Mommyish Viewing Party: Watch This Tonight So We Can Talk About How Unsafe Kids Are Around Guns On Monday

73931049There’s a Diane Sawyer special airing tonight about gun safety and children called “Young Guns: What really happens when parents are not in the room.” I’ll be watching – and you should, too.

Guns scare me. I’ve made no secret of my beliefs that we need stricter gun control and more vigilant gun safety. I’ve talked about how nervous play-dates make me now that I live in a state where so many people are armed. I always get a significant amount of push-back on my views. That’s fair. We all have opinions. When it comes to the topic of guns, people tend to have real strong viewpoints – that can not be swayed. I understand this, because there are several topics I feel that way about – the death penalty and abortion to name a few.

I wrote a piece some months ago about how I intend to ask people if they keep guns in their home before I allow my child to have a play date there. I’m terrified of guns. I’m terrified of people who have an unrelenting confidence that their guns are safe. You can never convince me that every tragic story we hear that involves the accidental deaths of children who stumble upon guns only happens in homes where people pay no mind about securing their guns. That’s just unrealistic. It seems like Sawyer’s special is going to be pretty balanced:

Sawyer goes to a New Jersey neighborhood to talk to families about their attitudes on gun safety in the home. She also finds out whether or not they know if their neighbors have any unsecured guns and if this factor could pose a risk to their child during play dates.

The special includes interviews with parents who have lost their children to unsecured guns in their own home or at their neighbor’s house, and kids who surprise their parents by showing them where guns are “hidden.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Muir travels the country talking to parents who own guns who are convinced that educating a child about the dangers of guns is part of the solution.  Many of those parents believe that teaching their children how to shoot at a young age will diminish curiosity and ensure their children’s safety around firearms.

I’m interested to see what Sawyer uncovers in her documentary tonight. And then, I’m interested in having a conversation about it next week. So everyone tune in to 20/20 tonight at 10pm eastern time and we’ll talk about next week.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • Eve Vawter

    I’m gonna watch!

  • Momma425

    My husband and I will watch- but honestly I am so tired of talking about this.
    There are basically two sides, and neither one seems to want to budge, and the conversation seems to just go around and around.

    • brebay

      All social change begins that way, it doesn’t mean we give up.

    • Momma425

      Who is “we”?

    • brebay

      society, obviously.

  • Itpainsmetosay

    I knew this kid in my town when we were little who was a little unstable and who had parents who weren’t the best role models. One day when a friend was over they were playing a video game and the kid I knew lost, then shot the boy in the chest. He died and the parents of the boy who shot him were in the next room and could do nothing. We live in a hunting town so most kids know where the guns are and it didn’t change after this happened. So I think you have every right to be concerned about the homes of kids your kids play with.
    (Just to be clear they were 14 or 15 when this happen and the boy had a history of mental illness.)

  • Rachel Sea

    I’m going to have to see if it’s available to watch online. I have guns in the house, and even though they and the ammo are triple locked in separate, inconvenient places, I still worry. I’ve considered opening a safety deposit box, to get either the keys, or the guns out of the house.

    • Paul White

      You’re really overreaching on that. Just make sure the keys are on your keyring and breath deep. They’re not animate objects and it doesn’t sound like they’re easy to get to. If someone gets through *all* that for BOTH the ammo and the guns, it’s gone beyond a casual screwup or messing around….

    • Rachel Sea

      That’s what’s concerning. I don’t think my friends, my wife or I would ever calculate to shoot ourselves or anyone else, but everyone thinks that until it happens.

    • susyQ

      wait, what?

    • Rachel Sea

      A person who is suicidal, and has easy access to a gun, is more likely to die. A person who is homicidal, and has easy access to a gun, is more likely to murder.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      If you’re that worried about someone in your household being suicidal or homicidal, putting the guns in storage may be a priority, but it’s not the biggest one. Getting the suicidal person help or getting the homicidal person out of your house would strike me as more important.

    • Rachel Sea

      Under the right set of circumstances acute mental illness can strike anyone. It’s a minor worry, but the risk is real. Most of the people I’ve known who have commit suicide have done so to the extreme shock of their family and friends. I don’t expect that I am so uncommonly insightful that I would know if my wife or a very close friend were hiding suicidal or homicidal ideation.

      If a mental health crisis did strike, the last thing I would want to deal with would be the presence of loadable guns.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Look back on it a bit more closely. Psychological studies indicate that nearly everyone who commits suicide planned and had begun preparation for it well in advance, doing things like updating wills, giving away prized possessions, making the final preparations a lot of people do when they’re dying.

      What typically throws survivors for a loop is that most people who commit suicide seem to come out of their depression and become happy and cheerful right before the end, giving the false impression that they’re getting better. Truth is, they’re just more relaxed because they’re finished preparations, they’ve committed to a course of action, and they’re ready to blow this popsickle stand.

      However, routinely treating mental illness like it turns people into ticking time bombs who can’t be trusted with firearms is not going to help anyone. Rather, it’s just going to further stigmatize those with mental illness and discourage them from seeking the help they need.

      I mean, who wants to get help if it means surrendering our rights without having done anything wrong? Nobody should be punished with loss of rights or property just for being sick. Instead, we should encourage open and non-judgemental conversations on mental health.

    • Rachel Sea

      Whose talking about taking guns away from anyone? I’m talking about not liking that if there ever were a mental health crisis happening within my house, I wouldn’t want there to be both guns and bullets on hand.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      You are. What you want means diddly squat unless you intend to actually do something about it.

      Furthermore, your position lacks nuance, but rather smacks of ignorance. Not every mental health crisis makes someone dangerous enough to themselves or others to warrant anyone “not liking” guns and bullets on hand. In fact, most don’t. If someone in your house owns guns, legally, you can’t take them without their permission. Who’s more likely to give you that permission- someone who can speak to you openly without fear of judgement, or someone who knows you’ve judged them too dangerous to be around guns?

    • Rachel Sea

      First off, the guns are mine and I have given myself permission to do whatever I want with them. The only reason that I have not done anything thus far is that banks prohibit storage of bullets, and a safety deposit box large enough to hold a rifle is incredibly expensive.

      I am familiar with mental health issues, and have had acute anxiety, secondary to PTSD. I am good now, but I know all too well that if something awful happened to either me or my wife, that we could suddenly be faced with a mental health crisis. Shit happens to normal, mentally healthy people all the time.

      A friend of mine witnessed a fatal hit and run. The kid who got hit died practically at his feet. Within the year, the depression, and survivor’s guilt caused him to take his own life. It’s not common, it’s not usual, but it happens.

