March 10, 2005

Yeah, I'd be pretty critical, too

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Girl, 3, shot by playmate is critical

Apparently, the girl, Antysia McClinton, was shot in the face by her 4-year old friend. They found a small-caliber gun lying around the house.

Since my preferred solution--you could have a kid or a gun, but not both--would no doubt lead to the extinction of gun owners after a couple of generations, at which point the remaining humans would be enslaved by evil armies of elk, prairie dogs, crackheads, or rural stop signs, DT reader JJ points us to:
Project Childsafe.

41 Comments

It's funny, I'm 36, haven't lived in my parents house for nigh on gah, I dunno, 15 odd years, and I still have absolutely no idea where the ammo for the guns are kept. I also have no idea where the keys for the trigger locks are either.

I just don't get what people are thinking. You get a trigger lock, a cheap safe or a lock box and that is that. Too expensive? I read an article somewhere once where the author suggested the thick plastic zip ties that the police and military use instead of handcuffs.

All of this to say I'm on board with the kids or guns but not both plan.

Thick plastic zip ties? For the kids? Forgive me, I don't know much about guns, so I can't picture how a zip tie could incapicate a gun/trigger.

I'm for the gun or kid, not both, too. And, I'm not afraid of rural stop signs.

Oh. Projectchildsafe.org has an explanation, kinda. The zip ties are used like the cable lock, right? Keeping the action from closing and thus making it impossible to load and fire a bullet? This could work.

Still, either/or sounds better.

Project Childsafe distributes FREE gun locks of the cable variety (goes through the barrel) since trigger locks can be problematic in keeping a loaded gun from firing.
So I guess you could use cable ties, if FREE is out of your price range.

Ok, I'm not a parent (yet), but both my husband and I do own guns, and shoot competitively. I certainly don't agree with the guns "or" kids bit.
I think children and guns can co-exist quite well as long as the parents take some responsibility and lock everything up and teach their children about gun safety.
Those of you with children should take the time (whether you personally have guns or not) to teach your children about gun safety as well. The NRA is a great place to start with the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program:
http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/

Ok, this might seem a bit obvious for somebody coming from Europe, but....

The savage hords that ones roamed this country and have now (mostly) been exterminated haven't exactly been pillaging farms lately. And since guns are not allowed on planes anymore, they won't do much good against Osama's friends either. So maybe it is time for the US to join the rest of the developed world and abandon the silly notion of gun ownership as a right.

There, I've said it, now let the anti-euro talk start. I've been living in the US for 6 years now and I still don't get the need for guns in every house. It's not like a foreign power is going to invade the country, it is too big. (think Russia vs Napoleon + Hitler)

Anyway, think about it, maybe the guns can be recycled into something useful.

Casper has more guts than me.

Oh crap,

Is Charles H. going to knock on my door now???

OK, I'd stay out of this, but Heather mentioned Eddie Eagle, which is a very canny marketing program disguised as a safety program and used to replace or forestall actual gun safety programs for kids.

As a gun totin' liberal, I ask you to please don't even get me started about those dangerous wingnuts at the NRA.....that's why I pointed Greg to the Project Childsafe website, which appears a little more balanced in its outlook, based on the organizations that make up its board:
http://www.kidsandguns.org/familyroom/coalition/

Ahh.. glad to see we've found this month's breastfeeding v. formula...

Damn skippy, bro.
MetroDad had a little fracas this week in the comments on "Take my kid, please!"
(http://metrodad.typepad.com/index/2005/03/take_my_kid_ple.html), but all the fun has been sucked out of that by now.
....now, if I can only work Gay Marriage into this discussion somehow..........muwhahahahahaha......

I've got three kids. The oldest is 12, and a boy scout. They've got a pretty good gun safety program. He's also fired all of the guns I own, under supervision. ALL of my guns have trigger locks and or lock boxes. Keys are kept on my person so that nobody but me can use them. This fall the oldest will take hunters safety to further instill safety. He gets similar lessons on using hammers, scissors, etc. You can't prevent access to dangerous things. Every stick in the yard is a potential weapon. You can only teach them safety.

