Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It could have been SO much worse



When my daughter was in her infant and toddler years, her father and I lived basically in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by woods and a wonky, practically straight down hill that had a twisting road cut through the middle of it. There was a lot of wildlife. You could watch whole groups of animals cross that road if you were quiet and sat in just the right spot. There were bears, wolves, even a panther that stayed on top of that hill and screamed like a murder victim in the middle of the night. I thought they were beautiful creatures but I’m no fool, they were dangerous too.

So we kept guns. I loathe guns. I grew up with military parents and was made to learn how to shoot. Our father would take us out to our Uncle Alfred’s ranch and set up targets and we’d all take a turn. If we didn’t do well, we’d take three or four turns. Perfection was a big thing in my family growing up. But I learned and I can handle a gun if it’s required of me.

There were many weeks that I sat alone in that log cabin with a young baby as my only company. I had to protect her as much as I had to protect myself. So the guns were there. Luckily I never had to shoot anything although one time I did fire it into the air because a brown bear was on the hill directly next to the house. I could see it out the kitchen window! And I really didn’t want it to get comfortable there.

I don’t consider myself anti-gun even though I hate them. I believe there are times that a gun is the only answer. And I don’t consider myself pro-gun either. I’d rather not have one in my house and do not have one now that I live somewhere that all the animals are either in peoples houses or behind cages in the zoo.

I saw in the news where a four year old in Ohio shot his 18 year old babysitter because he stepped on his foot. The fact that he shot someone out of anger at four years old is a whole different story but for him to be able to get to a gun and actually shoot someone is shocking. Why wasn’t it locked up? We always kept the guns in a gun cabinet behind bulletproof glass (yes, I know) and two locks with the keys being kept in different very out of reach places. I just can’t imagine leaving open access to a weapon that causes death to any child of any age but especially with a four year old in the house.

They said in the story that no charges were being filed against the four year old. Well duh is all I can think of to say. At least in the video they suggested that the parents may be charged with something. Negligence maybe? I would think so. I know I’m not perfect, far from it actually. But I also know not to leave a gun sitting around LOADED just waiting for the accident that’s sure to follow. I’m glad the babysitter is ok and I hope these parents have learned a valuable lesson.

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