There was another horrifying story of an accidental gun death today. A five year-old boy in Kentucky shot and killed his 2 year-old sister. The mother was home, but had stepped outside for a moment.
But what struck me about this story, was that this five year-old boy accidentally killed his sister with "the .22-caliber rifle he got for his birthday," according to state officials.
The .22 was a Crickett, advertised on their website as "My First Rifle."
I'm not going to get into a discussion of 2nd Amendment Rights here. I'm not even going to get into a discussion of what constitutes sensible
gun laws. But Auntie Sarah is about to rant on the subject of age appropriate toys and parenting.
A firearm is not, in any rational world, an age appropriate gift for a FIVE YEAR OLD. EVER. I don't care if you live in the country. I don't care if you live in a "gun culture." This isn't anything about me wanting to deny you your 2nd Amendment Rights. I'm talking about using COMMON SENSE here, people. If "guns don't kill people, people kill people," why on earth would you be stupid enough to give one to a five year old? Would you let a five year old have access to bleach or paint thinner? Would you let a five year old drive your car? Would you let a five year old play with matches and fireworks? Would you give a five year old a sharp knife as a toy?
If you are a responsible parent with half a brain, the answer to all of these things would be a resounding NO. It's nothing to do with "rights". It's everything to do with being a responsible parent with a brain, who understands the socio-emotional and physical capabilities of your child at a particular age.
What "gift" have these parents given this poor kid? A lifetime of guilt, knowing that he killed his baby sister, when he was too young to even bear the responsibility for doing it. But it's not him who should bear that guilt. It's his grossly negligent parents. And it's the gun manufacturer that is sick enough to purposely market firearms to children. We don't allow tobacco companies to market cigarettes to children. Why do we allow gun manufacturers to market guns?