“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” I wonder how many Americans agree with President Reagan’s pronouncement. A huge percentage of the populace see the government as the answer to any and all problems, including school shootings. As mooted by washingtonpost.com’s editorial board:
Even though studies show that most perpetrators of school shootings obtained their firearms from home (in the Kentucky case, reportedly from a closet), little to nothing has been done to address this problem.
There are no laws at the federal level making it a crime to leave a firearm accessible to a child.
Just 14 states and the District have laws that make adults criminally liable for negligently storing firearms when a child gains access. Massachusetts is the only state that generally requires all firearms be safely stored in a locked container or with a trigger lock when the owner is not carrying the gun.
The Post posted the pathos prodding picture at the top of this post for a good reason. Their argument — that a federal law punishing gun owners who “leave a firearm accessible to a child” would reduce the number of shootings “on a school property” — lacks any statistical justification.
There’s simply no evidence that so-called “safe storage” laws reduce firearms-related incidents on school properties. (FWIW, Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head and stole her firearms before attacking Sandy Hook Elementary School.)
Evidence! Who needs evidence? Safe storage laws are common sense!
Yes, well, common sense tells us that safe storage laws — punishing gun-owning parents and others for someone else’s misuse of their firearms — simply close the barn door after the horses have escaped.
I suspect The Post’s editorial board is not entirely unaware of this flaw in their “logic.” Hence their backup rationale for a federal safe storage law.
Safe storage is not only important in helping to prevent intentional shootings but also key in cutting down on teen and other suicides as well as accidental shootings.
How many times do we need to hear about children finding a gun and killing themselves or another child before we insist that gun owners be required to responsibly secure their firearms or face legal consequences when lives are lost?
Adults are legally responsible for their children’s well-being — whether their progeny injures themselves by scarfing a Tide pod or shooting themselves or another children in the head.
How many more school shootings need to occur before steps are taken to try to keep guns out of troubled young hands? What is it going to take to stop buying the fictions being peddled by the national gun lobby?
The only “fiction” being peddled by the “national gun lobby” is that after-the-fact punishment for firearms misuse is ineffective and dangerous to our liberty. That shootings on school property are [yet another] problem the government can’t fix. Believe it or not.