We can't ignore the fact that there are troubled kids in our midst who are crying out for help. Yes, schools, community agencies, families and friends have responsibilities towards caring for the needs of these kids. But so often the conversation does not include the access to guns in the first place. That needs to happen.But suicide and homicide take the question of teenagers and guns to an entirely different place. No gun safety course (probably the best advice regarding the initial quandary, and advice I personally will take for my children) is going to prevent either. Faced with that risk, commenter dc lambert wrote “the real issue should not be ‘how do I protect my children against guns” but WHY do we allow such insanely easy access to guns at all?”I’m not entirely convinced that is the question — or if it is, it is a question whose ship has sailed. The gun Mr. Lane used was a target-shooting pistol, legally purchased at a sporting goods store. I can’t find any proposed gun-control laws that would have restricted his access to it if the facts are as we now understand them to be. What we’re left with is trying to find ways to address the fact that some teenagers, faced with what must feel like insurmountable problems, see guns as an answer.Whatever Mr. Lane was struggling with, whatever brought the boy the Motherlode reader first wrote me about to the point of despair — something drove both of those young men to reach for a gun, and use it. We are all, as parents and as a society, looking for more ways to find children who are that troubled, and more ways to prevent whatever lies beneath their problems.Can we work to protect our children from access to guns that they’re not ready to use wisely? We can. But the real quandary lies in how we can prevent them from feeling like they need access to the guns in the first place.
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.