(From the Cincinnati Enquirer)
How many more Javontays must die?
Two school buses let children out in front of an apartment building on Linn Street. Across the street, in front of a dwelling bearing burglar bars and an electronic door gate, the bereft mother of a slain 7-year-old keened.
Javonna Williams’ eyes were dry. But her tears flowed through the words she shouted to the street, to no one in particular.
“They don’t know what they’ve done,” she said. “I was there. I saw his pain. He was in pain.”
Little Javontay died Monday night, police said, after a child playing with a gun in a Mount Airy townhouse shot him in the chest.
It was an accident, police believe, but it’s hard to piece together the facts.
People aren’t telling police everything, including who owned several guns police found at the apartment.
What is clear is a neighborhood is missing one friendly little boy who used to ride his bike and build imaginary forts in a store parking lot next to his home.
Kevin Milline, who owns the grocery store, said Javontay’s mother wouldn’t let him or his 3-year-old sister play in a neighborhood tot lot a block away, because drug dealers had taken it over.
“It’s too dangerous,” Milline said.
Javontay’s West End neighborhood has drug problems, as does the neighborhood he visited in Mount Airy. There have been shootings and assaults in both in recent months.
But carelessness, not drugs, killed Javontay. Some adult let kids find the guns.
How do we as a community reduce the chances of that happening again?
Gee, I don’t know. How about cracking down on the drug dealers? Or, sparing that, how about ending the “War on (some) Drugs” and taking the profitability out of the trade?
Our children are over-exposed to guns – even in low-crime neighborhoods. It is estimated that 40 percent of American households have firearms in them; 30 percent of those guns are unlocked and loaded, according to Common Sense About Kids And Guns, a national group.
A statistic that:
A) Ignores the fact that the percentage of American households with firearms in them hasn’t changed significantly for over fifty years (except, possibly to go down,) and
B) The total number of accidental deaths by firearm (not just rate per 100,000 population) has been declining ever since we started keeping records.
This is part of the “more guns equals more death” meme.
Nationally, 1,200 kids and teens die from gun accidents and suicides annually. Another 18,000 or more are injured.
As I’ve illustrated before, removing a method does not affect overall suicide rates. Australia has suffered a dramatic increase in teen suicide in the last few years. Method? Asphyxiation.
Here’s the facts on accidental firearm death for “kids and teens” up through 17 year-olds:
Shall I go on? And remember, during that time the number of guns in private hands has increased by over three million per year – about a third of which were handguns.
The problem is, the gun
banners control forces define “DOING SOMETHING” as “passing new gun control laws.” Nothing else qualifies.
You won’t hear them talk about the dramatic decrease in accidental deaths. Instead, they will attach suicides to the total in order to keep the numbers as high (and emotion-grabbing) as possible.
Javontay’s case is unusual because he died in an inner-city neighborhood, said Dr. Rebeccah Brown, a pediatric surgeon and assistant director for the trauma unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“I don’t think of (accidental shootings) as being an inner-city problem. Usually it’s kids whose dads are hunters and who find the gun.”
Sweet freaking Jebus. No, Doctor, you don’t think of accidental shootings as being an inner-city problem because you’re overwhelmed by deliberate shootings. Accidental shootings – especially of small children – are quite rare everywhere.
In 10 years, Children’s has treated 127 gunshot wounds in children; most between the ages of 10 and 14.
And how many of them were deliberately inflicted as in, say, drive-bys? (Or are they going to redefine getting hit in a drive-by as an “accident?”)
“Chances are your children have been somewhere or played somewhere where there’s a firearm,” said Tracy Cook, executive director of ProKids, which helps abused kids.
The usual precautionary warnings – don’t mix kids with guns; lock up your weapon; keep ammunition separate – still apply, even with stolen guns, she said.
“Just because you purchase a gun illegally doesn’t mean you can’t put a lock on it. Who wants a kid to die?”
No one wanted Javontay to die.
Through family members, Javonna Williams declined to be interviewed for this column. As neighbors and relatives encircled her, she rocked back and forth.
If those who know something about this accident could only see her pain, I bet they’d give police the information they seek about the guns police found in the apartment Javontay visited.
And if the rest of us are realistic about the chances for more accidental shootings – we’d do whatever it takes to keep kids away from guns.
This is the mentality. Just pass another law. The people willing to steal or acquire a gun illegally will follow that one!
I am not often dumbstruck by the mental processes of the gun
grabbers controllers, but this one floored me. I cannot fathom the “logic” here.
(Update: Kevin McGehee advises: “Don’t try to comprehend the logic of gun
grabbers controllers. It’s like mud wrestling with a pig — you only wind up getting dirty, and the pig likes it.” I can’t help myself, Kevin. I’m an engineer – I’m unable to believe that some people are incapable of logic.)