      I don’t think my house is going to burn down, and yet I have it insured against fire. I don’t think my wife, or I, or any friend who might gain access will ever do anything irresponsible with a firearm, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t guard against it.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      I also happen to have PTSD. You don’t guard against violent or suicidal tendencies by walking on eggshells and treating every person having a mental health crisis like they’re going to explode like some suicide vest. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to discuss anything what I’m going through with somebody who already thinks I’m a ticking time bomb and shouldn’t own firearms. On the other hand, I’m quite happy with family that’s fine with me having my guns, but have dropped everything to help me sort things out when I said, “We need to have that conversation about my state of mind and my access to firearms.” I can be open and honest with them (and my counselor) because they haven’t judged me on the basis of the crap I’ve endured.

  • Unforgettable

    Anyone else get a Google Ad by the NRA in the embedded youtube vid?

  • Kay_Sue

    No cable, so we won’t be watching. Honestly, we probably wouldn’t be even if we had cable right now. It’s not hard to guess what children do if they are given or are able to get access to firearms, because they are children. That’s why being responsible is so incredibly important, especially if you are a parent and firearms owner.

    • Unforgettable

      Yea, it seems kinda stupid and politically driven
      “OOOH, what would happen if we gave kids ________”

      1) sex toys
      2) alcohol
      3) explosives
      4) Penthouse
      5) a tiger

    • Lackadaisical

      I suppose the answer “a ruddy good time” would be frowned upon. Forget wasting them on kids, you have all the elements of a cheesetastic action film there.

    • AmazingE

      Right? I grew up watching McGyver, give me all that stuff and I’ll turn it into something awesome and useful to boot.

    • Lackadaisical

      Did McGyver ever make a sexy tiger bomb while drunk and locked in a penthouse, because I really want to see that episode.

    • AmazingE

      If he did I’m sure it’s in a vault someplace because there’s no way any episode of any show could ever be better and that just wouldn’t be fair to all the people who work so hard to entertain us.

    • Lackadaisical

      Yes, I imagine that they shot it, looked at each other and said “I suppose that’s it. We have achieved TV nirvana. Not much point anyone making anymore telly as it is all done.”. Then finally someone suggested “if we hide it away and pretend it never happened then everyone can keep their jobs”. In the UK we used to be more careful, making sure our best series were only 6 episodes each but lately we have got a bit lax. In the US you nearly had a pinicle of perfection ending TV moment again, which is why firefly got canceled.

    • AmazingE

      Yeah, tv doesn’t get much better than “Jaynestown”. Probably my favorite episode of any show ever.

    • Alicia Kiner

      I was so thrilled when I saw it on Netflix. He was “Mommy’s boyfriend” when I was growing up. It’s still an awesome show to watch, even if the technology is laughable now.

    • ggguest

      Sadly it doesn’t even have to be children. We have a family member who at 19 was playing around with his buddies and one of his friend’s dad had a gun collection… they took them out, were playing with them, pointing them at each other, pulling the trigger etc. The friend reloaded one of the guns, didn’t tell the other friends and set it back on the table where they had been playing with it.
      Of course my family member came back in, picked it up and pulled the trigger (like he had done an hour earlier) only this time he shot and killed his best friend on accident. Senseless and stupid…multiple lives horribly damaged.
      I understand the role of firearms for sport and even the thought behind self defense, but keeping a loaded gun around the home is a recipe for disaster, we’ve seen it over and over again. :(

    • Kay_Sue

      That’s an example of irresponsible firearms ownership. If you are pointing at gun at someone, you are violating the very first rule of gun ownership: Do not point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy entirely. Period. You never “play” with them. Whether we are cleaning them, taking them to the range, or handling them in some other way, it’s never referred to as “playing”. They are not toys. Everything you just described is honestly a bunch of dumbasses that make responsible gun owners look bad. It’s an honest to God shame that they caused such a tragedy with their irresponsibility.

    • Paul White

      I think they managed to violate every one of the four rules.

    • Guest

      I would never own a firearm myself, but I did grow up with them in the home. And although my parents taught us how to use guns (loading them, assembling them, cleaning them, as well as shooting them), not only was the #1 rule in our house that we were never to touch guns without our parents with us, but it was a rule my parents also understood for THEMSELVES–ie, it was their responsibility to make sure that there was never an opportunity when we kids could ever get our hands on the guns without them around. And this was true until we were all college-aged, at which point we could use the guns by ourselves but only with permission–which wasn’t so much ‘permission’ as we had to get the keys to the closet from our parents.

      So I am a proponent of the following: IF you are going to have a gun in your house, then the first rule is to never, ever allow children access to firearms themselves and to always be around to supervise them if they are going to handle the firearm (which they shouldn’t do until they are at least 9yo, in my opinion). The second rule is that if you are going to have firearms in the house, then yes, you SHOULD teach your child how to handle them appropriately PROVIDED THAT YOU CAN DO SO YOURSELF. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t have a gun, period, let alone a gun in a house with children (and your friend clearly did not have adequate knowledge of gun safety–the first rule is to always assume a gun is loaded and handle it accordingly). And for that reason, I really wish gun ownership required licensing for which a person had to pass basic firearms maintenance and safety training–similar to how we require people to prove they can drive a car before they get behind the wheel. It wouldn’t solve everything, and it wouldn’t do a dent in most urban areas (where street guns are currency and hence, never properly ‘bought’ let alone registered and permitted), and it’s not even a politically viable perspective, but I still think it would be a good start.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      This is why I’m in favor of universal firearm education. First thing I taught my kids is that guns are not toys. Second is to always treat a gun as if it’s loaded, even when you know it’s not. Keep fingers off the trigger and out of the trigger guard unless you intend to shoot, and always keep the barrel pointed away from people.

      It’s violating these ridiculously easy rules that’s senseless, stupid, and a recipe for disaster.

  • AlbinoWino

    I admit to doing some eye rolling when people just play the “Oh, I teach my kid gun safety so they won’t EVER touch it without me around” crap. Of course education is key but I’m honestly shocked by how many people on here who have kids are naive enough to believe their kid is always following every rule. I was a very cautious child so no, I never would have touched or even gone near a gun. But obviously there are lots of kid who are that bold and don’t listen to their parents’ warnings. Sadly that can often end up in tragedy.

    • brebay

      Seriously. If our kids did everything we taught them to all the time, we wouldn’t even have a word for “accident.”

    • organized chaos

      And those children are the reason they make locked gun boxes, I’ve even seen something similar to a bike lock that keeps a magazine from being loaded into a Rugar semi-auto. There are safety measures that can and should be taken when kids like that are in the house. Store ammo in a separate locked box, don’t load the guns in the house, etc…

    • Gangle

      can I just ask… why the hell would anybody need a semi-automatic weapon?

    • Tea

      Semi-Automatic just means you don’t have to manually chamber each round, and unless you’re dealing with a bolt action rifle, you can still have a good rate of fire. Non-semi automatic pistols almost don’t exist outside of bolt action (competition use), and revolvers (which almost behaves as semi-auto), they’re most of much is made. It’s not a huge difference for aimed shots.

