It was December 2015, time to bestow the honor of a Darwin Award. Since then, the president of this country made derogatory remarks about gun control after a terrorist attack, saying we weren’t “having a gun debate” because the terrorists used vehicles and blades. His message inadvertently proved why fewer guns made the UK attack far easier to manage. But what about that gun debate?
Gun rights do not have to be infringed to make safety a priority. In fact, education could go a long way to get us to a safer society, required gun safety classes in schools or for gun purchases. The fact that even talking about this upsets those on the right is perplexing. The fact that Trump crowed over those tragic deaths because they were taken by blades and blunt force, not legal or illegal firearms is disgusting.
Yet another reason we should be having a gun sense debate:
M.D. Harmon, a conservative columnist who once railed against gun-safety classes as infringing upon freedom, died. He was shot unintentionally by a 16-year-old who was visiting him, with Harmon’s own loaded gun. It went off when Harmon handed a loaded gun to the minor, who will now have to live with killing Harmon for the rest of his life. A gun safety class could have easily prevented this death as classes instruct you to unload a gun before handing it to another person. (Note: the NRA does NOT include this tip on their gun safety page, although even they admit that gun safety courses reduce accidental shootings.)
Harmon was opposed to gun safety classes being required for gun owners.
So, hopefully, the young person will understand that, in the words of The Last Unicorn, “He chose his death long ago.” At least the 60-year-old Harmon didn’t kill anyone else, he only scarred another person for life with his ignorant and incautious actions.
Harmon wrote the following for the Maine Wire, slamming a law that would require gun-safety classes for gun owners:
“But the absolute worst part of the bill is that it would require all gun buyers to take a firearm safety course.
So much for ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms.’ It’s one thing to have the government create limited groups of people not entitled to own firearms for good reasons — felons, the insane, children, etc. — and quite another to have the government think it can require that a free people get official permits to exercise their rights!”
(Emphasis added. I don’t use italic type and exclamation points very often, but that sentence required both.)
Requiring that people take a gun safety course doesn’t infringe on their freedoms any more than driving classes do. When a person is handling something capable of easily killing people, even unintentionally, a safety course is a perfectly reasonable requirement. Although, now he’s technically free to do whatever he wants as long as it doesn’t involve having a corporeal form.
His wife called this an “accidental tragedy.” This was not accidental.
When you hand a firearm to someone, and you do not clear it, it is your negligence. The kid is not at fault. He is a victim. His family members are victims. Everyone affected by this death is too. However, this wasn’t an “accident.” The bullet didn’t drop from a table, bounce into the chamber as the kid was knocked over by the family dog causing the gun to go off as his hand hit the wall. (Even that could have been prevented by clearing the gun.) No one set the gun down while hunting and had their dog step on the trigger. This was negligent suicide by bone-headery. While unintentional, the word accidental doesn’t apply.
Harmon died with progeny but that does not affect his status as a Darwin Award recipient.
Congratulations, Harmon, on your Darwin Award. You earned it.
Now, about that gun debate that Trump says we aren’t having: it seems that the fact that people will kill people with anything available just doesn’t put that debate on hold, nor justify dropping it.