Yesterday a man shot and killed 4 Marines during a “domestic terrorism” attack on a recruiting station and a reserve center. A few hours later James Holmes was found guilty of murder in the Aurora theater shootings of July, 2012. Initial reports of the first event were still coming in when the gun control nonsense began. By the time of the second event gun control rhetoric had redoubled. Why? Because it’s easier to blame a tool than it is to face the fact that evil exists–and it’s our fault so many people prefer the easy way. Mad Duo
It’s Our Fault
Matt Jacques, Victory First
“It is our fault.”
After every mass casualty inflicted at the hands of another human being, using a firearm, people from anti-gun liberals to those working and living in the White House begin the trampling of bodies as they clamor for gun control and restrictions. In the current administration, this generally happens before the victims have been laid to rest, and usually before the police report is finished. “WE”, the public, have forgotten or become lazy when it comes to education and respect of firearms. Not everyone; I know there are still families that teach their kids, but as a point of conversation we as a society are giving anti-gun folks fuel for their fire.
As I was driving listening to the media and White House start the next campaign against guns in the wake of the shooting recently in South Carolina, I found myself mumbling, “It’s our fault” and shaking my head. “It’s our fault.”
It is our fault…
We as a society have collectively failed to raise or kids to respect firearms.
Every single one of my children have been introduced to firearms, taught to properly handlethem, to check and re-check them, to have muzzle awareness at all times and to never point a firearm at anything they don’t wish to kill or destroy.
I have ALWAYS taken the time to answer questions and stop what I am doing to allow the kids to handle a firearm under my supervision. They all learned to ask if they want to handle or “look” at it, and I have never told any of them “not right now” because it is important to capture the curiosity at that moment, build respect and eventually remove that curiosity. My 5 year old displays good muzzle awareness, better than I have seen in some adults.
The NRA – Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program (https://eddieeagle.nra.org/ ) is a good start for educational tips for parents to help kids understand what to do if the find a gun and how to notify an adult. Fostering a good, sensible handling program is key to keeping kids safe in the event they come across a firearms in a place not controlled by you in your home. We as responsible firearms owners need to make sure our firearms are safe and controlled, to ensure the visiting kids don’t have to practice the program’s steps. This is also a very good place for parents or single parent households with no firearms education or knowledge to teach their kids what to do if a firearms is found (and not always “found in another home) Kids are curious, if you think the kids don’t know your pistol is in the sock drawer, you can bet they do, and will show another visiting kid.
It is our fault….
We have stigmatized the ownership of firearms.
When I grew up in the mid-late 70s and was school aged in the 80s, we were allowed to have guns in our vehicles at school. We had firearms education in the schools to teach safety. There was no stigma attached to it, it was a way for us to put food on the table during hunting seasons and protect our property from crop damaging animals. I had a pickup with a 30-30 and a 12 gauge in a rack in the back window, just like a high percentage of my classmates. If a high school lad did that today, there would be 911 calls, sneers and looks of disgust from other motorists. In the not-so-distant past, firearms programs were part of the school curriculum, and with preliminary searching, school shooting violence was non-existent.
Even the CDC has stated “School-based programs to prevent violence have been shown to cut violent behavior 29% among high school students and 15% across all grade levels.”1
It is our fault…
We have not provided widespread public education for kids and adults who want to further educate themselves.
You can buy a smart phone and take free follow-on classes on how to send/receive emails, post to Facebook and Tweet. You can buy a motorcycle, 4 wheeler or personal watercraft and receive free training from the dealership on responsible operation and ownership. But you don’t get free training with firearms.
Guns are not cheap, and there is such a slim profit margin on guns that MOST dealers probably can’t afford to offer a free safety/handling course. Some do, but not in a mainstream capacity as I have mentioned above. I just bought a new smartphone 2 weeks ago, and free workshops were available on more than half the days in June… FOR A PHONE.
We educate kids on how to drive in a state-mandated, school-provided driver education, because cars are deadly… but firearms and even archery programs have all but disappeared from public schools.
It is our fault…
We allow our children almost unrestricted fingertip access to incredibly violent content. When I was growing up, my parents wouldn’t let me watch some prime-time TV programs because of the “violent stuff” in them. I’ve gone back and watched some of those “violent programs”, and there is more violence on the 6 o’clock news today than was on those programs back in my childhood.
The internet on their phones we give them when they’re WAY too young. The video games, YouTube, Facebook… as much as we try to keep them from seeing it, social media gives the ability to share anything from LiveLeak and similar sites, and we all know can be found there.
I held out as long as I could. The earliest my kids were given an internet-capable phone was 14. I have seen kids as early as 9-10 watching YouTube on their phone in public places….vivid language blaring from what was obviously a fight with several people cussing and egging it on. You can try and use “parental controls”, but my parents tried to keep me from sneaking peeks at the Christmas presents, and I still succeeded. Kids teach each other, you cannot stop it.
It is our fault…
We have allowed society to sensationalize scenarios and lifestyles portrayed on TV, movies and video games. Instead of teaching our kids the “right and wrong” of firearms handling and ownership, we allow sensational acts in movies to be their education. Kids will never understand and respect firearms if they are watching first-person shooter games and movies that show very little respect for firearms and firearms handling.
It is our fault…but we can change it.
I would like to see more education provided and more sensible programs to allow kids and young adults to be molded into responsible firearms handlers if not owners. The Second Amendment to the Constitution should be exercised in a safe and educational format so we as a society can collectively live in well-educated, well-protected communities.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effectiveness of universal school-based programs for the prevention of violent and aggressive behavior: A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR Recommendations and Reports 2007; 56(RR-7).
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.