Alright, so we’re not technically prisoners and we can still go some places, but what many of us are going through still feels like a lockdown.
During this time, we’re going to get a lot of advice from government officials. Some of it–things like keeping six feet apart from one another, etc–are helpful tidbit or just reminders to do things to mitigate your risk. Others feel downright insulting, such as telling grown adults to wash their hands.
Then again, considering the rapid spread of the virus in my town, I suspect some people needed the reminder.
In San Diego, officials are urging people locked down in self-isolation to practice firearm safety.
The San Diego City Attorney’s Office Thursday urged families with guns in the home to practice proper firearm safety while self- quarantining to keep the weapons out of the hands of children.
With stay-at-home orders issued at the state and local levels, and schools closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office said gun safety is paramount.
“When you have guns and children in the home and do not practice safe storage, you are increasing the risk that someone will be accidentally shot,” Elliott said. “Children are very resourceful when it comes to locating things their parents thought they’d never find. When they find a gun, it often leads to tragedy.”
The city’s Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, which was authored by Elliott and went into effect last year, requires San Diego gun owners to store firearms in a locked container or to secure guns with a trigger lock unless they are in the immediate control of an authorized user.
Now, Elliot isn’t wrong when she said that kids can be resourceful finding things the parents don’t want to be found. That’s true.
However, unless the parents are complete idiots, it’s unlikely they’ll be looking while everyone is locked down in the house together. That’s usually not a prime snooping time for kids.
Frankly, the implication that gun owners aren’t going to pay attention to their children when everyone is stuck at home together is more than a little insulting. Firearm owners are like many other parents and while that also includes a range of behaviors, Elliot’s comment targeted that one particular group and treats them as if they’re inattentive parents.
Hell, inattentive parents can also ignore their children eating drain cleaner, mixing a little ammonia with bleach in an at-home science experiment, or any number of other potentially fatal behaviors, yet where is the concern over those?
To put it in perspective, 300 children are poisoned each day. Most of those are accidental. Two per day die from it, meaning over 700 fatalities per year nationally from poisoning.
In 2018, just 73 kids accidentally killed themselves with a firearm.
Now, I’m not making light of those fatalities. All of them were avoidable and, as parents, we should be trying to make sure they’re avoided. Yet Elliot has opted to simply target one group of parents during this time because it’s politically advantageous to do so. It has nothing to do with concerns over child safety. If it was, then there would likely be some mention of these other potential risks.
Elliot wants nothing more than to paint gun owners as irresponsible threats to the community, but the truth is that guns present less risk to children during quarantine than Draino.