I was trying to think of a title for this post to convey how angry I am right now, but I can't. Sometimes I am ashamed to be from South Carolina, and this is one of those times. You've no doubt heard about the four-year-old girl who shot herself in the chest in Sam's Club on Monday using her grandmother's gun. Her grandmother, an Aiken County Magistrate Judge, even had a concealed weapons permit. Thank GOD the child survived!
This post might make a few people angry, and that's why I try not to discuss politics on my blog. I know a few intelligent people who own guns and know how to use them responsibly. However, I can't talk to Jordan about this because he thinks guns are a wonderful avenue of self-preservation which everyone should own and we'll get into a big argument. Therefore, I am blogging instead.
I wouldn't be so upset if the grandmother had been some criminal who bought her gun illegally from someone she met in an alley. This woman surely went through some measure of gun education in order to get her concealed weapons permit, and then proceeded to place her loaded gun insecurely in her purse and place the purse within reach of her innocent four-year-old granddaughter. What do they teach in those classes, anyway? As commenter Jackson points out, "there are only a few requirements for carrying a concealed weapon and unfortunately common sense doesn't appear to be one of them."
The icing on the cake: People are defending her decision and acting as though this were an unfortunate but inevitable result of defending herself--something which could have happened to anyone who "totes a gun," as a friend of Williamson's points out. "We have to have guns to protect ourselves!" they scream. But who is going to protect the children whose caregivers insist upon leaving loaded guns lying around? That this happened to such a respected member of society is a red flag that our current gun control system isn't working. Sure, I have the right to protect myself by keeping a pistol under my pillow if I choose. But who is going to protect my daughter when she is in high school and some unbalanced juvenile delinquent steals his mother's gun from under her pillow and comes to school to randomly gun down half of homeroom? Call me alarmist, but it's happened! Again and again and again. Increasingly, even. Homeschooling is looking like a damn good option right about now.
You'd think that in the face of all these tragedies, our country and the great state of SC would be coming up with a plan for heightened gun security and safety education. PSYCH! Instead, South Carolina is subsidizing the distribution of even more firearms by declaring a 2009 tax-free weekend for guns! Classy, no?
One more note to Suzi's friends and family: This is probably common sense, but please do not ever purchase a toy gun of any sort for my daughter. It will be thrown away, and I don't care who you are. There's no chance she'll find a loaded gun in this house, but you never know what she might find elsewhere and I want her to know the difference between a toy and a deadly weapon.
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