There are responsible gun owners, and then there’s Sean Jerguson, a Republican state senator representative in Georgia who bought his four-year-old daughter her own .22 caliber gun for her birthday.
But it’s pink, so apparently it’s appropriate for a little girl.
Jerguson is a member of Georgiacarry, an advocacy group for the right to bear arms. And according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he’s stated he “believes so strongly in gun ownership,” that he bought his daughter the .22 caliber when she turned four. With his son’s fourth birthday coming up, he plans to buy a blue version for the tot.
Yes, he said four. As the mother of a four-year-old, I wouldn’t let her within fifteen miles of a gun. And I’m not as left wing as most on gun ownership standards. Where I grew up, the first day of deer season was an official school holiday because half of my class (not to mention half the teachers) were heading into the woods that day with gun in hand. I support the right to hunt.
But I also believe in strict regulations and responsible gun ownership. Handing a handgun to a four-year-old is not it. Children at that age are impulsive. They are testing their limits. It’s not a child-to-child maturity level issue; at four it’s still a developmental capability issue. Consider this statistic: on average, three kids died every day in non-homicide firearm incidents from 2000-2005.
And more parents think there needs to be more done to keep guns out of kids hands – not less. A 1999 poll pegged the number at eighty percent of Americans. That includes parents who are largely anti-gun control. This isn’t a Republican/Democrat issue. Guns aren’t toys. And four-year-olds are still very much at toy stage.
If you want to convince the rest of us that gun ownership is a good thing, how about showing people how a gun is useful to your family rather than flaunting your taste for flirting with danger at your kids’ expense?
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