      Semi Automatic does not mean automatic, and it’s an extremely common feature, if often used as a scare word. It just means you pull the trigger, and then pull again, each shot needs a trigger pull.

      If you already knew that, my apologies for the lesson, and I don’t have a clear answer for you (My husband uses black powder), but I’ve noticed a lot of people in these discussions don’t seem to grasp what semi-automatic means.

    • Gangle

      Yeah, I did know that. :) I live in a country where semi-autos are very restricted – occupational use only, which means that you have to be a registered professional hunter (for example) to own and/or operate one. Outside of that, I don’t know why anyone would need a semi-auto.

    • Tea

      Ahh, alright then, apologies for the ramble, it’s just a common misconception I’ve seen.

    • Gangle

      No apologies needed, accurate information is accurate information.

    • Véronique Houde

      I didn’t know ;) you taught me something useful today!

    • Paul White

      I honestly don’t get why “need” is brought into this. I don’t “need” 4/5ths of what I own. But as a practical issue semi-auto vs revolver is more academic than people think. I can do *very* quick shots with a quality revolver and hit what I’m aiming at. The significant limiting factor is getting back on target after recoil…

    • Gangle

      Need is a very big issue. We aren’t talking about an ipad or designer jeans here. We are talking about a weapon that can kill people. What do you plan on shooting? What are you planning on shooting in such rapid succession? Why do you need to carry a weapon that could kill or maim someone?

    • Paul White

      I plan on shooting paper; I reserve the ability to shoot anyone that presents an imminent threat to my family or myself.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      A car could also maim or kill someone. In fact, cars do much more frequently than firearms do, and that’s even without anyone trying to hurt or kill anyone. Does anyone need a car that can go 120 miles per hour when the maximum speed limit is only 75?

      Household cleaners can kill people, often by accidentally mixing the wrong cleaners. And does anyone really need both ammonia and bleach based cleaners?

      Social networking and smart phones make it easier and more efficient for bullies to drive their victims to suicide. Does anyone really need a smart phone or Facebook?

      Do you like archery or fencing? Too bad. Arrows and swords (even an epee or foil) can kill people, and nobody needs sports more dangerous than walking.

      Basically, if you try to ban something based on the idea that nobody needs it, you’re going to open up the possibility of the government poking its nose into your own life, deciding what you need or don’t need.

    • Gangle

      The things you just mentioned? Cars and household cleaners and baseball bats? All of those things, yes, can be dangerous. All of those things have intended, non-violent purposes. To use them incorrectly is what causes harm. But the only intended use for a gun is to kill.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Not true. A gun’s purpose is whatever the owner decides it is. To a collector, a gun is merely part of a hobby. To a hunter, a gun is a way to put food on the table. To a farmer, a gun is a tool for pest control. To a target shooter, a gun is sporting gear. To someone who carries for self defence, the gun’s primary purpose is to deter criminals. Hurting or killing criminals would be secondary to merely stopping the crime. This is why, according to every study done on the subject, in the vast majority of cases when it was necessary to use a gun for self defence, the gun is not even fired.

      And if you’re going to use the “intended purpose argument,” logically, that would imply a much stronger indictment against cars. When machines that aren’t meant to kill nonetheless kill and injure more people than objects allegedly meant to kill, it’s only logical to lobby more strongly against the former. To someone being rational, it’s easy to see that guns are easier to safely use than automobiles.

  • Maria Guido

    Well, that was depressing as hell.

  • AmazingAsh

    Am I the only person hugging their kid and sobbing profusely? I hope not.

  • personal

    I doubt if I’ll be able to see it in Europe. Not all Youtube videos are available here. I do not like guns. Whenever my friends back in the States (very red state) post on FB about how cars can kill and knives can kill, etc. I can only think that, to the best of my knowledge, guns are the only item that kills if used properly as designed.

    • Lackadaisical

      To be fair we aren’t the target audience. Don’t know where in Europe you are, I am in England, but I believe that those European countries with guns have different attitudes to them and their use/availability/storage.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      I use guns properly as designed quite frequently and have never killed anyone. A gun’s purpose is not to kill. It is simply to expel a projectile.

  • Fitzgerald

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be your child who gets a hold of the gun, or it could be your child bowing to peer pressure and thinking they know how to handle a gun

  • organized chaos

    You do realize that more gun control laws will only affect law abiding citizens right? The laws we already have don’t do anything to affect criminals, so why would new ones? I grew up in a town where people have shot guns behind their front doors. My grandparents who are 82 and 75 still have a 12 guage behind theirs. Each of us grandkids including my severely autistic cousin grew up following these rules: no loading a gun in the house (unless it’s an emergency and you’re over 15yrs old) 2 Don’t EVER point a gun at ANYONE even if it is unloaded Ever! 3 if you point a gun at anyone you had better be in a life or death situation or you would be when your parents found out.

    My neighbors and I played at each other’s houses all the time, and guess what? We knew better than to mess with the guns, even when our parents weren’t looking. We were taught at an early age what guns could and would do because our parents believed (and rightly so) that if you teach kids early about gun safety and responsibility they won’t do something stupid with them.

    I have a permit to carry concealed and I carry. Why? Because there are ENTIRELY too many crazy people in this city who can get their hands on guns illegally and try to use them against other people. I carry for my safety.

    • Blooming_Babies

      You do realize that more gun control laws will only affect law abiding citizens right? The laws we already have don’t do anything to affect criminals, so why would new ones?

      Because murder, suicide, and tragic accidents are the intended outcome of gun use. That gun you carry for “protection” is far more likely to hurt you or your loved ones than it is to save you from a “crazy” person.

      But hey when you kill a father in a movie theater because you lost your temper when he dared to text that gun will have served it’s purpose right?

    • Gangle

      I live in a country where gun ownership is highly restricted, and it is absolutely illegal to carry a concealed weapon. Are there very bad people out there with guns anyway? Yeah, absolutely. Do I feel afraid walking down the street? No. I do take note of certain times and certain areas and take appropriate measures, but I do not walk around in fear of my life or safety. What would make me feel afraid would be a bunch of amateur citizens walking around packing heat ‘for their own protection’. Because while gun owners may be educated in general gun safety, they are not well-versed in dealing with confrontational, dangerous and highly volatile situations. Police, for example, are highly trained, and have on-going training, and they still make mistakes. I can’t imagine the average citizen making safe, rational decisions in a confrontational situation.

    • Paul White

      I carry–a compact 1911–with a CHL in my state. About 500,000 other Texans have CHLs too.
      I don’t fear for my safety anymore than you do.

    • Gangle

      Evidently you do. I feel it completely unnecessary to carry any kind of weapon at all.

    • Paul White

      I don’t fear car wrecks or fire either but I wear a seat belt and have a fire extinguisher.

    • Gangle

      A seat belt is not a weapon, nor is a fire extinguisher. I don’t feel the need to ‘expect the best, prepare for the worst’ by carrying a weapon to walk down the street.

