Letter: Controlling gun violence by Daryl Youngstrum
This exercise can be repeated over and over with any group of this age: put 20 five-year-olds in a room filled with toys and place a loaded handgun in the room. Exclude all adults and shut the door. Check your watch and see how long it takes before the gun goes off, which it eventually will, and note the time. This exercise does not demonstrate that anyone would be killed or even injured, just that the gun went off.
You can modify this exercise by explicitly instructing the children not to touch or play with the handgun, and the result is still the same: after a passage of time, the gun goes off. Again, it may or may not result in injury or death to anyone in the room.
There are two ways you can modify the exercise so that the gun does not go off. First, you cannot introduce the handgun into the room in the first place. This solution is unacceptable in our society at present because it infers “gun control.” The second way would be to disable the handgun so that even if it is found and played with, it cannot fire. This works just as well as not introducing the handgun into the room in the first place. A five-year-old is not sophisticated enough to know how to assemble a disabled firearm and make it fire.
This second way is “gun violence control.”
Daryl R. Youngstrum, Rhinelander
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