Cleveland, Ohio Police Chief Calvin Williams is pushing for gun control after a 3-year-old boy picked up an unattended handgun and shot a 1-year-old boy in the face, killing him.
“It’s a sad day for Cleveland,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters outside the home later Sunday. “Everybody has to know that this fascination we have with handguns, not just in this city but in this country, has to stop.”
“This is a senseless loss of life in this city again,” he added, “and it’s directly related to guns, and we need to really take a hard look at the things that we’re doing out there on the state, local and the national level to get these guns out of our communities. Nothing good ever happens.”
We understand Chief Williams’ frustration. There are senseless deaths that occur nearly everyday in this nation because people act stupidly, and in many instances, those who acted recklessly and dangerously aren’t the ones that are injured or killed as a result of their actions. In this particular incident, someone placed a loaded handgun at a level where toddlers in the residence could access it. One did, and shot the other one. It’s a horrible tragedy, and we sincerely hope that the person who left the weapon out is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There should never be this kind of negligent discharge, where children are left unattended with access to firearms. If you are going to own firearms, you have a legal and moral responsibility to control access to them. Period.
Key-accessed handgun safes can be had for less than $20. Fast-opening push-button handgun safes can be had for roughly the same cost as two boxes of premium defensive ammunition. A key-opened long-gun storage cabinet can be found almost anywhere for $100, sometimes less. While none of these will stop a criminal, they will keep firearms out of the hands of small children.
But while we understand Chief Williams’ frustration at the irresponsible acts of a small fraction of people who are often reckless in many aspects of their lives, blaming the firearm instead of the actions of people is simply wrong.
So is claiming that, “nothing good never happens,” with firearms.
In fact, almost everything that happens with firearms on a daily basis is good, when those firearms are in the hands, holsters, or safes of responsible gun owners.
Rifles provide me great joy as an instrument for target shooting at ranges from 10 yards to 800 yards, and beyond. They help me harvest game to provide my family with nutritious, low-fat meats that aren’t filled with hormones and antibiotics, and if ever required to do so, enable me to defend my family from threats.
Shotguns are incredibly versatile, and can be used for self-defense, many kinds of shooting sports. and hunting almost every game animal on the continent.
Handguns are most typically associated with self-defense, but are used in numerous shooting sports and certain types of hunting.
We understand Chief Williams’ anguish as the senseless killing of this toddler because of the reckless actions of adults, but the correct action is to blame these criminally-careless adults, not all guns, and not all gun owners.