    • Paul White

      Weapons are tools and sometimes they’re damn useful tools.

      The world isn’t always a soft, nice place. I’ve had friends that were the victim of violent assaults, I’ve got a friend or two that have used weapons to defend themselves, etc. It isn’t like there’s not bad people out there. And I want to be able to deal with them.

    • Gangle

      Weapons are not tools. They are not a hammer, a pair of scissors or a computer. Weapons are weapons. They have only ever had one function, and one function only. To kill.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      So if a firearm’s only function is to kill, why is it that nobody dies when I go target shooting?

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Police are not as highly trained as you’d think or any of us would like. Oftentimes, they suffer no repercussions when they misuse their firearms. However, if I, as a civilian gun owner, did what too many police officers have done (for instance, drawing guns on people who aren’t breaking any law), rather than get away with it, I could lose my gun rights, and rightfully so.

      Civilian gun owners have more at stake and are therefore more likely to keep a cool head in a bad situation. Heck, I’d been in enough ugly situations to know that I’m less confrontational and much more polite when armed than otherwise. Compare two different situations, both involving a sex offender and me, who was armed in only one of those cases.

      The first one, the guy was able to grab me. I screamed, and after some grappling and blows, fought him off, and basically went berserk enough to scare him out of trying anything more. I sustained some injuries, and I’m certain the perpetrator did, as well.

      In the second case, I was travelling through some very rural and unfamiliar stretches of Montana and taking advantage of their permissive open carry laws. While filling up at what had to be the only gas station for a hundred miles or so, this guy walked up to me, leering at my chest and generally acting like nobody I wanted in my space. I just turned, looked right at him, and calmly said, “Hi. How are you doing?” He saw that I had a pistol holstered on my hip, turned, and walked away. I looked up that area later and saw he was on the sex offender registry.

      Anyway, the two biggest differences between those encounters was that I was unarmed and ended up injured in the first one. I was armed in the second one, nobody got hurt, and I didn’t even have to scream.

    • Allen

      The problem is, law-abiding citizens aren’t immune to causing harm with their guns. This article is specifically about children getting access to guns, and most kids who kill someone with a gun do so accidentally while playing with their (law-abiding) parents’ weapons.

      I’m not in favor of banning guns completely, and I believe that some families are able to keep guns around responsibly, but I think when friends, neighbors, and innocent strangers can be killed by a law-abiding citizen’s gun, it’s more than just an issue of an individual’s right to bear arms.

      Also, the rules for responsible gun storage and the intended purpose of a lot of handguns can be at odds with each other. If you follow recommendations and keep your gun unloaded and locked up, it’s not going to be easily accessible in the case of a break-in, anyway.

    • AlbinoWino

      How exactly are further gun laws going to hurt law abiding citizens who purchase guns? How are the ones we have now hurting them? If someone goes to buy a weapon and is rejected due to a background check, that just made it substantially harder for them to get that weapon. Is it possible they may still get their hands on one? Sure, but why not make it more difficult? Also, your anecdotal evidence based on YOUR upbringing around guns is kind of irrelevant when you consider nearly 10,000 kids are killed or injured by guns in this country every year. A third of those are gun accidents. I’m guessing a lot of those kids had parents who taught them about gun safety too. Guns are deadly objects with the primary purpose to kill or injure. Of course they should be regulated.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Maybe those kids who were lost to accidental shootings would have benefitted by such an upbringing. Your guess doesn’t hold water, because frequently children killed in accidental shootings were shot because the parents themselves violated a fundamental safety rule or two and, for example, left a gun lying around with a round in the chamber. Parents uneducated on gun safety have kids uneducated on gun safety.

      Oh, and the primary purpose of my gun is to expel projectiles at inanimate objects. Secondary is to cleanly kill animals for their meat and/or pelt. Third is (if heaven forbid the need arises) discourage criminals from harming me or others.

      You don’t get to decide what the purpose of my guns is. I do. And I’ve decided that killing or injuring another person is not their purpose.

  • Katherine Handcock

    When I was in high school, Discover magazine had an article about a technology a gun company was working on that would automatically read your fingerprints when you held it. When you purchased the weapon, it would be programmed at the store. Later, the person already programmed into it could authorize adding additional sets of fingerprints (such as when purchasing a hunting weapon that more than one person in the family might use). Without the correct fingerprint input, the gun would not fire.

    I don’t know why this technology didn’t end up becoming common – given that there are fingerprint door locks available for homes now, it doesn’t seem like it would be impossible. And it seems like it would answer the majority of the problems that concern most people about guns, especially safety around kids.

    I don’t consider myself anti-gun: although I’ll admit I’m skeptical about the value of owning a handgun for protection, I think people should be free to sport target shoot, hunt, etc. But I do feel that, for young kids, gun safes and gun safety lessons are only a partial solution, and this kind of sensor would add another layer of protection.

    • Blooming_Babies

      Even today that technology is flawed, so the pro gun crowd argues that when you need it most your gun would/could fail. Plus american gun owners often think themselves invincible and infallible so why add another layer of protection.

    • Paul White

      No, I just resent the idea that the government would mandate an expensive, unproven, imperfect solution when there’s cheap and good alternatives (trigger locks, safes, etc).

    • matt30fl

      It is theoretically possible, but not practical to do. Guns are for the most part very simple mechanical devices, and as a result mechanical limits are more viable than electronic. Apart from James Bond movies I don’t think this even progressed past the drawing board stage.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Interesting…I would have thought that biometric door locks for houses would be a similar level of complexity. But I’ll freely admit that I don’t know enough to know one way or the other!

    • Paul White

      size and weight and power aren’t as important a consideration for a lock to a house.

    • Jessica Johnson

      I can’t see that as super practical for a hunting weapon. I mean, deer season starts in November and runs through January (I think), just as much of the country starts to get cold. You don’t have a whole lot of time to get a shot off usually, and fumbling with your gloves could be the difference between meat in your freezer and no meat. Plus, it isn’t like hunting is a really clean hobby. The woods are full of dirt, and usually anything that reads a fingerprint prefers a clean finger.
      I’m with you on the gun safety only being part of the solution though.

  • Lackadaisical

    No idea on what the documentary said as I am in another country but I doubt it had a warm and cosy conclusion as that wouldn’t make good television.

    If guns and gun culture worry you so much have you thought of relocating. We in the UK would welcome you and your children could go to whatever house they like as no one has guns. Your fellow mums would sympathise with you too, as guns are not something we have grown up around and not even our police have guns. That isn’t to say that we are in any way better than our American friends, we aren’t. Our violent crime still exists but is usually knife crime and gun crime is shocking in its rarity. Of course knives are easier to outrun and a dangerous killer can kill fewer people before being caught but dead is still dead no matter what the weapon.

