I’m sure that by now, you’ve heard about two year old Caroline Sparks, who was accidentally shot and killed by her five year old brother Kristian. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s what happened. Kristian was playing with the rifle that he got for his fifth birthday. He was playing with it, because his genius parents kept it in the corner of the trailer they live in. In keeping with the stellar parenting skills that determined that a five year old should have a gun, they didn’t bother to unload the one and only bullet that this rifle holds. When Kentucky’s mother of the year stepped out into the porch, leaving her kids unsupervised, she heard a gunshot. Kristian had accidentally shot and killed his sister.
I’m going to pause at this point in the story to review everything that is wrong with this picture. Let’s start with the rifle; it’s made for kids. Let’s watch one of their charming commercials: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de_gJqkbPt4[/youtube]
Fucking awesome, right? Now let’s take a look at the parents who, for some reason, the media doesn’t want to indict. Fortunately, I’m not shy so let’s skip indictment and go straight to conviction. Did you catch the part where I told you that the family lives in a trailer? Yeah, this family’s home has wheels and yet, someone shelled out $120 for a rifle for a five year old kid. These assholes couldn’t scrape together $129 to get a cabinet to lock their weapons in, but instead prioritized getting their five year old his first fucking gun. And what the fuck, if you’re not going to lock up the goddamned gun, why bother unloading it before you toss it in the corner.
I brought up the trailer because the right wing, who love crowing on about the outrage of welfare recipients who have cell phones, have said nothing about this. No one is outraged when the parents of two kids prioritize owning guns over giving their children a home? Hey assholes, a better way to protect your kids than with guns is with walls that are stronger than fucking reynold’s wrap.
I’m already fuming at what I’m reading about this incident, not realizing that I was about to get a shit tone more bitchy. The part that really pissed me off, was the reaction of the locals. Cumberland County Judge Executive John Phelps explained how things are in those parts, “It’s a normal way of life, and it’s not just rural Kentucky, it’s rural America — hunting and shooting and sport fishing. It starts at an early age,” And then, he added (about the shooting), “This was a total shock. This was totally unexpected.” Really, asshole? Because if you’d told me that your assbackward town routinely gives guns to kids, I totally would have fucking expected this.
But the most disgusting reaction to this tragic incident came from Caroline’s batshit crazy grandmother, Linda Riddle who said, “”It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess…” No you stupid bitch, you’re confusing God’s will with some seriously shitty parenting, which is apparently a tradition in your fucked up family.
And the really bitchy inducing part of this story is that I haven’t heard the words “investigation” or “negligent homicide” yet. Do I think these parents deserve to go to prison? You bet your ass I do. I’ll go further than that; I believe they need to go to prison in order to save the rest of us. For me, sending them to prison isn’t so much about causing them more pain, as it is setting a precedent in this country. I believe that anytime a minor puts a bullet into another human, we need to throw mom and dad in prison for putting a weapon into the hands of a minor who isn’t legally allowed to buy said weapon. This is what I like to refer to as “taking responsibility” and “dragging yourself around by your own bootstraps”. If your kid damages my property, you are going to be liable to pay for that damage. Why the fuck are we so nonchalant when a kid puts a bullet into someone?
In my opinion, there is no such thing as an “accidental homicide” when a minor does the shooting. Someone should be going to prison every time. I understand that in some parts of the country, putting guns in the hands of minors is a totally normal part “of the culture”. Guess what? Your culture is idiotic, and I don’t have to respect it anymore than I have to respect the traditions of some, to stone a woman to death for committing adultery. It’s time to change the culture by holding people accountable for their actions. Taking responsibility is the republican mantra, right?
As a society, we’ve decided that I can’t have a giant pile of heroin because this is bad for all of us. I would argue that my having a giant pile of heroin is less detrimental to “us” as it is to “me”. Nonetheless, I don’t have a giant pile of heroin because I don’t want to end up in prison. It’s time to up the ante on this “kids with guns” stupidity. And maybe, if we send enough of these dumbfuck parents to Oz to be Beechered for three to five years, their neighbors will think twice before buying their five year old their own rifle.
You change a culture by changing it. It’s time we stop deferring to the judgment of the dumbest among us, and start proactively changing the culture. You can put a gun in the hands of your kids, but just know that if they shoot someone, there will be jail time, and you’re the one that’s going to be doing it.