In my several rewrites of this article, I’ve taken great pains to remove traces of my own emotional reaction to this issue in an effort to present an objective, fair analysis. I hope I’ve succeeded.
The National Rifle Association is a soul-less, sucking black hole of misanthropy and a national disgrace. It’s without a trace of cognitive dissonance that they argue the answer to the problem of gun violence is increased gun sales. Background check for potential gun-purchasers would infringe on our rights and also cost lives, the argument goes.
On the contrary, not only do we need background checks, we should insist the checks includes an IQ component. This is not to suggest that only the intelligent should have guns, but as illustrated below, too many guns are being sold to the breathtakingly stupid. And you just can’t regulate stupidity. Sure, people may defend their homes with guns, but guns are also used when “she burned the meatloaf again,” or when “he put his shoes on the bedspread for the thousandth time.” Now, it seems that more and more frequently, children are shooting each other, either by accident or by that sudden toddler rage which flares with no grasp of consequences. Whether or not it’s intentional, parents are arming their children.
In Kentucky about one week ago, a 5 year old boy shot his 2 year old sister dead with a gun he was given as a gift from his parents. Actually, he was given the gift about a year before he killed his sister, so, presumably, he was given a gun when he was 4. Close to my new hometown, in Oakland Park, Florida, a 13 year-old found his parents gun while he was babysitting his 6 year old sister. A witness later saw the girl loaded into an ambulance, and as he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
“Her shirt was bloody, and you could see through a piece of gauze that she had a hole in her chest above the heart,” said (the witness), who has two young daughters. “Her eyes were wide open in a blank stare, like she was in shock. I’ll never forget that look.”
This incident was a little over one week ago, and the girl is in critical but stable condition.
A quick google search would reveal that this kind of thing happens a lot. Kids that age aren’t to be trusted crossing the street without a parent, or staying outside when it’s dark, but some parents give them guns. The most famous recent example is, of course, the Lanza household in Connecticut. Adam Lanza was not a child, but consider what this disturbed 20 year old boy had available to him:
* A Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle with a 30-round magazine;
* A Glock 10 mm;
* A 9 mm Sig Sauer P226;
* A Saiga 12 shotgun holding 70 rounds;
* An Enfield bolt-action .323 rifle;
* A Savage Mark II .22 caliber rifle;
* A black Marksman BB gun;
* 6 30 round magazines;
* And at least nine knives and three Samurai swords. (This list derived from email@example.com.)
The Bushmaster, the Glock, and the Saiga, Adam took to school one day .
The NRA should at least try to stay on top of this issue. Even the tobacco companies pretended to care about kids after the Joe Camel campaign was brought to light. But rather than counsel intelligence and considerate ownership, rather than even fake concern for the many people dying in this country from gun violence, they suggest arming teachers and security guards, they advocate more gun training earlier in life, they push to sell more guns.
And we tolerate this. So who’s breathtakingly stupid?