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Irresponsible Journalism

I’m rather shocked to find that a police officer was willing to break one of the cardinal rules of safe gun handling: “All guns are to be treated as if they are loaded.” This means that you do not leave one in a room to see what kids do with them.  I’m also incensed at this:

The gun was placed in a toy crate and the kids were allowed into the room, one group at a time.

I don’t know about you guys, but my kids’ toy crate isn’t a place I’d think to store a gun.  Is it possible that perhaps the kids thought it was a toy gun, rather than a real Glock 32?  I mean, even if I saw a gun in a toy crate, my first instinct would not be “real gun” though you can bet I’d investigate a realistic looking gun in a toy container.

Delaine Mathieu, and Seargant Fryar should be ashamed of themselves.  You can teach adults to safely store firearms without breaking the rules of safe gun handling by putting a gun in the kids’ toybox.  You wouldn’t think a bunch of internet gun nuts would have to point that out to them.

UPDATE: The Brady Campaign is also promoting unsafe gun handling with children.  There is no greater good excuse for the ignoring the four rules.  The rules exist to prevent accidents, and to the extent that the shooting community has drilled these concepts into the heads of gun owners, accidents have declined.

UPDATE: Apparently this journalist wasn’t the first rocket scientist to think “Kids and Guns.  Let’s put them together and see what happens!”

9 Responses to “Irresponsible Journalism”

  1. Mike w. says:

    http://anothergunblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/kids-and-guns-stupid-experiment.html

    I blogged about a similar situation back in march. This means someone else was stupid enough to try it again. Incredible.

  2. DJK says:

    Appalled.

  3. This is one of those stupid journalist tricks that gets pulled periodically. I can remember the exact same setup on 20/20 when I was a kid.
    I think it is dangerous as hell, and I think the station should be told that.

  4. While I can’t believe they were stupid enough to actually do this, I’d be curious to (hypothetically) see a similar exercise with a group of children who had been regularly exposed to guns in the home, and (God forbid) even been taken shooting themselves.

    One play of an Eddie Eagle video is not “education”.

  5. DJK says:

    What I want to know is how the experiment ended. Did someone walk in and yell, “HEY! What are you doing with that??? What did I teach you about that??? You have now effectively killed four of your friends” or did they go in and say, “Nicely done Jimmy, you’ve successfully completed our simulation for the day.”

  6. Dod says:

    From the article:
    “It’s a tragic case, but unfortunately, it’s not an unusual case when it comes to young children with guns.”

    Actually, it is very rare. Falls, drowning and car accidents all kill more kids annually.

    Also, there’s the issue of the toy box. How much more exposure do these kids have to toy boxes than guns? It’s safe to assume, quite a bit. A short training program is not going to be enough to overcome the conditioned response they have developed: toy box equals fun.

  7. DJK says:

    So true. That’s some serious conditioning to overcome by one viewing of the Eddie Eagle video and some training from the guy with the funny hair. I wonder how it would have turned out had they placed the gun on a table or in a more “adult” location like on the teacher’s desk.

  8. JKB says:

    Why stop here. Let’s put a battery powered circular saw in a toy box and see what happens. Or maybe just a hatchet.

  9. R.J. says:

    Diane Sawyer, et. al. pulled this same stunt several years ago, and it was just as disingenuous (and disgusting!) then as it is now

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