    I really, truly do understand your concerns but that may well be because guns are something I have been raised to fear and shun as part of the culture here. I am not sure I am qualified to weigh in on a gun debate as the other side is to alien for me to grasp and do logical justice to.

  • Alicia Kiner

    I’m so torn on this gun issue. I want my kids to be safe. And this summer, my father in law (retired Army, grew up hunting and on a farm, knows his way around every type of gun out there) is going to teach at least my son (who will be 10) how to use a BB gun. Both of my children already know not to touch any gun other than their super soakers. Anywhere. We’ve been adamant about this. This morning on my Facebook page there was a picture of a baby, about 8 months old I’d guess, holding what I assume is a water pistol that looks like a real piston in her mouth, and a woman smiling, cause “It’s so freaking hilarious.” My son said the woman was stupid.

    But, crime in our area is on the rise. Every week it seems, someone’s house is getting broken into. My husband works like a truck driver and is away from home 5 days out of 7. If someone comes into my home, I want to be able to keep my kids safe. The police response time isn’t fantastic, and they keep cutting the police force. We’re working on moving out of the area, but in the mean time… what do I do. My father in law keeps offering to give me a couple of different guns, and so far I haven’t accepted, because I don’t have anyway to keep them locked up away from the kids.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Trigger locks are very inexpensive. Meanwhile, if you’re going to have any guns in the house at all, it can’t hurt to teach the kids about firearms and lay down the law about when they are allowed to handle it (under your supervision) and when they aren’t allowed to even look at it (any other time).

  • Roger

    Would Diane perform this experiment with a kitchen knife? How about toys with small parts or a plastic bag?

  • EmmaFromÉire

    Coming from a country where the only way to own a weapon is with a strenuously tested hunting permit, I think gun owners are fucking crazy. I’m sorry, there’s no way to sugar coat it. Maybe it’s because the only instance guns are used here in Ireland is to kill people, as in use guns for their intended purpose. Gangland murders, armed robberies, can’t seem them going away if guns were legal. There’s no bullshit about ”personal protection” here.

    To specifically address the stupid claims of gun control only harming ”nice law abiding citizens,” murder, arson and theft are also illegal and it’s only criminal who do it. Clearly the law hasn’t stood in the way of criminal activity, but stricter gun measures in your country could dramatically reduce the number of accidental deaths by gunfire, whether they be from misfire or mistaken identity. I’d rather see someone armed with a taser for their personal protection, then a gun. Stop someone, don’t slaughter them.

    • Lillith272

      I hear ya. I come from a country with fairly strict gun laws compared to the US (but then, which country DOESN’T have strict gun laws compared to the US?). The US is my home now but I often wish people with guns could see how batshit crazy other nations think they are.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Maybe if you had more hunting and sport shooting, you’d associate guns with that less than with violent crime.

  • mel

    there are lock boxes for guns that require a specific fingerprint to open the box. that is the only way i would let my child go to a house with gun owners.

    • Paul White

      Guess your kids won’t be at my house.
      Honest to god, secure your guns YES but there’s no reason for stupid, hard to access, failure prone stuff like those. A basic quality trigger lock cost about 10 bucks and would require significant power tools to break through (a good impact driver could probably do it).

  • Paul White

    see, this baffles me. My brother and I spent plenty of summers around my grandfathers not inconsiderable arsenal and knew damn good and well not to mess with it aroudn the age of 3-4. Mom and her sister ditto as kids

  • Lillith272

    Considering that more children die from firearm related deaths in the US each year than from cancer, the US really needs to get its priorities straight. They can’t tear-jerk everyone with PSAs about cancer and then keep the gun laws as they are.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      More people die from car crashes than from firearms-related causes. Yet instead of banning cars, we encourage safe driving.

    • Lillith272

      Cars have a real-life purpose. Getting from A to B. Guns only have one purpose. To shoot somebody or something or to make them believe you’ll shoot. There’s no reasoning when that is the sole purpose.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Baloney. A gun’s sole purpose is to expel a projectile, regardless of whether it’s fired at a person, animal, clay pigeon, tin can, or paper target.

      By your logic, because I’ve never shot or aimed at a person, all those numerous times when I have gone shooting or hunting, I’ve been using firearms in some way other than how they’re meant to be used.

      Firearms are just objects, like anything else. Their purpose is whatever we decide them to be. You don’t get to decide that my firearms are meant to commit murder when I’ve decided they’re meant for sport, hunting, and- if heaven forbid the need arises- self defence. What my firearm’s meant for is my decision to make.

    • Lillith272

      What sporting purpose is there in a hand gun? Oh right, the majority of people who own a hand gun competitively shoot with it in clubs and national competitions….pleeeeeaaaase. So let me rephrase it. The purpose of a gun is to hit a target, period.

      You need to realize that the rest of the Western industrialized world thinks America is bat shit crazy for the amount of guns we allow here and the amount of people that die from it. We shake our heads at this society, at the dead, the injured and those who have lost loved ones and cannot believe how anyone could be in so much denial and continue to allow this to happen. I am from Europe and we don’t have 15,000 people under the age of 19 get injured and killed from firearms each year. America needs to wake up and protect its children from itself and the gun crazies instead of the imaginary boogeyman that everyone thinks they need to buy guns against.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Non-competitive “plinking” or target shooting is also considered sport shooting. In fact, it is the only shooting most gun owners do, even those who own firearms for self defence.

      My sister’s been to Europe multiple times and even lived there for a year. You may not have that many people killed in gun violence, but my sister’s had things happen to her in England, France, Austria, and Greece that would not be allowed here. Also, the overall rate of violent crime in parts of Europe, the UK in particular, is higher than the violent crime rate in the US based on uniform crime statistics.

      As for “gun crazies,” they make up a pretty insignificant percentage of legal gun owners, the vast majority of whom- up to 98% of people with concealed carry permits- don’t commit any crime.

    • Lillith272

      “My sister’s been to Europe multiple times and even lived there for a
      year. You may not have that many people killed in gun violence, but my
      sister’s had things happen to her in England, France, Austria, and
      Greece that would not be allowed here.” Sorry but I can only laugh about this. To think that you can by any means compare violent crime rates in Europe with those of the US, you must be high. To Europeans, the US is a very violent, dangerous country.

      The death by gun (homicide, suicide, accidental) rate for each 100k population in the US is double of what it is in Germany, UK and France COMBINED. Alone, it’s 10 times that of Germany, 40 times that of the UK and 3 times that of France. Trust me when I say, Europeans think Americans are bat shit crazy to hold onto their guns like it’s some necessary piece of life. It isn’t. There are plenty of countries with such strict gun laws that make it hard to buy and own a gun. These countries do very well, are incredibly safe and have obviously almost zero gun related deaths.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      You must be on something yourself if you think gun crime is the only violent crime there is. My sister spoke about being harassed and stalked and having no recourse, and- as anti-American sentiment was running particularly high on on particular trip- she was afraid to even speak English in public or admit she was American while in Greece, for fear of violence against her. I have heard from people living in the UK who’ve had bricks thrown through their windows, who’ve been attacked just for how they look, or who think assaults and fistfights at pubs are just par for the course.

