On January 22, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts seized upon the tragic news of a toddler shooting his 9-month-old brother to argue that toddlers shooting children is the “new normal.”
The solution? They want new gun control laws forcing Americans to lock up their guns and ammunition separately. This is Watts’s “simple, commonsense” answer.
Writing in Huffington Post, Watts pointed to the 5-year-old in Elmo, Missouri who found his grandfather’s gun and shot his 9-month-old brother. She also touched on the 2-year-old who rummaged through his mother’s purse, found her gun, and shot her as she stood in a Walmart checkout line.
Watts explains that the 5-year-old in Elmo allegedly got his grandfather’s gun from a locked box (i.e. it was stored). But the box “could easily be opened with any key or a screwdriver, so it was effectively unlocked.” She also said the gun was reportedly loaded, further breaking “basic rules of responsible gun storage.”
So now, “responsible gun ownership”—expanded background checks, new gun show laws, new Internet gun sale regulations, etc.—is to be complimented by “responsible gun storage.”
In the midst of all this, Watts ignores a recent National Shooting Sports Foundation’s report that fewer than 0.5 percent of all annual fatal accidents in the US are firearm-related. She also ignores the fact that persons who are forced to lock their guns and ammunition up separately are essentially denied the ability to defend their lives in the event of a robbery, home invasion, or sexual attack. Attackers are not prone to kick in doors then pause to give homeowners time to unlock and load their guns.
The two tragedies Watts politicized for the purposes of gun control are just that—tragedies. To use them as a call to limit law-abiding citizens’ access to guns is shameless.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.