Nevada School Shooting – Why Do We Have to Keep Learning the Same Lessons?

131021165905-sparks-middle-school-horizontal-gallery

The details on the Nevada School Shooting yesterday have started to emerge. Unfortunately, the story is all too familiar. A 13-year-old showed up at school with his parent’s gun and opened fire on fellow students wounding two of them. A teacher, Michael Landsberry, who is a former Marine and served two tours in Afghanistan (but who was unarmed) attempted to intervene and was killed for his trouble. The adolescent shooter then turned the gun on himself. Unfortunately for the gun control community, this event lacked some of their favorite elements; no “assault weapon”, no children killed (yet, other than the shooter who saved the state some tax dollars by dousing his own lights) and it remains to be seen whether or not a “large capacity clip” was used . . .

The murderer (yes, let’s use the proper word here) was described as a nice, shy kid and everyone was surprised he did this. “He may have been bullied,” the conventional wisdom suggests – possibly by the the people he shot. This is neither justification nor a proper excuse.  Like most kids at one point or another, when I was growing up, I got bullied once and a while. Our options for dealing with them were decidedly more pedestrian.  We either fought them the old fashioned way or got our asses kicked, but no one was running around killing people. But I digress.

This sad circumstance will result in the usual actors reading from their rote scripts on how to prevent this sort of thing from happening.  The real tragedy is that this sort of thing is totally preventable.  The fact that this kid got his hands on a gun from his own home is simply unconscionable.  Now, I know that there are plenty of 13 year olds who would never do this.  We even have the occasional story of the teenager who shoots the home invader and saves his siblings.  The fact is though that those types of kids are the exceptions not the rule.  Teenagers as a group and male teenagers in particular are not renown for their judgement.  There is a reason why auto insurance rates for 16-23 year old males are higher than for any other group and its not just because they are new drivers.

Seriously folks – what’s it going to take before we all learn to lock our damn guns up? The murderers in both this recent shooting and last year’s Newton massacre used their parent’s guns to commit their crimes. In the case of Newton, the murderer was almost 21 years old, but his mother knew he had psychological problems so she should have used better judgement keeping her guns secure. If you have the money to buy a gun, then you have the money to buy a safe to keep the gun in.

I’m not talking about one of those stupid lock boxes they sell at gun stores or one of those mini-safes the office supply stores sell.  Those can be easily broken in to.  My guns are stored in a real 500 lb safe that no teenager is going to crack in a hurry. If you must keep a gun handy by the bedside, then make the extra effort and put your gun in one of those quickie gun safes each night before bed, then move it back to secure storage in the morning. Yes, I know it’s a pain in the ass, but trust me, it’s a lot less trouble than it will be if your offspring (or one of his friends) gets a hold of your gun and kills someone with it.

The simple fact is that if we as gun owners can’t be responsible on our own, the state is going to legislate it for us. This is why some states have secure storage laws and others are looking at mandating firearm owner liability insurance. If the People of the Gun did a better job self-policing, we wouldn’t have the government butting in.

One of the arguments we sometimes use is that if kids don’t have access to guns, then they’ll use another method (ex: Tim McVeigh).  Okay, fine, let them do that.  I’d rather they not kill or hurt anyone, but if they are going to do it, then stop letting them do it with guns.  These ass clowns and their careless parents are going to cost everyone their rights.  If this keeps happening, we WILL see restrictions on all of us to prevent the stupid ones from being stupid.  Which is impossible because you can’t fix (or legislate) stupid.

So, besides locking up the damn guns, what else have we learned (again, still)?  Well, we have still more evidence that even a trained marine with combat experience without a gun is no match for an untrained 13 year old with one.  If a highly trained, but unarmed marine can’t handle a kid with a pistol, what chance will some teacher with a weekend “negotiating skills” class have?  The right way to have handled this problem would have been for someone with a gun to have put this mad dog down the minute he started shooting.  We need to establish a precedent that pulling a gun out in proximity to our children is going to get you a dirt nap.  I really don’t care what “issues” the murderer has.  Pull a gun, start shooting, and you get dead.  Fast.  Zero f=ing tolerance.

The really sad thing here is that this is going to keep happening.  And we have no one but ourselves to blame.  Psycho murderers like this are not the “typical” criminal.  They are not using black market guns bought on the street, they are not stealing guns from people they don’t know.  They are using improperly secured guns from their own homes or those of their friends.  This is generally the road map many of these sorts of things follow.   Granted, Columbine was different, but it was different in a lot of ways and the handwriting was clearly on the wall long before it happened.  As gun owners, we can all take a few simple steps to make it more difficult for kids to get their hands on our guns.

So, the two lessons here:

1. If we don’t take steps to keep guns out of the hands of our kids, then others will take steps to keep guns out of everyone’s hands.

2. We need people with guns protecting our kids.  I don’t care how we do it, but unarmed protectors are nothing more than noisy, moving targets.

comments

  1. avatar Scottlac says:

    1. If we don’t take steps to keep guns out of the hands of our kids, then others will take steps to keep guns out of everyone’s hands.

    My kid has access to her corner gun. The stairwell to her upstairs room is the only way in or out. She is more responsible than most grown-ups, level headed, mature, and responsible. She will be armed in our house if she is home alone and needs to be.

    2. We need people with guns protecting our kids. I don’t care how we do it, but unarmed protectors are nothing more than noisy, moving targets.

    The fact that we still don’t have real (armed) security in schools is criminal negligence.

    1. avatar Scottlac says:

      There is also that little matter of respect. Respect for life, self, legitimate authority, parents, God, Country, and the rights of others. Children need to learn THAT before learning to shoot then shooting will not be a problem.

      1. avatar Danny says:

        Respect for the gun would be a good idea, too. Too many times I’ve heard stories of kids bringing their parents guns and accidentally killing another student because they don’t bother to safety check the gun before showing it off on the bus. Maybe if they understood how dangerous it was instead of not letting them touch it or know about it they wouldn’t think of bringing it to school in the 1st place!

        1. avatar Wombat says:

          We Aussies have extremely onerous safe storage laws. We also have a term for shooters who support those laws.

          “Quisling scumbags”.

          If you can’t raise a child with enough discipline and sense to refrain from taking your gun to school much less killing someone with it then you don’t have a safe storage problem, you have an “I’m not capable of raising a child properly” problem.

          Seriously, sometimes it seems like the owners of this site are one more “common sense compromise” away from tossing in with the Feinstien crowd.

        2. avatar rip_vw32 says:

          +1000 Wombat!!

        3. avatar Hannibal says:

          “If you can’t raise a child with enough discipline and sense to refrain from taking your gun to school much less killing someone with it then you don’t have a safe storage problem, you have an “I’m not capable of raising a child properly” problem.”

          Yeah, and then when your little Susie who is the most perfectest kid evar kills someone your incapability to raise a child becomes everyone’s problem.

        4. avatar Scottlac says:

          In that one comment Hannibal sounds like an anti.

      2. avatar doesky2 says:

        Leftists want an “honest discussion” but then get mighty offended when you bring up the supposition that maybe all their vaunted secularism denying the concept of “ultimate justice” just might be contributing to narcissistic nutcases feeling they have nothing to loose by taking out as many people as they can before the pull their own ticket.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Yeah, because people with strong religious beliefs NEVER commit murder…

      3. avatar int19h says:

        No guns for atheists, then? And confiscate them from anyone demonstrating unpatriotic behavior?

        1. avatar Scottlac says:

          Good grief, some folks have really thin skin. Get over yourself. You respect your country and I’ll respect mine. Atheists have a god, in the vacuum of anything else, they worship themselves.

          I simply mention something that was once accepted as common and you want to start another religion argument on a gun page. I see I’ll have to hang on to my guns to defend my rights not only from the gun grabbers but also from folks here too.

  2. avatar Jeh says:

    A marine with two tours gunned down by a kid in our own country…what a world…RIP marine.

  3. avatar Ross says:

    Jim,

    I agree Sir, the single best investment I have made on the gun front was a safe.

  4. avatar Pulatso says:

    While I agree with your general point I do take issue with thise sentence:

    “If the People of the Gun did a better job self-policing, we wouldn’t have the government butting in.”

