Our nation’s obsession with guns has reached an apex of recklessness. The rate of shootings is continuing to grow unabated; pro-gun legislation continues to be cranked out of Republican legislatures in the place of substantial governance; and children are handling guns earlier and earlier.
The danger posed by teaching very young children how to handle firearms became abundantly clear to Florida mom and gun lover Jamie Gilt (31) when a .45 caliber bullet suddenly emerged from her torso as she was driving a horse trailer. The bullet was fired by her four-year-old son, who was in the back seat and had somehow found a gun.
Ms. Gilt is expected to make a full recovery. Police have not yet filed any charges, but they might it if they can determine sufficient negligence as to endanger the child.
The irony is that Ms. Gilt had been previously bragging on Facebook about how she had taught her four-year old son to shoot a .22 pistol, and how he gets all “jacked up” when he gets to shoot. Obviously he enjoys the sport, but as he is only four years old he is currently incapable of discerning when the appropriate time to use weapons is.
Following on the heels of an Iowan law that would allow toddlers to use weapons with their parent’s supervision, it’s clear that our obsession with guns has gone into the realm of the absurd.
Too many Americans kids lose their lives and limbs every day because the dangers that weapon presents are trivialized. We need to start treating these weapons with the seriousness that they deserve.
Colin Taylor is the 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.