A little while ago, on the yahoo page, a news blurb appeared briefly, then disappeared rather rapidly. It told of a five-year old shooting his/her four-year old brother, and killing him, in Texas.
You must login to vote
This is not news, one can argue, as in Texas, there are probably far more guns than people, and an occurrence like this one might possibly be quite common. And when something is possibly common, then it loses the possibility of being shocking.
I happen to think that a five-year old killing a four-year old is, primarily, shocking. But that’s just me.
I ran this news item by the few people sitting at computer terminals in the back office of the nursing station where I am based.
One of them, a third-year medical student, quipped that he lived in Texas, and that guns are the “culture” there. He was about to continue speaking when I interrupted him, quite passionately, by forbidding him to use the word “culture” next to the word “gun”, as this is obscene.
I went on to explain that “culture” is something that is nurtured, grows, and expands; that “culture”, whether it is bacterial, or arts-related, is a word which is reserved for designating something proliferative, something which enhances life.
Guns do not enhance life.
There are many other word choices for guns: gun habit, gun obsession, gun passion, gun need, gun want, gun addiction, gun worship, you get the idea. Just not “gun culture”, because it is a misappropriation of the word “culture”.
Now, if a five-year old killed a sibling with a rifle, it means this: the rifle was accessible; the rifle was held and pointed at the victim; the rifle was discharged of its ammunition by the pulling of a trigger.
How does a five-year old know to follow these steps to shooting someone?
An adult shot someone, or pointed a rifle at someone, and the child is imitating what the child saw.
If the adult had shot a target object, or an animal, the five-year old would not have chosen a sibling as a target, but a rabbit or a tin can.
Many would say this was a tragic accident.
I will say this was a tragic upbringing of children.
So much for the idealistic part of my opinion.
Now for the realistic part of my opinion.
The NRA and other groups are glued to the Second Amendment which allows Americans the right to keep and bear arms. Now, your Second Amendment, at the time of its adoption into your Constitution, allowed your citizens to keep and bear arms, because this would facilitate the formation of a militia in case the British, or others, attacked your country. The United States would be well able to defend itself if every citizen could keep and bear arms.
Okay, but that was almost 250 years ago. If anybody attacks now, it will be by bombing, and not “arms” as it might have been then. Which means that all citizens bearing arms would be useless, and, for the most part, dead.
Keeping and bearing arms, as it was intended in 1776, is no longer relevant in 2011. But the Second Amendment continues to protect gun owners because the interpretation of said Amendment now extends to guns for fun.
It would be time to amend the Amendment, in a way which restricts its interpretation, rather than expanding on its interpretation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks that no guns in the house is the most reliable way of preventing gun-related injuries in children.
Pediatricians are asking parents if they have guns in their houses. There are State Legislatures at work for laws that would penalize doctors asking this question.
There is the question of violating the doctors‘ First Amendment rights.
Constitutional lawyers seem to be siding with the doctors.
For the moment, there is a little hope for a little more safety.
But then, ideals and realism both notwithstanding, children are continuing to kill children with rifles.
Is this civilized?
Or is it barbaric?
Are Americans civilized or are Americans barbaric?
Of all known institutions, I attend only two: church, in my heart, and school, in yours. Both are subject to demolition. - Lucie Adams, 2007
It is only for poetry to know how many stanzas fit into one caress. - Lucie Adams, 2008