Letters to the Editor

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SHOOTING: Teach kids that guns aren’t toys

Letter by Karla S. Cody, Spanaway on March 19, 2012 at 10:37 am with 1 Comment »
March 19, 2012 10:41 am

I was appalled when I saw the photo (TNT, 3-15) of the makeshift memorial at the gas station for the 3-year-old who accidentally shot himself. Stuck in the fence was a toy gun. I cannot fathom why anyone would think that appropriate.

My children were never allowed to own toy guns. They weren’t allowed to imitate or pretend to shoot one. Why? Because guns are not toys.

We are by no means anti-gun. We believed when they could understand the serious responsibility, our children would first learn proper gun ownership. They are adults now with a knowledgeable, healthy respect for firearms.

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  1. Of course it’s always a tragedy when these types of things occur. Nine times out of ten it’s the result of poor decisions (a nice way of saying stupidity). However, you can’t really legislate “stupidy” (though they will try).

    The overwhelming majority of these cases can be explained by one of the following two options A) Kids who are too young having access to firearms B) A lack of education about firearms

    Generally speaking, a child under the age of 7yrs is not capable of possessing the maturity necessary to have any type of access to firearms. Somewhere between 7-10 most children can be taught proper gun safety and come to learn the gravity of firearms. However, with each generation we have more and more people who are not familiar and/or capable of teaching the fundamentals of firearms (both why they are vital to American culture as well as how to be safe when using them). That is a huge variable in why we are having problems in these modern times.

    My son is 10yrs old and teaches gun safety to both kids and adults. He possesses the right level of maturity to manage and teach how to use firearms. I’ve even gone so far as to test him in what is probably every parents worst nightmare – Having a friend over and encountering a gun when Nobody is around (FYI: Unbeknownst to him, it was a controlled environment with NO actual danger). I’m proud to say that he passed with flying colors.

    The point is that that shielding our children from firearms whether at school or in the home only is a means to put them in harms way. Guns are a reality and there are a lot of them in the US. We need more education about proper use, not less. The real problem are parents who allow their kids to play these violent video games but fail to properly educate about firearms. When you hold a firearm in your hands, feel its weight and have to tame the recoil you immediately come to respect it.

    If you want to see how responsible kids can be when it comes to firearms or maybe learn something yourself, check out my sons channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/LAF1418/videos

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