Our friends at the NRA tell us that there are plenty of ways to make firearms safe from children. There are the safety release on the weapon, lockable gun storage cabinets, and even fingerprint detectors so that only the owner can fire the gun. Coming soon (no doubt) is some manner of facial recognition sensor. After all our smart phones have that feature.
Earlier this week, a 2 year old boy shot and killed his 4 year old sister inside a car parked at a mini-mart in Chester, PA. The “responsible” parent was pumping gas at the time. He left his trusty Glock sitting there within reach of the 2 year old in his car seat. The tragedy ensued. The incident remains under investigation.
Periodically, “responsible” parents leave their kids in the car parked in the garage at the local casino. Minors are not allowed to enter the casino and what is a gambler to do? “I left the car running so the heat was on. The kids had their video screens. I locked the car doors. What could go wrong?” That level of parental “responsibility” will get you arrested every time.
I would toss that “responsible” Chester parent in jail and throw away the key. The NRA will not see it that way, but how does requiring fingerprint or facial recognition detection on a firearm abrogate our precious 2nd amendment right to bear arms? You bought the gun. It’s registered in your name. Only you can fire it. What’s wrong with that? You can still “stand your ground” and gun down any hoodie-clad minority who “threatens” you.
Of course, fingerprint or facial recognition sensors will add to the cost of a weapon. The NRA would say, “Why spend that extra money? Every weapon has a safety release already.”
But the safety release only works if you use it. There are hundreds of “accidental” shootings every year. “I was just cleaning the gun and it went off. What’s that little nub near the trigger for again?”
If we can’t prevent “irresponsible” people from buying guns, we should at least ensure that only the owner can fire that weapon. Presumably, 2 year olds will not be eligible to purchase firearms.
By Ed Dufton