In a week of things that only happen with guns and in America, add yet another to the list.
In Rock Hill, South Carolina, Americans’ propensity for leaving semi-hidden deadly weaponry around like it’s a Hanukkah present allowed a 2-year-old to grab a .357 revolver and shoot his grandmother in the back.
The toddler’s great-aunt was taking him for a ride in her car, and naturally there was a revolver in the back pouch of the seat in front of him, where he could reach it and shoot his grandmother, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
“There could be some child neglect or some unlawful conduct towards a child charges based on the age of the child and leaving the gun within reaching distance of a young minor,” said Rock Hill Police Chief Mark Bollinger.
The operative phrase is “could be.” If the grandmother or great-aunt had put the toddler in the back without a car seat, you can bet your ass there’d be charges. If they’d put a shot of whiskey in front of him, same deal. Or if they hadn’t fed him or left him in a hot car, or perhaps, if he were five years older, just let him walk less than half a mile to a playground.
But a gun within reach, nah. Not in the America where we’re electing cast members from Buckwild to represent us in Congress. Tea Party ignoramuses think a gun fetish is just a lifestyle choice and National Rifle Association (NRA) bullshit and legalistic bribes are tantamount to Solomonic judgments.
For here again, as with the campus shootings in Oregon, Texas, and Arizona, or the execution of a reporter on live television in Roanoke, Virginia, the NRA is clearly culpable. It has lobbied against every attempt to require that guns be stored with safety locks and told parents not to use them. It fights against the requirement or even existence on the market of smart gun technology that would allow only the owner of the weapon to use it. It has fought mandated training and the kind of personal liability insurance requirement that tends to make people more careful with their deadly weaponry.
No, the NRA pushes on kids its inane Eddie the Eagle, a cartoon character who’s supposed to convince children to get an adult when they see a gun. It’s been proven to work about as well as telling Ted Nugent to bathe. There’s a reason these things don’t happen in other high-income countries, nations not saddled with this group of misanthropic, evolutionary-scale losers operating out of the congressional offices of the vast majority of members of one of our two major parties.
Speaking of this, I have been impressed by President Obama’s reaction to the recent shootings, his righteous anger at those willfully endangering our children. But using everything at your disposal really means using everything at your disposal. So why, then, would his Justice Department award a $2.4 million grant to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s official lobby, which in a cruel twist of irony is located in Newtown, Connecticut?
Handing out gun locks and teaching safety is an obvious good. But can’t you find people better to do it than the yahoos who exist near Sandy Hook and still lobbied against every reform that could have saved kids’ lives after a massacre in their own damn town? Is it possible to be more terrible human beings (I use that term loosely)?
There’s a battle raging. And the NRA is on the wrong side of it, and history as well. It will be demographically extinct within a decade to a decade and a half. But a lot of innocent people can die in that timespan, and it seems determined to make as many as possible pay the price for its ignorance and avarice.
Kids shooting their family members in cars is patently ridiculous, and preventable. It’s just another symptom of a society sick with the NRA virus. We’ve started to get better, as gun owners increasingly realize the NRA leadership is a bunch of batshit nutters and break away to do their own thing. But clearly it’s no time to let up now.