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Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll

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The .45-caliber pistol that killed Lucas Heagren, 3, on Memorial Day last year at his Ohio home had been temporarily hidden under the couch by his father. But Lucas found it and shot himself through the right eye. “It’s bad,” his mother told the 911 dispatcher. “It’s really bad.”

A few days later in Georgia, Cassie Culpepper, 11, was riding in the back of a pickup with her 12-year-old brother and two other children. Her brother started playing with a pistol his father had lent him to scare coyotes. Believing he had removed all the bullets, he pointed the pistol at his sister and squeezed the trigger. It fired, and blood poured from Cassie’s mouth.

Just a few weeks earlier, in Houston, a group of youths found a Glock pistol in an apartment closet while searching for snack money. A 15-year-old boy was handling the gun when it went off. Alex Whitfield, who had just turned 11, was struck. A relative found the bullet in his ashes from the funeral home.

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And on and on it goes. Sad when it is so unnecessary except for ideology and selfishness.

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It would be interesting to track how many such 'responsible' parents are ever prosecuted along the lines of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, etc.

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It's not only children with guns that is a concern, there is also this horror.

post-141686-0-82211400-1380460889_thumb.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik

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God. This is leaking with one sided, biased journalism.

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Another gun related thread

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Edited by spartan max2
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^ totally agreee

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In before the always successful "Hrrr you're a gunnut who is ignorant and selfish even though my personal arguments and opinions are oozing with those very same traits" method.

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God. This is leaking with one sided, biased journalism.

Biased? Of course its biased. Anything that doesn't portray guns as incapable of doing harm, anything that doesn't portray guns as the symbol of life, love and liberty itself is biased and therefore wrong. Thats how it works, right?

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Life is not 100% safe. Government and regulation cannot keep everyone safe - especially from ourselves and, as in these cases, from irresponsible parents. Accidents will always occur and even if one accepts the author's notion that firearms accidents involving children are under reported by roughly half, that figure is still incredibly low given that there are 300 million privately owned firearms in the United States. And, frankly, the percentage is even lower as the article makes a point to mention police officers and their government issued sidearms are also involved in such accidents.

In every example cited in the story, the adults responsible for safe guarding the welfare of their children made serious errors in judgement that would make any responsible gun owner cringe. One cannot legislate intelligence. I recently heard a PSA on the radio that claimed that 70% of all child car seats are improperly installed. How many of those lead to death and injury among children? How many parents improperly store household chemicals that lead to accidental poisonings. How many don't control access to swimming pools. How many ignore safety recommendations when installing playgrounds. How many don't properly fit bicycle helmets? How many don't vaccinate their children?

Does anyone really think that any amount of legislation would stop such accidents from happening?

Great post! :tu:

And no, no amount of legislation is going to stop gun accidents from happening. Sh!t happens, folks. That's life. You can't have the government there 24/7 to babysit you.

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Biased? Of course its biased. Anything that doesn't portray guns as incapable of doing harm, anything that doesn't portray guns as the symbol of life, love and liberty itself is biased and therefore wrong. Thats how it works, right?

Soo you jump to the opposite extreme of biased?

Why cant we just have a neutral article :innocent:

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Soo you jump to the opposite extreme of biased?

Why cant we just have a neutral article :innocent:

Does that make any of those kids alive again?

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and now we switch to emotional appeal :su

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Bubububut but think of the kidddddsss!!

I honestly don't care. Idiotic parents. Kids who were left completely empty minded on the dangers of firearms.

Big deal. Move on.

There's a lot more avoidable deaths daily to explore, even though they don't meet people's criteria of stuff to shout and b**** about.

And before your pseudo intellect (gained by dwindling in the mass fear loving media) for whatever reason grants you the right to blindly label me as another moral lacking, redneck, gun lover...

We can have a long discussion about the pacifist movement I involve myself in, my work with children's day cares and substitution work, my complete regard to true gun safety and their dangers, and how I have to common respect and decency for myself to not so easily fall fear to biased, lying fear tactics. Man up, folk.

