Why We Hate Guns More Than We Love Kids

I don’t really like guns.  Never really have.

I grew up with a BB gun; could hit the eye of a bird flyin’ too.  But I never went beyond that.  I never had a shotgun or eve a .22.  I was happy shootin’ my tin cans.

So, I get that people don’t like guns.  I get that if a person doesn’t have a gun, it’s harder to hurt someone.  I get all that.

But, it’s a right that has been established; we GET to own a gun if we want to.  And the reason we get that right is that it’s important that the government isn’t the only people with the guns.

But still; I don’t like guns.  But I love kids more.

A common example by the anti-gun rights crowd is that accidental discharge of guns is a danger to folks and especially to kids.  Which, by the way, is a large reason I don’t like guns and why I don’t like ’em around my kids.  In fact, just the other day I came across a post that made this exact argument:

A nine year old faces possible jail time after a .45-caliber gun that he brought from his mother’s house accidentally fired and wounded a classmate.

Crying and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, a frightened 9-year-old boy accused of accidentally shooting a classmate sat before a judge in juvenile court Thursday as his father gently rubbed his back.

The scene — coming a day after police said the boy accidently shot a fellow third-grader — raised questions that will be played out in the legal system: Did he know what he did was wrong? And is anyone else responsible?

The father is quoted as saying, “I just want everyone to know that my kid made a mistake. It was a terrible mistake;” however, no one is quoted about the abject stupidity of leaving a gun lying around where a nine year old could access it.

Cdogzilla links to a story about a pastor’s 20 year old daughter who was mortally wounded in her father’s church when her fiancée was showing another church member his gun.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says 20-year-old Hannah Kelley was pronounced dead at about 10:20 a.m. Saturday at Bayfront Medical Center. An autopsy is pending.

Kelley had been hospitalized since Feb. 12, when she was struck in the head by a bullet at Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg, where her father Tim Kelley is pastor.

Investigators have said Moises Zambrana was showing his gun in a small closet to another church member interested in buying a firearm. The St. Petersburg Times reports that the other church member, Dustin Bueller, was Hannah Kelley’s fiancée.

Tragic and horrible stories to be sure.  And a valid concern.  But if we are going to talk about gun control by mentioning the downsides of guns as it pertains to kids, let’s expand that argument to it’s logical conclusion.

Let’s take a look at the leading causes of death among children in the United States:

Gun death, the category 4th from the left, is the leading cause of unintentional death among children 0 to 19 years old.

Wait.

No, no it’s not.  That category is MVT or Motor Vehicle Traffic.  And the next largest category?  MVT again.  And the one after that?

Drowning.

In fact, gun isn’t even listed.  As in, the numbers are so small that they don’t make the top 11 say nothing of the top 10.

So, if your case for gun control is that you love children, then a proper argument would first include a ban of things like kids in cars, fire and swimming pools.

19 responses to “Why We Hate Guns More Than We Love Kids

  1. This country does have a car problem, I don’t dispute it. But cars serve a very different function than guns do. Our country was developed with a dependence on the automobile. It’s how our cities, towns, suburbs, exurbs are structured – we need cars. So we tolerate what is really a horrifyingly high mortality rate (not just for children, but for adults as well). That said, we take lots of rational steps to regulate the use of automobiles. We require a test to drive a car (where is the test to own a gun?). You can’t use a car until you are 18 (or 17 or 16 depending on the state). You can’t drive over a certain speed limit. In many states you need auto insurance. You can’t drink and drive. There are all sorts of traffic rules. You have to wear a seat belt. If you’re on a phone, it must be a hands-free phone. Gun control (not gun ban) advocates like myself would like to see a similarly rational approach to guns. Maybe require people to take gun safety tests before buying a gun. Implement background checks, register guns and gun sales. This isn’t about preventing anyone from owning a gun, it’s about ensuring they are used safely.

    • This isn’t about preventing anyone from owning a gun, it’s about ensuring they are used safely.

      I think you are coming at it from a more rational stand point than others. And as long as there is a single report of a tragedy, we have work to do. However, I’m not sure that the data supports such a fear of guns.

      That said, we take lots of rational steps to regulate the use of automobiles. We require a test to drive a car (where is the test to own a gun?).

      The availability of the standard rifle is pretty widespread. WalMart carries several types I think. And shotguns are also pretty easy to obtain. But to get a handgun it becomes a bit tougher and permits are most certainly required.

      Gun control (not gun ban) advocates like myself would like to see a similarly rational approach to guns. Maybe require people to take gun safety tests before buying a gun. Implement background checks, register guns and gun sales.