American citizens own guns to protect ourselves from people who would take our rights away. Whether they are politicians or criminals. European subjects have trouble understanding this.

Sheesh, I miss everything, and it's my site.

Actually, I thought of trying to work the gay marriage thing into the original post, since there are a few people who think dads with boyfriends are more dangerous to children than dads with guns lying around.

But I didn't want to set off a riot. Some of those folks have guns, you know.

"American citizens own guns to protect ourselves from people who would take our rights away. Whether they are politicians or criminals."

Funny, guns didn't seem to stop the Patriot Act from getting implemented...

Here's a related story, presumably from Catty Types:

Cat shoots owner

March 10, 2005 | Bates Township, Mich. -- A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.

Michelle Sand, a spokeswoman at the Iron River hospital, said Stanton was treated there before being transferred to Marquette General Hospital for further treatment. But Marcie Miller, a representative of the Marquette facility, said there was no record of the hospital receiving a patient by that name.

A telephone message seeking comment was left Wednesday at Stanton's home.

State police said he was cooking at his stove when the cat knocked the loaded gun off the kitchen counter behind him.

"European subjects"?

snicker.

That's why I always keep the cats locked away where the guns can't find them.

I'm not sure how the Eddie Eagle program is a "marketing program disguised as a safety program and used to replace or forestall actual gun safety programs for kids." Anyone can run the program. You do not have to be an NRA member. No firearms are used in the teaching, no stance is taken on whether to own a gun or not, and the NRA is never mentioned. This is marketing? For what?
I read up on Project Childsafe also. I think it's great to put locks, etc on all guns, but it doesn't appear that the program actually teaches children anything about gun safety. In my mind, it's the person/child who is uneducated about guns that is the most dangerous, and most likely to get into a dangerous situation.

I'll stop now.
Heather

My wife rocks! You tell them Heather.

Don't have guns, lock them up, teach kids gun safety, use trigger locks, use zip ties - they're all options and you're welcome to use any combination. I just hope you'd respect other's views on gun ownership (FYI Casper - 2A says guns are a right, an individual right (http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.htm)).

- Nick

On another note, we're moving to Alaska soon and are shopping for a bear gun for when we're out hiking - personal protection and all that jazz. You guys seem pretty well traveled, do you have any suggestions/recommendations? What's worked best for you in the past? Thanks in advance.

- Nick

Hey Nick,

I know it's in the constitution. I read the silly thing before I applied for a green card to see which of my hard won European rights would be taken away.

Seems like smoking pot and euthanasia are all banned here. But it's ok to shoot each other. Mmmm, things that ease suffering, not ok. Things that create suffering, ok. Now who has got it backwards.

"American citizens own guns to protect ourselves from people who would take our rights away. Whether they are politicians or criminals."

Mmm, the only people I've seen lately taking rights away from Americans, are their own "elected" politicians. Haven't heard of any politicians getting shot lately, have you? The only people who seem to be getting shot are people enforcing the law (judges, most recently)

I can't believe I'm getting back into this. If you want to know more about why Eddie Eagle is "Joe Camel with feathers," click the link in the previous comment.

As far as the 2nd Amendment granting an individual right to bear arms -- um, no. Ashcroft added that as a policy statement to DOJ materials when he became AG, but it's an assertion unsupported and in fact generally contradicted by case law. The NRA and other gun advocates know this: that's why they never use the Second Amendment as the basis for their litigation.

Yes, that link goes to a gun control organization, but the case law and history of gun litigation is what it is. Yes, there are a zillion sites on the web arguing the contrary, but I'm just trying to make the point that it is by no means a given that there is a constitutional individual right to own and carry and use a gun; the presumption of history and case law is exactly the opposite.

Hey, even the ACLU -- which defends tobacco advertising and opposes campaign finance restrictions and has no position on gun control -- acknowledges that the 2nd Amendment fails to confer individual gun rights.

OK, I'm really done now. And I know that the true believers don't care about any of this. Just doing my part to let the non-true believers know that the 2nd Amendment isn't a self-evident bar to reasonable restrictions on guns.

