As More Kids Die, Handguns Still a Bigger Threat Than Assault Rifles
As kids’ death toll mounts, handguns are still a greater threat than assault rifles, says Michael Daly.
Here are some numbers from the continuing gun insanity:
Three youngsters only 4 years old were involved in fatal shootings in just 10 days.
In the first incident, a 4-year-old shot a 58-year-old man to death.
In the second, a 4-year-old was shot to death by a 6-year-old.
In the third, a 4-year-old apparently shot himself to death while riding in a car with his father.
During that same period, a 6-year-old in Cleveland accidentally shot and killed herself.
Back in December, a 4-year-old in Minneapolis shot and killed a 2-year-old.
And a 3-year-old in Guthrie, Okla., fatally shot himself with a gun he came upon in the home of his police officer uncle.
And a 2-year-old shot and killed himself with a gun left on a table in Conway, S.C.
The more recent kiddie carnage began on Jan. 13 in Richmond, Va., when a 4-year-old picked up a handgun that had been left out on a table. A relative, 58-year-old Casper Jones, instructed the youngster to put the gun down. The youngster apparently thought the gun was a toy and responded as a TV tough guy might when told to drop it. He pointed the muzzle at Jones and pulled the trigger, shooting him in the head with a fatally real bullet.
On Jan. 22, in Kansas City, a 6-year-old decided to play with a revolver he discovered in the pocket of a jacket left hanging on a chair. His sister, Trinity Ross, three days past her fourth birthday, fell with a fatal head wound.
The next day, Jan. 23, 4-year-old Jamarcus Allen was killed while being driven by his father, the bullet exiting his head and passing through the car’s roof. The father had apparently stashed the 9mm automatic in the car after his wife ordered him to remove it from the house some months before. Her older son had come to her with the gun, saying Jamarcus had been playing with it, apparently after finding its hiding place in a bathroom wall.
“Jamarcus was a child, he liked guns,” the mother, Jamella Allen, was quoted as saying. “But he didn’t know it was real.”
The mother was also quoted as saying, “He would say, ‘I love you, Mommy,’ all the time. He was a fun-loving little boy and now he’s gone.”
The father was being held on a charge of involuntary manslaughter as family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil in the youngster’s memory on Sunday. Jamarcus’s other passions included animals, and somebody had set a stuffed one in the snow along with some balloons. His uncle, Leonard Younger, hoped aloud that the tragedy would lead people to renounce guns.
“Let God be your weapon,” he reportedly told the mourners.
The weapons in all the kiddie carnage were handguns, which remain a far greater threat than assault rifles. That despite the notoriety assault rifles received after the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., and the murder of 20 children at one time in Newtown, Conn.
“We don’t want them on the streets, make no mistake about it,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said of assault rifles on Face the Nation over the weekend. “But the problem is the handgun.”
Kelly and his cops continue to make New York the safest big city in America, in significant part by aggressively enforcing the nation’s toughest gun laws. The perpetual problem is the ease with which criminals obtain guns in more lax states and smuggle them into New York.
“We simply have too many of them,” Kelly noted.
Meanwhile, here are some other numbers, these from our president’s hometown:
A Chicago woman named Shirley Chambers has now lost four children to gunfire, the fourth also being her last.
Her 18-year-old son, Carlos, was shot to death in 1995.
Her 15-year-old daughter, LaToya, was shot to death by a 13-year-old in 2000.
Her 18-year-old son, Jerome, was shot to death by a 16-year-old three months later.
“They say you can’t outrun death, but I can try to dodge it,” her sole surviving child, Ronnie, was quoted saying back then.
On Saturday, 33-year-old Ronnie was shot to death. He had tattoos in memory of the sister and two brothers who were murdered before him. He will be buried alongside them, and friends say the mother will now be bringing four bouquets when she visits the cemetery.
Add that number to the math of our damnation.