Friday, July 8, 2011

Out of the Guns of Babes

A tragedy happened in my area last week. An 11 year old boy shot and killed his 6 year old brother while they were home alone. Debates are raging as to whether or not this 11 year old should be tried as an adult, and whether he should have been released from custody to attend his brother's funeral yesterday. It is interesting to read the interwebs and look at the discussions people are having, because one thing is eerily absent.... the same thing that was absent the day this young boy died... the parents.

Hold on... let me climb up onto my soap box. Ahhh... that's better.

I consider the questions I posed last paragraph to be easy ones. 1. Absolutely do not charge this child as an adult. While the crime he committed was very mature... he is not. And, I am sickened by the thought of what this child would endure in a male adult prison facility. I've been in them. It's not pretty. 2. The child should have been allowed to attend the funeral, unless it brought great discomfort to the immediate family. This was not a premeditated act of evil (ahem Casey Anthony), it was a child with a loaded weapon acting on impulse. Punish - yes. Punish in accordance with the goal being the best possible future - absolutely. But here's the thing I still fail to comprehend... if our prosecutor is considering charging the child as an adult for Murder 1... what are the parents going to get?

Man, the view is great from up here....

When you are an adult, you can choose to have a gun for safety, sport, serial killing... whatever. Actually, I don't endorse the third one... but wait... I don't endorse any of them! But in any case, it is your choice. When you have a child in your home, though, that choice ought be to rethought and rethought one hundred times over, picturing every possible scenario that leads to a gun being put in an 11 year old boy's hands. Where was the gun safe (oxymoron)? Did the 11 year old know how to open it, therefore defeating the purpose of having one or did the family just think they could stick it in their underwear drawer and hope for the best? Was it locked? Was it loaded? Was this boy ever taught that death is forever and guns aren't toys? Did the parents ever give it one second of thought before they left a deadly weapon within reach of children? Did they ever consider that between target practice and duck hunting, that maybe they should make sure the gun disappeared when not in use? Would they let the kids throw lit matches at gasoline? Did they juggle steak knives? Were they allowed to hold each other underwater until they stopped kicking? Probably not... but by God they'd let that gun be available at any time.

There are a million things in this world that could take our children from us, and the bulk of them are completely out of our control. Tornadoes, drunk drivers, cancer.... they are all out of our hands. But, guns.... you are potentially putting those in the hands of your children every time you bring them into your homes. And I am left wondering, not about trying the boy as an adult or letting him attend the funeral... I am wondering for the parents who lost one boy forever and another is on his way... was it worth it? Was the idea of safety or sport worth the lives of both of your sons? And for all of the opinionated masses sitting at home with guns either un- or under- secured... is it worth the lives of your children? I bet not.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bathtubs kill lots of kids too so we should outlaw those as well...

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

You don't leave a child unattended in a bath tub until they are old enough. Even now, my 5 year old who is a decent swimmer has supervised baths and showers. Yet, apparently the same rule didn't apply for leaving a child around a loaded gun.

Anonymous said...

Guns are made for one purpose, killing.

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Guns definitely are not for flower arranging... but I am not making a blanket statement that no one should have them. While I am not pro guns, my point is simply... if you have kids in your home... think it through. Take every precaution possible, and then take 15 more. Unload it. Lock it. Put it in a safe. Put the safe in a safe. Hide them. Do everything possible to ensure that you don't suffer from the same second guessing that this family is no doubt thinking right now. If you do those things, then go forth and shoot. Otherwise, you have no business having a fire arm in your house. Period.

metamorphstorm said...

I agree completely.

There are three rifles in my house, and while we keep the magazines and ammo quite separate, the guns are still here, not actually secured at all.

But I don't have kids. I do have a hamster, but he'll never be able to reach them...

If there was a kid here, or even a cat or dog that doesn't live in a cage, you can bet your life savings those guns would be secured a hundred times over. I'm all for having guns IF they're kept in household-appropriate ways - I live in a valley where if you don't hunt, you don't eat - but if there's someone in your house that may misuse it, it's best not to have it.

:)