    Yes they would butt in. It’s all they know how to do, and if there’s no problem to fix, they make one to justify their existence. And when the goal is to eliminate gun ownership, the secondary goal is to make gun ownership as burdensome as possible. How about saying “…it wouldn’ be quite as easy for the government to butt in”?

    1. avatar Scottlac says:

      Exactly, socialists only think in terms of government based solutions to every problem. All other social institutions such as family, church, charities, etc. are seen as obstacles to government based solutions.

      They WILL butt-in. It’s all they know.

      1. avatar dsreno says:

        Replace the word “think” with “feel” and you’re pretty close…

        I don’t think socialist is the right label for the anti-civil rights movement. it is my understanding that socialism is an economic governance strategy. Totalitarianism is the political governance strategy that will eventually strip our rights from us. Though often found together and both can be used to fsck the little guy, the two are very different.

        Socialists would remove civil liberties by taxation (NFA). Totalitarians would remove remove civil liberties by decree (AWB). One leaves rights to the wealthy, while the other leaves rights only to those in power.

        Sorry to go off on the socialism thing, but I think we need to identify the enemy correctly. The politicians that would flush our rights down the toilet may often have socialist tendencies, but first and foremost, they are totalitarian.

    2. avatar BaconFart says:

      I agree. They would still butt in but at least we are not giving them extra ammo to use against us.

    3. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      While I agree that there are always busybodies who want to legislate things, it won’t happen unless enough people make a fuss. To wit – for decades the Accounting profession self-policed. It was a private organization of Accountants who defined the rules of accounting and set up checks and balances (with some oversight from the feds). This generally worked. Right up until a bunch of numbnuts at Arthur Andersen and a couple of other firms got greedy and careless. We had Enron and Worldcom among others, lots of people lost jobs and life savings and the Gov’t decided that the Accountants could no longer be trusted to manage things so we got Sarbanes Oxley. Most people who know squat about business will tell you that SarOx was one of the greatest drags on the economy that we could ever have put it place. The requirements are so onerous that a lot of companies choose not to go public so that they don’t have to deal with its provisions.

      This is a classic example of an area that had self-policed and then got stomped on when they showed they could not be trusted any more.

      This will happen to firearms, especially if the Tea Party wingnuts continue to split the Republican party, piss off the moderate middle of the road voters, and go on to lose control of the House and give the Dems a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. If you thought Obama’s first two years in office (Affordable Care Act) was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      1. avatar Merits says:

        I’m your Tea Party Wingnut.

      2. avatar JeffR says:

        … and you just lost a lot of your audience with the Tea Party wingnut comment. I am a former Democrat who now leans Republican because parts of the Tea Party movement got the GOP to remember that they should believe in fiscal responsibility and individual liberty. Leave political labels out of this discussion, and it is a lot better discussion. Especially since most gun owners don’t like other people labeling or defining us. We can do that ourselves. But nice article.

      3. avatar Dave C says:

        You had me until wingnut. I disagree with the political course of action, but my guns will never be in the hands of the ‘wrong’ people. I’m 100% on board with the take away: be responsible, and leave the party pickering for another site.

      4. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

        The tea party is not pissing off most of America. It is the things the media says about them, most of which are patently untrue.

      5. avatar doesky2 says:

        As for your TP crack……..This U.S. financial chart of doom was built by Repubs, Dems, and your Middle-of-the-roaders.

        http://www.freedomworks.org/files/imagecache/full/debtchartfw2.png

      6. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        Without the Tea Party it’s damned close to a one party system right now. Someone needs to be pulling for actual constitutional limits on federal power and actual reductions in spending instead of slowing the rate of growth.

      7. avatar Accur81 says:

        You lost me at Tea Party wingnut as well. I consider myself to be a conservative independent, but the values of limited government envisioned by the Founding Fathers is as relevant today as it ever was.

      8. avatar chicken says:

        Jim, you lost me well before the Tea Party comment. Those of us who are IN business and have to deal with those regulations know that the abbreviation is SOX, not SarOx. Please–before going on a diatribe (tirade?)–do your homework.

      9. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        Tea Party is the only thing resembling honesty and principles in politics today. Republicans can never out-Democrat the Democrats. Running as Democrat-light is a surefire loser. Ask Presidents Romney and McCain how well spurning conservatives worked out for them. Oh wait. Heck, ask old man Bush the same question. When he wasn’t running for Reagan’s 3rd term and had to pull the wagon on his own, his mealy-mouthed moderate ox was in a ditch. Even W. only squeaked by after trotting out his “compassionate conservative” defeatism. Genuine conservatives carrying an unapologetic pro-gun message win. Mushy so-called moderates are no friends of ours, are actually liberals masquerading as conservatives, and only bring frustration and disappointment as they’ll sell us down the river in short order.

        The proof? The 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” bill passed the then Democrat-controlled Senate 61-38; but with 7 GOP votes in favor. Without even just two of those anti-Constitution traitors, it could have been filibustered. In the Democrat-controlled house it passed 235-195; but with 46 Republicans voting with the Democrats. Without those turncoats, it would have failed outright.

        Fast forward to 2004 for the 10 year extension bill vote. The bill ultimately failed, but Feinstein’s amendment actually passed in the Senate 52-47 with the help of 8 GOP Senators, and W. Bush announced he would sign the bill if it passed Congress. Fortunately, it never got through the House and the ban expired; but that’s no reason to applaud Bush and Senate Republicans. If a Republican politician has never stood up and defended our rights, while putting his own political career on the line, then nothing he says will ever convince me he or she is on our side. He’s a sunshine patriot at best and isn’t worth supporting.

      10. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Oh man, I had no idea it was the Tea Party folks fault the whole time. Damn, I thought it was all the RINOs that the Reps push to the forefront to represent them, like Romeny and McCain. You’re right, everyone in America would’ve loved those two if it wasn’t for those damn Tea Party people.

      11. avatar Swobard says:

        Umm – add my name to that growing list of TPW’s you managed to piss off one simple little sentence! Well done!

  5. avatar KMc says:

    +1!! Did the Teacher actually think he was going to 1:disarm the Student or 2:talk him down and give up?
    I would have thought a combat Vet would have known better. At least he tried rather than throwing erasers at him.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      He did everything he could, given the situation. What he didn’t do was run away.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Indeed. That was a Marine who sacrificed his life for those around him. I’m not going to let those actions be denounced.

        1. avatar KMc says:

          Not what I was implying, what chances does an unarmed man have against an armed teenager? The teacher should have been armed and ended this mess ASAP. The ALICE training my teacher Wife has gotten would have been worthless in this situation, it’s way past time to leave any school teacher, employee etc, unarmed.

    2. avatar AJ says:

      An unarmed combat vet has a far greater chance of success against an armed opponent than your “average” male school teacher. Frankly I was surprised to hear it ended the way it did. But that’s the world we’ve made – “talk them down and make nicey nice”, even when the problem is an armed person (kid or not).

    3. avatar Randall Meadows says:

      It took me all of 5 seconds to find . When you’re a law-abiding citizen, you abide by the stupid GFZ laws, and you deal with the situation with what you have. If he had NOT tried talking the kid down, and ran away instead, how many other students would have been injured or killed before the dolt took himself out?

  6. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    even Interpol is starting to recognize that criminals can’t pull this sh!t where the populace can hit back. Suck on this nugget Shannon!!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-westgate-interpol-chief-ponders-armed-citizenry/story?id=20637341&singlePage=true

    1. avatar Ross says:

      Very interesting article, it’s a must read.

  7. avatar racenutz says:

    I hope you realize you are making the argument easier for the wrong side of this discussion. I don’t have kids & never will but even if I did what I do in my home is MY business. Not the government’s and certainly not yours.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Keep on thinking that. Right up until the time that you get in line with all the other nice people for Uncle Sugar. My point is that you have the right to do what you want in your house right up until the government decides you can’t be trusted with that right anymore and takes it away from you. Normally, the Government wouldn’t give a damn what you do provided that you pay your taxes and don’t bother anyone else. That is not what is happening now. All it would take would be one, maybe two more Newton style incidents in close succession and bye bye gun rights. Sure, I know some people will go down shooting, but it comes to open insurrection, things will get ugly real fast.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        I’d prefer they get ugly to the alternative. I’ve lived under one socialist dictatorship. I’m not going for two.