      Even here in the states, we can compare crime rates between areas with strict gun control and areas with more lax regulations. Some cities with lax gun regulations have high crime rates, like New Orleans. Some cities with the strictest gun control laws in the US also have very high crime rates. However, many areas with the most lax gun regulations and the highest rates of gun ownership in the US also have the lowest crime rates.

      I feel much safer walking through my own town any time of day or night than I would in London or Salzburg.

    • Lillith272

      There is no such thing as strict gun laws in the US.

      There are however in most other Western developed nations, and guess what? Their gun violence rate is a fraction of the US’s.

      I never said Europe has no crime and no violent crime. But we don’t keep guns in the house like the world is going to end, and because of that our kids don’t accidentally shoot each other or get shot by adults. Again, more kids die by accidentally getting shot (by adults, by other kids etc) in the US than of cancer. Let that sink in for second.

      And FYI, the Anti-American sentiment has a lot to do how America conducts itself internationally but also how it comes off in the news in the world. Because, you know, Europeans actually watch world news and know what’s going on in the US. As sad as that is, but outside, the US comes off as an arrogant, uneducated, militant, fundamentalist nation that owns a ridiculous amount of guns and is then surprised when so many people get shot.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Lilith, you know for a fact that that is not true. Just because no gun law in the US is “strict” by your standards (and I’d hate to see any law that makes gun ownership and legal carry more difficult than the laws in California, for example, or New York) does not mean that there are no parts of the US with stricter gun laws than others.

      And here, in a much larger nation with extreme socio-economic diversity and thousands of miles of relatively unsecured border- including a border with a nation that’s pretty much fallen into anarchy, it would be absolutely crazy to assume that what works in Europe, in smaller first world nations bordered only by water and other first world nations.

      Gun laws in Washington DC don’t work all that well for Washington DC. They sure as all get out aren’t going to do anything for, say, Cody, Wyoming, or Mud Lake, Idaho except piss off people who are careful with their firearms, teach their kids to to the same, and don’t commit murder anyway.

      There is also a lengthy history in the US linking gun control with racism- mostly against African Americans and indigenous peoples. There is a reason why most Native Americans oppose gun control. They’ve been down that road before, and found that, far from protecting anyone from being shot, it only made them easier targets for those who’ve been allowed to keep their guns.

    • Lillith272

      You may want to check your geography. Europe borders on a lot of nations that are not considered first world. Currently, there are 30,000 refugees waiting at the border to Spain to enter. But most European countries enforce strict laws when it comes to gun purchases and ownership, whereas in America, pretty much anyone can walk into a Walmart and buy a gun and ammo.

      To say that stricter laws wouldn’t work in the US because America is oh so special is just an excuse. It has worked in other countries.

      It’s the media fueled paranoia that makes people here think they need these guns. No ordinary person needs a gun in their house. The media and the NRA are the only ones making everyone think that. It’s a natural human reaction to think that if they hear about crime on the news, they need to buy a gun to protect themselves. What they’re missing out on is that it dramatically increases the likelihood of getting accidentally shot by someone close to them. As a nation, the US needs to overcome these short sighted reactions.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      I’m not counting aquatic boundaries. I mean, I highly doubt these refugees pouring into Spain are Portuguese or French.

      And have you ever tried to purchase a gun in the US? If not, how would you know how easy it is (or as is really the case, is not) to purchase a firearm in the US if you haven’t tried?

      And, um, actually, where I live, hunters, farmers, and sport shooters are “ordinary people.”

      Some people I know who have firearms for self-protection include people who live or travel through remote areas where timely police response may be impossible and the physically disabled who cannot rely on hand to hand combat for self defence. I also consider them “ordinary people.”

      The likelihood of accidental shooting also declines with thorough firearm education- as accidental shootings tend to happen among people who’ve had very little to no education regarding firearm safety.

      Still, having anything in the house dramatically increases your risk of being hurt or killed by it. But in that respect, a gun is not much different than anything else people might have in the home. People who have swimming pools or even bathtubs are at greater risk of drowning than those who don’t have them. People who have gas furnaces are more likely to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning. And people who drive cars cause a lot more death and injury via automobile than people who don’t drive. (They also cause more death and injury than gun owners, especially legal gun owners.)

    • Lillith272

      Europe has plenty of land borders to countries with questionable crime statistics, and is getting flooded by refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet countries, the Middle East and Africa. The 30,000 African refugees that are trying to get into Spain are doing so at the Spanish enclave Melilla on the African continent btw. That doesn’t mean the Spanish run down the gun stores and arm themselves like a paranoid bunch. And surprise, Spain has a pretty strict gun law and 1/16 of the gun deaths per 100k people of the US.

      I sure as hell have never tried to buy a firearm. I stay away from them as far as I can. I don’t surround myself with people who own firearms and do not enter houses of those who do, it’s pretty simple.

      I know this is hard for you to understand, but this is not how normal people in the rest of the world lead their lives. This is a VERY American thing. And I am not talking about the hunters here. There are plenty of hunters and shooting clubs in my home country, too. It’s how easy America makes it for everyone to have them and how they install fear in people’s minds to make them think they need them.

      There’s a reason Europeans consider American “gun waving crazies” half the time.
      I strongly recommend you check out what the world is like on the other side of the fence.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      So if you’ve never tried to buy a firearm in the US, you have no way of knowing for yourself how difficult it can be. I live in a state with some of the most lax gun laws in the nation. I still had to fill out whole stacks of paperwork about my personal history, my reasons for purchasing a firearm, et cetera, for my most recent purchase. Because I already had a background check on file due to my line of work, I didn’t have to wait quite as long as others might have to to make my purchase. It still took a long time, and I’ve found it much easier to purchase a car. So tell me what else you know about how “easy” it is to purchase a firearm from your nonexistent experience.

      And if you don’t surround yourself with gun owners or go to anyone’s houses if they own guns, what do you do? Ask everyone you meet if they own guns before even saying hello to them? I bet you don’t travel much within the US and probably haven’t seen any of it outside of your socio-political comfort zone.

    • Lillith272

      Once you pass the background check in the US, there is no license or registration required on the federal level for a hand gun, for example. There are some state laws but certainly not all. Even myself as a non US-Citizen can buy one with an alien firearm license, unless a specific state law prohibits it.

      In Germany, you need to first obtain one of three types of firearm licenses, for each of which you need to fit a set of criteria. With the basic license you can own a firearm but not shoot it, sell or buy one. It’s for people who, for example inherited one. The next two licenses require you to be a member in a recognized shooting shooting club or have a hunting license. These allow you to buy a firearm. If you neglect your competitive shooting in the club, you will lose your license to own your firearms. Necessity is the key word. Each firearm you want to own has to go through a separate registration and approval process, based on that necessity.

