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My First Militia, new from Playskool


Here's a statistic that all of us in the Republic of The Holy Second Amendment can be proud of: In 2015, there's been an average of roughly one case per week in which children aged three or under have gotten their tiny hands on a firearm and managed to shoot someone with it. And that's not even including cases where no one was hit, or the kid merely grabbed a gun without firing it. Rarely is the question asked: Is our children using lethal force? Looks like they are!

In the most recent incident, a two-year-old South Carolina boy riding in the back seat of a car found a .357 revolver safely tucked away in the storage pouch behind the passenger seat and fired a single shot through the seat, hitting his grandmother in the back. Grandma's sister, who was driving, says she keeps the gun in her car for "protection":

I own a gun, I live alone, travel alone, I am vulnerable; that's why I have my weapon in an accessible position. I have a two-door car -- I don't carry children in my car, ever.

Well, maybe the once. Considering. Still, she's pretty darned shocked at how this happened, even to a responsible person like her, who could have lost so much:

"He thought he was playing. Guns kill. What happened was serious -- my sister could've died. I could've been in prison now -- a college graduate with a degree in social work, getting my license in January -- with everything lost behind me," she said.

She added that the boy was not in a safety seat, either, probably again because she never has kids in her car except this one time, when her sister and the child needed a ride. The grandmother was released from the hospital after being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, so really, this hardly even counts as a shooting.

But it is part of a trend; according to WaPo's Christopher Ingram:

I've found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.

There's even a handy color-coded chart of all the shootings:

Heck, 15 dead and 28 injured hardly counts as a problem, does it?

Yr Wonkette has covered some of these incidents, like the 2-year-old in Alabama who shot his napping dad dead and the 21-month-old who fatally shot himself in the stomach, as well as a 3-year-old who non-fatally shot himself in the head with a gun "hidden" in a dresser drawer -- all in a single month.

There's also the North Carolina 3-year-old who found a gun and shot his grandfather, non-fatally, with an "unloaded" pistol (clip removed, one round still in the chamber, oops), as well as the ambitious New Mexico 3-year-old traveler who found a gun in his mom's purse while the family was at a motel, then fired a single shot that hit both his parents: The bullet went through dad's buttocks and struck mom in the shoulder. Or maybe there was a second toddler on the grassy knoll.

Ingram's tally doesn't include the most notorious recent incident of a tot killing a parent, the case in a Hayden, Idaho, Walmart where a two-year-old pulled a gun from his mom's special Christmas-gift gun-storage purse and shot her dead. That was the day after Christmas 2014, so it doesn't count.

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Ingram notes that most of the gunslinging toddlers have been boys; only three girls under the age of 4 have wounded anyone with a gun this year. He's also careful to point out that his tally only applied to shootings by toddlers; the numbers of little kids killed in intentional or negligent shootings is much higher, and "dozens of preschoolers are killed in acts of homicide each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

And of course, since Ingram limited his analysis to toddler-involved shootings that made it into the media, he suspects that his numbers are low, since there "are likely instances of toddlers shooting people that result in minor injuries and no media coverage," not to mention cases where a child discharges a gun and "doesn't hit anyone, resulting in little more than a scared kid and (hopefully) chastened parents."

If only there were something that could be done to prevent these unfortunate uses of firearms, like perhaps laws requiring that firearms be properly secured in homes with children. But that would be an infringement on liberty, according to the NRA, so hey, get ready for some more record-setting years of carnage. Sure, the NRA prints recommendations for safe gun storage on its website, but the minute anyone suggests that such measures be made mandatory, that's an infringement on the Holy Second.

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Remember, no laws can ever reduce the number of gun deaths, ever, so we may as well just accept dead and injured toddlers and parents as a small but necessary subset of the price of freedom. What do you think this is, Communist Nazi Germany with Sharia Law?

[WaPo via HuffPo / Guardian / WCNC-TV]

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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