Yesterday, I outlined some of the tragedies that took place from idiots celebrating the new year by firing guns indiscriminately. Those were awful.
However, there was a different kind of tragedy that took place on New Year’s Eve. In Georgia, a teen killed himself after reportedly killing his friend.
One teenager was accidentally shot, and another committed suicide in related tragedies hours before ringing in the new year in Georgia.
A group of teens had gathered at a “makeshift shed” in Lawrenceville, an upscale suburb of Atlanta, on Monday afternoon when one of them pulled out a handgun and accidentally shot one of the others, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Two of the four teens ran, but police believe the boy who fired the original shot stayed in the shed and called 911.
Responding officers found one teen dead inside the shed and then “heard a single gunshot while attempting to locate the involved parties from the initial 911 call.”
In other words, the teen had a negligent discharge which struck and killed a friend. He was so distraught by what happened, and probably fearful of going to prison for it that he took his own life.
One bullet, two lives.
There are lessons to be learned here. One is to secure your firearms. While we don’t know how the teen got the firearm in the first place, based on the neighborhood, it’s likely that he stole it from his parents, probably with the intention of returning it after firing a few shots to ring in the new year.
The second is probably far more important. It’s how states need to start implementing firearm training in their school curriculums. They need to give kids the basic information to understand how to handle a firearm safely, even if they have no intentions of actually owning a gun at any point in their lives.
Iowa has a couple of school districts doing that now by using hunter safety courses as a stand-in.
This needs to be universal. Every child in America needs to understand how to safely handle a firearm. They need to understand the basic rules of firearm safety.
It’s all fine and good to talk about how children shouldn’t be able to get their hands on guns, but that falls apart in the face of when they do. Kids do find themselves in the presence of firearms from time to time, often firearms that no adult meant for a kid to find. While we can tell them to leave it alone and pray they listen, it’s far better to educate them on how dangerous guns can be and how to handle one safely in case they ever do have to do so.
It will also reduce the likelihood of situations like this.
I sincerely doubt the young man who took his own life intended to shoot anyone. But he did, probably because he didn’t know any better.
While we can tell people to educate their children on this, it’s clear it’s not happening at home. If so, and if we’re going to have educational standards anyway, why not make them work in our favor by teaching students how not to accidentally shoot their friends?