Friday, November 14, 2014

Lock Up Your Weaponry

The loaded pellet gun was in a glass-fronted cabinet.  The 12 year olds had access, so the security must have been pretty thin.  One picked up the rifle, one walked in front of him, and the evening ended in the emergency room.

No one is dead.  No one is in jail.

I'm disturbed.

Is there a person on this planet who believes that unsupervised tweens should be holding an ammo-filled weapon at 2:30 in the morning? 

The most trouble my kids got into at a sleep-over was calling the most popular boy in the 6th grade and hanging up .... over and over and over until it was Little Cuter's turn and his mother answered, asked who was calling, and my child gave her name... her real name.... which led to a phone call to me and a phone call to the poorly supervised party's hostess and notes of apology written the next morning. 

It never occurred to me to worry about loaded rifles in unsecured cabinetry.  It never seemed likely that a 12 year old would endanger the life of another in such an obvious way.  I obsessed about drugs and drinking and unprotected sex but, in what now seems like a ridiculously innocent time, guns never crossed my radar.

I don't know how anyone parents today. The challenges are monumental.  They lurk in corners of the interwebs, corners which Mommy Bloggers root out and post about.  I send those posts to Amster, the ones about vanishing images that are stored forever and predatory trolls using brand new apps and tracking systems allowing her to follow the kids through cyber-space.

She reads all Mr. 11's text messages; they come through her phone on iTunes, somehow.  The boys share game cheats and funny faces and mundane questions about soccer practice and math homework.  The girls call him babe and refuse to meet him when they're both in the produce section because I look awful right now.

He laughs at the boys' messages and is flummoxed by the girls' and that's as it should be right now, in the 6th grade, when he's gaining his sea-legs, navigating the shoals of middle school. That's what his mother should be guiding him through: the why are girls so weird conversations endemic to young men.

Instead, she's going to have the What will you do when a gun is present? conversation, reminding her little boys what happened to me and what gun shot victims go through and I hate the fact that I'm an avatar of what can go wrong in the world today... and yet I'm very very very glad to be used in a let's prevent this campaign, no matter how small. 

As far as the grown-ups in this situation are concerned, TBG calls for strict liability if an unsecured weapon is used in your home; if it happens, you are liable.  There are no mitigating circumstances.  His plan calls for substantial financial penalties tacked on to every medical/legal/job-related cost incurred by the victim. 

I'm looking for jail time... or the stocks... or something that will get the attention of adults who are stupid thoughtless careless irresponsible derelict enough.... I am out of words.

If you must have your guns, at least keep them out of the hands of those too young, untrained, immature individuals with whom you share your residence.  Others of us might have loved ones in your area.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the things about gun ownership that really upsets me. If you just have to have a gun in your house, FGS, lock it up. Children are curious and they will find a way to get to that gun. And I believe as TBG does, any parent who does not secure a gun and a child is hurt with that gun should be prosecuted. No exceptions. I'm tired of hearing, "they have already suffered enough". That's BS. They wouldn't be suffering at all if they had been responsible gun owners.

    People should really have a license to own a gun and if they cannot act responsibly, they lose that gun--just as if they were not being responsible with a car, they lose their driver's license. I'm so damn tired of children being hurt by guns because of stupid adults. I know that's not kind, but that's what they are--stupid.

    I'll get off my soapbox. If I had my way, only law-enforcement and those highly trained to operate a gun, would have them. But, our gun obsessed culture isn't going to change, so if you have a gun, lock it up.

    AB, have a good weekend.

    Megan xxx


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