Loaded Dice

Once again, the press gets bored and sets up an “experiment” to achieve the results they wish to report.

KNXV-TV (ABC) Pheonix, AZ Reports:

From behind a two-way mirror, parents, a police officer and ABC15 crew members were surprised when watching what a group of children would do if they encountered a gun.

We try to teach our kids to do the right thing, but we don’t always know how well our lessons stick in their minds.

We wanted to test a group of children to see what would happen if we planted a real gun in their mix of toys.

Would the children alert parents if they found a gun or would they play with it?

With extreme precaution to ensure no child was ever in danger parents, a police officer, and ABC15 crew members watched a group of children from behind a two-way mirror.

To make sure the gun was safe, police removed the magazine, checked the chamber and removed the firing pin.

Two groups of children ranging in age from 2 to 12 were tested.

Not surprisingly, none of the kids went for help and the boys that did find/see it picked it up and played with it.  Parents are aghast!

With the exception of one kid, I’m willing to bet that none of the families have had very serious discussions, let alone actually HAVE firearms in the home that they’ve even seen or (in the case of the older children) have been taught how to use and respect.  They probably just say, “Johnny/Susie, don’t you ever play with guns,” while the kid is on the couch playing Grand Theft Auto.

What I’d like to say to KNXV ABC15:

First: the extremely young ones… please.  I keep my firearms secure from my 2-year-old.  That kid will NEVER be in a situation where there will be access to the firearms until I feel the time is right.  Same goes for my 4-year-old; that one has been begging me to go shooting for a while.  Time to pull out the air-rifle.

Second, I’d like to quote/paraphrase a lot of what Mike W. said: You’re biasing the entire experiment by deliberately putting a gun in with a bunch of toys. Plus, common sense dictates that kids will react with curiosity unless you teach them precisely and repeatedly how they should react. If you haven’t discussed firearms with your kids how can you expect them to consider them dangerous, not touch them, or come and tell an adult?  If they’ve never seen, touched, or held a real gun before how would you expect them to know it’s not a toy?  Especially in this case, where you’ve deliberately placed it in a box of toys.

And what do most boys do with toy guns, or their fingers? They point them at each other and go “bang.”  That’s exactly what I’d expect to happen. The adults conducting this “experiment” set it up to ensure they’d achieve the result they wanted.

Put a bunch of adults with NO firearms experience in a similar situation and don’t be surprised if the person who found it immediately started pointing it at people or looking down the barrel from the business-end.

We are raising generations now with complete ignorance of firearms while simultaneously glamorizing them in entertainment; a nasty combination to be sure.  Firearms education needs to be brought back into the schools, communities, and families.  Instead of demonized, firearms need to be understood and respected for the tools they are and the purposes the serve now and have served in history, good, bad, and grey.

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