So far this year, according to Everytown USA’s #NotAnAccident index, there have been “70 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 29 deaths and 42 injuries.” Just last week, a father in Sacramento, California was arrested for child endangerment and illegal storage of a firearm after his three-year-old son accidentally shot and injured himself with a gun that had been left lying about loaded somewhere. Earlier this month, a 2-year-old boy shot and killed himself after finding a gun in his teenage sibling’s room.
In a speech to the NRA-LA this week, Kristi Noem, who appears to have gotten the full Larsa Pippen Kardashian-style makeover since last I saw her, bragged about how her granddaughter, who is not yet two years old, has two of her own guns already.
“Little Miss Addie, who is almost two, and Branch, who’s just a few months old, they have brought us so much joy. They’ve brought us purpose,” Noem said, clearly aware that she was about to dazzle all the ammosexuals in the audience, adding “Now Addie, who you know — soon will need them. I wanna reassure you, she already has a shotgun, and she already has a rifle, and she’s got a little pony named Sparkles too. So the girl is set up.”
To what end does a not-yet-two-year-old “need” a gun? What is this child doing that this is necessary? Is it in case Sparkles breaks a leg? Are they gonna make Little Miss Addie kill Sparkles herself and send her to the glue factory? Are her parents planning to send her to a particularly rough nursery school? What?
Even if one really likes guns, shouldn’t they at least wait until a child can physically hold a rifle while standing up to bestow one upon them as a gift? Or until they can understand enough words to know that they shouldn’t just go around shooting people for funsies? Or until they’re old enough to eat popcorn? Or heat up a can of soup?
I have many questions here!
We are not even allowed to have real Kinder Eggs in this country — adults are not allowed to have real Kinder Eggs in this country — because the toy inside could be a choking hazard for young children. There are childproof caps on practically all medications. Parents with small children cover up outlets, put those little fences on their stairs, put childproof locks on certain cabinets. Hell, I had to wait until I was five to get my ears pierced or operate a pasta machine.
Parents were arrested this year for letting a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old walk down the street to Dunkin’ Donuts by themselves, but in Missouri toddlers are allowed to walk around, without parental supervision, armed to the teeth.
We do all kinds of things to keep kids safe, but people like Kristi Noem are out here buying guns for kids or leaving guns around kids, which is why we have more unintentional shootings by children each year than many countries have intentional gun deaths. In 2021, Canada had 297 intentional gun homicides. In 2021, the United States had 395 unintentional shootings by children, including 166 deaths.
Arming one’s children, regardless of how little they are, has become something of a right of passage among Republicans looking to establish Second Amendment street cred. Lauren Boebert and others send out Christmas cards in which their small children were holding assault rifles. They’re literally so desperate to “own the libs” who are sick to death of having mass shootings every other day that they are willing to put their own lives and the lives of their children on the line. And, clearly, that is not something that is always going to end well.
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