Irresponsibility and negligence do not help the cause of Second Amendment supporters and law-abiding, careful gun owners. Like anything, whether it be driving, drinking, or finances, people can be reckless and negligent to the point where they find themselves in a financial hole or someone gets seriously hurt, or even killed. Thankfully, for one set of parents, their poor decision-making didn’t result in the loss of life, but it probably scared the living daylights out of a Mississippi elementary school teacher.
While conducting a standard check on student backpacks, a teacher at Oak Park Elementary School found a 9mm handgun in a 5-year-old’s bag.
A teacher performing a routine check of students’ backpacks at Oak Park Elementary on Tuesday morning found a loaded 9mm handgun in one student’s bag, officials said.
The gun was taken, and officials notified the 5-year-old child’s parents after the discovery at about 10 a.m.
An investigation shows the child’s parents put the gun in the backpack while running errands over the weekend and forgot to take it out, Police Capt. William Jackson said.
Jackson said police have possession of the gun.
Ocean Springs police were on the scene within five minutes, Schools Superintendent Bonita Coleman said. She declined to discuss what action was taken, citing privacy reasons.
“First and foremost, the lesson here is that being a responsible gun owner means securing your weapons,” Coleman said. “That is the lesson here. Gun owners should secure their weapons, and they should not be available for little children. Period.”
Some parents and others turned to Facebook to say they were going to check on their children. Others made posts saying backpacks should no longer be allowed at school.
“That’s not the answer,” Coleman said. “The answer is securing weapons.”
As the superintendent stated, no extreme measures need to be taken to prevent this from happening again. Parents suggesting that backpacks should no longer be allowed in schools are no better than gun control activists who move to extremes to solve the problem. Coleman is right; “The answer is securing weapons.” The answer is not banning guns, and it’s not making the lives of students more difficult. The solution is ensuring gun owners handle their firearms properly. Gun owners should always remember where they have placed their guns, and this should be out of the reach of children.
The parents could be facing charges and stated that the firearm was placed in their child’s backpack while they were running errands. Police are unsure if the gun was in the child’s bag on Monday.