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2006-01-25 - 2:45 p.m.

"January 25, 2006 Germantown, Maryland (AP) -- A 7-year-old girl was shot in the arm at a day care center Tuesday after an 8-year-old classmate brought in one of his father's guns and it accidentally went off, authorities said."

I can't say that I'm a big fan of guns. I have a healthy respect/fear for guns. I don't see any problem with rational, responsible, law-abiding citizens owning guns, so all of you pro-NRA cranks should put away your ammo/soap boxes right now.

As I said, I have no problem with guns when the right kind of people have them. However, this Associated Press article goes on to say the following: "The father has an extensive criminal record dating to the 1960s, according to court documents. It includes several convictions of assault with intent to maim and gun charges." And this eedjit, who shouldn't be allowed to own a handgun anyway (since he is a convicted felon), leaves the gun in "a container in his closet" where his 8-year old child can get to it. Unless that container is a) a safe, or b) a block of cement, it is not in a safe place when an 8-year old can get to it.

This is why every Briton honestly and truly believes that every adult American owns a handgun. Perhaps they think that Oprah will start dispensing handguns at her shows instead of cars (YOU GET A GUN! YOU GET A GUN! YOU GET A GUN!)? And before you say that England is just some insignificant island in the North Sea, don't you still think that any other developed nation having that sort of perception of our entire country is indicative of a larger problem?

So, as a nation, how do we fix this problem? I like Chris Rock's suggestion that maybe the bullets should cost $500 each. That way, you'd have to have a very important reason for buying a bullet or shooting someone. However, I find that solution a bit impractical. NRA supporters are quick to tell you that there's nothing wrong with the guns, but that we need to do a better job of enforcing the existing gun laws to prevent the wrong people from owning a handgun.

Well how did the father of this child get hold of a handgun? If he's a convicted felon, and if we believe that existing handgun laws would prevent him from legally owning a handgun, then we have to assume he got the gun through illegal means. Who sold it to him? Maybe that guy deserves a beatdown, in a courtroom or otherwise.

I'll never own a handgun because I have a wife, and I tend to, on occasion, aggravate her. I don't want to take a chance on having that kind of temptation available to her.

Fortunately the young victim in the Associated Press story was shot in the arm, which, while not pleasant, certainly beats the hell out of catching that bullet in the chest or the head.

Remember, the Second Amendment may give you the right to own a gun, but it doesn't give you the right to be an eedjit. And if you have young children in your home, and you also have guns that you cannot keep away from those children, you're being an eedjit. There are parents across this great nation of ours that will go to great lengths to make certain that their kids can't watch porn on cable, but seem to be lax about controlling the firearms that they own.

Don't own it if you can't control it. And that applies to guns, animals and cars.

And some hairstyles.

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