The United States is a country in which more than 3,000 children and teens die each year from gunfire. An additional 17,000+ are injured by gunfire every year. Put simply, it's a level of pain and suffering unequaled anywhere else among industrialized democracies. And it's caused by by the weakest gun laws in the civilized world.
Few things are sacred among pro-gun activists, however, and even this subject is a source of levity and entertainment for them. Furthermore, they will always be the first to tell you that kids and guns are a great mix, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. This blog focuses on four recent stories that provide a disturbing look at American gun culture and how it affects the young.
First, we recently received some new YouTube comments from gun violence prevention activist Abby Spangler. Many of you will remember Abby as the Virginia mom who has received a litany of misogynist, threatening comments from pro-gun activists. Turns out that Abby has a new fan on YouTube who is very proud of his gun collection.
That individual is a 14-year-old who goes by the screen name of "Shedneom," and here is what he had to say to Abby:
Im 14 and have a full automatic m16 and ak47, a tank, a semi a rocket launcher, a silencer for all of the above, a .50 caliber assualt sniper rifle thats anti tank, 10,000 explosive burning deadly rounds.three .50 caliber pistols, a fully automatic 12 guage shotgun. and all my guns use highcapacity magazines that hold up to 500 rounds and there always loaded in the house.
But the young man wasn't done just yet. He giddily sent Abby this follow-up comment:
And I forgot to mention that i play violent video games daily, lol.
Perhaps we should be kind and give Shedenom's parents the benefit of the doubt, assuming they're not even present in the home. They're certainly making no positive difference in this young man's life even if they are.
The next comment we discovered featured a novel solution to problem of parenting kids around guns. Posting on a thread about "Guns and Kids" at PoliticalForum.com, pro-gun activist "Black Monarch" offered the following thought about what one should do with children who are too "stupid" to avoid shooting themselves with the guns you leave laying around:
Note: stupid kids may get ahold of guns and shoot each other or themselves. If your kids are stupid, give them up for adoption to protect your guns.
Everybody has their priorities, right?
Sometimes nothing helps with parenting like a loaded gun, however. That's what North Carolina dad Tommy Jordan showed the world when he posted the following video on Facebook to "discipline" his teenage daughter:
Oh, how to analyze this fabulous example of parenting? Allow us to quote a pastoral counselor who frequently posts at the CSGV Facebook page:
A "parent" who sees no problem with possession and use of a weapon is bad enough. A "parent" who sees use of his weapon as a "parenting tool" is a significant cause for concern. ANYONE who thinks that violence is a solution to ANY situation, is dangerous. Add to that, a child who's now been humiliated publicly for her behavior and has been taught by example by said parent, and who has access to WMD, and this points to a very dangerous mix. It may be too late for "intervention" for that family and closer to time for yet another family dissolution.
Despite the fact that the video earned him a visit from Child Protective Services, Jordan brags on his Facebook page, "If I had it to do again... let's see...I'd do it almost the same." What would he change? Well, he wishes he hadn't smoked a cigarette in the video, regrets using the word "ass" in reference to his daughter, and "maybe [I'd have] used the .22 instead of the .45," Jordan tells us. Talk about missing the target...
Finally, we present an even more inspiring example of pro-gun parenting. On February 9, The Today Show launched a new investigative series. Their first target was private firearm sales, so they ventured out into shopping mall parking lots in Phoenix, Arizona, to buy military-style assault rifles from individuals who are not legally obligated to either conduct background checks or keep any records of sale.
One of the private firearms sellers in The Today Show segment brought his 7-year-old son with him to sell an undercover investigator a tactical shotgun and an assault rifle straight out of the trunk of his car, no questions asked. "I probably couldn't pass [a background check]," the investigator told the man (meaning he could have been a felon, a wife beater, a sex offender, or mentally ill—just to name a few categories of prohibited purchasers). The man sold him the guns anyway and passed the cash directly to his son, adding, "I hate, I hate the government." He then ran away liked a coward when reporters attempted to question him on camera.
Perhaps it's now time to end this blog, because we simply no longer have the words...