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How to Bring Your Child Back Alive

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Guns don't kill people, people kill people

The recent tragic story out of Florida is yet another piece of evidence that enters in to the discussion of whether or not the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" viewpoint is valid.

From every analysis and perspective, it appears that this was nothing more or less than a tragic accident. The father, an honorable, law-abiding gun user and enthusiast, depicts well the sudden and unexpected circumstances that caused him to inadvertently pull the trigger on the weapon, killing his son.

The father, recognizing that this particular input into the gun control debate might be significant, rushed forward with the testimony: 'The gun didn't kill my son. I killed my son.'

He's correct. But I would also submit that perhaps this perspective is irrelevant.

Author's perspective

I'm not a naive non-gun purist. Far from it. I once owned more than 20 guns. My own father and older brothers took me shooting from an early age, and I participated in hunting well into adulthood. So I'm not pursuing this line of reasoning from any purist, pacifist perspective -- at least, I don't think so.

I'm pursuing this all from the perspective of someone who somehow survived his childhood, and may have been lucky to do so. I myself almost inadvertently shot someone one time. I myself suffered the misfire of a pistol, which could have left me blind in one eye. So I claim "street cred" with respect to guns.

The recreations of Stephen Brumby

Stephen was interested in many of life's recreations, as any young person would be. According to the reporting, he was highly interested and involved in:

  • Shooting
  • Tennis
  • Fishing
  • Piano

... and the point here is that only one of these activities had the potential to take his life.

On this particular occasion, Stephen's father could have taken him to play tennis; he could have taken him fishing; he could have listened to him play piano. In all of these activities, Stephen would have come back alive. But they picked the one activity that could -- and did -- turn deadly.

What activities do you choose to participate in with your children?

It would be unfair to assert that no parent should ever teach their child to shoot, so I won't go there. That's not the point I'm trying to make. The point that I'm making is that gun use has limited applicability -- hunting food and defense of the home are the only two that make any sense. Teaching the application of carrying guns in public, where the only potential use is to shoot fellow humans? That's not honorable.

I also won't comment on whether or not Stephen was being taught gun usage for the purpose of hunting, protection of the home, or carrying weapons in public for no honorable reason. You can judge that for yourself.

What I AM asserting is that every parent and grandparent has the choice of activities that they can pass on to educate their kin. Some are more valuable and essential to the child's success than others. How do you choose? Do you consider exposing the child to weapons of deadly force? Should you?

Lives of loved ones may depend on the answer.

Randall Cuthbert Dr. Randall Cuthbert is a retired APUS Professor of Emergency & Disaster Management. He has also worked as a Red Cross Shelter Supervisor, and spent a 20-year career as a US Air Force Civil Engineer Officer. His blogging interests include: protecting & enhancing the EDM profession in the areas of integrity, honorable public service, and social justice; education regarding the 'big picture' role of EDM in our society; educating our professionals and neighbors with regard to the greatest threat to our civilization--climate change; and in general terms, creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.