Express Yourself

About anything and everything on the planet

January 7, 2009

4 year old boy shoots his babysitter in Ohio

Yahoo News reported today that a 4-year-old boy in Ohio shot his babysitter in the arm and the side, when the babysitter accidentally stepped on his foot. In addition to the 18-year-old babysitter, Nathan Beavers, another teen in the home at the time also suffered injuries related to this incident. The 4-year-old boy was also taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.

There is much to this story that I, a fiercely anti-gun individual, find confusing and saddening. Let’s break down this story, piece by piece, to see exactly where everything has gone wrong; let’s start with the gun. The gun in question has been identified by police as a shotgun, kept in the closet home, and apparently loaded at the time of the incident. My first question is always, “Why do you need a gun in your home?” A shotgun is, supposedly, a weapon designed for hunting. If the owners are actual hunters, why is their shotgun inside the home, in a closet, rather than stored properly with the rest of their hunting gear? What are they hoping to hunt inside the home that necessitates storing it in the closet?

Besides hunting, why do people keep guns in their home? The usual answer seems to be protection; protection from what, exactly, is not clear. It seems to me that if you are A) living your life such a manner that you require protection in the form of a firearm, then, you should probably find yourself a new lifestyle; the other issue might be B) you live in an area where such protection is necessary; perhaps you might consider moving to another area?

Moving on to the next issue, which is storage. Are there not laws regarding the proper storage of firearms? Is a closet in a home considered proper, safe storage for a firearm? Particularly, a firearm in a home in which there is a 4-year-old child? Forgive me, but it seems to be extremely negligent parenting. If these parents owned the gun as hunters, then they should know better. If these parents owned the gun to protect themselves and, ostensibly, their child, then why would they put their child in harms way by keeping it in a closet where the child could easily reach it?

The third issue is usage: Why does a 4-year-old child have the knowledge required to handle a shotgun? As someone who has never in her entire life even touched a shotgun, I can’t be 100% sure about how much skill is truly involved in firing a shotgun. However, it seems to me that if he were able to use a gun, with enough accuracy to wound at least one person, in two places, it’s probably because he has been exposed to its usage visually, if not already been taught how to use it.

The fourth and perhaps most disturbing issue: Why is a gun a 4-year-old’s way of solving their problem? How does a 4-year-old make that kind of decision? It says a lot about the kind of values being instilled in a child when their problem-solving skills involve a firearm. It also says a lot, I think, about the greater picture of our society; we are living in a society that looks to guns to solve our issues, and we are passing on this belief to our children.

Hunter-parents may argue that they have the right to teach their children the so-called culture of the gun, and protector-parents may argue that they have the right to protect what is theirs; Nathan Beavers, recovering from gunshot wounds, might argue otherwise. Nathan Beavers, in fact, might argue that it’s time guns were taken out of the homes altogether, so another incident like this can be avoided. I, of the staunchly-anti-gun opinion, am completely fed up with these kinds of stories. Please, no more guns.

Similar Posts:

Post a Comment