms was most definitely not on my list of things for them to do. I knew where they were and who they were with at all times. Sadly, I read this morning that the boy isn’t even the legal ward of either parents. Both of whom have criminal records – the father is a “deadbeat dad'” who’s had restraining orders filed against him by the boy’s mother. And the mother is a meth head with drug convictions. Model citizens, upstanding members of the community. Riiighhhhttt…… DumbAsses. The boy apparently took the gun from his mother’s house when he was on a visit, and it was her boyfriend’s gun. Parole violation?? I hope so. Poor parenting…. lack of supervision….. same old sad song. Parenting is a god-given privilege folks – and it galls me to see sooo many people screwing it up so very badly. Sometimes I wish there was a licensing requirement for becoming a parent. You know, have to pass a test and be certified before you can actually have children.
And now I’m also certain the blame deflecting and finger pointing will start. The parents will make every effort to blame the school and whoever else they can find. It wouldn’t even surprise me if they tried to sue the school for some cockamamie reason or other. They won’t “cowboy up” though – I’m absolutely positive of that. None of these people ever do. Witness the debacle that followed the Uzi incident here in Westfield. The promoter/sponsor of the event was put on trial. Sorry folks, but the blame for that poor kid’s horribly senseless death lies squarely with the dumbass of a parent who let his 8 year old pick up a submachine gun in the first place. And the blame for this current tragedy – with the dumbass parents who lack the brains and common sense to keep their 9 year old away from loaded firearms. Whew, thank you – that is all….