I have written about it before and I think I must continue to write about parents choosing to put guns in the hands of their children. The gun business is booming even after the tragedy at Newtown. The sales of guns for children is a new market for the sales of guns from the gun industry. We all know that kids are impulsive and at times are not capable of making good decisions despite memorizing safety rules. Kids are curious and will do as they impulsively feel which is usually something devilish. Do they really need lethal weapons?
We don’t need kids with baby teeth packing serious heat. There have been 76 cases of serious shootings at schools this year alone. People aren’t even reacting anymore. Is school shootings becoming normal? The parents say the more you know, the safer you are. Guns are unsafe in anyone’s hands at any age. People think if they remove the clip of bullets they are safe, till someone pulls the trigger and a bullet hidden in that chamber kills a friend or relative. Parents don’t care about the danger. Parents don’t care about their kid’s impulsiveness. The National Rifle Association doesn’t care about the safety of children. The gun manufacturers love the new market. Does anyone even care that we are creating killing machines out of our children?
There are seven year old girls who are part of a group called the Little Girl’s Youth Training. It is part of a growing trend promoting shooting sports for kids. In Austin Texas there is a group called the Austin Sure Shots that is a women’s only shooting club that has many children’s programs where the promoters say that when you teach kids that young, you take the mystery out of the weapon and the kids learn to respect it. I say let the kids respect a science kit where they could take the mystery out of cancer and find a cure. I don’t need Sue killing Allie at a play date.
The NRA pours in tens of millions of dollars into youths shooting programs every year. Do they really believe that kids this young should be trusted with lethal weapons? It’s so ironic a practice since once in almost every hour in America a child or teen is injured or killed by a gun often fired accidentally by other children. The wacky parents believe that gun play dates could actually make them safer. I am all for educational programs and I believe knowledge is power however we are talking about very young children here who are impulsive and who quite often need to be taught how to think.
Why should the children have to be under such pressure? They are at a point in their life where the only pressure they should be facing is who is going to win the harmless game of Candy Land not who gets to live today. These parents convince themselves that it is about sportsmanship and not self- defense. They don’t teach them to shoot around barricades or to clear rooms or what happens at a car jacking. They teach them to clean guns. Their prized possessions are not their Barbie dolls but what is locked up in the gun case.
Those who own guns are buying more guns. Over all, national surveys indicate that new ownership is decreasing. So young children is a demographic that the gun manufacturers are eagerly trying to tap into for the future of gun sports. The industry is sponsoring children that have fan pages on web sites. Parents are hoping that someday their kid will get a college scholarship or Olympic medals in sharp shooting. Training and trust may not be enough to prevent accidents. I still believe that kids and guns simply do not mix even under the safest conditions.
You cannot teach impulsiveness out of a child. I wrote in the past about Dr. Denise Dowd who helps write policy for the American Academy of Pediatrics and says kid’s brains are not mature enough at impulse control. Why doesn’t the NRA listen to the experts and back off? Why won’t Congress regulate the gun manufacturers and stop them from pouring millions into attracting children to guns? The Congressman themselves are way too rich from being fed money by the gun lobbyists into the campaign funds. It is all about money and never about safety or ethics in this life.
You could teach kids, they can recite all the safety rules but you still can’t trust them alone with a gun and I am talking about the best trained kids. She sees 50 to 100 accidents a year just at her Kansas City location that could have been entirely preventable without access to guns. They tested children about impulse control in a play area. They took a group of young children and trained them to never touch a gun without an adult. They had the children memorize safety rules. When left with weapons hidden with their other toys, nearly half of the boys acted on impulse. 8 out of 23 of the girls also picked up the weapons and pointed them at other children. Instead of calling an adult they play with the weapons.
A pink gun called The Cricket manufactured by Keystone is one of several rifles on the market designed to appeal to kids. Nearly half of guns in this country are not locked away properly. Guns accidentally kill kids 10 times more often in America than any other developed country in the world. Guns don’t kill people by themselves. Most kids do not intentionally wish to really kill someone. The real accident lies with the irresponsible people who give a kid a gun, leave their guns around the house and think they are not harmful.
While 14 states have safe storage laws which studies show reduces accidental shooting deaths among kids, Ohio has no such law. The NRA has repeatedly opposed such laws saying “ They infringe on gun owner’s rights to effectively protect their own home.” I guess the NRA doesn’t believe in Police Departments much or Judges or Juries. They believe that Americans have the right to bear arms at any age and want to give more money to an already 30 Billion dollar industry. So, watch your back. There are kids out there with guns with the blessings from their parents and the NRA.