In a recent tragedy, a 8 year-old girl was shot by a 11 year-old boy, in the middle of a discussion about her dogs. Not disregarding the relevance of a dead child murdered by another child, the situation makes bigger questions arise.
United States is a contractditory country when it comes to gun tolerance, probably because of the autonomy given to each state to create their own laws. Oregon, which recently witnessed a deadly shootout at a college, is a gun-free zone – defined as a law that forbids individuals of possessing firearms in a specific region. Tennessee, where the child was killed, is less restrict.
Leaving the civil matter, and coming back to the human side, there must be a lot of people wondering about the reasons of such a stupid occurence. There are different levels of involvment: parentes/relatives and friends, and the rest of the world. But probably both groups are struggling to understand why a tragedy like this had to happen.
And that’s the point where theories emerge. Evidently, a gun should never be accessible to anyone uncapable to fully comprehend and respond to the consequences of its use or misuse – like children. So it’s fair to say that the gun itself had some importance in the acts that were perpetrated while in the hands of someone. The danger here is to put the whole guilt in the shoulders of an inanimated object and forget about the human matter.
Certainly, some will not put the responsibility only on the firearm. The parentes, or his legal responsibles, were (to say the least) careless for permitting the accessibility of a child to a gun. That’s pretty fair, too. The boy wasn’t the holder of the weapon. Instead, it was under the custody of people who are supposed to look after him. Therefore, the owner of the gun should be also responsible about the use or misuse of a firearm he has, even if by the hands of someone else.
However, the true danger is to forget about the third knot in the tie: the child.
Well, well. I understand two things: childrendon’t have a fully developed sense of moral and reality, and that’s why they’re not called adults. In addition, for knowing about the restrictions in the real world comprehension of a kid, I’m not defending he should be punished like an adult. But those two statements can’t really ommit the portion of responsibility of someone who has a target, aims it with a gun and shoots.
Considerering the possibility of his misunderstanding about the situation he caused (which might be true or not), I believe that the most human and rational way of reacting is teaching him about the terrible consequences of what he’ve done, so he won’t repeat it again. Or if he do, he at least won’t have the ignorance as justificative or excuse.
Here’s where reason turns into fog. Which would be the best way to do so? That’s a question that will have a lot of answers, or no one. Options do exist. Juveline jails, social labour, psychological care. Anyway, it’s important to keep eyes open to the real causes of a problem, instead of throwing responsibility in the shoulders of components that might not be innocent, but certainly aren’t the only ones to blame.