Edited by Shrine Builder
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Many, not all, of the Children's death's where 100% preventable by simply keeping them locked up when not being cleaned or used. Leaving a loaded or readied firearm when you are not ready to point and shoot is extremely irresponsible.

I have a young son and I have firearms. I will never mix the two until I know he is ready to start learning and respecting. And we will not start with a firearm but with a Pellet Gun. Once I know he is ready he will move up. He will never have the firearm when I am not around (nor the Pellet Gun) to watch him like a hawk. He will NEVER have access to Ammunition until I am standing next to him to watch him load his magazine. This is called responsibly ownership and responsibly parenting.

Toddlers and young children should not have regular access to firearms.

EDIT: There was a Grammar Mistake.

Edited by Thanato
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Many, not all, of the Children's death's where 100% preventable by simply keeping them locked up when not being cleaned or used. Never leaving a loaded or readied firearm when you are not ready to point and shoot is extremely irresponsible.

I have a young son and I have firearms. I will never mix the two until I know he is ready to start learning and respecting. And we will not start with a firearm but with a Pellet Gun. Once I know he is ready he will move up. He will never have the firearm when I am not around (nor the Pellet Gun) to watch him like a hawk. He will NEVER have access to Ammunition until I am standing next to him to watch him load his magazine. This is called responsibly ownership and responsibly parenting.

Toddlers and young children should not have regular access to firearms.

An example of actual human logic.

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Many, not all, of the Children's death's where 100% preventable by simply keeping them locked up when not being cleaned or used. Leaving a loaded or readied firearm when you are not ready to point and shoot is extremely irresponsible.

I have a young son and I have firearms. I will never mix the two until I know he is ready to start learning and respecting. And we will not start with a firearm but with a Pellet Gun. Once I know he is ready he will move up. He will never have the firearm when I am not around (nor the Pellet Gun) to watch him like a hawk. He will NEVER have access to Ammunition until I am standing next to him to watch him load his magazine. This is called responsibly ownership and responsibly parenting.

Toddlers and young children should not have regular access to firearms.

Exactly! :tu:

I have a three year old, and we always keep our guns locked up in the gun cabinet. Common sense....

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Many, not all, of the Children's death's where 100% preventable by simply keeping them locked up when not being cleaned or used. Leaving a loaded or readied firearm when you are not ready to point and shoot is extremely irresponsible.

I have a young son and I have firearms. I will never mix the two until I know he is ready to start learning and respecting. And we will not start with a firearm but with a Pellet Gun. Once I know he is ready he will move up. He will never have the firearm when I am not around (nor the Pellet Gun) to watch him like a hawk. He will NEVER have access to Ammunition until I am standing next to him to watch him load his magazine. This is called responsibly ownership and responsibly parenting.

Toddlers and young children should not have regular access to firearms.

EDIT: There was a Grammar Mistake.

Completely agree. Just looking at the numbers of firearms owned vs accidents, firearms owners are some of if not the most responsible individuals on the planet.

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Here is what I did when my son was young. Of course, I kept my guns locked up. But I went one step further. I told him that he was never to touch one of the guns unless I was present. However, I also promised him that any time he wanted to hold or look at one, all he had to do was to come to me and ask. Sure enough, for about two or so weeks, he would come to me and ask to hold one. So, together we would go to the gun cabinet and he would tell me which one he wanted to hold. I would take the gun out and check to make sure it was not loaded and as I did so I showed him how to check. I then explained the other safety rules to him (make sure they are unloaded, keep finger off the trigger, never point it at anyone, etc) , then I handed it to him and the first order of business was for him to check again to make sure it was not loaded. As he held the gun, I constantly enforced all the safety rules. After about two weeks, his curiosity was satisfied and thereafter he would only occasionally ask. This satisfied his curiosity and taught him the safety rules in a hands on manner. There was never a problem.

Just hiding them away is not good enough because even the most careful gun owner can make a mistake. Locking them away combined with satisfying the child's "forbidden fruit" curiosity along with demanding strict compliance with gun safety rules is the safest thing to do.

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Bubububut but think of the kidddddsss!!

I honestly don't care. Idiotic parents. Kids who were left completely empty minded on the dangers of firearms.

