I don’t know what to tell you about the kid. He didn’t seem to have a real tackle box, but his dad was no helicopter parent. He was really irritated at being bothered by his son. Clearly, he hadn’t taught him much.

Most kids who are injured by loose guns in the home have never been taught anything about safety or how to handle a gun, other than “don’t touch it” by parents who are also not the helicopter kind.

It would be great if responsible parents taught their children all of this stuff, but the fact of the matter is, many of them don’t. There is no sane reason to allow people to buy and keep a deadly weapon that they quite likely don’t know how to safely use and keep. And if SIL, whom we affectionately say works at the “gun nut range” teaching safety and my partner the rural cop agree and are concerned too, it doesn’t seem very reasonable for me to do anything but concur.

Lots of kids learn to drive on their parent’s farms or what have you, but that doesn’t mean we should do away with driver’s licenses, does it? In most states, you don’t have to take driver education, but you do have to prove that you know the rules of the road before you can get a license. Why shouldn’t it be the same with other things, particularly things that can kill you? If you learned proficiency and safety somewhere other than a formal course, great, no problem. But you should still have to demonstrate that you have it.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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