Only in America is it normal for a 6 year old and a literal dog to have access to guns and shoot people. Something has to change.
Yes, you read right. In the state of Kansas on January 25, a dog stepped on a shotgun in the back of a truck and killed passenger Joseph Austin Smith. Smith was on a hunting trip with his friend when the gun went off on the way back. Medical services and the police were called in to assist with CPR; however, Smith died at the scene of his injuries.
I have to ask, why wasn’t the gun stored properly? Why hasn’t the security lock been set? Why is this the kind of person who can buy a gun in the United States?
Kansas has some of the weakest gun control laws in the nation. There is no law requiring background checks of unlicensed firearm sales, and the state permits concealed carry without a permit. According to Every Town for Gun Safety, 401 people died as a result of gun violence in 2021.
The recent conversation in Kansas about gun control is about ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms with no serial numbers. A ghost gun was used in the Olathe East High School shooting in the greater Kansas City area when 18-year-old Jaylon Desean Elmore shot his school resource officer and assistant principal with a ghost gun.
In a more gun-friendly state, it doesn’t look like Kansas will produce any further action to hold perpetrators of gun violence accountable.
Gun control laws cannot be the only solution to gun violence in the United States, but they must be the first step in ensuring safety in schools and other public spaces.
The second step is to take reports of potential threats seriously.
At an elementary school in Virginia, a 6-year-old boy managed to gain access to a gun and shoot his teacher, even after multiple people cited a threat of violence to school administration.
Abby Zwerner, the teacher who was shot, failed on every level. After multiple reports, the only action that occurred was a baggage check. At this point the gun was in the boy’s hand and not in his bag.
According to ABC News, the firearm the son accessed was secured, but I have to wonder how the 6-year-old got access to the weapon if it was “secured”. If a kid has access to a gun, he’s nowhere near safe.
Parents are there to guide their children’s behaviors. Children’s actions are a direct reflection of their parents’ ability to teach them right and wrong. It makes me question what that kid is seeing and hearing at home about wanting to shoot his teacher for whatever reason.
Parents should not only be held accountable for their child’s behavior, but they should also be investigated for child abandonment because the child was able to access a gun.
According to ABC News, the 6-year-old suffered from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and walking him to class each day.
I see it as negligence on the part of the parent. If they walk their child to school every day, they should have noticed a change in their child’s behavior.
Students need to feel safe in school, teachers need to feel safe in school, and parents need to feel safe when sending their children to school.
In the US, I have a hard time believing that guns will be banned – there are too many of them and most are unregistered.
If a dog and a 6-year-old are able to log in and fire the firearm, background checks aren’t good enough or are simply non-existent. It is insane that even after these terrible gun-related events, we still will see hardly any action to protect the people of this country from violence.