    2. avatar DrVino says:

      You may not have kids but friends and family do. I presume they visit you. Kids are curious and it’s hard to keep them in sight while you’re socializing or catching up.

      1. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

        Everyone needs to assess their own situation. If your teens are properly trained, why not provide them with a vital self defense option when you aren’t there? You want to come home and find your teen daughter raped and killed right next to a locked gun safe? What about the 15 year old in Texas that saved himself and his little sister by grabbing his fathers AR? What if that was locked up?

        If you have people in your house that can’t be trusted with a gun (e.g., someone with mental problems), you should at least consider that that it might be best not to have guns in the house, period. Again, however, this is for each person to decide for themselves.

        Regardless, I agree with other commenters that locking up all our guns all the time will not stop the Progs from coming after our guns. Apart from the useful idiots, the farking neo-Stalinists don’t give half a crap about our safety.

        BTW, this is not directed at Dr. Vino’s comment specifically as much as the general discussion. I happened to click at this point.

        1. avatar Levi B says:

          This kind of story is much more common than the story where a kid goes to school and shoots people. The fact is that it’s barely reported on locally, and totally ignored nationally, and most of the time it doesn’t end with shots being fired anyways.

    3. avatar Bruce L. says:

      From what I understand Jim is saying the parents are responsible for not locking up the gun. If that is true, then the State is responsible for not locking up the guns when adults use them for criminal acts. Which seems to be what the democratic party is trying to do.

      I think even 10 year olds, and younger, need to be held responsible for what they do. Should parents control weapons in the house? Of course, but everyone is responsible for acts they do.

      1. avatar dsreno says:

        Some kids take a while to grow out of the sociopath stage of life. Having worked in K-12 schools, I have seen plenty of kids that lose their empathy around 3rd grade and don’t get it back until 10th or 11th grade. Of course, there are also plenty of kids who are exceptionally responsible throughout their childhood. Regardless of the child, they are all angels in the eyes of their parents. Personally, I wouldn’t leave anything to chance with a tweenager.

        The state, like all organizations, is not human and is incapable of empathy. Additionally, we taxpayers own the government–even though politicians like to neglect that fact.

  8. avatar ST says:

    “Seriously folks – what’s it going to take before we all learn to lock our damn guns up? The murderers in both this recent shooting and last year’s Newton massacre used their parent’s guns to commit their crimes. In the case of Newton, the murderer was almost 21 years old, but his mother knew he had psychological problems so she should have used better judgement keeping her guns secure. If you have the money to buy a gun, then you have the money to buy a safe to keep the gun in.”

    NO!!!

    The grim reality for most folks is that a truly secure safe is circumstabtially impossible.Unless you can anchor the safe into the structure of the building it occupies, the only thing you’ve done is centralize your guns for easy transit by the thugs.Sure, homeowners can afford to lag bolt their safes to a foundation:but what of an apartment dweller like I? My landlord ain’t gonna let me call in a contractor to knock out his walls to lag bolt a safe into his property.

    Besides which, the entire idea is a red herring.A man determined to commit murder wont hesitate to study the environment for a chance to gain access.Adam Lanza murdered his own mother to get the weapons he employed.A kid in Germany some years back bypassed the stringent security measures you’re advocating to commit a school shooting there.This kid would have simply waited for the owner to access said safe and then took the weapons.Wed be reading about another gun owner killed by the spree killer to get the hardware.

    And of course, the scumbag could have just broken into the safe himself beforehand.There were locks in my childhood home my folks thought were secure.Rest assured, my mischievous self compromised that a long time ago.

    The REAL question is this:why is our society OK with Vetereans dying in our schools to preserve the failed policy that is the Federal Gun Free Zone act?

    GOP: if you want a reason to shut down the government, here ya go.Saving the lives of our kids and teachers to repeal that BS law is worth me being without my GI Bill for a little while.

    1. avatar Blue says:

      This! Kids willing to kill their mom wouldn’t think twice about killing a cop like the Boston brothers did at MIT. The shooter (no serving live) for Pearl High (1997 Mississippi) also shot his mother with a .30-30 before going to school. He killed his GF and 2 of her friends and shot several other students. He was stopped by an assistant principal with a 1911.

  9. avatar Merits says:

    This author makes a very familiar argument. Certain people are not to be trusted with guns, and we should prevent them the ability to access them.

    I wonder how old one needs to be before they can be allowed ‘access’ to a firearm? Sixteen? Eighteen and a half? Twenty-Two? Maybe just teenage males shouldn’t be able to have a gun? Parents should be responsible; point taken, but that’s about as far as this should go. Some parents, like all people, will always be irresponsible. It comes with a free society.

    The problem in this story started long before the kid picked up the gun.

    1. avatar Blue says:

      How about we use the new age “kids” can stay on parents insurance and call it 26. I wonder how many teenagers are killed each year (and others indirectly) for unauthorized use of motor vehicles.

      ***Sarcasm Warning***

  10. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    My girls clean my guns and at 8 and 5, know the safety rules. I have a hotel-type safe and they know where the guns are. they don’t have the combination yet, but when they are old enough, esp if they are ever old enough to be home alone, they will know the combo. while I agree parents have to be responsible, your argument is like saying you should lock all of your liquor up so your or other kids don’t drink and drive (or screw) or whatever. How about we hold parents liable? My parents had a liquor cabinet and I never touched the stuff. They had a loaded shotgun under the bed and I never played with it. My dad had a porn collection and, well, ok I did look at that. But . . . he never told me not to touch it. Anyhow, parents need to be responsible but just because a few phuck up doesn’t mean we are all somehow guilty.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      See, as usual, folks are missing the point here. I get the argument that you can’t deny everyone rights because of a few bad apples. The issue is that we have a problem in this country. Kids are getting shot at school. Do you really think that if we had 2-3 Newtons in a year that you would still have a snowballs chance in hell of hanging on to your gun rights? They would be gone so fast, your head would spin.

      The point that I am making is that there are a lot of gun owners who are not responsible with their guns. I know someone who keeps a loaded .357 in his bedside table all the time. Sure, he can teach his kids what a gun is. He can be very sure that they respect and understand its power. He can even be relatively sure that his kids are not going to pull it out to show their friends.

      But what happens one day when his son is tired of being picked on at school. It’s going to happen. we can’t totally prevent bullying no matter how many laws we pass. What happens if his son has a particularly hard day at school and then decides to deal with the issue permanently. In our two-parents at work homes, don’t kid yourself that the parents will always know about the problem before it happens. They won’t.

      My guess is that the parents of the little psycho in Nevada never saw this coming. If he is such the sweet kid that everyone says he is, he probably was good at maintaining a facade of normalcy to his parents. Right up until the time he decided to go hunting.

      1. avatar DrVino says:

        I don’t think this kid was in the Lanza/Holmes/Cho/Loughner category.

        I suspect that he will be one of those who lack resilience to bullying of a much lesser degree than some of us endured.

        Back to the larger point of this post: I agree that the AI better come up with some self policing damn quick. Whether that be training, fostering a responsible gun culture or other self-policing.

      2. avatar Drew says:

        Jim,
        you are having the wrong emphasis here. even if we assumed 100% of the guns could be secured so that kids could not get guns from their parents, the kids would find another way to get a gun who wanted to shoot someone by lying on a back ground check, using a straw purchaser, or going to a black market.

        the school is still an open target.

        if you want to make parents liable for their kid’s behavior up to a point, then that liability is independent of a gun safe at home. they should be just as liable whether their kid got the gun from an unsecured closet, a locked safe, a fake background, a straw purchaser, or black market.

        the school is still an open target.

      3. avatar OldBenturningingrave says:

        So, you are arguing that because there is always a remote chance that any given teen could snap and do something crazy, nobody should be allowed to choose how they structure the home defense plan for their family? That we can’t ever be safe until freedom is stripped from the many to possibly protect a few?

        This argument is disturbingly familiar, somehow.