      Sympatico twice in a single day? Lord.

      I DO think gun folks go too far in some cases. We don’t need to make available automatic weapons, or battlefield grade munitions and gear. Certainly tests and refresher courses are called for.

  2. If you compare the US with, say, the UK we have far more gun deaths, most of them accidental. So those wanting strict gun control say that: a) guns aren’t necessary like cars are – most people can live just fine without them; b) guns for hunting can be allowed by strictly controlled; and c) this will make it easier to stop gun trafficking.

    Of course, the same kind of stats could be given for lots of things – smoking, over eating, etc. All of life is risky, after all. So the policy question is whether the benefits of strict laws (saving probably well over 20,000 lives a year) outweigh the negative. Here it gets murky. I’d argue that the negative is intangible – it’s part of the culture of the US and the tradition of individual liberty and states having the power to control these sorts of things. To gun control arguments this becomes a no brainer — intangibles vs. thousands of lives? But we could save as many lives with far stricter automobile laws and strict enforcement of even lower speed limits, much more difficult processes for training and licensing drivers, etc. Intangibles are part of who we are culturally and thus very powerful.

    So I ultimately come down agreeing with dedc97 – rational regulation, registration and safety training. BTW, when we were looking for a house with at that time a 4 year old and a 2 year old I refused to even consider a house with a swimming pool. I also have made sure our kids learned to swim as soon as feasible. I’ve heard too many stories about kids drowning. Also, I wonder why gun deaths aren’t included there — are they really less, or did they just not gather that statistic?

    • I’d argue that the negative is intangible – it’s part of the culture of the US and the tradition of individual liberty and states having the power to control these sorts of things.

      Well, that and the right is specifically identified.

      I ultimately come down agreeing with dedc97 – rational regulation, registration and safety training.

      Yes. Me too.

      Also, I wonder why gun deaths aren’t included there — are they really less, or did they just not gather that statistic?

      From the report:

      DataUnintentional injury deaths included in this report are those for which the underlying cause of death recorded on death certifi cates by a physician or coroner was coded as one of the following International Classifi cation of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes: drowning (W65-W74), falls (W00-W19), fi res or burns (X00-X19), transport-related injuries (V01 –V99), poisoning (X40-X49) and suffocation (W75-W84).(10) All other causes of injuries (i.e., cut or pierced, unintentional fi rearm, machinery, natural and environmental, overexertion, struck by or against an object, other specifi ed and unspecifi ed) were combined and reported as “other injury deaths”.

  3. I have to link this to Guy. My husband bought my 6th grader an AK47 and I flipped out. I posted an article on that lovliness….That said, my son did take this 2-hour course and has gone shooting. Still….

    • I have to link this to Guy.

      Check’s in the mail.

      My husband bought my 6th grader an AK47 and I flipped out.

      Umm…yeah. I don’t mind a .22 or a shotgun. But a semiautomatic?

      • Why do you care if it’s a .22 or a shotgun or an AK-47? The Constitution doesn’t say anything about what kind of gun it should be…

        • The lady was just concerned because her 11 year old son was given an AK-47. Now, I’ll admit that a first gun for a fifth or sixth grader sould probably be a .22 single shot rifle or perhaps a .410 shotgun, but I was taught to shoot by a friend of my Dad who was a Marine sniper. We went to the range and I tried out a 30-06 bolt action rifle, a 357 magnum Colt Python, a 1911 .45 auto, and a Kentucky black powder rifle. I was eleven at the time. I had a blast, plus I got to help my new friend reload some ammunition.

          Mike G.

        • Why do you care if it’s a .22 or a shotgun or an AK-47?

          I agree with Mike.

          I wouldn’t give my kid a Corvette for his first car either.

  4. Thanks Kells for bringing me to this site. I’m glad your son took a gun safety class. Back in the day, it was common to have hunter safety classes at local high schools. They don’t do that anymore and that’s a pity.

    I’m of the opinion that gun safety and proper handling of firearms should be taught to all our children in high school if not jr. high school, boys and girls.

    And Kells, you should go to the shooting range, too. You will probably be surprised at how much fun it can be. Last year, almost 11 million guns were sold in the United States and quite a few of them were bought by women.

    • Thanks Kells for bringing me to this site.

      Welcome to North by God Carolina! Thanks for stoppin’ by.

      I’m of the opinion that gun safety and proper handling of firearms should be taught to all our children in high school if not jr. high school, boys and girls.

      Could you imagine the liberals reacting to that?

      And Kells, you should go to the shooting range, too. You will probably be surprised at how much fun it can be.