      If you want to actually carry your firearm and shoot it, you need a separate permit. For these you have to pass a mandatory legal and safety class, plus shooting proficiency test. Carry permits are given out per need basis.
      All ownership licenses require you to also have mandatory insurance.

      That’s a real gun law. Filling out a piece of paper for a background check is not.

      And yes, if I find out a friend owns firearms, I don’t go to their house. I’ve walked out of a house before because the acquaintance turned out to be a gun-waving crazy who thought he could impress his friends by showing off his gun.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Here’s the thing. Laws forcing common sense on people are for people who are willing to relinquish all common sense decisions to the government.

      Have you ever travelled to states like Vermont, Maine, Wyoming, or Idaho- states that boast both extremely lax gun laws, very high gun ownership rates, and some of the lowest crime rates in the country? Probably not. You’re likely too scared of all the “gun waving crazies” who, in fact, are mostly very level-headed and don’t go waving guns around. An essential part of gun culture in areas like those is universal gun education. It’s universal insofar as it’s the social norm but is not required of everyone by law. Furthermore, when I see six year old children demonstrating better barrel control and trigger discipline than a California gun control advocate who, in an effort to prove how “scary” guns are, swept an entire crowd with a rifle’s barrel, I know that the only thing scary about the gun is the person holding it. It also proves that some of the people least educated on firearms are the ones pushing hardest for gun control.

      And if you think everyone with a gun in their house is a “gun-waving crazy,” you’ve got a bit of a bigotted, judgemental attitude problem and need to get over it.

      FYI, while I enjoy recreational target shooting, I hate competition. Would Germany force me to compete just so I can shoot tin cans? To me, that’s like saying nobody can run unless they do competitive track or cross-country.

    • Lillith272

      Yes, if you want to carry and shoot the gun, you’ll need to be an active member in a club. People don’t just shoot stuff in their backyards in Germany.

      In my entire life in Germany I have never met anyone who owned a gun, so I also never had to face the dilemma of walking into someone’s house with a firearm present. Only in the US is this a topic for me. Americans only have so many guns because they can.

      “Laws forcing common sense on people are for people who are willing to
      relinquish all common sense decisions to the government.”

      Clearly the common sense you speak of is not available in America, otherwise you wouldn’t have more children dead at the hand of guns than from cancer,
      which was my whole point in the first place. And that is based on data from only a handful of states. Most states do not make death records publicly available so the number is likely so much higher. So what would really be common sense is to accept where people need the government to step in and regulate things.

      America’s fear of government regulation is a whole different story. Nobody here should be surprised by their
      dead and injured children when you don’t let the government regulate something that so obviously needs regulation and that most other developed Western
      nations have implemented. But hey, at least we can all be freeeeeeeeee here. Free to have our kids get shot by other kids on playdates because their parents
      decided that, despite a 4 times higher likelihood of being unintentionally shot by their own gun in their own house, they absolutely needed to have one.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      People don’t usually shoot stuff in their back yards in the US, either. Not only is it against the law, but it’s against all common sense safety measures to shoot any projectile (even an arrow) within a town or city or anywhere somebody’s likely to be within range except if necessary for self defence.

      But yes, it is an infringement upon my rights if, in order to be allowed to shoot recreationally, I’m forced against my will to compete. Do you make archers do that, too? (It would only be logically consistent, given that the purpose of a bow is pretty much the same as for a gun- to forcibly expel a projectile.)

      You are again failing to consider the vast differences in rates of deaths involving guns among different states. Many states where gun ownership is the norm and gun education is everywhere rather than just limited to special classes have lower crime rates and lower rates of accidental shootings. Most states actually do make their rates of shooting deaths public, too, as well as their suicide rates, violent crime rates, and preferred weapons.

      You have basically admitted your complete ignorance regarding firearms, and you’re simply scared of something you’ve never seen outside of movies and don’t understand. I’d invite you out for target shooting and teach you about everything from keeping your finger off the trigger and keeping the barrel away from people, to how to check to make sure the chamber is empty (the three most ridiculously easy ways to avoid accidental shootings, so easy even a child could do it if taught), but I’m concerned that your fear might make you sick.

    • Lillith272

      Of course I am ignorant regarding firearms, they’re weapons. I am not interested in weapons. How does that make me unable to comment on the dangers and societal implications of them? That’s like saying, you can’t talk about the dangers of heroin and crack because you’ve never tried out heroin or crack. See the fallacy there?
      And you have outed yourself as the typical gun-loving, 1st amendment-waving American, who cannot comprehend what life is like out side of a society where children accidentally kill themselves with guns.

      btw, your theory about teaching children gun safety has been scientifically disproved. Basically, kids repeat everything well verbally and in staged situations but when you test their skills in real-life, the overwhelming majority acted dangerously around the guns as if they’d never taken the course. So the safety courses are fairly useless in preventing injuries/deaths in kids.
      You can look up the study at the US National Library of Medicine
      National Institutes of Health.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      You know nothing of my background. For starters, I have lived and travelled extensively outside my comfort zone. I grew up in California, home of strict gun control and high crime. I’ve travelled in Mexico, home of very strict gun control laws and a law-abiding citizenry that consequently is helpless against the criminals riding roughshod over their country. I’ve also travelled all over the United States, researched the many different gun laws in each as well as their crime rates. You, on the other hand, are under the misguided impression that gun laws are all the same all over the country- which will never happen, as you’ll never get a nationwide consensus on gun control. What might seem sensible to someone in suburban Connecticut would pose an outrageous burden on people in rural Montana or South Dakota. And what seems like a sensible collection for a rural hunting family in Idaho will sound like a total arsenal to someone in New York city who’s never seen a gun outside of movies and crime scenes.

      Your comparison of learning about guns to trying heroin falls apart completely because, in your case, it’s clear where you are speaking not from an educated standpoint, but from irrational fear and ignorance. You are furthermore refusing to listen to someone who has had a lifetime of experience around guns and- like the vast majority of American gun owners- never shot anyone and never was shot.

      Listen to me. I own guns. My husband and I are trained with them, and we’ve been teaching my kids on safe handling and proper respect for firearms as things that are very dangerous when handled wrong. We’ve also given them opportunities to “test their skills in real life” by taking them hunting.

      You’ve got nothing but your fear, ignorance, propaganda, and pop culture myths about guns. In my opinion, nobody’s qualified to talk about gun control if they don’t know basics like trigger discipline and barrel control.

    • Lillith272

      I just don’t get it – why are you defending GUNS? It’s GUNS! I could understand if you were doing this for anything else, but GUNS!!!! You’re defending something something that you think is perfectly normal to own, and by your upbringing in America, you think have some kind of magical right to own them.

