Young children shouldn’t be around firearms without a whole lot of supervision. At age two, they’re really too young to have access to firearms even with supervision, really. It’s one thing to try and demystify firearms–something I completely agree with–and another to just be lazy about putting your guns away.
And yet, there are people who don’t seem to take sensible precautions with their guns.
A lot of times, those people get away with it, often for their entire lives. Other times, they don’t and stuff like this happens:
A 2-year-old boy is hospitalized after he accidentally shot himself in the face, Tchula police said.
Acting Chief John Newton said the toddler found the gun at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the hiding place where the family kept it at their home on Front Street. The gun went off, injuring the child, Newton said.
The family likely believed that because the gun was hidden, the kid wouldn’t find it.
Well, my dad had his adult magazine stash hidden and I sure as hell found that in my misspent youth.
Look, hiding a gun may seem like an easy approach, but kids rummage and plunder. They’re exploring their world and this is a normal part of childhood. That may well mean finding where you’ve stashed your firearms.
For some, it’ll be easy to say the child needed better supervision. That may well be true, but having gone through that stage of child development twice, I can honestly say that you can supervise the hell out of your kids, but you can also blink and find them in another room, so I won’t get too sanctimonious on that one.
But I will say that if the firearm had been properly secured, this wouldn’t have happened. I can say that definitively.
If it weren’t locked away, it should have been strapped to someone’s belt. Those are equally secured in my opinion and good enough.
This will, undoubtedly, spur some to suggest that there should be a law mandating guns be locked up. Obviously, I disagree. I don’t want any law telling me what I should be required to do within my own home with my personal property. There’s no law mandating kitchen knives be out of reach so far as I’m aware, nor should there be.
But like those kitchen knives, people need to exercise some common sense. This is especially in a world where people are looking at everything they can to justify infringing on our civil liberties.
And yes, that’s ancillary to the fact that you want to protect your child from harm. So act like a parent and secure the gun in some appropriate manner. I have it in some way that the child simply can’t get hold of it. Then, when they’re old enough to understand, then you can take them shooting, demystify firearms, and shape them into good, upstanding citizens.
Until then, remember that they’re children and they’re going to do what children do and act accordingly.