If we needed any more evidence that Americans are too irresponsible with their beloved firearms, consider this: ten people have been shot by their own dogs since 2004. You read that right; so many weapons have been left loaded, with the safety off, that not one but ten different dogs have stepped on them enough to fire bullets into their owners.
Following an incident last weekend where a chocolate Labrador, ironically named “Trigger,” stepped on a 12-gauge shotgun during a hunting expedition and shot 25-year-old Allie Carter in the foot, the Washington Post did a little investigative reporting and found multiple incidents of negligent gun owners – including four in the state of Florida alone. There has been only one reported case where a cat shot his owner when the curious feline knocked a nine millimeter pistol off the kitchen table.
It all goes to show just how irresponsible and negligent Americans are with their guns; that gun ownership and use are so widespread and their use so common that people forget that they are not fancy toys, but weapons designed expressly to kill, to tear flesh and shatter bone. As our mayors and our police chiefs unite in their call for common-sense gun control, it’s time for us to admit that this has gone too far. How have we gotten to the point where Americans are being shot by toddlers and our own pets?
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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.