At the risk of bringing the wrath of card-carrying NRA members down upon me, sometimes I question whether the right to own a hand gun is really a necessary one. I can’t remember the last time I heard of anyone shooting a deer for their family’s dinner with a semi-automatic pistol and I’m baffled by the number of people who feel the need to purchase and carry one. As KCRG reports, a Mason City, Iowa father was rushed to the hospital yesterday after his 4-year-old son shot him with his hand gun. The little boy found the gun, unsecured, in his father’s truck and when he picked it up the weapon fired shooting the man, Chris Upenieks, 29, in the knee.
Upenieks was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and reportedly had a permit to carry the gun. I wonder if he had a permit to leave the gun unattended in the reach of a child? Oh, that’s right. Those don’t exist and neither do measures beyond a background check and a waiting period that would keep guns out of the hands of individuals who are not responsible gun owners or (yes, I’m going to go there) parents.
Thankfully, in this situation no one was killed, but that isn’t the case in many of the headline-making stories I read involving children and gun accidents. I am happy to learn that the gun owner in this story could potentially be charged with child endangerment and leaving a loaded and unsecured weapon in the reach of a child. Though he learned a hard lesson about proper gun storage, I can’t help but wonder when we are going to be ready as a nation to address the problem of increasing death and injury by gun violence without accusing those of us who oppose the ownership of weapons which aren’t used to hunt for food of infringing upon rights.
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