If you’re ever thinking to yourself “GOSH, I just love people. People are the BEST. YAY PEOPLE!” and you don’t like the icky feeling that comes along with being so optimistic, read a story about a 5-year old who shot and killed his 2-year old sister with the “Little Crickett My First Rifle” he received for his birthday. But don’t stop there, read the comments on that story and watch the whole thing turn into a platform for varying political agendas and almost instantly, you will start to feel that old familiar cynicism and before you know it, a deep hatred for your fellow man will creep back into your life.
Here’s where I get judgy (I know it’s not a word, go with it). To say “It’s just one of those nightmares, a quick thing that happens when you turn your back” as Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory said in regards to the shooting is ludicrous without the words “WHEN YOU BUY YOUR 5 YEAR OLD A GUN AND LEAVE IT LOADED AND UNLOCKED AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE,” added to the end of that sentence.
One cannot utter the word “gun” without igniting huge political firestorms. Listen, I don’t want to infringe on your 2nd amendment right to bear arms. I certainly don’t want to take your children. But for the love of all that is good and holy can we stop manufacturing guns geared to children?
I get that in some parts of the country guns are part of the culture for children at a very early age. Fine. Go take your kid out with YOUR gun and shoot with her or him. Show them what a powerful weapon a gun is. Talk to them about the importance of making sure it is NOT loaded until you are ready to use it (spare me the argument about using it for self-defense. This is a kid we’re talking about). THEN, go home and talk about the importance of locking up a gun and how it is not a plaything because guns are for ADULTS.
I can only imagine that the manufacturing of kid-sized guns is not going to stop so at least be responsible and keep your kids’ weapon unloaded, locked, and up and away from the kid when there is no adult supervision.
I would assume someone who is so enamored with guns that they just couldn’t wait to run out and buy Jr. their very own kid-size rifle knows a lot more than I do and if they DON’T, but still want to arm their child, then take a freaking class in gun safety. There’s a good parent/child activity. Let’s learn how to use this deadly weapon mommy and daddy are giving you for your birthday.
This whole thing reminded me of something that was so ludicrous and amusing when I saw it. Not that anything about this is funny, but I couldn’t help but to be reminded of the old Saturday Night Live Skit that featured Dan Aykroyd as slimy toy manufacturer Irwin Mainway. The premise of the skit is that Mainway was on a show called Consumer Probe and Candace Bergen is the host who questions Mainway’s choice to manufacture such “toys” as “Pretty Peggy Ear Piercing Set” and “Bag O’ Glass”,which is truly a bag of broken glass. Mainway has an excuse for everything and the bottom line is money. I saw this skit as a kid originally and laughed because of how convincing Aykroyd was as a money-hungry jerk who didn’t care about the safety of children, and because of how silly the idea of parents buying such dangerous things for their children.
One of the comments on the story was “bathtubs kill more children per year than guns”. True. However, A bathtub will not have to live with the fact that it killed its sibling.
I cannot imagine what this family must be feeling but I have to disagree with grandmother Linda Riddle who said, “It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess”. REALLY? It was God’s will to have your grandson shoot and kill your granddaughter? I am not a religious person at all, that is for another post, but this is fuckery (also not a word but I’m on a roll) at its highest form.
This was a totally preventable and horrible tragedy and I am not even sure WHAT, but something has to change.
*Image courtesy of ABC News