        And if you are saying that we should voluntarilly give up our own freedom to avoid having it taken from us, perhaps women should passively submit to rapists to make it less likely that the rapist will use force. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    2. avatar OldBenturningingrave says:

      Agree with Dirk. I had rifles, shotguns, and ammo for both in my room, under my full control, when I was 13. I don’t go that far with my teen daughters, but it’s more because of the state of angst in society than because I don’t trust them.

      I didn’t have a gun in the house at all when they were little, but now they both know what they are doing. They had the same training that my grandfather and father (though more my grandfather; my father never was much into guns) gave me. My family goes back at least six generations this way without a single mishap. Your situation may differ, and that’s fine. I won’t tell anyone how they should manage their family, though I would respectfully suggest that if you don’t think your children can be trusted around firearms (either because of their age, mental state, or lack of knowledge), then you might want to consider not having guns in the house at all.

    3. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      BTW, did any of the models in your dad’s porn stash look like Shannon Watts? Early exposure like that might explain a few things 🙂

  11. avatar c4v3man says:

    this happened in my area. safes are not the solution, proper parenting and gun safety are. I had a rifle in my room as a child (15 years ago) and never caused any problems. you are blaming an object (the lack of a safe) for the problem of living people, the common element in all shootings.

  12. avatar Crazed Java says:

    There are several problems with your argument

    The Columbine shooters used straw purchasers.

    Adam Lanza was legally old enough and could have lied on the background check. He also killed his mother and took her guns.

    The story of the gun stolen from the home is something that happens. Maybe a safe will prevent it, maybe it won’t.

    Also, “If you can afford a gun, you can afford a safe!”

    Really?

    So if I’m broke and can only afford a Hi-Point for self defense, then I should also be able to afford a safe to keep it in? The safes you mention START at about $300.

    In other words, part of your argument is essentially you have to earn a certain income to be able to defend yourself, and that’s not how I interpret the right to self defense.

    If it weren’t for horrible incidents like these, it will just be others. Do we police ourselves enough? I’m going to go ahead and say probably not. However, do not think for a moment that THIS is where we fall down as gun rights advocates.

    I’m a big advocate for safety and I also believe people should own a safe, but I also don’t think it is mandatory and not everyone’s circumstances are the same. In a lot of ways this does make an argument for the wrong side. It asserts if we don’t police ourselves the state will do it for us.

    I argue that the State gives us nothing in return, adds cost, and does not make things better. Regardless of what may be happening, unless they have a REAL solution to the problem, the state needs to start butting out. I’m not just talking about guns here anymore.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      The Columbine shooters had also been arrested previously and were under psychiatric care. One of them had a blog with bomb instructions and a hit list that cops knew about before the attack. They had even drafted a search warrant but never executed it. This is why I said Columbine was different.

      My point is not that I want to see more gun rules. Rather I am trying to make the case that we need to recognize the need to police ourselves. If everyone who owns a gun is so sure that their little Susie and Johnny would never do something bad like shoot someone at school then we are in big trouble. Some of us are going to be right and some wrong and we usually only find out the hard way. Fail to do that and we will see gun safe and insurance legislation.

      Let’s also remember that there is a big difference between a kid with a poor gun safety education who pulls out daddy’s gun to show his friends and shoots his buddy and someone who has a good gun safety education but decides that its time for the bullies to die.

      Teaching your kids gun safety will not stop the teen who plans to use the gun to commit murder. I’d rather deny that person access to the gun. Will they try to do something bad using another method? Maybe, but I’ve made it harder and if something bad happens, at least we don’t have one more nail in our gun rights coffin.

      1. avatar Crazed Java says:

        What about the folks who really can’t afford a safe?

        Also, sorry, the Columbine situation still stands. There have been many school shootings and the only common denominator is that people committed the crimes. You are approaching this the same way the gun control advocates do. “Something must be done!”

        Your answer is “Everyone must own a safe!”

        Great, and when a kid gets access to guns anyway, because he steals them from somewhere else, knows the combination, gets access because someone forgot to put them away, etc. etc. it will just lead to the next “common sense proposal”.

        Or hell, if we make owning a safe a requirement, legislatively or voluntarily, we will then be taking away the right to bear arms from people who can’t afford it. A tactic already popular in blue states.

        Incidentally, as a kid I could access everything my parents thought they had securely locked away by the time I was 13. It’s called “a false sense of security”.

        See, the painful thing is I agree with you that it is a good thing to have but I can’t go so far as to insist that everyone own one. I just can’t do it. There are just too many situations this does not prevent in the least.

      2. avatar WV Cycling says:

        I believe I understand where you are coming from.

        Just as firearm owners (over many years) have come to agree on most or all of the “Ten Commandments” of firearm safety, and can properly practice them; we should also attempt to have some other types of self-governing practices that prohibit people from pointing at us when something goes wrong. Ex: Gun storage/safety. Heck, Nearly all the firearms in the US come with some kind of inhibiting gun lock now, no?

        Little billy would be taking a dremel to my generic, ruger branded “Master” locks that are keeping my 22/45 and 10/22 out of actin when not being used.

        Is this in line with your intentions and objectives?

        1. avatar SAS 2008 says:

          All handguns in the US come with a locking device. This is required by United States Code Title 18 Section 922 (z). In my opinion this is another example of a failed law. Providing the lock does nothing. Creating a strong culture of responsibility is more effective but nothing is perfect.

      3. avatar Jay1987 says:

        Well what about this for a middle ground proposal I don’t keep my guns locked up I don’t have to the only one loaded is my shotgun and its in a closet with a padlock the hand gun can stay out all day no one is getting shot with it. I keep the ammo in a cheap little lock box in the closet. Even if I leave it unlocked the kids can’t get to either yet they are stored on the top shelf. Now, when they get older maybe Ill have a safe or Ill keep doing what I’m doing. With the one caveat of removing the mag from the shotgun and putting it in the lockbox till I got to bed.

      4. avatar TheBear says:

        I’m sorry but I fundamentally disagree with your view of people.

        If things are this grim in your world and such a large percentage of kids are just time bombs ticking away, then why aren’t more kids running each other over with cars?

        I think your article is well meaning, but ultimately groundless until we have more tangible facts from this shooting… just like the garbage articles we could fine on CNN right now.

    2. avatar Jay Williams says:

      Where’s the “Like” button? (+1)

  13. avatar Roscoe says:

    I’ve always advocated for a secure safe for storing one’s firearms when not in use. A substantial burglary/fire safe not easily breeched.

    In letters to representatives I have stated that that is the only gun control I could get behind both for safety and to make it more difficult for thieves to get their hands on ones guns.

    IMO, the only legitimate down side is that some thieves may become more proficient at opening safes.

  14. avatar Blue says:

    The CT LEO haven’t released an official complete report so it is unclear whether the weapons were secure in a safe or not. Given he killed her, he had plenty of time to scheme. He destroyed computer info etc. Officially, the police aren’t certain if the 9mm came from the parents or not at this point. However, you don’t think a motivated 12 or 13 y.o. can figure things like that out even if it is secured?

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Do you really think that a “motivated 12 or 13 year old” is going to be able to break into a serious gun safe with a four digit manual dial combination? Assuming that he figures out how many turns to the left and how many to the right with each iteration (which he probably could with a call to the manufacturer), you are still looking at 4 numbers each with 100 possible combinations. Granted, the safe is not so exact that you couldn’t hit one of the numbers by being within 1-2 digits on either side, but you are still in the realm of nearly 100 million possible combinations. Even assuming that your kid hits the combo half way through the run, assuming it takes about a minute to try each combo, your 12 year old will be pushing 100 by the time he brute forces it. So, no, I don’t think that any 12 year old is going to bust into my safe.

      1. avatar Blue says:

        One of my safes has an EMP lock. However, there is a mechanical lock as weil. All they have to do is find the hard combination or figure out your code. Do you think you are slicker than modern technology and some of the tiny cameras? To answer your question, YES they could do it given time. Since they live there, they got time. This particular kid was apparently smart. You are assuming brute force, you are thinking the wrong direction. As far as Lanza, he killed his mom and had plenty of time.

