Study Flags Seven States With High Rates of Accidental Gun Deaths
by JON SCHUPPE
Researchers seeking to identify each state’s most “distinctive” kind of injury-related death uncovered a pattern that could help cut shootings across the South.
The study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that seven states — West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee — all suffered from disproportionately high rates of unintentional firearm deaths.
The researchers noted that none of the states have laws requiring the safe storage of guns, which have been shown to prevent accidental shootings, particularly among children.
The gun derp, it is strong in the South. Remember, it’s “just a way of life,” right? And also, too: “respect the culture.”
As long as there are no penalties for gun negligence, and accidental shootings are written off as just “freak accidents” (even though they happen every day in America!), there is no incentive to behave responsibly. But there needs to be a law on the books before it can be enforced and violators prosecuted. That’s how it works.
Unless there is a statewide gun safety standard that can be enforced, cases of negligence will continue to be prosecuted inconsistently, if at all, and some accidental shootings will be more accidental than others.
Fortunately just such a bill was recently introduced in Tennessee:
Bill would punish gun owners if children gain access to loaded weapons
NASHVILLE — Democratic lawmakers unveiled a bill Thursday to deter gun owners from leaving loaded guns accessible to children — and named it “MaKayla’s Law” after the 8-year-old East Tennessee girl killed by an 11-year-old neighbor with his father’s shotgun.
MaKayla Dyer’s mother, Tasha Patterson of White Pine, and grandfather, Robbie Huddleston of Illinois, agreed to have MaKayla’s name on the bill and support the effort, said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for the Safe Tennessee Project, which is helping push the bill.
If approved, the bill would make it a violation for a person to “recklessly place, leave or store a firearm in a location in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended” and either contains ammunition or ammunition is in the immediate vicinity — unless it has a trigger lock or similar device or is in a locked container or cabinet accessible only by the owner or his or her spouse.
Let me take this moment to say, kudos to Rep. Sherry Jones. I love this woman, who most recently was in the news for her “Viagra bill.” Next time I meet you, Rep. Jones, I’m giving you a big hug. Ditto to Sen. Sara Kyle of Memphis, who so warmly welcomed us supporters of refugees to the senate chambers this week. We need more Democratic women in our legislature. Let’s get to work on that, Tennessee.
Naturally, gun humpers hate these kinds of regulations, saying,
…the government has no right to determine how people keep themselves safe at home. Training and education are more effective, they say. Some warn that safe storage laws are being used to the government to take people’s guns away.
Oh, puh-leeze, get over yourselves. There are thousands of ways that the federal, state and local governments keep people safe in their homes, from product safety standards on household appliances to local building codes. This is no different than anything else. Training and education? Pfft. The kid who murdered MaKayla Dyer because she wouldn’t show him her new puppy had been trained in firearm safety, according to the judge.
Here’s the thing, gun humpers: you’re always talking about your RIGHTS. But with your rights come RESPONSIBILITIES. It just can’t be all rights and no responsibilities with you people.
The gun derp is strong in our state legislature, so unless there is a massive effort to support MaKayla’s Law, it faces an uphill battle. But it’s clearly something we need.
Write your state reps and senators, folks.