Friday morning, a kid was shot and killed across the street from a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s a tragic story, to be sure. The loss of life in anyone so young almost always is.
It’s a prime example of how there’s a complete disregard for life in far too many segments of the American population. People just don’t care, I’m afraid, and are ready to gun down people over relatively minor slights.
However, there’s another problem. It seems that some in the area want to use this to push for more gun control.
A teenager was shot and killed across the street from an Albuquerque school on Friday morning, prompting a temporary lockdown of the school and renewed political outcry for gun control among young people.
Authorities said during a news conference that the shooting appeared to have stemmed from an altercation between the unidentified West Mesa High School student and another person who was believed to be a juvenile.
City and school officials said the gun was not brought onto campus but that more needs to be done to ensure that children don’t have access to guns.
District Attorney Raúl Torrez and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, both Democrats, were among those who pushed for tougher gun laws during the recent legislative session. That included a failed measure that would have enhanced the charge of possession of a firearm by a minor to a felony rather than a misdemeanor, which does not require prosecutors to be notified.
Understand that kids tend to think they can get away with anything. They think they’re smarter than they are, that they know everything, including how to get away with carrying a gun. Do you really think an enhanced penalty for gun possession would stop them?
Dream the hell on.
While that might make a difference in adults, these are kids we’re talking about.
Further, these are juveniles. The real impact of a felony isn’t in the time in prison, but the punishments afterward. No voting, no gun rights, difficulty in getting a job, things of that sort–which, I’ll admit, probably don’t help with keeping recidivism down, but still. Those don’t typically apply to juveniles.
So there’s less of a stick there than these officials seem to think.
Honestly, if that’s the best they’ve got, they need to knock it the hell off. It’s not remotely possible that enhanced penalties would have stopped what happened Friday morning.
Then again, there’s not likely to have been any gun control that would have prevented it. After all, federal law already prohibits selling guns to minors, and yet it happens every day on black markets throughout the entire nation. Why is that?
Maybe because black market gun dealers really don’t care who they’re selling it to, so long as they’ve got money.
If you want to deal with the problem, you have to do more than increase the punishment for a handful of crimes. You have to get down into the source and look at why the hell we have kids killing other kids in the first place. You have to undermine the mechanisms in their communities that tell them this is a viable and worthwhile strategy.
But that’s not easy. It’s difficult to an insane degree, but it would be worth it.
The problem, however, is that it’s slow and it doesn’t make the headlines that get people reelected. So, politicians skip it, offer platitudes singing the virtues of failed gun control policies instead, then act shocked when absolutely nothing happens.
Sadly typical of too many elected officials, too, but this is where we are. Tell me you’re shocked. I dare you.