On Sunday March 13, The Guardian newspaper published a frightening article about gun control in the US and how Jamie Gilt, who has built a thriving web presence on the argument that guns are perfectly safe around kids, was shot by her young child.
From the article in The Guardian:
Growing up here myself didn’t prepare me for how distinctly, viscerally frightening it would be to raise children in a gun-obsessed nation. My step-daughters go to school in a borderline-rural suburb, whereas I was educated in central Seattle. They already know of at least one friend-of-a-friend who was killed in a school shooting. Many of their friends’ parents are gun owners. Not only that, but, over the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has been aggressively and successfully rolling back firearm restrictions, making gun ownership as quick and easy for anyone’s irresponsible, drunk cousin as their meticulous, gun-safety-trained dad. When we send our kids to friends’ houses for sleepovers, it sometimes feels like a leap of faith.
In the US in 2015, more people were shot and killed by toddlers than by terrorists. In 2013, the New York Times reported on children shot by other children: “Children shot accidentally – usually by other children – are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable.”
And I’m supposed to believe that frightened Syrian refugees – or whomever becomes the next rightwing scapegoat du jour – are the real threat to my children? I’m supposed to be afraid of sharks? Heavy metal music? Violent video games? Horse meat in my hamburger patties? Teenagers pouring vodka up their butts?
States with more guns have more gun deaths. Keeping a gun in your house increases your chances of accidental death by shooting, but does not make you safer. A woman’s chance of being murdered by an abusive partner increases fivefold if the partner has access to a gun. “Good guys with guns” are a fantasy. How much longer will we keep participating in this great collective lie that deadly weapons keep us safe?
**** Read the complete article on The Guardian newspaper here. ****