The Sandy Hook Ripple Effect

child gun control

Is this really the best idea? (courtesy of Shutterstock)

After a massacre like the one that took place last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, you might expect copycats to start coming out of the woodwork as they attempt to “one up” what Adam Lanza did. But what effects might this kind of incident have on other school children and their families around the nation?

Administrators at West Kearns Elementary School in Kearns, Utah just found out.

Earlier this week, an 11-year-old sixth grader brought an unloaded, .22-caliber handgun to school with him for protection. What’s worse is that his own parents encouraged him to do so.

Apparently, the boy pulled the gun from his backpack at recess, pointed it at a young girl’s head and said he was going to kill her. For whatever reason, the student waited until later that afternoon to tell her teacher, who immediately apprehended the gun-toting boy and rushed him to the office.

The weapon was confiscated and police transported the boy to a juvenile hall until their investigation is complete. Their plan is to question his parents and there is a chance the boy will face criminal charges as a result.

In a way, I can understand how parents might take such drastic action to protect their kids, but arming a sixth grader? Is this really the best way to protect him?

Recess starts now!

Personally, I don’t know many young children who can handle a firearm, especially in a crisis situation. My own son is five and can’t even tie his own shoes or wipe his own butt very well. Might he be capable of handling and even firing a handgun? I seriously doubt it. And since his temper can flare over a broken toy or missed television program, I don’t think I want him having access to a weapon that could potentially kill someone for such a ridiculous reason.

Even if this was an acceptable situation, how much protection can an unloaded handgun really offer? Do these parents really think an active shooter on campus will turn tail and run when he sees a sixth grader waving a gun around? Or do they expect their child to use it to pistol whip his assailant?

No matter how you slice it, this has to be one of the dumbest reactions to school gun violence I have ever encountered. And sadly, it probably won’t be the last.

Posted on December 19, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m confused, was he 11 or 6? In either case I agree that was a totally inappropriate reaction to what happened. unloaded makes it even more ridiculous because if something did happen and he drew his gun he would come under fire with noway to protect himself. But when mom & dad both work 50+ hours a week is it all that surprising that some of them would make bad judgment calls…

    • Actually I’m the confused one, Marty. Sometimes I get typing and my mind gets a little ahead of itself. The kid was 11 and was in the sixth grade. I made the necessary changes and appreciate you bringing that to my attention. Great comments, too (as always) 🙂

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