For nearly two years, I've been covering a seemingly never-ending series of stories in which children with guns shoot other children or adults. My coverage was originally inspired by a horrendous bumper sticker produced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), featuring the slogan: "If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted."
Sadly, children do have guns. Not only do they have guns that are specifically marketed to them, but more often than not, they're getting their guns from their parents or guardians, either accidentally or intentionally. Here are just a few headlines from December, 2012 through May, 2013 alone:
May 15, 2013. Lake City, Florida.
Florida boy, 11, accidentally shot dead by 4-year-old, police say
May 11, 2013. Denton, Texas.
Denton boy, 5, accidentally shot in head by older brother, 8
May 10, 2013. Camden, New Jersey.
11-Year-Old New Jersey Boy Shoots 12-Year-Old In The Face
May 9, 2013. Corsicana, Texas.
2-year-old Texas boy shoots himself in the head with father’s handgun
May 8, 2013. Houston, Texas:
Boy, 5, accidentally shoots brother, 7, in northeast Houston
May 8, 2013. Tampa, Florida:
3-Year-Old Fatally Shoots Himself With Uncle's Gun
May 6, 2013. Indianapolis, Indiana:
Police: 4-year-old boy grabbed gun, shot himself in hand
May 5, 2013. Oakland Park, Florida:
13-Year-Old Boy Shoots 6-Year-Old Sister In Florida
May 2, 2013. Yuma, Arizona:
Arizona 3-year-old fatally shoots himself in face with meth grandma’s gun
May 2, 2013. Cumberland County, Kentucky:
5-year-old Kentucky boy fatally shoots 2-year-old sister
April 30, 2013. Mountain Village, Alaska:
5-year-old shot, killed by 8-year-old brother in remote Alaska
April 9, 2013:
Boy, 4, shoots and kills playmate, 6
February 24, 2013:
4-year-old killed himself with dad's gun in N. Houston
February 22, 2013:
Boy, 2, accidentally shoots self after finding gun in mother's purse
February 5, 2013:
3-year-old S.C. boy killed after mistaking pink handgun for toy
January 10, 2013:
Child playing with gun accidentally shoots self
December 5, 2012:
Minneapolis boy, 4, finds gun, shoots brother, 2, police say
I stopped covering the story after roughly 30 incidents, mainly because it was becoming too painful. But here we are again today, reading about the death of a gun-school instructor who was shot by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi. Yes, an Uzi. The '80s action movie weapon, as if this is necessary for home protection or hunting.
A man is dead and a child's life, at least psychologically, is in serious jeopardy. Why? Who the hell knows. But it's not difficult to profile the worldview of her parents.
If only babies had guns...
(Take note of how often the "Cricket" is pointed at the heads of other people.)
On social media and elsewhere, the question has been repeated: how will the NRA respond this time? Given the lobbyist group's silence during those dozens of other instances in which babies with guns killed other babies, don't hold your breath for a sudden epiphany about keeping firearms out of the hands of children. All we need to do is it rewind to June for an indication of the NRA's response.
Naturally, they'll call for more firearm training for children, even though an instructor was just killed by someone who was too young to know about Cheney shooting his hunting partner in the face. In fact, one of their propaganda videos from June was literally named "Everyone Gets a Gun." The video went on to not only call for government-subsidized guns and free ammunition (socialism!), but it also suggested that firearm lessons be taught in school alongside English and math. Why? Because guns, the hipster narrator told us, "make people's lives better." Cruelly ironic given what happened yesterday.
There will be no epiphany. The NRA will almost surely up the ante and demand the further relaxing of gun laws -- this time specifically in reference to children. This is what they do. And, as I've written too often, it'll just keep happening over and over and over.