        1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

          In a word, yes. I’ve worked in the data security field for two decades, so yes, I’ll bet that no teen is going to get my combo using some mini camera or other doodad. My combo by the way is a code that has no relation to me in any way. It took me awhile to memorize it and I don’t keep it written down anywhere in the house. Even for normal people, I’d be willing to wager a fairly sizable bet that it will be a long time before we read about a school shooting perpetrated by someone who used serious technical measures to overcome their a good quality safe lock.

        2. avatar Blue says:

          If you punch in a digital code and people live with you, they can figure it out even if it is stored in your head. Furthermore, until CT releases the final report on Lanza, we won’t know how he got the guns out of the safe nor the details on the hard drives and what was on them. Out of curiosity, if you were dead, how would you stop a safe breach?

        3. avatar CarlosT says:

          Jim, I think you’re being overconfident. These kids are living in the house day in day out in the same house as the safes. They don’t need to be safecrackers, all they need to be is patient, or evil.

          In the patient option, they bide their time. They shoulder surf every once in a while and catch a number here and there. Eventually, they either have the combination orf enough of it to make it guessing easy.

          The evil option involves the kid sneaking up on you, blowing out your knee with a baseball bat, and then beating on you until you give up the combination.

          Either way, focusing on the guns is still missing the point.

      2. avatar ChuckN says:

        Underestimating any opponent, including kids, will get you
        beat every time. Could anyone break in and instantly open
        your safe? No. Could a 12 year old figure out the
        combination or piece together the numbers after watching
        it opened several times? Short answer, yes. You may
        have a fantastic setup but the only thing keeping anyone
        from opening it is time and/or knowledge.
        Also don’t discount use of force either. Just because a
        safe may have the best combi/electric lock possible
        doesn’t make it invulnerable.

        1. avatar SAS 2008 says:

          Good point. Everything needed to break into my safe is in my garage.

      3. avatar JeffR says:

        Ever wandered around a Cabelas and watched the ads running on their safes? It is basically a primer on how to break into even a top notch safe. Get it flopped on its back and go at with a crow bar and extension tube. It may take 20 to 40 minutes, but the safe will eventually open enough to remove guns. I agree we need to be more safety conscious about storage, and near as I can tell the gun community has moved a long way in my lifetime towards that. To that end, yours was a good article and good reminder. But a safe is not a magical box o’ safety.

      4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        If you think that the lock is what keeps people out of a safe who want to get at a gun… you might want to re-evaluate what you’re using as a safe.

      5. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

        Depends on the tools you have in your shop. An electric die grinder will cut the side out of a 12 gauge steel safe in about half an hour. Most gun safes have sides, back, top and bottom made out of 12 ga. steel. Once you get over about $1500 you go up to 10 ga, but that will only slow down the die grinder a little, and maybe you need another wheel or two.

  15. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Good post.
    My kids were out of the house, then due to life circumstances my daughter moved back home. With her came a treat. My granddaughter. Back went the guns into the safe.
    I agree. I bought my big 500 pounder after about my third gun purchase.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    Hey, Jim, how do you know the guns weren’t secured? We’re still waiting for the report from the Newtown police — well, it’s only been a freakin’ year, and the Warren Commission report took less time.

    I don’t know what kind of safe the woman in Newtown had, except I know that she did have some kind of security. If her security wasn’t top of the line, anyone could break into it if they had enough time. As for this case, who knows?

    It might be a good idea to know that facts before you start tubthumping.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Ralph – if the safe was good quality, it is highly unlikely that Lanza could have compromised it. Given the fact that mom knew her kid was a psycho, it might have been prudent to have located the guns somewhere out of his reach. If the safe was not good quality, then the guns should not have been in the home with the ticking time bomb that was Lanza. If I had a situation where I feared my kid, I think I might have moved my guns out.

      Now, there is always the other side of the argument suggests that if Lanza’s mom were afraid of her son, perhaps having a gun at hand might have been a good idea. Not sure I buy that one. If she was that afraid of her kid, he should have been locked up.

      Yes. I’m speculating. The problem is that every single time we have another one of these incidents, we get closer to restriction and confiscation. It can happen here if people get scared enough. The Patriot Act swept large swaths of the Constitution aside, so don’t think that 2A is so sacrosanct that it can’t be touched. You are a lawyer – you know how this stuff works. You also live in MA, so you understand how gun fear can be used to create virtual gun confiscation.

      Right now, the anti-s are trying to paint us as a bunch of dangerous hicks who can’t keep control of our terrible weapons of destruction. We all know people who are not as careful with their guns as they should be. All I’m saying is that every person who re-evaluates their gun security situation and makes it a little better is potentially one fewer problem waiting to happen. And we need fewer problems. Lots of fewer problems.

      1. avatar ST says:

        Mr. Barrett, you are stone cold wrong about this issue.

        Guns are not like video games ,where we can set up a regime of self regulation and call it good. You and I will die waiting for that day to come, because the other side is not interested in safety or securing anything.

        Understand, no safe is secure from theft.None.And the ones you suggest we buy as a condition of gun ownership are not immune to that law.All a scumbag needs is time and a sawzall. If the gun owner lives in an apartment or rented unit, a dolly and a 1500 pickup are all you need.If that’s not workable, careful observation while the lawful owner punches in the combo works too.Or , you can just kill the owner after they open the safe .What’s the difference when your plan is heinous mass murder?

        No, the way forward is to solve The Problem.It’s NOT how WE store our guns, any more then fixing our national DUI problem can be fixed by mandating concrete garage doors.We solve this by casting blame where the media and social sphere doesn’t want us to:right back at the nanny state culture itself.

        Why do people lash out violently in response to bullying?Because its a short moral slide from deciding in a fit of slow burning rage that shooting someone is equally as immoral as punching them, a principle hammered home by our coddling, no touch sports, minus zero risk school culture.

        1. avatar Landbarger says:

          Best response so far, ST. Concrete garage door analogy was awesome (I’m telling you I’m probably stealing that for later), and the coddling commentary is spot on. “When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” I’m for teaching children all manners of dealing with bullies: condescension, group dynamics, fists, nut-taps, etc. Did no one else learn that there are people you just have to ignore and avoid in life if you’re too chicken to stand up to them?!?

      2. avatar Blue says:

        We don’t know the quality because the report hasn’t come out and probably won’t. You are incorrect there unless you are talking about a “true” safe that only a very few uber wealthy people could afford. The top Cannon and Liberty safes can be breached especially if your dead body is in the basement.

      3. avatar Blue says:

        BTW, she was in the process of trying to have him committed but the legal system takes time, sometimes.

  17. avatar Pete says:

    We also need to stop playing the blame game. Parents can never be 100% responsible for their kids actions. So playing the “stupid parents not locking their guns up” card seems… hypocritical? I dunno. It feels wrong. It may be accurate, but maybe it’s not. How do you actually know?

    That said I’m not arguing for giving your kid a handgun and letting him loose on the world. Gun safes HAVE to be in your house if you have a gun. Anything else is negligent. And do your homework on it, too. But pretending like you know this kid and his parents and know what would have solved the problem is crap just like anyone on any other side of whatever argument you are trying to have here.

  18. avatar Craig says:

    Murderer is NOT the proper word. He’s a killer until he’s been convicted of the count of “murder.” “Murder” is a legal conclusion and the prosecution and defense can’t use the label of murderer until he’s convicted. Killing simply is taking the life of someone else, be it in a rampage shooting, an act of self defense, or hitting a pedestrian with a car.

    This isn’t a direct criticism against TTAG, but one of the things that gets my goat is when people misuse or misconstrue legal terms. As a student who’s studying a subject that’s part of the law, its amazing how many times I see someone say something that’s legally false or not even close. 99% of people don’t know the true, courtroom definition of terms like murder, negligence, prima facie, etc.

    Please consult a law dictionary before attempting to use legal terms in their “proper” use.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Once you believe you have sufficient facts to know that a person committed a homicide willfully and with malice aforethought, it is fine in English to call the person a murderer, provided you have no fear of a later action alleging slander, libel (in print) or commercial disparagement. If the aforesaid killer is found guilty by jury or the bench, you might call him a convicted murderer.

