One of the measures being pushed by gun control advocates are mandatory storage laws. They’re pushing a lot, obviously, but that’s a big one and that’s a measure that’s a bit harder to argue against.
After all, far too many people think that if you’re against something being mandatory, you’re against it as a whole. That’s utter nonsense, of course, but it’s also how some people think. Assuming you can call it “thinking” in the first place.
Because of that way of thinking, though, it becomes difficult for some lawmakers to clearly articulate why they oppose mandatory storage laws. If they can’t articulate why they oppose something, they’re likely to decide they need to support it for self-preservation if nothing else.
But the truth of the matter is mandatory storage laws don’t account for individual situations. Prohibiting a family from leaving a gun available for a teenage daughter when they leave the house might well make it so that daughter can’t defend herself when a stalker comes a-calling, for example.
There’s another way, though.
A woman in Birmingham, Alabama is facing charges that kind of illustrates that other way.
A Birmingham mother has been charged in the death of her 3-year-old son after he found her gun and fatally shot himself.
Meosha Lakee Mayfield, 30, is charged with reckless manslaughter in the Dec. 21 death Kacey Jackson.
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the warrant was issued earlier this week, and states that the mother recklessly caused the death of Kacey by leaving a firearm accessible to the child.
According to Crime Stoppers, Mayfield is not yet in custody. Reckless manslaughter is a Class B felony.
Police and firefighters were dispatched at about 11:42 a.m. Thursday to Mayfield’s home on Second Avenue North. They found the child had been shot, and Kacey was pronounced dead on the scene.
Mayfield made the call to 911, and reported the toddler was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Kacey was pronounced dead on the scene.
Authorities said Kacey’s death was tragic but preventable.
The authorities are correct. It was both tragic and preventable.
I don’t know anyone who thinks guns shouldn’t be locked up when not in use and I don’t know anyone who thinks that they should be kept out of the hands of a three-year-old child.
This is just blatant irresponsibility with a firearm and I can’t get all that worked up about the mother being charged here and facing a felony because of that alleged irresponsibility.
But let’s realize that mandatory storage laws don’t actually prevent things like this from happening. People who are going to be this irresponsible will continue to be this irresponsible.
What mandatory storage laws do is prevent law-abiding parents who have raised responsible kids from leaving a firearm for that responsible teenager to use to defend themselves should the need arrive.
Over the years, we’ve documented several cases of young people having access to a firearm at a critical moment and using it to protect themselves or someone else. Mandatory storage laws prevent that from happening, meaning that for all the “if it saves just one life” rhetoric we hear from anti-gunners, it’s really not about saving just one life. After all, if it were, they’d accept incidents of teenagers using a gun defensively.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think every 16-year-old is responsible enough to be trusted with access to a firearm. Some aren’t. I sure wasn’t.
But some are. What’s more is that some may well have need.
Punishing people for irresponsible actions is a different thing from punishing people for failing to adhere to a mandatory storage law. Alabama is one of a number of states with such a law on the books and they’ve got the right of it.