Parents have responsibility to teach children, keep them safe


ebs

A man known as Ebbs, from the website HausofGuns.com has come under fire for a video he shared on YouTube teaching his daughter how to responsibly handle her Crickett .22 rifle. Unfortunately he does a good job keeping the experience safe and fun for her, but anti-gun viewers aren’t impressed. See the video by clicking here.

Chris and Stephanie Sparks.

If you must point fingers and find someone to blame for the tragedy last week in which a 5-year-old boy accidently shot his 2-year-old sister in the chest, then let’s not beat around the bush. Blame, for those who must place it somewhere, should fall at the feet of the parents.

And that seems so cold to say this close to the gut-wrenching event. The parents are grieving. The extended family and close friend and neighbors within the tiny rural Kentucky community are still trying to find the strength to cope with such a tough situation. It just seems unfair to pile the blame onto two parents who obviously never wanted anything like this to happen.

But then again, it is so much more unfair to heap the blame on others — like Keystone Sporting Arms manufactured right here in central Pennsylvania.

The company produced the youth-model gun that was involved in the tragedy. In fact, it manufactures a large line of youth-sized firearms. An estimated 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles were made by Keystone Sporting Arms in 2008. Safety and quality are at the core of each gun they produce.

More than 70 hard-working individuals leave their families each day to help Keystone Sporting Arms make high-quality firearms. They take pride in the product they build.

And yet they find their company and themselves at the core of a raging national debate on children and guns. According to an attorney, Keystone Sporting Arms has even received threats.

But blaming Keystone Sporting Arms for the tragedy is as ludicrous as chastising Chevrolet if a child gets hurt in a vehicle-related accident or Planters if someone chokes on a peanut. The next time a child accidently burns down a house with a pack of matches, should we vilify the match company, threaten its workers and institute new legislation on match use in the home?

It would be different if the accident was caused by a manufacturer’s defect — but that wasn’t the case. The Sparks family had guns sitting out. The youth rifle in question was allegedly propped up in a corner next to a BB gun. The parents didn’t realize there was a round in the chamber.

Are you kidding?

In our house, there are young children. In our house, all guns are locked up, including a BB gun and a paintball gun. Ammunition is secured up in a separate part of the house. Every gun is checked thoroughly before being put away so there is never a live round still inside.

We also emphasize at a very young age the fundamentals of gun safety — even to a point where we don’t allow the girls to point toy guns at each other or other people. When we do practice with the BB gun, an adult is right there, focusing totally on safe gun procedures.

The early start and repetition are essential in making sure kids develop a proper respect for guns. Yes, we can control what happens in our house, but if one of my girls goes to a friend’s place, there is no guarantee they won’t come across a gun. I want them educated as much as possible no matter what situation may arise.

In a recent story about the Sparks’ tragedy, a pediatrician states: “They’re children and you can’t expect them to know the ramifications of the simple act of pulling a trigger.”

I couldn’t agree more. Children also don’t understand the ramifications of playing with steak knives or a pack of matches. That is why responsible parents keep dangerous items in a safe place.
However, the same pediatrician suggests a need for more gun control.

Really?

How exactly would that have changed things? Are we going to pass legislation dictating an age limit for firearms? How exactly would that be enforced? Eliminate youth-model firearms? What would have happened if the same family had an adult-sized rifle or shotgun sitting in the same corner? What would we use to properly teach children proper gun safety?

As is the case with every gun-related incident, it is the person pulling the trigger who makes the ultimate decision on when and where the gun will be fired. In cases where the trigger-puller is too young to make life-and-death choices, a parent must be there to supervise or properly lock up firearms and ammunition.

Ultimately, this tragedy illustrates that we don’t need more gun control — but we could definitely use some more parental control.

~ by zaktansky on May 4, 2013.

One Response to “Parents have responsibility to teach children, keep them safe”

  1. […] Ebbs from Haus of Guns shows his daughter the safe way to handle a firearm, utilizing a Crickett youth-model rifle. This video was under a lot of fire by anti-gun groups after an accidental shooting death recently. My opinions on this topic can be found here: http://zaktansky.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/parents-have-responsibility-to-teach-children-keep-them-sa… […]

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