      What you don’t see is how ludicrous the idea of holding on so desperately to something so pointless, useless and destructive really is to someone who is not in the US. Most of the Western developed nations have understood this quite obviously. And yet, America, because of people like you, are holding to something that is simply absolutely not worth holding onto.

      And btw, it is completely irrelevant what specific gun laws exist in different states. The fact is that the majority of states do not require a license, and that’s all you really need to know. That plus that more kids die of firearm injuries than of cancer in the US.

      As I said above, there is no such thing as true gun safety around children. I honestly hope you are never put into such a situation but the studies on this are pretty obvious. You cannot teach kids safe behavior, and most parents are blissfully unaware that their children have long found the key or combination to the gun safe. I cracked the lock to my parents normal safe when I was 5 and so do most other kids.

      It is completely irrelevant that you as an individual have had nothing but positive experiences with guns. I know people who’ve had very positive experiences with mind-altering drugs. That doesn’t make it safe or OK for the rest of society. To insist on having this “freedom” and defy government regulation is nothing but a selfish act that disregards the rest of society, which clearly isn’t doing so well.

      Again, America, lots of guns with no regulation. America, lots of dead kids by firearm injuries. Other developed countries, not a lot of guns and lots of regulation. Other developed countries, very few kids dead by firearm injuries.

      It’s not rocket science.

      If the US made it harder to own guns, carry guns, buy and sell guns, that still wouldn’t keep you gun lovers from shootin’ things up in your backyards. So what really is your problem? Is getting a license and registering the guns really that much to ask of you?

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Because guns are not pointless and useless to me. I also hang on to my guns the same way I hang on to all my other private property- because anybody taking anything of mine against my will is a thief and a criminal. Furthermore, forced registration of firearms has always been a precursor to legalizing gun theft- as is happening in Connecticut- or unconscionable breaches in privacy, such as when a New York newspaper got a hold of- and published- gun license and registry records, including publishing the addresses of women hiding from abusive ex-spouses.

      Furthermore, if it’s impossible to teach kids safe behavior, why does anyone bother to teach kids to wear helmets when riding bicycles, look both ways before crossing the street, or wear seat belts when in a car?

      And because you keep bringing up the fact that guns kill more kids than cancer does, I feel a need to mention how blatantly obvious the attempted scare tactic is. For one thing, childhood cancer, as tragic as it is, is also extremely rare. Do you know what causes more childhood deaths than cancer? Perinatal conditions, congenital abnormalities, and motor vehicle collisions. Accidental shooting ranks below all those and respiratory, circulatory, and nervous system disease, drowning, burning, poisoning, and suffocation/strangulation.

      Deliberate homicide of children poses a big problem, but given the thousands of those that do not involve firearms at all, that’s not a problem gun control will solve.

    • Lillith272

      We’re never going to agree on this topic. I can just hope that you will take this as an opportunity to look beyond the US border and try to see how bat shit crazy your attitude seems to the rest of the world.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      And I hope you look to all the parts of the US you haven’t seen and learn a thing or two about guns and the various gun cultures we have so you can actually form an educated opinion instead of leaning so hard on propaganda and scare tactics.

    • Lillith272

      I wouldn’t call something that is proven to work in other countries propaganda a scare tactics.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Parroting over and over that guns are involved in more childhood deaths than cancer while ignoring all of the many other things that also cause more childhood death than cancer is a scare tactic.

      As for what “works” in other countries, that’s up for debate. Gun control certainly has not lowered the violent crime rate in the UK, which is, according to uniform crime statistics, much more violent than the US. Furthermore, gun control in the US has a proven link to racism, classism, and other forms of oppression. Even in other countries, gun control has a bad enough history that nobody who cares about liberty should ever overlook. Strict gun control has always been less about protecting the people than about keeping guns away from ethnic and religious minorities and from political dissidents. Do not pretend that that never happened in Germany. I remember all the reasons my grandfather defected.

    • Lillith272

      There are about 6 firearms per 100 people in the UK versus 101 firearms per 100 people in the US. These are all privately owned firearms. The total number of firearm related deaths in the UK is 146 in 2011 versus 32,000 in the US. If you break that down per 100k people, that’s a rate of 0.23 in the UK versus 10.3 in the US. Meaning 44 times more people per 100,000 die of firearm related deaths in the US than in the UK. So what exactly was your point about the UK?

      I didn’t expect you to be able to distinguish pre-1945 Germany from
      post-1945 Germany, don’t worry. I know Americans are often raised to and
      like to think that only in America you’re free. Canada, UK, France, England, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, we’re all free there..we laugh about this. Some liberties are just like picking your nose in public, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. These are all perfectly free countries, some of them even have universal healthcare, go figure. Americans are raised with a distorted view of freedom.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      i can distinguish between pre WW2 and post WW2 Germany well enough, but it also seems I’m better than you are at learning from history and trying to avoid repeating mistakes. WW2 is just an example. There’s also been the gun confiscations during the Irish Civil War, the scary ease with which the Ukraine’s being invaded, the way drug cartels get away with terrorizing a disarmed public in Mexico, and the US’s own history, passing gun control not for safety, but to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans and Native Americans.

      And how like a gun control fanatic to only count rates of firearm-related death as violent crime. A rate of low gun-related crime is not a low crime rate. A low crime rate means a low rate of all crime- including homicides with weapons other than firearms, rape, assaults, “hot” home invasions (in which the victims are at home), and other crimes. According to uniform crime statistics, the UK indeed has a higher rate of violent crime than the US.

    • Lillith272

      Who cares about other crimes? This is about firearm related deaths. I care about people dying because of an excessive amount of guns being easily accessible within a population. That is the case in the US and the US has a staggering firearm related death rate, compared to the UK, which has a fraction of that death rate and has stricter gun laws and fraction of the amount of firearms per capita. btw, violent crimes, crime overall and homicides have been on the decline in the UK. I highly recommend the UK Peace Index study, which notes:

      “Homicides as a proportion of total violent crimes are almost 10 times higher in the US than in the UK. Access to guns in the US contributes to the high percentage of homicides by firearms, where two out of three homicides are caused by guns. On the other hand, only one in 13 homicides are caused by firearms in the UK.”

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Who cares about other crimes? What a repulsive thing to post. For one thing, I care. I’m not just interested in keeping people from getting killed, I’m interested in protecting my family from all other crimes. I’m interested in preventing home invasions (which are more common in the UK).

    • Gangle

      Valerie, the sole reason guns were ever invented in the first place was to kill humans. Not hunting. Not for sporting events. Not to bake a cake. But to kill. A gun works by expelling a projectile. But the guns sole purpose was and is to kill. This does not make target shooting wrong, or hunting wrong. But it is good to remember that guns were created with the intent purpose of killing. This is why I don’t believe citizens need to carry loaded weapons, or keep loaded weapons around the house. Basically if you are not hunting or at a target shooting range there is no earthly reason why you need a gun or to have one loaded and out of its safe.

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