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Ecce Pistolium


Bristol Palin, the Little Flower of Uninformed Commentary, has some thoughts about an "experiment" done by a TV station -- so you know it has excellent research value! -- about kids-n-guns. Waterloo, Iowa teevee station KWWL did a little test with the collaboration of the local police to demonstrate that it's really easy for children to find a "hidden" gun, thus demonstrating that children and carelessly stored guns are a potentially lethal combination. The lesson for Bristol? The most dangerous kids are from homes without guns, and if you're a Responsible Gun Owner, all you need to do is teach kids to never touch them. Problem is, Bristol kind of lies about part of what happened in the "experiment" (which has a sample size too small to generalize from anyway, but let's ignore academic nitpicks for the moment).

The setup was simple, and put together with the help of Waterloo police: 8 kids of preschool to kindergarten age in a conference room with a bunch of toys, plus an unloaded, empty gun poorly hidden between the cushions of a couch, if you count "stuck there with the grip and trigger fully exposed" as "hidden." Everyone involved is very careful to emphasize that this is a safely unloaded gun (did they remove the firing pin? They don't say they did. But empty magazine and empty chamber). And darned if one of the tykes didn't find the gun within fifteen seconds:

In the not-at-all overwrought intro to the video, over not-at-all overwrought public domain scary music, the newscaster intones "it took just seconds" for one of the kids to find the gun. And then we see the kids passing the gun around and pointing it at each other, and we see all the moms, watching on video monitors, gasping in alarm. We also see one little moppet point the gun at the anchor lady when she enters the room, and refuse to hand it over when the anchor lady asks her to.

Bristol, who found the story on Glenn Beck's Website, Glenn Beck's The Blaze, isn't especially worried, because of one vitally important detail that stupid gun-hating lberals like Yr Wonkette will never ever acknowledge. As the Blaze notes,

Lieutenant Aaron McClelland said it was typical behavior “for young kids. Curiosity. Everything is a toy in their world. Unless we educate them and let them know sometimes it’s not.”

At the very end of the dramatic video 7-minute — after the image of kids holding the gun and the mom’s emotional reactions — the reporter shared a compelling caveat regarding the two children in the room who didn’t pick up the gun.

“Those two children are the ones who have guns in their homes and their parents have talked extensively about guns so therefore their curiosity is gone,” she said…

McClelland emphasized that parents need to talk to their kids: “Until they know that sometimes it’s not a toy, these accidents will happen.”

Says Bristol, not unsmugly,

Let that sit with you for a moment. Only the children whose homes had exposed them to guns knew not to touch the dangerous toy. As other children ran around pointing it at each other, two stood back because their parents understood the importance of teaching and appropriate exposure.

Parents assume their child will automatically know what is and is not dangerous. The danger is not guns themselves, but a lack of education.

So thankful Tripp is around guns and knows how to act around them.

[contextly_sidebar id="99SzeHLPhkaKCw01hP3YQWNIiuiXFeuv"]Moral of the story: Bring your kids up around guns, teach your kids not to touch guns, and you'll never have to worry a bit about your kids playing with a gun like those stupid ignorant children from families that have never known the Fun of a Gun. CASE CLOSED (but guns not required to be locked up in a safe, because you need one to protect from home invasion). Guess we're all done here!

Except maybe, just maybe, says Yr Wonkette like Lt. Columbo turning around and saying, "There's just one thing that still bothers me, maybe it's nothing..."

But excuse me, Bristol or your ghostblogger, if you'll just indulge me here, I hate to keep you, but did you maybe leave something out behind those little ellipsis dots there, right after where the anchor says the kids in homes with guns didn't touch the guns? It wouldn't hurt to look, would it? Let's see what it might be!

Over at The Blaze, the two omitted passages read:

But the text of the station’s story made no mention of this fact, only noting that the mothers of the two kids who didn’t pick up the gun were “still very much shaken.”

“I was really upset that he didn’t find someone and tell them,” one mother told KWWL, with the other tearfully adding she thought her daughter “would be more proactive. Sorry. And tell somebody. That was scary for mommy to see how quickly that escalated -- tell a parent right away.”

Oh! So the well-educated kids who learned their NRA Eddie Eagle Safety Lessons only followed Step Two! Stupid, stupid children! As everyone knows, to keep your children from blowing holes in each other or your nice clean conference room, the immutable rules for children in homes with guns are:

Hey, one out of three ain't bad. They didn't touch the gun. So based on this important "experiment" -- and no, it's not really an experiment, remember -- we can see that even preschool-aged kids who have been raised in homes with guns, who may know not to touch a gun, are still little kids. They're as likely to follow parents' serious lessons about getting an adult or running away every bit as well as they never ever jump on the bed and never pet strange dogs and never wander away from mommy. Odd, you'd think since Bristol failed "Abstinence 101," she'd know a thing or two about ignoring parental advice.

Also, there's absolutely nothing at all disingenuous about Palin's inclusion of a video snippet -- from another station, not the full video embedded above -- that ends abruptly after the anchor reads the just-so line, "Researchers [HA!] say in this experiment, the only two children who did not pick up the gun to play with it were the children whose families have guns in the house and had already talked to them about how dangerous they c..."

And god knows, no child raised around guns and given multiple safety lectures would ever reach into a purse and shoot and kill mommy, or search out a gun "hidden" on top of a refrigerator, then shoot and kill a younger brother. Further, no child in a home where guns are kept for safety would ever shoot and wound grandpa (who removed the magazine but forgot the chambered bullet), or shoot and kill a napping dad or a 3-year-old sister. As we all know, good parents would never ever dream that their 21-month-old could find a gun and shoot himself dead, because probably a lot of the time children only wound themselves, like the Miami three-year-old who found a gun in a dresser, shot himself in the head, and survived.

Liberals need to stop being afraid of inanimate objects and recognize that all children need is a stern warning and good education, as this video clearly shows.

[Bristol Palin's blog / The Blaze / KWWY / National Rifle Association]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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