Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Irresponsible gun ownership

This week's news featured a trio of stories of irresponsible gun ownership that so far have led to the deaths of two children and one adult and the woundings of two other children. The words "so far" have to be emphasized because the gun from one of the incidents is still out in the community and because the week is only half over.

On Saturday, a two-year-old in North Carolina died after finding her father's loaded semi-automatic pistol. Besides being irresponsibly stored, the gun was irresponsibly provided to the father, a convicted teenage felon.

On Monday, a Nevada 12-year-old child killed a teacher, wounded two other middle-school students, and shot himself after taking a semi-automatic pistol from his parents' home.

And still later this week, we discovered that an AR-15 rifle was stolen from the home of NC Rep. Renee Ellmers after her family left it and other gear "out in plain sight" in an unlocked garage. To make it easier for thieves, the Congresswoman's teenage son had earlier advertised the availability of the gun in a tweet. Heaven knows where or how the stolen weapon will be used.

Rep. Ellmers' spokesperson expressed the Congresswoman's concerns, "As you can imagine, the Ellmers family is shaken by these events and is working with law enforcement to make sure those responsible are found and brought to justice."

We already know who was irresponsible, and it's highly doubtful that Congresswoman's community, which is also shaken by the availability of another gun, will see any justice.

Ironically, Rep. Ellmers co-sponsored legislation calling for a special prosecutor to investigate gunwalking.

Update (10/23/13, 2:30 p.m.): The week's tragic toll includes the death of a third child. CNN reports
A woman who was babysitting a 5-year-old who fatally shot himself Monday with her gun has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child, a felony, and jailed in Orange County, Texas, police said Wednesday.