OR 4 Royal Canadian Mounted Policemen in Alberta.

Happy to be a european in Canada. With a billion dollar ineffectual gun registry, I still hope that it will effect further restriction and change to the existing restrictive and changing gun laws.

I watch US news and FOX TV and just shake my head. That doesn't mean I dont' luv y'all.....it just means that I think the US needs to be more progressive in something so clearly antiquated and dangerous like gun ownership.

Hey, please don't judge us based on Fox News...

Casper, since euthinasia IS legal in Oregon, you're only 98% correct. I may wish it was legal everywhere, but there doesn't seem to be any movement to changing that. I wish they'd make pot legal and regulate it like tobacco, but in the end I think those smoking pot right now would probably prefer fewer federal entanglements. Not 100% sure on that, but it's just a guess.

Since it is NOT ok to shoot other people in the US, you're 100% wrong about that. Not sure how you got that wrong since it's also not allowed in Europe.

Gun owners are also concerned with the Patriot Act - http://www.gunowners.org/fs0307.htm.

You might want to avoid categorizing people based on their position on one issue. It's rarely accurate and doesn't enhance conversation.

---
Wow. Such anger Veronica. I'm sorry, but there's no link in my brower in your previous post. Not much I can do about that. Do you have a url? Same for your last post - blue text but no link.

Nowhere did I say that 2A prohibits restrictions on gun ownership. I think that having felons, mentally handicapped, and all others already prohibited from owning firearms is a good thing.

I too wished to provide an alternate view on gun control in the US than the first set of posters were presenting. You're right, there are a lot of differing opinions out there and mine is one of them. So is yours. So is the ACLU and so is the NRA. I will disagree that, "the presumption of history and case law is exactly the opposite". For the curious reader, some links as to why the 2A is an individual right (including case law):

The 5 Supreme Court Cases re: 2A
http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndsup.html
More legal mumbo jumbo:
http://www.guncite.com/journals/reycrit.html
The DOJ wasn't the first...1982 Congress Report:
http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm
For the english students out there, an expert weighs in:
http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/unabridged.2nd.html

It's not clearcut, as you noted, but a reasonable person can come to the conclusion that the 2A confers an individual right.

One final note, don't knock "true believers" too hard since you are one yourself.

- Nick

Uma,

Your per capita violent crime rates are higher than ours...why is that?

http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/legal02.htm
962 per 100k

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/xl/03tbl01.xls
475 per 100k

(same for property crime - CAN:4121.4 vs. US: 3588.4)

While our murder rate is higher [5.7 v 1.8 per 100k] (always has been and probably always will be) I'm willing to trade that for fewer rapes and assaults. There's no proof - one way or the other (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20041216-115726-5821r.htm) - that gun ownership universally increases or decreases crime rates, but as you mentioned, $2B worth of gun registration hasn't done you any good, so why waste the money?

- Nick

Uhm.. since the Patriot Act reference was to something I said, I will respond that I was not saying that gun owners are automatically for the Patriot Act. I was simply stating that if the right to own a gun was, as stated, to protect citizens from losing their rights, well, the Patriot Act took away some of our rights, despite our citizens owning guns. That's all.

Just for the record, I am not "anti-gun". I would never have one in my home. Especially not with the baby. If others want to own guns (e.g. my brother-in-law), that's fine. As you said, just make sure you live up to your responsibility as a parent and secure the guns/ammo and teach your kids right.

This seems to be turning into another one of those breastfeeding debates. I just hope no one takes my statements out of context, or mis-reads my intentions this time...

My bad Kaz and Casper. Didn't mean to get you mixed up. I think the ruffled feathers come from greg.daddy saying, "Since my preferred solution--you could have a kid or a gun, but not both--would no doubt lead to the extinction of gun owners after a couple of generations..." Cameroon chimed in that it'd be a good idea. What? That would be like me saying, "Hey, let's mandate abortions for pro-choicers so they'd kill themselves off..." It's just not nice and should be called out when seen. As usual, things heat up from there.

