Guns. Kill. People.
(picture from a glock website, I refuse to display the link)
"Why would you have a loaded gun in the house with kids around?" Courtney Fleet
At 17 years old, Courtney Fleet appears to have a mature brain in her head. Unlike many of her friends and neighbors. Let's review her quote with a bit more emphasis: WHY WOULD YOU HAVE A LOADED GUN IN THE HOUSE WITH KIDS AROUND?
It's just that simple. In fact, if you keep a loaded gun in a house where children live or visit, you might as well take it out right now, point it at the kids and shoot. Because that's what's going to happen anyway.
Three year old Tylib "TaTa" Bailey-Hankerson could tell you so. If he were alive.
TaTa was playing in the bedroom of his mother's boyfriend's house with his 9 year old brother. It's unclear where their 7 year old brother was. One of them found the boyfriend's gun, a .45-caliber Glock semiautomatic in the night table.
Let's focus on that for a minute. A .45-caliber Glock semiautomatic is a serious piece of firepower. When loaded it can weigh as much as 2 pounds. When a kid points it at another kid or at his own head, it will nearly take that little head off.
Which is exactly what happened to TaTa.
Here's the proud claim I found on atlantisarms.com:
65% of law enforcement agencies use Glock pistols in the USA. ... Glock provides pistols for many of American's most elite law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Police Department, and more than 7,500 other agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Police and military agencies worldwide rely upon the Glock pistol for its high level of performance and value.News reports so far are telling us the Glock's owner is studying to be an electrician. He's not a cop. Or a member of the FBI or the DEA. He's just a guy who bought, registered and owned a gun legally, for protection, as is his inalienable right ... or so the NRA and other gun nuts claim.
But who's protecting our children from irresponsible gun owners? And what about the children's inalienable right to stay safe, and alive?
Take a look at this chilling report from the Philadelphia Inquirer Kids, Guns, and a Deadly Toll. It chronicles 19 children cut down by gun violence since January 2006. The youngest, until TaTa, was 5.
I've talked about gun violence and children before. In May of 2005, Got Guns? GET RID OF THEM! Again in May, I noted:
Gun Violence: A 15-year-old boy was killed and a 16-year-old girl seriously wounded while playing with a gun belonging to the girl's father. A sign on the home's garage displays a picture of gun and warns trespassers will be shot. "I challenge anybody to see how many times a gun has been used to stop an intruder versus the number of times a kid has used it to harm themselves or another kid," said a local homicide lieutenant.Then in November, Teens and Gun Violence.
But I'm just one lonely voice crying out from my ivory tower. I didn't grow up with metal detectors in my high school. I don't live in a neighborhood overrun by gun violence. I don't even know anyone who owns a gun. And I don't know anyone who's ever been shot and killed.
That doesn't mean I'm untouched by violence. I'm a citizen of a city with an epidemic of violent death. And I'm a Baby Boomer who's counting on the next generation to make our world a better place. That'll never happen if they keep killing each other and themselves.
I'm normally a peace loving person. But I'm angry enough now to say this: Adults who have guns and children in the same house should be shot.
Unfortunately it's their kids who typically end up on the business end of a bullet.