By Erich Pratt
They are small and easily concealable. But make no mistake about it, this weapon is a deadly killer.
Kids all across the country can buy this weapon cheaply without any legal prohibitions whatsoever.
The industry that manufactures these deadly items is completely unregulated. Their proliferation has resulted in massive head traumas and in the deaths of many children all across the nation.
Much of the carnage has occurred on Saturday nights, which should prompt Congress to examine why teenagers can so easily get their hands on these Saturday Night Specials.
Stores like Walmart have marketed these instruments of death to children under the age of 21. Not only are there no laws to discourage this type of irresponsible marketing, there are no laws preventing minors from handling these kinds of weapons at all.
Parents have been known to encourage kids as young as two or three to “play” with these assault weapons, without any parental supervision whatsoever.
The greatest travesty occurs around birthdays and Christmas, as some have even been known to negligently give these instruments of death as gifts to their children. Not surprisingly, children take these items to school, resulting in senseless violence all across this country.
All this violence could be easily avoided if reasonable steps were taken to regulate this deadly killer:
- Parents who wish to keep these items at home must be responsible enough to lock them up.
- Kids under 21 should not be allowed to touch one of these lethal killers unless they have a written note of permission from their parents on their person.
- Congress must begin to crack down on the weekend “bazaar’s” where trading cards that glorify these instruments of death are swapped back and forth by under-aged children.
- Parents who wish to buy one of these assault weapons should be registered and fingerprinted with the FBI. After all, no deaths have occurred wherever these weapons have been legally registered.
To be sure, nobody wants to stop the legitimate sport and recreational uses of this weapon. But no one should object to small, incremental steps in order to save children’s lives.
These weapons are completely frowned upon in England. Not surprisingly, that country does not record any deaths resulting from this deadly item.
So what is this lethal killer? What is causing so many young people in this country to tragically lose their lives?
It is the football. Yes, it is that funny-looking pigskin that is sold across counters nationwide, in so many different sizes and colors.
It will come as a shock to many that more children die playing high school football, than they do by firearms at school.
The University of North Carolina conducts yearly surveys to determine the number of high school football fatalities. Likewise, school gun deaths are annually tabulated by the National School Safety Center.
These studies show that twice as many football players (18) died during the most recent school year ending in June, 2000 — from hits to the head, heat stroke, etc. — as compared with the nine students who were shot by firearms.
So now what? Will we start hearing passionate calls to dry up the massive supply of footballs so children will no longer have easy access to them?
Will the media start demonizing the purveyors of death who profit from this deadly killer — the football manufacturers and the TV executives who make millions of dollars from airing these gladiator forums (otherwise known as football games)?
Will Sen. Chuck Schumer join Sen. Hillary Clinton in demanding background checks before the sale and purchase of any football? Don’t count on it.
But one thing is for sure. Now when your next-door neighbor tries to lecture you about the evils of keeping guns in your home, you can warn them about the REAL danger to their kids’ health.
Ask them to pull their kids off the football team and to support a ban on those ugly pigskins.
Remember, if it just saves one life.
[Erich Pratt is the Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America, an organization that lobbies in favor of Second Amendment rights. GOA can be contacted at 703-321-8585 or at http://www.gunowners.org on the web.]
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N10 (July 2001)|