Right to bear arms should include responsibility

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 30, 1999

While we support every American’s right to bear arms, we simply wish it was necessary to pass a test to prove they have the proper mix of intelligence and responsibility before people are allowed to purchase firearms.

We say this because for the second time in three months, the hands of children have found the triggers of guns in our community. Both times it happened resulted in tragedy.

In June, 8-year-old La’Joshua White was accidentally shot in the stomach by his brother while the two played with a handgun they’d found.

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This weekend, another Natchez youth, this time a 9-year-old girl, was accidentally shot in the chest.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that with each such occurrence somehow the shock is lessened. Tragic shootings like these should shock us – hopefully into preventing them from happening again.

It’s easy to say &uot;accidents just happen.&uot; Sure they do, but in both of these cases it seems to be a case of ignorance on the part of whoever was responsible for the two guns in question.

We can think of absolutely no reason that handguns should ever be within the reach of children. And if the child is old enough to go and find the weapon, then the guns should have trigger locks.

Some folks would like to bring in the lawmakers and create new gun regulations, but we don’t think this is necessary.

No amount of laws can help prevent ignorance and negligence on the part of some gun owners. If laws could, we’d be in full support of them and the world would be a better place.