Big deal. Move on.

There's a lot more avoidable deaths daily to explore, even though they don't meet people's criteria of stuff to shout and b**** about.

And before your pseudo intellect (gained by dwindling in the mass fear loving media) for whatever reason grants you the right to blindly label me as another moral lacking, redneck, gun lover...

We can have a long discussion about the pacifist movement I involve myself in, my work with children's day cares and substitution work, my complete regard to true gun safety and their dangers, and how I have to common respect and decency for myself to not so easily fall fear to biased, lying fear tactics. Man up, folk.

I completely agree. I know it makes me feel better knowing my right to have a gun is killing children. And lots of adults too, from what I hear.

Falling for fear tactics is also a very bad thing. It can lead to things like buying a gun to protect yourself, or even buying more when your right to have one might vanish.

If your gun is being used to go hunting you should have to prove that. People who are living in inner cities aren't buying them to hunt pigeons. They aren't necessary in that sort of environment, and serve no reasonable purpose there. There should also be no more automatic weapons, or any gun that can shoot even bolt action style. If its truly for hunting, I think a one shot muzzloader should do the trick.

My point is this. Guns aren't really all that relevant to civilians anymore, due to the fact that when the constitution was written, America was a very inhospitable and dangerously unstable place. Not to mention a good deal of people actually had to hunt to sustain themselves. It's become a completely outdated law, and the times have changed drastically since then. That absolutely cannot be understated. Real people are actually dying from this, and it would be foolish for anyone to sit back and watch it happen. Especially when something can be done about it.

Edited by andy4

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Many, not all, of the Children's death's where 100% preventable by simply keeping them locked up when not being cleaned or used. Leaving a loaded or readied firearm when you are not ready to point and shoot is extremely irresponsible.

I have a young son and I have firearms. I will never mix the two until I know he is ready to start learning and respecting. And we will not start with a firearm but with a Pellet Gun. Once I know he is ready he will move up. He will never have the firearm when I am not around (nor the Pellet Gun) to watch him like a hawk. He will NEVER have access to Ammunition until I am standing next to him to watch him load his magazine. This is called responsibly ownership and responsibly parenting.

Toddlers and young children should not have regular access to firearms.

EDIT: There was a Grammar Mistake.

I think having guns in the same house as there are children is irresponsible in and of itself. Yea they are kept "locked up," but all sorts of things can and do happen. Claiming to be a responsible parent and putting the child in such a situation is a contradiction, and one that has a good chance of ending is perpetual regret.

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Here is what I did when my son was young. Of course, I kept my guns locked up. But I went one step further. I told him that he was never to touch one of the guns unless I was present. However, I also promised him that any time he wanted to hold or look at one, all he had to do was to come to me and ask. Sure enough, for about two or so weeks, he would come to me and ask to hold one. So, together we would go to the gun cabinet and he would tell me which one he wanted to hold. I would take the gun out and check to make sure it was not loaded and as I did so I showed him how to check. I then explained the other safety rules to him (make sure they are unloaded, keep finger off the trigger, never point it at anyone, etc) , then I handed it to him and the first order of business was for him to check again to make sure it was not loaded. As he held the gun, I constantly enforced all the safety rules. After about two weeks, his curiosity was satisfied and thereafter he would only occasionally ask. This satisfied his curiosity and taught him the safety rules in a hands on manner. There was never a problem.

Just hiding them away is not good enough because even the most careful gun owner can make a mistake. Locking them away combined with satisfying the child's "forbidden fruit" curiosity along with demanding strict compliance with gun safety rules is the safest thing to do.

Excellent approach. Once you take the mystery out of them, guns quickly become exactly what they are - a tool and nothing more.

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I think having guns in the same house as there are children is irresponsible in and of itself. Yea they are kept "locked up," but all sorts of things can and do happen. Claiming to be a responsible parent and putting the child in such a situation is a contradiction, and one that has a good chance of ending is perpetual regret.

If you think the numbers as presented (go ahead, use the ones from the article) represent a "good chance" when compared to the number of firearms in homes with children, then you must think your chance of winning the lottery is absolutely amazing.

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