      I agree. It is fun shooting!

      In fact, in fact, if ya’ll are in the area we’re gonna host a skeet -n- eat soon!

      • I work in North by God Carolina and used to live there in a little town called Cullowhee…perhaps you’ve heard of it. Where’s the Skeet-n-eat?

        Mike G.

        • I work in North by God Carolina

          Small damn world.

          Where’s the Skeet-n-eat?

          deepriver.net I think.

          • Bout five hours east of me.

            Looks like a nice range, but I’m more pistol and rifle.

          • After perusing the web site, I see that they do offer hand gun instruction. Kind of expensive. In SC, we just paid $70 each for the course with eight hours of instruction plus we fired 100 rounds of our own ammo at the range for practice and qualifying. Plus they provided lunch.

            We did have to send 50 bucks along with fingerprints to SLED for the background check.

  5. Silly, boys, I’m a good shot,er, shooter. In high school, the boys would take me out to shoot with their shotguns. That was weird, because it kind of pulls you backwards. Then I dated a cop who had me shooting with some other sort of gun. He said, you know why women are so good at shooting? Why, says I. Because they’re always pointin their finger! And there you have it.

    Hmm… a South Carolinian and a North Carolinian walk into a bar….

    • Silly, boys, I’m a good shot,er, shooter.

      We needs more good shooters!

      a South Carolinian and a North Carolinian walk into a bar….

      And the long haired hippie from Minnesota ducks.

  6. For the record, many liberals love guns and love shooting. I dare say I’m probably a better shot than most of my right wing friends, but that’s a matter of hand-eye coordination, not politics.

    That said, I agree that this is a very stupid argument (the one you’re attacking, not the one you’re making). Accidental discharge is tragic and awful, the same way burning to death in a house fire is, but we don’t ban smoking in bed.

    On the other hand, you’re a little muddy here on the reasoning. Do you support gun control or not? It’s really not an “established right”, it’s a very shaky area of law that until Heller was almost devoid of anything precedential. And if you believe in some level of gun control, then I suspect you don’t want it to be an absolute right. Do we go overboard on protection and underboard on education? Absolutely. but we can fix that without turning the second amendment into something broader.

    The thing that drives me most crazy is that the second amendment has nothing to do with evening the playing field between the government and the people. If you read the federalist papers (and the Constitution), it’s clear that the Militias (to which the Second Amendment refers) are under Federal authority. They were subsidiary to, not a protection against, Federal power. Individual ownership of weapons was protected because Militias couldn’t afford to arm the citizens in case they needed to stop a sudden invasion by the French, or the Pennsylvanians.

    That whole “people v. govt” thing really falls apart in the modern world. Do you really think that the United States citizens could usurp a govt. with the armed forces behind it? If not, do you really think individual gun ownership will matter if the armed forces wanted to usurp a tyrannical president? None of these scenarios makes any sense, it’s just fantasies for crazy guys in remote cabins who fantasize about how many tax agents they could take out before they were arrested, and that’s a very dangerous mentality to ignore.

    • I dare say I’m probably a better shot than most of my right wing friends, but that’s a matter of hand-eye coordination, not politics.

      I’ll invite you to our skeet -n- eat too; maybe you and Mike and make a team 😉 Of course you have to be okay hangin’ out with them Free Masons and supportin’ orphans….

      Accidental discharge is tragic and awful, the same way burning to death in a house fire is, but we don’t ban smoking in bed.

      Right. No one says that guns aren’t a cause of concern, just that when taken in aggregate don’t seem to demand most of our attention.

      And if you believe in some level of gun control, then I suspect you don’t want it to be an absolute right. Do we go overboard on protection and underboard on education? Absolutely. but we can fix that without turning the second amendment into something broader.

      Yeah, it is murky. I DO believe in some form of control, not only controlling the “who” but controlling the “what”.

      We don’t want criminals and kids having guns; felons either. AND I don’t want folks havin’ AK-47’s [sorry Kells] either. So yeah, I guess that means it’s not an absolute right.

      The thing that drives me most crazy is that the second amendment has nothing to do with evening the playing field between the government and the people. If you read the federalist papers (and the Constitution), it’s clear that the Militias (to which the Second Amendment refers) are under Federal authority.

      I haven’t read the federalist papers – though I should. I have used that argument in the past when I’m talking with my some of my gun-nut folks. That the idea was a militia, not so much the idea that each person is a walking Terminator.

      it’s just fantasies for crazy guys in remote cabins who fantasize about how many tax agents they could take out before they were arrested,

      I agree.

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