- Nick

"This month's breastfeeding v. formula debate"

Because people without guns were making sweeping generalizations about those who do own them and people without breasts were making sweeping generalizations about those who do have them and use them for their intended purpose

"Because people without guns were making sweeping generalizations about those who do own them and people without breasts were making sweeping generalizations about those who do have them and use them for their intended purpose"

To make men act like idiots??

Just a note to stick up for Project Childsafe over Eddie the Eagle- PC has a large collection of materials and links to materials about talking with your kids about guns cleverly hidden on their "Talking With Your kids" page.
This includes stuff from organizations such as the CDC, Am. Acad. of Pediatrics, National Crime Prevention Council, etc. They also have pages on Safe Gun Storage and Talking With Your Neighbors.
I'd be willing to be the NRA website doesn't include such heeby-jeeby inducing statistics as: thereís a gun in two out of every five American households, and in 20 percent of those households, the guns are kept unlocked and loaded. (that would be 8% of American housholds for the mathematically challenged)
Unless it's phrased like this: "8% of American households are standing up for their 2nd Ammendment rights and are ready to repel Jackbooted Thugs at a moment's notice"

JJ,

It's not a popularity contest. No one suggested Project Childsafe was a bad thing. No one said Eddie the Eagle was better. I challenge you to find that in the comments.

They're education programs that teach mostly the same things - you'll find info on safe storage, adult responsibilities, toy guns, how to talk with kids, etc on both sites. PC has some smart people backing it and so does Eddie (http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/awards.asp). Why the blind animosity to the NRA? I'd also be surprised if the NRA had heeby jeeby statistics like. "8% of American households are standing up for their 2nd Ammendment rights and are ready to repel Jackbooted Thugs at a moment's notice." Your view on the NRA is very distorted if you think that's what their message is.

- Nick

Ok, I respect everyones choice on whether or not to own a firearm--I understand that many people have very personal reasons why they wouldn't want one in the house, etc.
My real question for all of you is why do you have a problem with me having one (keep in mind that I have a safe that they are locked up in even though I do not have children.)
The reason that I ask is because generally I talk to like-minded people, and have not ever been involved in such a passionate debate.

curious,
Heather

There you go again.....
My animosity to the NRA is not blind. Why would you suggest that? Sounds like stereotyping to me.
No, I have a very reasoned dislike of the NRA.
The NRA's message goes something like this:
I am sitting at home and the phone rings and when I pick it up a telemarketing type asks me to
AND I QUOTE
"please hold for an important recorded message from Wayne Lapierre, the Executive Director of the NRA about how the UN is trying to take away your guns"
WTF!!
Out of nuisance call reflex I hung up the phone, but now I wish I had stayed on the line to hear about how guys in sky blue helmets would soon be roaming my neighborhood, rounding up gun owners and putting them in re-education camps.

This is why I don't like the NRA.

Because they give gun owners a bad name.

Because they villify anyone who does not have their extreme views of the second ammendment, gun regulation and gun ownership.
Because I am on the Do Not Call list and they were bugging me at home.

They have taken the position that ANY gun regulation is bad. That every person in the US (with certain exceptions for convicted criminals, foreigners, etc.) should be able to own whatever weaponry they like, carry it wherever they like, and no one should be able to say otherwise, because the Founding Fathers said I should be able to have a recoilless rifle on my lawn. I do not think this is the thinking, reasoning person's take on the 2nd A and gun regulation.

So, in short, here is my position on the NRA:
NRA Education programs = good
NRA Competition programs = good
NRA Support of Gun Clubs and Ranges = good
NRA Legislative and PR Agenda = very, very bad.

BTW- the calling me at home thing pisses me off a lot, too. How did they know to call me? I must be on some gun owner list somewhere, which they used to track me down. I did not ask for calls from them, and I am not a member (can you tell?) Now, picture if you will, Ol' Wayne's reaction if, say, the Coalition to Stop Handgun Violence had obtained a list of gun owners somewhere and was making automated calls peddling some such fiction! He would be calling for the membership to man the barricades!
Oh wait, he does that anyway. Never mind.

