Sunday, January 10, 2010

Daddy's Guns Are Still Bad News for Kids

Yesterday when I wrote Daddy's Guns Are Bad News for Kids, claiming there are "scores" of examples every day, I received this comment from Stephen, one of my favorite author/bloggers, which reads in part:
Scores of these stories per day? I really doubt that.

Well, never one to avoid the truth, I admit he's right. There are not "scores" per day, at least not in the main stream media. That would make these stories 20 times more frequent than DGUs. There are only 2 or 3 per day. I tend to exaggerate for emphasis as well as use the occasional attempt at humor and irony. It's confusing I know.

MYNorthwest reports on a 12-year-old, and unlike yesterday's reports actually says it was daddy's gun, which will please FatWhiteMan.

Clark County sheriff's deputies have arrested a 12-year-old boy at his Vancouver-area middle school after finding an unloaded 9 mm handgun and two loaded ammunition clips in the boy's backpack.

Sgt. Craig Randall says the boy told investigators Thursday that he took his father's gun to Pacific Middle School, without permission, to protect himself and friends from a bully.
The unidentified boy was taken to Clark County juvenile detention on accusations of theft of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon at school.

Randall says officers learned the boy had displayed a knife at school on Monday and the gun on Tuesday and Wednesday. Evergreen Public Schools safety manager Scott Deutsch says a schoolmate told his mother about the gun Wednesday evening and she alerted the school early Thursday.

Evergreen spokeswoman Carol Fenstermacher says the district is investigating the gun incident and the claims of bullying.

Fox 12 Oregon reports on a sixth-grader. Perhaps the authors of these reports picked up on the observation of FatWhiteMan. This one also mentions the dad.

A 12-year-old boy suspected of bringing a handgun to school twice was arrested Thursday, deputies said.

Clark County sheriff's deputies were called to Pacific Middle School on NE 172nd Avenue at about 9:15 a.m. after school officials learned about the weapon.

Deputies were told the student brought his father's gun to school Tuesday and had shown it to other students. He also brought it Wednesday, deputies said.

A Glock 9mm handgun and two loaded magazines were found in the student's backpack, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies said the 12-year-old took the gun from his father without permission.

There are more, but I think you get the point. It's interesting that all the reasons kids used to bring guns to school in the good old days are never mentioned, you know, to do show and tell, to go hunting immediately after. Today's stories are both about being bullied. I wonder if this is also handed down from father to son. Years ago perhaps the gun owning dads were not so paranoid and fearful as they are today.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. I went to a rough high school in a mixed race (40% latino, 60% white) blue collar neighborhood near Denver. It wasn't an innercity school, but the level of drug use and violence was quite high. And likewise just about everyone came from a home with guns in it and or a hunting tradition -- and guns were more likely to be stored on a closet shelf or in a glass cabinet than in a safe.

    Anyway ... the only rifles I ever saw being handled were the fake white ones carried by the "flag" girls when marching in front of the band (don't know why they carried the rifles instead of flags in parades).

    But in the parking lot a number of pickup trucks had gun racks in them, and while they were normally empty in the late fall you might see one wiht a rifle in it because the kid was headed straight out of town after school on a hunting trip. The weapons carried in my school were knives, though thankfully most fights were bare knuckles and knives were left in belt sheaths or pockets (we just didn't escalate our fights to deadly force, even though it wasn't uncommon to have something available (I always carried a pocket knife in school, and I didn't necessarily intend it as a weapon but my 3" lockback would have worked for one).

    So I never saw anyone intimidated with a gun, even though I often saw them around. There was a tale told for awhile that one of the kids who had been given a lot grief and had gotten into fights protecting his sister was carrying a snubby to school every day, but even though I knew the kid I never asked him about it and knowing the situation I remember thinking at the time I didn't blame him. But I was only 17 --my view on that would be different now.

    So a neighborhood where just about every daddy has a gun or two, but no shootings or intimidations I ever heard about, and guns were just a way for fathers and sons to connect and bond. And father's and son's need that as well -- so the guns were NOT bad news for the children.

    Irresponsible parents who let their children have access to anything dangerous to them or others are bad news; responsible parents are never bad news no matter what they own.

  2. Stephen, Thanks for that personal experience. I place a lot of value in that kind of thing.

    I think the situation has changed drastically over the last few decades. What used to be acceptable no longer is. Continued proliferation of guns is one of them.

  3. As we all know, gun nuts don't "get it" about the "proliferation of guns." Here is a story I heard that shows why:

    Gun nut 1: Got any new guns?

    Gun nut 2: No, but I did get a nifty 50-yr old gun magazine: A 1960 copy of "Guns & Ammo" -- take a look.

    Gun nut 1: Wow, look at this ad for...MAIL ORDER GUNS!

    Ad: "Polish Radom 9mm war surplus pistols. $14.95 each or 3 for $40. Act now and get a box of 25 9mm cartridges free with each gun. Mail check or money order to..."

    (Interruption by radio): "There was another shooting downtown today. Gun control advocates blame the proliferation of guns."

    Gun nut 1 & gun nut 2 (looking at radio, then looking at 1960 mail-order gun ad): "HUH?"

  4. Continued proliferation of guns is one of them.

    And yet prior to the 1960's it was FAR easier to buy guns legally than it is now. No background checks, waiting periods, FFL's, etc. etc. I could walk into a basic hardware store and they sold guns.