      At least four of the last twenty or so commentators are attorneys, two of them grown long in the tooth at the bar. No, not the bar with the beer and H&K. At least two practice, or did, criminal defense or prosecution. This isn’t, I reflect, a law review. A certain degree of colloquial usage seems fitting if a point of law is not the central focus of the comment, especially if one is about to invoke a curse upon a politician whose own respect for linguistic precision is immeasurably small. And, if you think the words, having among others a legal usage, get slung a bit loosely, try the other gun blogs. It only gets worse.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      You’re a moral idiot like all the leftists papers that call Boston bomber Tsarnov “suspect bomber”. Murder is as old as the bible and the word doesn’t need to be cleared by the F’ing government. The kid is a murderer. Since he’s dead and he’s not going to have a trial, so that means he’s not a murderer? In your stupid world John Wilkes Booth is still the “suspected killer” of Abraham Lincoln.

      Killing simply is taking the life of someone else, be it in a rampage shooting, an act of self defense, or hitting a pedestrian with a car.

      Idiot. There is killing and murder, two different words with two different meanings by people who have a moral compass that differentiates and acknowledges good and evil. That is the reason that the commandment is “Thous shall not murder” instead of “Thou shall not kill”.

      1. avatar Jay Williams says:

        I agree with you, for the most part; however, “killing” is broader and “murder” is more specific. They’re not entirely distinct. Murder is a kind of killing.

    3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      All legal terms originated in the vernacular. The word murder has proper use outside of legal technicalities.

  19. avatar ChuckN says:

    “If we don’t take steps to keep guns out of the hands of our kids,
    then others will take steps to keep guns out of everyone’s hands.”

    The only problem with this is that now the federal government can
    (and does when it’s beneficial to them) consider anyone under
    26! to be a child.

    The Catholic Church says the age of reason is 7. I like to put it at
    the age where a child can comprehend the meaning of death. At
    that point if the child cannot handle logic and direction they are
    either mentally lacking in certain areas or their parents have failed
    in their duty to teach them. Sorry, but for me focusing on the use
    of safes as a problem is no better than the antis blaming guns
    for crime sprees.

  20. avatar DisThunder says:

    At the moment, the only place I am absolutely certain needs a lockbox or a safe is…..school.
    Rifle would be better, but even a pistol, even secured in an office away from classrooms, is going to be a hundred times more effective than a well-intentioned but unarmed Marine, and a thousand times more effective than the 15 minutes later police response.
    I still support conceal-carry for teachers more, but since that seems to be a mixed bag of ideology verses PTA verses hand-wringing, I think a PDW in a secure, central location, with maybe a half-dozen administrator/resource officer/gym teacher/whatevers who have access to it, is a helluva lot better than nothing.

    1. avatar DisThunder says:

      And now after reading the Daily Digest, I’m going to suggest that that rifle be the M1 Carbine Assault Rifle Carbine, er, Rifle. Did I mention it’s for assaulting?

  21. avatar Greg says:

    The caviler attitude in the first half of this OVER long article to get the point is offensive…. “Turned his lights off”, “Got shot for his troubles” and “no assault weapon, no children killed” comments about dead kids and assault rifles…….Really sarcastic and not appropriate. The POINT I have been preaching for a long time LOCK YOUR DANG GUNS UP, unless you are cleaning it or using it. Even the most idiot of gun owners should get that. I have a safe…. several large and small where I keep all my guns and ammo. The article could have been 90% shorter.

  22. avatar DaveL says:

    I have one quibble with this article. Mandatory gun owner’s insurance would not be implemented to make gun owners accountable. Insurance is the very worst vehicle for doing that, as its entire purpose is to cushion the insured against liability. And that’s assuming there were some legally colorable theory of liability, which there really isn’t.

    No, mandatory insurance would be enacted solely for the purpose of burdening gun owners, and discouraging gun ownership.

    1. avatar JeffR says:

      Nice point.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      Beat me to it. May as well require insurance for hammer ownership, yielding the same likely extent of social benefit.

  23. avatar ST says:

    Here’s a lesson to record.

    A man carries a gun concealed.Safe? Nope.What if an attacker gets his hand on the weapon?

    So, we should all disarm and leave our guns in proper safes.Except a thief with a hand truck can take the safe and the guns within.That would suck.

    So, we cut some checks and anchor our respective safes to the buildings therein occupied.My landlords pissed, but at least our guns are finally secure,no?

    But someone could videotape you entering in a combo.Cant have that.So, one must debug their home every time they want to get a gun out of the safe.It’s only responsible.

    Except ,well, a sawzall could cut into the safe.Then the public peace would be DESTROYED!!!

    So ,lets move our guns into a secure bank-style vault.At last, our guns are secure.

    Except Neil Macauleys son needs money ,and Mr Sheherliss just happens to be bored living in Mexico…….

    Or, we could just fix our broken culture of nanny state coddling.Just sayin.

  24. avatar Albaniaaaa says:

    Completely disagree with the ageism. Other than that spot on.

  25. avatar Braenen says:

    It looks like someone read “Gun Guys” by Dan Baum.

  26. avatar Nagurski says:

    If your kid is willing to murder his peers at school, you have made years of mistakes that buying a safe won’t change.

  27. avatar DirtyBastard says:

    Thank you for the great article! The intellectual honesty is refreshing. Let’s be accountable for our own $hit. Redirect the mental energy from making irrational arguments against gun safe ownership into a grassroots campaign to be more responsible with our weapon storage. It’s a small level of effort that will pay great dividends socially, culturally, and ethically.

  28. avatar ropingdown says:

    Guns are dangerous, and young people today live in an often-alienating world which rewards immoral behavior and ‘me too’ clique aggression, one populated by ethically lazy adults who criticize and punish after the fact but often do not teach in time. It would be good to keep our guns apart from the young until we’ve taught them respect for the items and tested the success of our instructional efforts.

  29. avatar benny says:

    Jeff Cooper said it one way that has stayed with me all my life….
    “A gun is the closest Man gets to being God. You either save life or destroy it by a flick of your finger. Not everyone is prepared for godhood.”
    Kids and some adults need to understand the big responsibility that owning a gun brings, and they need to respect it as well.

  30. avatar CaNative says:

    Any gun you own should be on your person or in a truly secure place when it is not. Period. There have been too many stories like this or involving even much younger children who have discharged guns they have “found” resulting in their own death or the death of someone else.

  31. avatar David PA/NJ says:

    even if our hero was armed I don’t think he would have ended the situation the way we here would think of. even if armed I believe he would have tried to talk the kid down like he did. I don’t know if it wasn’t possible given the situation but he chose not to haul ass and tackle that kid.

  32. avatar Cubby123 says:

    The shooter used a 38 revolver

  33. avatar Kyle says:

    I agree that parents need to lock up their guns from irresponsible kids, but there comes a point where you need to teach kids about the guns and how to safely use and handle them. I started shooting at a very young age, and at 12-13 knew more about guns than the majority of non-gun owning adults.

    My father kept the guns locked up at all times, but I knew how to defend myself and the family if it came down to it. Now a days, I sleep with a loaded pistol, flashlight, and 2 extra mags next to me when I go to bed, but the only thing I have to worry about is my dogs.

    People need to understand that it is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children morals, not the government or schools. That is why I think there is a rise in mass shootings. Parents are not doing their job and are allowing the TV and Video Games to parent instead of sitting down with their kid everyday and discussing things like how was school and what did you like and dislike. If parents let society teach their children, they will not learn how to function as healthy adults.

    That being said, I think most of these shootings are a result of a person being totally disconnected from society and living out some sick fantasy in which killing the people will right some imagined wrong.

  34. avatar Jarrod says:

    My guns are locked up, but no I’m not moving them from a quickie lock box to the safe every day. That’s a ridiculous suggestion for something that’s statistically incredibly unlikely to happen. You can’t guard against every situation, and you can’t keep guns out of the hands of those who want them. This applies to criminals making a purchase as well as to the children in your home. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Period. Proper education is your first and best defense. If you have a psycho kid then you need to deal with that situation independently. We do not need every gun-owning american wasting time switching safes or some other BS because of a few nutjobs. That’s gun-grabber logic.

