As a child, I was taught proper gun safety. To this day, I can still remember this animated eagle telling me to never touch a gun and, if I saw one, to immediately notify an adult. My dad used to take me to gun shows, which, despite popular assumption, entailed more than just a bunch of right-wing, gun-totin’ rednecks showing off their latest forms of weaponry. So, even though I was raised around such violent tools of death and destruction, I have still somehow managed to not murder or shoot anyone. And I don’t seriously plot world domination. So, in this matter at least, as a fairly well-adjusted nonviolent person – although I admit, when it comes to insects, I operate on a kill-on-sight basis – I consider myself a testament to the fact that guns do not kill people – some people kill people. But mostly, the catalyst of all this mayhem is bad parenting.
There is an initiative in Wisconsin aiming to lower the hunting age to eight years old. Sure, some people are outraged, but I’m not. Imagine the situation: A father takes his eight-year-old son or daughter out on a hunting trip. The argument is that a child of such a young age is incapable of safely handling firearms. If that were the case, would a responsible father ever take the kid out in the first place, risking his own life as well as his child’s? No; by hunting with his kid, he is simultaneously creating a picturesque bonding experience and is teaching his child gun safety and the proper uses for guns.
Really, it all comes down to education. Guns, the NRA and the Second Amendment are not the enemy. They don’t advocate murder or school shootings. Plus, Charlton Heston was a cool cat. Maybe, if people had been properly armed, they wouldn’t have been eating each other in “Soylent Green.” … Just a thought. But hey, I’m not unreasonable; I even understand gun control to an extent. I don’t particularly get warm, fuzzy feelings knowing that a psycho killer is purchasing high-powered artillery. Actually, I’m not a fan of homicidal maniacs in general. But, really, what is so goddamn bad about a hardworking, taxpaying American observing his right to own guns?
“Well, what if his kid finds it and uses it as a toy and gets his head blown off?” Then his father was tragically irresponsible. No one is ever too young to learn gun safety. Witness Dick Cheney. “What if my kid goes to the house of a gun owner, finds a gun and blows his head off?” Then you should have taught your kid not to touch guns and not to go poking around other people’s houses.
Instead of blaming inanimate objects that really do not just happen to “go off,” why not take responsibility for the lack of gun safety taught in this country? While I’m not usually one to advocate the public school education system doing the job of parents, perhaps there should be more discussions about gun safety built into the kindergarten or first-grade curriculum. We’ve already got the whole “Don’t run with scissors” thing down by then. Why strip away the rights of law-abiding gun owners simply because people don’t know how to raise their kids properly by instituting in them notions of right and wrong?
It’s wrong for someone to shoot someone else. And it’s just as wrong to make people suffer the consequences of someone else’s crime by revoking their constitutional rights. So, that being said, who’s up for some target practice?
Melissa Davis is a copyreader for the Daily Nexus.