Since I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about something that is sort of along the same lines of love: gun control. OK, not much in common, but I needed a segue, alright?
Here is an article I found today. Read along with me and then we shall have a round-table discussion.
DILLON, S.C. — Authorities say a 10-year-old boy shot his younger sister in the face after she refused to give him a bag of potato chips.
Dillon County Chief Deputy Douglas Pernell says the children were home alone when they started arguing Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say after his 9-year-old sister refused to hand over the chips, the boy got his father’s shotgun, loaded a shell, pointed the gun at his sister and fired.
Authorities say the girl was wounded in her right cheek, but is expected to survive.
Deputies say they have asked the Department of Juvenile Justice to charge the boy with assault and battery with intent to kill. His name was not released.
Let’s just ignore for a second that this happened in “The South”. Let’s also ignore for a second the fact that this whole incident is about potato chips. First point I want to make: What kind of parent allows his/her (hopefully licensed) gun and ammunition to be in a place that can be accessed by children?? My dad has two guns, a rifle and a shotgun, that he has for pheasant hunting. I think he keeps them in my parents’ bedroom, but they are not loaded. And I could not tell you where the bullets are even if you had a gun to my head. This is still the case even after 28 years.
Alright, second thing: Why does this 10-year-old boy think the best way to solve a conflict is to blow his sister’s face off? What is the stream of consciousness happening prior to coming to the conclusion, “No, the only answer is to kill her. That is the only way I will get the potato chips.”? Brothers and sisters fight, that’s a given. But I would expect him to sneak up on her and snatch them out of her hands, take off running and lock himself in a room or jump onto a counter so she can’t get to them. THAT is a logical reaction (in my opinion).
Please, tell me what you think of this story. Because I just can’t wrap my head around it. And the worst part is, I know that these “accidental” injuries or more often, fatalities, happen all the time throughout our country. Do you not remember that episode of 90210?? That image is still perfectly ingrained in my brain, even 17 years later. I’m not trying to start a gun control debate. My opinions are just that: opinions. But I do respect the power guns represent and the damage they can cause. You don’t mess around with that shit. You just don’t.
Come on parents! Step up here. If you aren’t going to properly stow your firearms, at least teach your children the acceptable forms of expressing their anger and aggression. Maybe if your nine- and 10-year-old weren’t home without supervision, this sort of thing would never have happened. Last I checked, children that young aren’t legally allowed to be home alone. But hey, maybe those rules don’t apply in South Carolina. What the hell do I know…