The absurd proliferation of deadly firearms in our nation is reaching a breaking point. As mass shootings occur almost daily and school shootings by the week, we now have another horrific statistic to add to the mountain of evidence that demands we take substantial action to curb the ease with which we can acquire and carry the instruments of death. Shootings by toddlers (children under the age of three) now occur every week in the United States of America.
The Washington Post reports that so far in 2015, thirteen toddlers have accidentally killed themselves with firearms, eighteen have injured themselves, ten have injured others, and two have killed other people. These numbers do not include small children shot by adults or older children. These appalling incidents happens far too often, but are usually dismissed with a shrug as an “accident” and rarely make national news. Just a few days ago, a two-year old shot his grandmother in the back after the inquisitive tyke found her .357 in a pouch. The vast majority of toddler-shootings unsurprisingly occur in gun-heavy Republican states:
It makes sense that naturally curious children would be interested in our guns, especially since gun-owners tend to treat them with reverence and pride, carry them with them at all times, close to their heart. But this spate of toddler-shootings is absolutely unacceptable in one of the world’s most advanced nations. It would be rather easy to fix this particular problem: the Washington Post recommends that “states and localities could require guns to be locked up at home, a policy supported by 67 percent of Americans. Various types of smart gun technology, which prevent anyone other than their owners from firing a given gun, exist as well. But gun lock requirements and smart guns have been vehemently opposed by the National Rifle Association and its allies.”
When it comes to this particular aspect of the gun reform issue, the NRA and their Republican legislators are awash in the blood of our children. The American people has proved time and time again that they are not responsible enough to be allowed to wield these kinds of weapons with any kind of reasonable precautions. Our nation desperately needs some kind of reasonable gun reform, as laissez-faire is clearly not working. We’ve suffered enough heartbreak and tragedy as it is.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.