Kids Do The Darndest Things With Guns
These days, our youth have at their fingertips access to information that we could only have dreamed of in our younger days. What they do with that knowledge when it comes to guns is the key.
The Right Thing
In North Port, Florida, two young boys playing in the woods behind their house stumbled across something they thought to be very interesting. Instead of fooling with it, as young boys are oft to do, they left it alone, high-tailed it home. The two kids, Landon Fafard, 9, and Eric Dart, 7, told adults.
"I was like: 'We should go back and tell our parents,' " Eric said.
They immediately ran back to Eric's home, where adults were gathered after his brother's birthday party. Landon told his father, Glen Rockwell, that they found a rusty machine gun.
Their parents were skeptical at first - the boys were probably being silly or had spotted a toy gun or an old BB gun - but Rockwell followed them back into the woods.
Upon closer inspection, the father found an Olympic Arms AR-15 with a partially loaded magazine inserted. After an accidental discharge in which gratefully no one was hurt, the adult unloaded the rifle and made it safe. The local police took custody of the rifle and a laptop found near it.
The Wrong Thing
In New Haven, Connecticut last month, three juvenile delinquents were arrested after a series of weekend robberies. To make matters worse, when apprehended (no one ever-said juvenile delinquents were master criminals) one was armed with improvised zip gun. This in turn led to the arrest of a fourth juvenile who was a well-known local neighborhood arms dealer. His daily specials were homemade pistols.
Hobbled together from hardware store bits and pieces, most of these are disposable as they are destroyed the first time they are shot. Further, they are often more dangerous for the user than the intended target. The guns in this case, judging from the picture above, seem to be made from pieces of plumbing pipe, cardboard, duct tape, and a spring that apparently provides tension to a striker. Zip guns are weapons of last resort made by desperate people in desperate times. The New Haven juvie arms dealer more likely did this for fun and profit. According to police, he sold at least a dozen of these guns to other disaffected youth.
This is why it's important to actually be a parent. If you abandon your kids to the internet and the cable-TV machine, the amount of information just two or three clicks away can get them in incredible danger. Be involved. Be a part of your kid's life. Teach them a set of values that you hold dear and explain to them their importance. Guns are tools, not something inherently good or evil. It is how they use them and how they think of them that matters. Teach your kids that if they find a gun, don't fool with it and get an adult. If they want a gun, take them to a shooting range or hunting.
With a little luck and some good firearms safety education, we can all be in a better world. For the lack of a parent teaching right and wrong, we can lose it.