The headlines read, “
17 killed in mass shooting at high school.” “10 killed and 13 wounded in mass shooting at high school.” It still doesn’t matter which community this happened in: it is a national disgrace. This does not happen in any other country in the world with the regularity that it happens here in America. We are No. 1 in school shootings. Of all the things we could lead the world in, it is the taking of innocent lives. Seven weeks 21 weeks into 2018 and this is the eighth tenth time (at the time of this writing) there has been a school shooting with fatalities.
I wrote the paragraph above, in its original form, in February of this year. Nothing has changed. Politicians are still taking money from the NRA, and the NRA is still driving the debate about gun control. The father of the shooter this time around claims that his son being bullied was the problem. That is, in a word, bullshit. The shooter used his father’s guns, which, while not confirmed, were likely unsecured.
When a southeast Texas high schooler killed 10 people and injured 13 more in a shooting rampage on Friday, he was using his father’s legally owned firearms: a shotgun and a .38 revolver, authorities say.
The blame for this shooting lies at the feet of the shooter’s father. Surely he claimed to be a responsible gun owner—but a responsible gun owner should ensure his firearms are secured at all times. If his son was able to get to them, they were certainly not secured. The father will not be found to be an accessory to murder, even though it was through his negligence that his child was able to take the lives of 10 other children.
Texas does have a law that requires firearms to be secured, but it is the weakest in the nation.
Texas law is less stringent than the child-access prevention laws in other states both because of its lower age requirement and because it penalizes only adults whose guns are loaded when they are accessed by children. In other states, experts said, parents can be penalized when their unloaded guns and their ammunition are accessible separately.
Imagine that: the father who supplied the guns will likely be unpunished, and will likely continue on with his life, thinking he is a responsible gun owner.
When I served in the Army I was taught that there are no accidental shootings. If your firearm discharged when it was not supposed to then you were held responsible for that discharge. If you did not secure your weapon at all times, you would be punished. Ask any veteran who carried a firearm on a routine basis what would happen if that weapon was lost or misplaced. Every single one of them, regardless of political leaning, will have a story to tell about it. When I was a young corporal I misplaced three rounds of 5.56mm ball ammunition for my M16A2, I was panicked—I saw myself being busted to PV2, losing a month or more of pay, and being restricted to quarters. For three bullets. Luckily I was able to retrace my steps and find the magazine that contained those missing three rounds.
If we cannot restrict the sales of firearms then it is time we start punishing people who do not secure their firearms, and people who “accidentally” discharge weapons. Enough excuses. If your kid takes your gun, if your gun is stolen, then you are just as culpable as the person pulling the trigger.
If you are a gun owner, secure your weapons. Use gun safes and trigger locks—and the keys should then be secured.
I am sick and tired of reading of more innocent children being killed. I am sick and tired of goddamn thoughts and prayers. We need to do something!