15-year-old Aaron Xue shot himself at Essex High School on April 17, 2009. An investigation determined Aaron got the gun from a friend who took it from his parent's house.
"We were stunned and heartbroken when we learned we lost Aaron because guns were made available to him when he was at a vulnerable moment," said Ge Wu, Aaron's mother.
The bereaved parents are in the news now because they participated in a community forum in their town, trying to find a solution.
They are calling on the state to pass tougher gun laws. They want Vermont to adopt a Child Access Prevention - or CAP - law, which would hold adults criminally responsible if a child gains access to a gun because it is not secure.
"Aaron would have been here today if he had no access to guns that day," Wu said at the forum. "If the guns were not in the hands of that boy that day and if the guns were secured at home by his parent."
The CAP laws are interesting. Why do you suppose they're necessary though? Are some gun owners so irresponsible in the securing of their weapons that they need legislation to encourage proper behaviour? By the way, isn't this the very type of thing that Mike W. denied the existence of? I remember somewhere along the line arguing that some states require gun owners to secure their guns, but Mike said that was false.
Well, as it turns out many states do have such requirements, but sadly for the Xue family, Vermont is not one of them.
What's your opinion? Did gun availability play a part in this tragedy? I've always claimed that since a bullet to the brain is more likely to result in death than other means of suicide, that it does. I find the pro-gun denial of this amazing. I suppose it's their knee-jerk defensive reaction to any criticism of guns. What do you think?
"Even if someone attempts suicide by another means, such as cutting themselves or taking pills, they're much more likely to survive the attempt," pediatrician Eliot Nelson, told the parents gathered at EHS (Essex High School).
To me, this seems like simple common sense, but there are many studies and surveys out there to prove it. Teenagers who kill themselves are good examples of my favorite adage, "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.