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Author’s Comments on “Gun Houston kindergartner had was family friend’s” – US news – msnbc.com

April 26, 2011

The media is exploding around us every day to remind us how prevalent the incidences of minors in possession of prohibited weapons has simply become common place in America, USA. An article such as this beckons the question, “How in the hell did a six-year-old get a loaded gun out of his house  — to begin with?”

To read the article that spurs the question, go here: Gun Houston kindergartner had was family friend’s – US news – msnbc.com.

Most dissenters in an adjacent article appear to believe that the problem with gun control lies within the responsibility of their school districts. They demand that metal detectors be installed in every school across America — or at least their own home town. I did not bother to read why they believe that Uncle Sam should foot the bill for such an expensive endeavor because I got turned off by the way this reading was going for me. Simply put, I felt infuriated that they failed to recognize the real problem with our society today — and that is to address how in the hell a six-year-old got  a hold of a loaded weapon, why was there not a trigger lock installed on the gun, and why was a gun and ammunition within reach of an unsupervised kid?

My husband reminds everyone, “And what are Uncle Sam’s initials? US! We’re paying for it. We’re paying for those metal detectors.” Well, my high school had metal detectors installed the last year I was there, and I recall that cops with dogs also monitored the halls before, during and after school hours. And that was a long time ago. I cannot imagine the horrors that our children and teachers face today. I can therefore assure you that I am not saying that we should not install or have metal detectors for the protection of our youth and educators.

To read the article, go here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42731051/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/. Perhaps you can finish the reading and bring up some counterpoints to my initial wave of disgust.

I am not here to pass judgment because I know that some kids can get into a pickle faster than they can get out of their jams — and that, speaking as a vetted Mommy and Nana; but — come on! When combined with some piece of TV news clip that I overheard last night on the subject matter involving children, guns, and the DSS, my wisdom begins to scream the bewildered question:

“How many deaths and serious injuries does it take before law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys enforce our well-established Black Letter gun laws?”

I believe the news clip last night indicated that six months was an awfully long time to wait for enforcement of gun laws while innocent victims lined the morgues and anguish filled the hearts in mourning those who can never be returned to them in this lifetime.

America, USA speaks out, but what are we willing to do about it?

What are you willing to do to protect our children? The time to act proactively is too late for some; has not yet arrived for others who have so far been spared; but the time is now to take actions to prevent prohibited persons from possessing firearms and ammunition. Period.

We must each take responsibility to inform and teach the public at large through honest educational broadcast commercials and perhaps Board of Education-approved classroom instruction (instead of installing metal detectors in all elementary schools, for example). After all, when fifth and sixth graders are now receiving sex education and condoms are provided in some elementary schools to help prevent these kids from getting pregnant, WHY NOT throw in some safety education about guns and gun laws? What exactly the content and amount of education is to be determined by a responsible set of adults who are not fanatics in either direction of purity or sadism, and generally that means most of us, and we can sit down and figure out what’s appropriate for each age group. Unfortunately for some schools, the education comes as boot camp and real life combat scenarios from Day One, as six year olds play John Wayne at the O.K. Coral and shoot up their playmates.

Let me give you an example of what our society deems as “age appropriate education:” Remember the “Mr. Yuk” campaign? Heck, I remember putting the bright yellow stickers on stuff under Mom’s kitchen cabinet when I was a kid trying to teach my baby brother not to put that crap in his mouth. And my first-born daughter did the same for her baby brother, and then for her mischievous two baby sisters who followed the prowess of big brother. Heck, run a campaign across America challenging any American family to come up with a safe gun campaign for a chance to win an all-expense trip to Disney World…

And let’s not forget the “Stop! Look! and Listen!” campaign that our mothers taught us as we crossed busy streets and intersections, and how we subsequently taught our children how to not only Stop! Look! and Listen! but additionally we ferreted our children with the essential “Stop! Drop! and Roll!” in case they catch on fire… And that was because kids were playing with matches and accidentally catching themselves and their friends and siblings on fire. A similar incident happened in our neighborhood and touched our lives as children. We even learned in school, with the cooperation of our local firefighters, how to plan an fire escape route and get our family’s cooperation while performing said drills at least once a month as part of our passing grade. If we could actually get our fathers to install rope ladders or have them available along with fire extinguishers at least in the upstairs hallway and in the kitchen, we would receive an automatic ‘A’. Seriously.

I taught my kids essential hand-to-hand combat moves in case some stranger tried to kidnap them. That was the “Too Smart for Strangers” parenting campaign that was reinforced by the good ol’ Board of Education. I was taught, and I subsequently taught, that a good crack on the top of the foot with a downward heel is most excrutiating coupled with a fist full of keys to the eyes or crotch — ouch! and even if rambunctiously administered by a young child. And screaming at the top of one’s lungs, “Help! Help! Stranger!” Well, it’s what my Daddy taught me…and it actually came in handy from time to time.

But teaching demands testing to ensure that knowledge and information is actually being retained in the brains of folks who are supposed to be doing all the learning and shooting. We had to practice the fire drills in school and in our homes, put Mr. Yuk stickers on poisonous substances and subsequently learn how to install safety locks on drawers, cabinets and even toilet lids to prevent babies from drowning. We learned how to safely cross a street, how to fend off strangers, and even how to administer basic emergency CPR.

Can we practice what we teach on gun safety laws? Are we sure gun owners are actually paying attention during that two-hour “class”?

Well, the law is the law, and if the law is broken, society feels that the lawbreaker will be punished because they signed a piece of paper stating that they understood what they were taught. If that is good enough for law enforcement, is that method truly good enough for those who should probably thoroughly understand the law so that they can be sure they don’t break it at their own (and perhaps other’s) peril?

We must test individuals who purchase guns — and make sure they understand the laws by making a pass-fail grade. To ensure that every person has the fair opportunity to be tested, for example, an interpreter would be provided if the individual cannot read English. The interpreter would read test and answers would be given verbally.  Can you believe that all a person has to do is to attend an approved two-hour class and sign a waiver (even with an “X”) that they understand the materials covered? Really?

A wise person once stated, “To do nothing is to give permission.” Permission to trample your civil liberties. Permission to break the laws that were once meant to protect you. Permission to ignore the lawbreakers because you’re too lazy to enforce the law, or else your department was not funded for this particular statute. Permission to close your eyes, your ears, your mouth and do nothing.

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25 Comments
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