I wrote very specifically for a reason:

I'd LIKE a safe country where even the idea that you need a gun to protect yourself becomes outmoded. But until the day I buy the world a Coke, I'm fine to acknowledge 1) reality, 2) other uses people dream up for guns, and 3) my visceral fear of a Planet of The Prairie Dogs doomsday scenario.

So argue your point on its merits (at least as far as it relates to the topic/site), but please don't torque what I said into some polarizing call for gun owner eugenics or whatever.

And besides, what if an attraction to guns is something you're born with, not a lifestyle choice? I, for one, will still love my daughter; what she chooses to shoot in the privacy of her own duck blind is her business.

Nick, not to be rude, but your inability to read what I wrote enters into the category of "crap that fails to be my damn problem".

If you can find the bit where I suggested that I wanted to have all gun owners eliminated and actually point it out to me (this would mean I wanted rid of my father and many friends I would guess) I would be happy. What I meant, since you didn't ask and got upset with out asking, was that, IN MY PERSONAL OPINION (which in non-binding, and not a form of law) guns and children do not mix.

JJ,

Report them to the do not call people. They shouldn't have called you. Sorry that pissed you off so bad.

They're a special interest/lobbying group, so I don't know why you're upset they're like rabid dogs sometimes. That's their job. While they're not 100% in alignment with my views, I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's worth it to me in order to get the good education, range support, and competition support.

Greg and Cameron,

I repeat what you wrote Greg, "Since my preferred solution--you could have a kid or a gun, but not both--would no doubt lead to the extinction of gun owners after a couple of generations..." If you can't see how that could be offensive to law abiding and responsible gun owners, then I can't help you see it. It's nice to see that sensitivity training hard at work.

I never said you wanted gun owners eliminated, just that you wanted them to not have kids: Cameron - "All of this to say I'm on board with the kids or guns but not both plan." I read this as supporting Greg, "...lead to the extinction of gun owners after a couple of generations...". No torquing needed.

Perhaps my original comparison wasn't a good fit. Try this one on for size - "Since my preferred solution--you could have a kid or be gay, but not both..." is an equivalently repulsive opinion to me, I reserve the right to challenge the assertion. The merits are that suggesting non-destructive lifestyles are a legitimate reason to prevent people from having kids is stupid (my opinion) and a form of discrimination. If you want to backpedal and say that responsible gun ownership and having kids is fine with you (ala Kaz), then I have no issue with that. Own or don't own, it's your business. It's not clear to me that's your position. Saying that it's 100% wrong all the time to have kids and guns is just plain ignorant of how responsible gun owners behave.

This is obviously not productive since no one here is going to change their opinions and since the blog is about kids and not really a political forum, I'll leave off here. I doubt Heather will add anything since no one deigned to answer her honest question.

Lurking as always,

Nick

In the irony department, I got my NRA membership card in the mail on Saturday, with a request to join up from The Wayner himself.

Then on Monday, I saw this on the AP wire:

Texas toddler shot by 4-year-old brother

March 14, 2005 | HOUSTON (AP) -- A 2-year-old remained in critical condition Sunday after being shot by his 4-year-old brother, who may not have known the difference between a real and toy gun, police said.
Police Sgt. Cameron Grysen said the boys had been arguing at their home in southwest Houston on Saturday afternoon when the 2-year-old threw a toy at his brother.
The older boy got the loaded gun from a purse in his mother's bedroom and shot his brother once in the temple, Grysen said.
He was being treated at Ben Taub Hospital.
The mother told police she had the .32-caliber automatic to protect her family because of recent neighborhood burglaries. She said Saturday was the one day that she did not secure the weapon. She could face criminal charges.
Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said CPS had never been called to the home before. The agency has placed the older boy with a grandparent.
Authorities said the 4-year-old didn't seem to understand what he had done.
"He's wondering where his brother is, and when his brother's coming back," Grysen said.
***

Frankly, I'm tired of this subject.

with the Dallas shooting, and this hilarious/damning video of a police gun safety education demonstration, I think we can say, "nice grouping" and close the comments.

Anyone got some value to add, please email me.

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