  35. avatar joe ray says:

    the reason the msm won’t talk about this school shooting is because one white-hispanic tried to shoot other white-hispanics – even though a non-white-hispanic combat veteren teacher lost his life trying to protect his white-hispanic students – because said assault pistol toting white-hispanic differed in geographic loyalty. norteno vs sureno. wait n see

  36. avatar russeh says:

    “2. We need people with guns protecting our kids. I don’t care how we do it, but unarmed protectors are nothing more than noisy, moving targets.”

    Yes!

    “1. If we don’t take steps to keep guns out of the hands of our kids, then others will take steps to keep guns out of everyone’s hands.”

    I get from your article that you grasp the utility of firearms, but do you understand the underlying concept behind the right to have them? The fact that you are even considering this goes to show the sad state of affairs in modern society. The real threat to children both now and in the future, is disarmament. The way to stop disarmament is by rejecting the premise that you as a gun owner are responsible for Newtown/Aurora/etc. Potentially even more dangerous than disarmament is the bovine state of mind that is bred by servitude and reliance on “Others”, “Betters”, or The State for protection. It is a false protection that those in power want to purchase by way of our (and yes, our children’s) ever-increasing vulnerability and incapability. Personal possession and use of firearms is a large part of this.

    I was lucky. My parents were wise, and realized that ignorance and avoidance does not equal immunity. I am surrounded by teenagers every day. Yes, kids can be idiots, just like adults. Unlike the writer however, I think school shooters and Darwin award candidates are the exception to the rule. Kids who (if able) would stand to protect lives are the norm, as it’s been throughout human history. Today, it’s thankfully very rare that they have to do it. The only thing that’s changed about kids today is the way that society treats them. Granted, the destruction of the family and familial values hasn’t made it any easier. But it’s still no excuse to paint kids with a broad brush like you have done. Kids are not the problem here.

    Stating that gun owners have the responsibility to somehow be in all places and prevent all gun tragedies lest we lose said guns is just as untenable a proposition as ending gun violence by stopping legal access to guns.

    In the end, it shouldn’t make a difference with regards to the BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to self-defense that all of us (even minors), should be guaranteed. I hear it brought up time and time again by well meaning gun writers who want to ***DO SOMETHING*** about gun violence. I outright reject the proposition that I am somehow culpable for a mass murder or criminal negligence on the part of others. By the same logic, I’m culpable for someone else’s kid’s DUI, since I drive a car. Perhaps I should have policed them up better, and I should start locking up my keys if I have a child living in the home. Perhaps I should be OK with the state taking away my car, since all car owners are responsible for that kid’s DUI. We should have known, right? Quite playing to the media’s frame, confront the argument head on, and reject a premise that makes no sense.

    From a pragmatic point of view, taking a firearms away from an idiot doesn’t make them a safe idiot. The question parents should be asking themselves before allowing access to firearms in the home are: do I trust my life to this person? Do I trust their own life to them? What about the people around us? Have really I done my job? Is this person up to the task, of sound mind, sound morals? Enough to trust them with a lethal tool? If the answer is no to any of those, locking up weapons is the only answer. Not owning them would be even safer. That goes with car keys too. Unfortunately, some parents aren’t up to any part of that. That problem is far broader in it’s effects, and a topic for another place and time.

  37. avatar Jason says:

    You know the best thing for teaching a child gun safety? A BB gun. When they can master that, let them move on. If you see them goofing off with it, up it goes. I never got a real gun until I was 14 and then I couldn’t go hunting without him. I have a little girl now, 3, so it wouldn’t be smart to leave guns laying around. As for this bullying crap, no one deserves to be shot but this holding hands ain’t gonna work. Learn karate, pay a bigger kid, something. I went through it. I’m sure yall did. Either the guy (or girl) catches you on the wrong day and just blow up on him or life goes on. I’ve been bullied, I’ve bullied. Its called football. That was one brave marine and teacher.

  38. avatar Patrick Rogalin says:

    I think a bunch of commentators are missing the point. It’s true that no safe or lock will prevent someon determined to get a gun. Just like a background check won’t stop anyone. However would you sell a gun to a shifty looking dude with gang tattoos? Putting guns in safes won’t prevent all the shootings, but it might delay one. When it does happen the story won’t be about irresponsible parents. Cost and effectiveness is an excuse. Wanting guns accessible for self protection is an excuse. A $50 handgun safe is better than a dresser drawer. Give your teens the combo or the keys if you feel comfortable. But if something happens at least they’ll be locked away. It’s true that antigun people will go after us no matter what. But it’s also true that there are a lot of undecided people who could be swayed either way and we look bad when we aren’t responsible.

  39. avatar Rambeast says:

    “These ass clowns and their careless parents are going to cost everyone their rights.”

    Until these negligent people are individually held accountable, it won’t matter. The grabbers are gonna grab no matter what. Blanket blame of all gun owners is what the agenda pushers do. I suggest we don’t fall into that line of reasoning Mr. Barrett.

    Personal responsibility is the message we need to be preaching, not “Gun owners need to ______.”.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “Until these negligent people are individually held accountable, it won’t matter.”
      And they will never be held accountable because
      – They will immediately be beatified by the grabbers to further their agenda
      – Our “No Fault” society will absolve them of all blame.
      Just look – there’s immediate mention of “bullying.” He couldn’t smack them back, so he got a gun. And used it.

  40. avatar WRH says:

    We (parents) need to teach our kids to stop being pussies. That’s the real problem – No one can take their licks anymore. They have to shoot the kid that called them names, rather than scuffing their knuckles and then dropping the issue for good.

  41. avatar John Boch says:

    Hey Jim:

    You do what you need to do to keep your guns out of the hands of unauthorized persons.

    And keep your damn nose out of my business.

    When my kid(s) are old enough to use a gun, they’ll have access to one to defend themselves from any crazed predators who intrude upon my house.

    I pray you won’t have any intruders victimize your kids while you’re gone.

    John

  42. avatar JeremyT says:

    Sorry, you lost me as a reader Jim Barrett. I was already disagreeing with your article- if your 13 year old is irresponsible you suck at raising children. You raised a killer. Wasn’t there some saying about guns not killing people? Your tea party comments were icing on the cake, hopefully your farewell cake.

  43. avatar rip_vw32 says:

    Seriously?? Keep advocating for people to lock things up, vs. taking personal responsibility with their firearms and children – because you are doing the same work as Moms Demand Action and MAIG. Neither of those groups think that anyone is capable of being responsible gun owners and that is why they push so hard for gun control. Why is it so hard to imagine that people can not have safes, and STILL be responsible about guns? I have a safe, but only because my truck was stolen once with my house keys in the glove box – so that outsiders couldn’t get to the firearms when I wasn’t home. I have 4 kids, ranging in age from 8 to 2 months, and I can promise you, that they follow the rules when around my guns, so much so that my eldest son (5) has been showing his younger sister (3) what not to point at with a TOY gun, to always keep her finger off the trigger until she is ready to shoot, and to not shoot if there is something she doesn’t want to shoot behind her target… There is no safe needed around kids, solely for keeping the guns away from them. Just raise them right… and as for the comment about insurance rates and young males… I’d rather be behind a guy who likes spinning his tires, and driving fast vs. the girl who is doing her makeup or talking on the phone any day…

  44. avatar Skyler says:

    The year after I graduated from high school, one of its students broke into his teacher’s home and stole her camera. He then brought the camera to class and taunted her with it. I’m not sure, but he somehow got her into his car with a knife to her throat and went on a merry chase through the neighborhood and killed her in the process. I don’t recall anyone demanding that we take knives away.

    Sometimes people are just crazy and they will kill people.

  45. avatar EagleScout87 says:

    I disagree. We have the statistics that these types of shooting by youths are the exceptions… NOT the rule. if they were the rule, we’d have a lot more problems on our hands. Does that mean there shouldn’t be strong parenting to lock up a firearm until your children are well versed in firearm safety and posses the maturity and emotional stability to be responsible around an unlocked firearm for home protection? Sure, but teens were growing up around unlocked firearms for decades in this country and weren’t running around shooting people that they didn’t like. The problem is not locking up guns, that’s an extension of the banning guns mind-set. Because that logic follows to why should we rely on a dangerous item being locked when the problem would be much more preventable if we just banned guns completely. Nuts! The problem is morals and consequences and the lack there-of.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      The fact is though that those types of kids are the exceptions not the rule.

