Another day, another tragic gunshot injury to a child in the United States of Gunmerica. Justin Ryan Jones of Bell County, Texas, had previously lost custody of his children but was watching them while their grandparents were out shopping – and ended up shooting his nine year-old daughter in the chest. The man told police that he was showing his children “gun safety” – but his son had a different story to tell.
His seven-year-old son said he “liked the clicking sound the gun made,” at which point his father pulled the trigger and shot his sister, most likely on accident to make the sound his son liked so much – but this man should have lost his gun when he lost custody of his children. If he couldn’t adequately care for his own kids, then he is clearly too irresponsible to own a deadly firearm.
The wounded child was rushed to a hospital, where she was operated on successfully and is expected to make a full recovery. Her father has been arrested for reckless endangerment and is held on a $25,000 bond. How many times must we write these same posts and demand that our do-nothing Congress pass any kind of reasonable restriction on gun ownership? How many more children must suffer for the negligence of their parents? There have been four shootings by toddlers so far this year alone. Why can’t the American people handle their guns with the responsibility that such a weapon entails?
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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.