2015… Off to a “Firing” Start! By Vicky Dal Molin
I cannot believe we are in a new year and it has been such a long time since I last sat down and gave myself enough time to write. When did we all become so…. Well for want of a better phrase “time poor”. Work/Life/Kids/Holidays has meant such a shortage of time to sit down and type up the many blog posts that I have started in my mind. So now I have done it…. Blocked out some time and in front of my computer and there are a million things running through my head that I want to write about. Today though I just finished reading an article of how a 5 year old boy shot his 9 month old brother to death – accidentally – after finding his grandfather’s .22-caliber Magnum revolver that the grandfather claims was locked up. The headline…. ‘I’m sorry, mom. I shot Corbin’: Heartache after boy, 5, tells mom he killed 9-month-old brother in playpen at Missouri home.
I don’t mean to start off the new year of blogs on such a sad (and I guess controversial) topic (well I guess I do by posting this) but I’m really angry about yet another unnecessary and completely unavoidable death of a baby. I’m not even sure where to start on this except to ask ….. WHEN will the decision makers that create the laws in this country get it? – the gun laws aren’t working. I’m so tired of hearing “it’s our American right to have a gun”. What about that little 5 year old that gets to live the rest of his life knowing he killed his baby brother. Wasn’t his right to not have to bear this burden?
Or what about the 2 year old that killed his mother after reaching into her purse in Walmart and causing the gun to go off and kill her? I get some think it’s their right to carry a gun. I’m guessing there are a lot of violent people shopping in Walmart these days. But what about the right to protect children. And then I wake up this morning to a 2 & 1/2 year old who killed himself with the gun that was in the glove compartment of the car he was in.
It’s really no surprise that there are so many people pro guns….. I went to the movies over the weekend – I haven’t been in such a long time. We saw American Sniper. The theatre erupted in applause at one scene where one sniper kills another. Guns are held up in esteem in these movies – movies our children watch. These are the movies our children are growing up watching, our teenagers, our young adults. Hey frankly after watching it I was thinking I needed protection myself… for all of a millisecond of course because for me guns have no place in my home.
I think my views have a lot to do with the country I grew up in. In 1996 there was a killing spree in Port Arthur that killed 35 people! Yep 35! With 23 wounded. It was a popular tourist spot and the worst massacre in Australian history –provably in a lot of countries really. In fact it remains one of the deadliest shootings worldwide committed by a single person and remains the deadliest in the English speaking world (if you trust Wikipedia).
You want to know how our government responded at the time. NO MORE GUNS! Simple! The federal government lead the states into severely restricting access to firearms. At the time over 80% of Australians supported gun control – and so ALL states and territories of Australia banned and heavily restricted the ownership of semi automatic guns. They even had a buy back scheme. It cost the government in excess of $350m to do it. But people handed them back! And you know what…. Gun violence decreased significantly. It worked. Now I’m not suggesting the same for here… US is a different beast – but something has to be done. Surely we are getting to see that.
I know people who have guns and they have kids and they even have showed me their kids holding their very own weapon. I don’t get it to be honest. I respect parent’s choice to raise their kids as they see fit (obviously within reason – abuse/neglect unacceptable) and they swear to me they practice gun safety and have their guns locked in safes etc. “The safe alerts me via my smart phone if it’s opened”. Ok – but what if you’re not around at that time. At the end of the day gun owners will swear they are different – and I really hope they are – but I won’t be letting my child alone on play dates there. It just won’t happen because you just never know. It’s my responsibility to keep my child safe. Yet another new parenting issue I never thought I would ever have to deal with. Here’s why. 1 in 3 homes with children have guns (some unlocked or loaded) – 3 in 4 children ages 5-14 know where firearms are kept in the home – 80% of unintentional firearm deaths of kids under 15 occur in a home. Those numbers terrify me. They should scare us all!*
So those all the poor children that have died as a result of a gun being fired…. RIP – there is now a new member joining the many others that will fight for stricter gun laws in this country. Who would have thought!
* data from askingsaveskids.org