      How many people under 18 use guns in self-defense per year?

      How many people under 18 use guns to murder their classmates in a school shooting per year?

      Edit: ****. this wasn’t meant to be a response to you, EagleScout.

      1. avatar EagleScout87 says:

        all good. thought you had me going there until the last sentence!

  46. avatar CT Resident says:

    I think it is ridiculous to go from that shooting to a diatribe about “gun owners being responsible”. That leap though appearing sensible is filled with bias and flawed. If the parents were negligent and irresponsible that should be addressed, certainly. But putting full focus on parents and gun owners, I am pretty tired of hearing that sorry old song.

    Guns are dangerous but so are many other items in the world. Alcohol, cars, knives, gasoline, etc. Replace the word gun and firearm with the preceding dangerous items and see if you “common sense” solutions to the parent/gun issue still make sense. Do you keep your car keys, kitchen knives, alcohol and gasoline locked up? Why not?

    History has shown that those items have been used similarly, and in the absence of guns they are absolutely used by crazy people to harm.

    If a child in is a place for 6 or 8 hours a day that is presumably “responsible” for them and this kind of thing happens, is it the parents fault also for giving schools that “responsiblity”?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-high-school-stabbing-kills-reports-article-1.1445360

  47. avatar TheBear says:

    So I have 2 primal issues with the author’s article here.

    1. I don’t see kids/people the way he does. If there were so many kids waiting to snap, a hell of a lot more would be running each other over with cars etc.

    2. This argument boils down to victim shaming. While Lanza’s mom could have done something different, LANZA was the crazy criminal who killed her and then killed over 20 little kids. He was evil, and his actions were his own.

    Putting “blame” on Lanza’s mom or in some cases the parents of evil little bastards is victim shaming, and similar to people who put any blame at all on rape victims.

    Look, some people are just evil. I know it helps some people deal with these facts rationally by attributing some sort of causality, but that causality does not always exist.

    I just had a discussion with my cop friend about this problem and I believe there is no easy solution. In fact there is no 1 solution.

    However, the one thing all these shootings have in common are gun free zone target rich environments.

    From a logical perspective, the first goal of all gun owners and citizens concerned for the welfare of children should be to eliminate gun free zones asap. Whether this involves concealed carry or armed guards is irrelevant – someone needs to be on hand with the proper tools to deal with a potential situation.

  48. avatar Jason K says:

    1. This incident isn’t a gun-storage problem…it’s a child-management problem.

    2. The division isn’t Republican vs. Democrat or even conservative vs. Liberal….it’s 1776 vs. 1984.

    3. Will the nex article be entitled “Lock Up Your Damn Pressure Cookers”?

  49. avatar John Rand says:

    This incidents have happened for.. ever. Every year some kid breaks down and kills some others. The only difference is we have to hear about it every time it happens with a firearm now.

    A year before I went to high school, the high school I would go to had an incident where a kid got sick of the bullying, grabbed a claw hammer from shop class and killed 3 kids and severely injured 2 more (as in one was in a coma with brain damage, and the other lost a kidney). Nobody outside of the local area heard about it.

    To blame this on firearms or even weapons in general is disingenuous, but consistent with the modern media. You could make a case that raising awareness about bullying has some merit, but the emphasis should be on bullying, not waiving the bloody shirt and blaming the gun.

  50. avatar Ed says:

    This ‘tirade’ from Mr. Barrett seems entirely out of place on this blog…seems like it would be a better fit for the MAIG site. There are many, many factors that the author either assumes or neglects entirely, throughout his poorly thought out prose. It is just not feasible for all gun owners to own a 500 lb. safe. It just isn’t. To claim otherwise is ignorant. The kind of ignorance we try to put down on this site. To follow the logic here, the author seems to think that if you can’t own a safe, then you shouldn’t be a gun owner. That’s B.S. How ’bout instead, we start teaching each other and our children about something called personal responsibility and the value of life? How ’bout we start seriously dealing with criminals who break and enter, or invade your home? Uggh. There’s so much wrong with this article that at some point, I’m left speechless and dumbfounded that this was found suitable for publication here.

  51. avatar TheThingThatGoesUp says:

    “Unfortunately, the story is all too familiar.”

    The story is familiar. But the event is rare.

    “The issue is that we have a problem in this country. Kids are getting shot at school.”

    No kids were shot here. While it’s awful that a good guy without a gun was killed. He was still only one person. That’s fewer than the average day in Chicago.

    So school shootings are a political problem. Statistically they are insignificant. They attract attention because they are rare events, not because they are common. Nor is there any evidence that they are increasing.

    Although I do agree that gun owners should do their best to keep their guns secure. Gun owners failing to do so is not the cause of school shootings. The causes are complex — bad parenting, mental illness, media publicity, gun free zones, a culture that increasingly devalues individual life and responsibility, etc. But it is not easy access to guns. The worst school shooting ever was in Norway, which has very strict gun laws. The country with the most school shooting per capita is Germany, which also has very strict gun laws. The deadliest school shooting in the U.S. was Virginia Tech, where the shooter did not take unsecured guns. Neither did the Columbine shooters. While the exact situation regarding Sandy Hook remains undisclosed. Even if the guns were locked in 500 lb. vault, who is to say he didn’t know where his mother kept the combination? How many kids know their parents’ password to the cable box, or where they hide the key to the liquor cabinet? Regardless, anyone intent on mass murder is going to find another way to get gun, or use other means.

    So rather than blame innocent gun owners, let’s put the blame for school shootings where it belongs. School shootings are the fault of the shooter.

    1. avatar TheThingThatGoesUp says:

      Correction, a couple kids were shot, but not killed.

  52. avatar Paul says:

    I’m a litte late to this party and with all due respect, I think the author is drawing conclusions that are not yet supported by the facts. To wit, we don’t know how the gun in question was stored and how the teen shooter got a hold of it. Indeed, we are not even sure that it was his parents gun at this point.

    That said, I agree that guns should be locked up. As an NRA Training Counselor, I teach (and believe) that guns should not be accessible to unauthorized users but nothing is foolproof. By way of example, I seem to remember that Nancy Lanza kept her guns in a safe that Adam somehow got access to; perhaps after killing his own mother. Let’s get all the facts before we start “telling” people how to store there guns.

    1. avatar OldBenturningingrave says:

      “…I teach (and believe) that guns should not be accessible to unauthorized users…”

      I can get behind this statement, with the provisions that 1) the arrangements don’t make the guns effectively useless in the event of a home invasion, and 2) that your properly-trained children of reasonable age may very well be authorized users, assuming that they have demonstrated that they are trustworthy.

      I would add the following general guidance: If your children are not to be trusted alone with a gun in the house, they shouldn’t be left alone in the house at all.

      1. avatar EagleScout87 says:

        “I would add the following general guidance: If your children are not to be trusted alone with a gun in the house, they shouldn’t be left alone in the house at all.”

        Well said.

  53. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Since the article is so good about coming to premature concclusions based on incomplete facts, I’ll offer another one:
    3. Your adolescent boy will commit a violent act if they are entering or are in puberty and have had their mind altered with prescription drugs prescribed by a pediatrician.

    How about that?

  54. avatar Nordic says:

    You seem like a reasonable gun owner, Jim, which would explain the backlash to your comments.

  55. avatar Jay Williams says:

    Although my dad had a couple slide action .22 rifles, a bolt action 30-06, and maybe a Winchester Model 94, he never owned a safe. I think the gun safe is more of a modern thing (certainly a boon to those in the safe business). Nevertheless, it never even occured to me to take a gun and go shoot some people. I took the hunter’s safety course in my early teens and did lot of plinking and hunting as a teenager. Again, it never even crossed my mind to take a gun, go somewhere with it, and whack some folks.

  56. avatar Calvin says:

    “If I ever need a gun I’ll need it quick and I’ll need it to be loaded.”

    If I ever get to the point in life where I can have a safe queen or two I’ll be at the point in life where I should have a safe. Right now though, what I have is for SHTF and the S can H T F rather suddenly.

    I could never see a way to make my world kid-proof, so I’ve raised them to be world-proof instead. This includes the dangerous things around them everyday like the stove, the street and weapons.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email