In today’s New York Times piece, “Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll”, Michael Luo and Mike McIntire discuss the number of accidental firearm deaths of children under the age of 15 being grossly underestimated. As with most statistics, there is rarely an absolute known truth about the numbers and extent of what you are looking for, since it is impossible to collect all data and account for all contributing variables. That being said, there is truth to the fact that there are tragic and preventable deaths that come from guns.
Luo and McIntire expose several incidents that “are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable”. This is true. There are huge responsibilities that come with the ownership of guns – any caliber – and those responsibilities rest with the free people who must make choices how they use and protect their gun ownership by protecting the people around them.
But the issue is the accessibility of guns to young people who have no gun safety training (or are too young to be handling a firearm) – not the fact that American people own guns. That accessibility is the responsibility of the individual, the parent, the family, and the America citizen. Not the responsibility of the State or the government – local, State, or federal.
There are even a greater number of cases where there are young people who are properly trained and old enough to be responsible to engage in using firearms for their intended use – self-defense or hunting. These statistics were of course, not sited in the article, and often aren’t, because the article is trying to make a point. And making a point is harder if you decide to use both sides of an argument. Although it is prudent to discuss all sides, when you already know which way you are trying to make people lean, it is easier to just make it sound the way you want to.
Tragedy is unpreventable. There are bad people, stupid people, and irresponsible people – and no law can change this. What is preventable is making rash decisions that affect millions of people because of a few hundred, or a few thousand people – majority rule and minority rule are both bad things for the individual rights of the American people. Responsibility rests in the hands of the individual neither the collective, nor the government – and to enhance the responsibility of the individual, we must have a free people who can protect themselves.