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Sad Story About a Gun Accident

This woman’s son was killed in a gun accident, and she’s become an advocate for safety training:

She’s convinced that gun-safety courses, especially for teenagers, can avert tragedies such as the one that forever changed two families.

The foundation is circulating an online petition — about 440 people have signed — asking for mandatory safety training. Stein plans to send the petition to Barack Obama.

”People who don’t have bad intent should at least be taught how to handle guns,” Stein said. “You don’t let [teens] behind the wheel without knowing how to drive . . . This is not about taking people’s rights; it’s about keeping people safe.”

Morris Stein bought a gun after graduating from Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School. It was a choice more whimsical than ominous: an antique French rifle.

”I’m allowed to have a long gun,” he told his mother. “I’m an American citizen . . . No one knows where the clip is but me.”

Mandating gun safety training in high schools is a proposal I would gladly stand by Robin Stein and advocate.  I think everyone should know how to safely handle a firearm, including not pointing it in unsafe directions, or keeping firearms gratuitously loaded and unsecured.  But I won’t get behind any proposal to make training a prior restraint on purchasing a firearm.

Religion in the wrong hands can be quite deadly, yet we do not require training in peaceable religion before purchasing Bibles, Torahs or Korans.  We do not require people first read The Gulag Archipelago before purchasing a copy of The Communist Manifesto, or the Diary of Anne Frank before buying Mein Kampf.  I agree that we need more education on firearms, but that education cannot be a barrier to the exercise of a constitutional right.

5 Responses to “Sad Story About a Gun Accident”

  1. Bitter says:

    I would sometimes use the argument with mothers that regardless of whether they ever fired a gun again after a class, if their child came to them after having found a gun, wouldn’t they at least want to know enough to make sure it’s unloaded and how to follow the most basic safety rules? That usually worked. :)

  2. Keith says:

    I agree that this shouldn’t be implemented as a prior restraint, but I like the idea of a safety course sort of like drivers’ education classes, or even the unstylish home economics (without which it seems like a lot of young adults can’t fix themselves a meal beyond microwaving a frozen dinner). It could demystify firearms and even introduce a lot of new shooters. Might have to be a bit careful about “show and tell” day though.

  3. George says:

    My daughter at four years old knows not only Eddie Eagle, but knows the four rules well enough that she will yell at the teens in the neighborhood not point their airsoft guns at each other.

    I hate to say it. The story sounds to me like a buddy wanted to “scare” his friend coming around the corner, forgot the gun was loaded, forgot to keep his finger off the trigger, and a tragedy occured.

    Sebastian makes a great point. Training shouldn’t be the pre-requisite of excercising a civil right. But I would love the social stigma associated with not being able to safely handle a firearm to be equivilant to the social stigma of, say, not knowing how to read, or use a knife and fork. All three are basic human skills.

    I weep for that mother…loosing a child has got to be one of the worst things in the world. I’m glad that she is channeling her grief into something constructive.

  4. Dave Blackmon says:

    Just once I would like to see somebody sue the gubmint for failing to mandate firearms training in public schools. There should be a duty as part of the militia provisions…

  5. Navy Vet from Jersey says:

    Hoplophobe liberals and Democrats will have conniption fits if anybody make a serious proposal to introduce gun safety classes in the public schools – they would rather see time and money spent on teaching kids about gay lifestyles and how to use condoms instead.

    I credit the cub scouts and boy scouts for teaching me safe shooting and gun safety habits. Of course, liberals hate the whole scouting tradition too because of the gay issue, which they lost in a supreme court case. That’s why the city of Philadelphia evicted them from some building they were using.

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