I’d like to say I’m writing about a single incident, but I’m not. There have been several mass shootings in recent American history perpetrated by young white males who were too young to legally purchase the weapons used. They simply took them from their homes where their parents were old enough to buy said weapons.
I am 100% in favor of holding the parents criminally responsible for the killings their sons did with the weapons they took from the home. If those weapons were handled responsibly the kids would have never gotten a hold of them. It is really that simple.
At this point I have all the second amendment rights people yelling at the top of their lungs. I am not trying to take the weapons away or infringe on the Second Amendment rights of any responsible American gun owner. The bottom line is that if you store your weapon(s) in such a manner that your underage children can steal them then you are not acting responsibly.
With few exceptions, the Constitution gives you the right to vote at the age of eighteen. I have voted in the states of New York, Florida and North Carolina. In each I was required to register to vote within the state’s parameters for doing so. That regulated but certainly did not infringe on my right to vote.
No single gun regulation will cure America’s gun problem but this is one that will help. If parents have a significant price to pay for the careless handling of firearms, they will start to modify their behavior making us all safer.
If I ever get around to actually publishing a book I wrote, (working title: The Bubba Factor), chapter 14 will be a January 2011 essay I wrote entitled, Guns. In it I called for what I term a smart gun. The guns would “read” the user’s fingerprint/DNA or something else unique and only authorized users could actually fire the weapon. Engineers tell me this is very doable with today’s technology (or 2011’s to be more accurate). This would solve the dilemma of responsible gun owners who want a loaded gun readily accessible for personal protection but need to stop minors in their household from using them. The only reason this technology is not widely available is because the gun lobby doesn’t want it to be.
Perhaps I’m taking it a step further, which I’m not prepared to argue today, but maybe that makes a case for holding gun manufacturers responsible for the mass shootings where a minor uses a “stolen” family gun.
The biggest argument I’ve heard for not holding parents responsible is that they have suffered enough already if their child is incarcerated and that it will only tear the family apart. We are currently about a month away from Thanksgiving. There will be a lot of empty seats at the tables of the families of victims. How about them? Their “sins” were often things like going to school, a movie, a place of worship or a supermarket.
With rights come responsibilities. Or as conservatives would put it – personal responsibilities. Irresponsible behavior leading to the death(s) or serious repercussions should be met with serious repercussions.
This article is the property of tellthetruthonthem.com and its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak.