Maybe one set of South Carolina parents was at a movie late last Friday.
Maybe they were getting dinner at a local restaurant or drinking at a local bar.
Maybe they hurried to change clothes, quickly scanning the bedroom before rushing back out for groceries.
Wherever they were, the parents of 3-year-old boy Tmorej Smith and his 7-year old sister weren't on hand to stop the kids from finding a bright pink handgun left unsecured in a bedroom.
The pistol was loaded and without a trigger lock. And it wasn't long until the 3-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister picked the pistol up and played with it, as kids will do.
The gun fired, and the bullet hit Tmorej in the head and killed him.
Amid all the firearm discourse and legislative debate, this story from WYFF in Greenville, S.C. struck me differently.
Maybe a pistol with attachments to hold a stuffed animal, or side chambers for dum-dum lollipop bouquets would be more appealing to kids than a pretty-pink-pistol, but not by much.
Kids like toys because they're fun to play with, so don't make pistols that look like toys.
I'm not saying the number of children killed by unsecured hand guns would instantly and dramatically drop with a "Pink Pistol" ban, but it couldn't hurt.
According to a 2012 Children's Defense Gun report nearly 6,000 American kids were killed from '08 to '09 by guns. That's nearly the number of Afghan and Iraq U.S. combat deaths from '01 to the present.
Not quite 200 of those dead kids were under 5 years old. If one of them died because someone thought a pink pistol was a toy, that at least seems an easy fix. Retailers that market weapons in colors of all spectrums might be outraged, but could take solace in their sales of pink AR-15s, as well as sherbet, lime, and sunburst-colored assault rifles.
What's more challenging is getting people who own firearms to secure them. Shooting is a process: choose a weapon, fill out the forms, buy the bullets, load the bullets, pull the trigger, methodically clean the weapon, apply some oil. Can't be that tough to include another step like replacing the trigger guard, or locking it up.
Unfortunately carelessness and disregard are even more common among Americans than firearms; so it's too bad there's no legislation that can change that.
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