12-year-old's death is why we need gun safety in schools

12-year-old's death is why we need gun safety in schools
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The term “gun safety” shouldn’t be a loaded term, but it is. Gun control advocates have pushed their anti-Second Amendment agenda under the guise of “safety” for so long that many of us recoil from the phrase out of instinct anymore.

And that’s a shame because actual firearm safety is vital to the Second Amendment. Guns are dangerous if used improperly and we all know it.

I’ve long advocated for safety classes to be part of the K-12 curriculum, and the death of a 12-year-old has done nothing to change that opinion.

A 10-year-old boy fatally shot his 12-year-old brother as the two played with a gun they found inside a St. Louis home, police said.

The shooting happened Tuesday night in a north St. Louis neighborhood, KMOV-TV reported. Police said the boys were with a parent who was getting a haircut in the home when the older boy was shot in the face.

Police said a woman was arrested Wednesday on a possible charge of endangering the welfare of a child, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

For many, the solution is legislative. They believe we should mandate how guns are stored. Then, they argue, this kind of thing won’t happen.

However, let’s be real here. People who are careless with their guns are going to be careless with their guns. Laws won’t change that. The most they’ll do is give people someone to punish.


The loan gun found in a ditch or in a dressing room, for example, is there absent anyone who can be blamed. Focusing on punishing someone isn’t exactly a winning strategy.

Instead, starting early with a basic education in gun safety, age-appropriate training, will likely do far, far more. Guns are mystified in many minds. The first time someone sees a gun, particularly a kid, their eyes widen as if they’re seeing something illicit or secret.

That creates curiosity in children. A curiosity that they already possess. The problem is that now they’re curious about a deadly weapon they find somewhere.

Now, I’m not saying that gun safety education will prevent all such instances. After all, sex ed hasn’t stopped teen pregnancy.

What I am saying, though, is that it’s a good step in helping to protect our children should they encounter a gun when a parent isn’t around. It’s far better that they understand how dangerous a gun can be if misused and that they shouldn’t handle it without a parent present than to not understand what they’re doing.

Couple that step with educating parents to secure guns when not in use and you’ll create a much better environment than legislation ever could.

Laws only impact the law-abiding. Criminals and the careless won’t do a thing and sometimes, it’s the children of the law-abiding who find those guns.

Now, I can hear some of the comments already. Yes, a parent should be the one to teach gun safety. You probably do it with your kids and I’ve done it with mine.

But a lot of kids don’t have a gun-owning parent. They don’t have anyone to teach them gun safety. Should they be left out in the cold simply because of that disadvantage? I’d prefer not.

After all, not only is it the moral thing to do to protect our nation’s kids from such an accident, it’s strategically sound from a Second Amendment advocate point of view as well. Fewer accidents present fewer opportunities for anti-Second Amendment folks to use a lack of gun safety understanding as a pretext to further restrict our right to keep and bear arms.

That would be a win no matter how you look at it.