usatoday.com starts their editorial When kids fire guns: Our view by excoriating irresponsible gun owners. “You’d think gun owners would understand that kids are surprisingly good at finding guns that aren’t kept secured and unloaded,” they opine, “yet the toll goes on, year after year. Maybe gun buyers should be required to listen to the heartbreaking 911 call from the father of the 3-year-old in Georgia, who can be heard pleading with his son to ‘stay with me’ before the boy died.” What to do? they ask. You know, other than leaving personal responsibility to people. The Eds have a four-point plan . . .
Begin by aggressively stigmatizing carelessness with guns in homes with children (or homes where kids visit), much the way drunken driving changed from something joked about to something socially unacceptable.
Even though many gun rights advocates hate the idea, doctors could help by routinely asking patients whether they have guns and whether they secure them.
Parents would also do well to ask other parents those same questions before their kids have play dates. There’s a growing movement to do this, helped by a public service announcement that shows children playing at a home with sex toys that they’ve found (the message: “If they find it, they’ll play with it”).
And gun buyers should have the option to buy “smart guns” that fire only when an owner activates them, typically with a fingerprint or an electronic device. Gun rights advocates are fighting to keep smart guns from being sold because of fears that the technology will become mandatory.
Of course, there’s no sure way to eradicate the adult stupidity and negligence that keeps putting guns where kids can find them. But each of these strategies can help. It’s time to try them all.
Because the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says it means. And you can fix stupid. At least in their minds.