My heart dropped when I read this headline today: ‘The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did.’
Yesterday, I had read a newsbite on the accidental shooting death of 14-year old Stephen Brumby by his father, William Clayton Brumby.
It happened on a family outing to a shooting range, during target practice– a hot, newly discharged shell casing flew over William’s head and down the back of his shirt. In his attempt to remove the spent casing from his shirt, William unwittingly pulled back the trigger of the firearm he still held in his hand, firing a round into the ceiling that ricocheted and hit his son Stephen.
As I suspected, this little incident made CNN Headline news. Because, it could easily be used to further the leftist argument that Guns kill people.
But, in his grief, William Brumby did something unexpected…
As if to underscore the argument made by gun-rights activists that people kill people. And effectively counter any attempts of gun-control advocates using his personal tragedy to further their cause:
He took full responsibility for his son’s death.
I can appreciate Brumby’s readiness to accept his own role in his son’s death. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily true.
A gun, unloaded, tucked away in a locked safe, has zero chance of harming anyone. Even accidentally. So much for ‘guns kill people’.
People do kill people. Likely, they have done so from the very beginning of the species Homo sapien. So, to state that people kill people is entirely unnecessary. We know this to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, people are limited in their ability to kill people by their access to weapons. People don’t need guns to kill people. They will use rocks, spears, knives, bombs. Does that mean that every sudden, violent death of an individual is necessarily the fault of another person? Or the fault of the one, literally, holding the smoking gun?
I think we need to approach issues of gun control and personal reponsibility from new angles. But, I’m having a hard time doing that here…
My heart is still on the floor.
I wonder if Brumby really believes this to be true (that he killed his son), or if his statement is a direct result of America’s extremely polarized rhetoric surrounding gun ownership. In the aftermath of the sudden loss of his son, can we as fellow Americans set down our metaphorical swords and give this guy some compassion?
What I want to do is find this family, hold each and everyone of them in my arms, and let them know that human beings make mistakes. Sometimes deadly ones.
I want to look William Clayton Brumby in the eye and say “No! You didn’t kill your son. A ricocheting bullet did!”
I know how hot those spent shell casings can be as they fly out of a handgun. I might have made the same mistake.
Except, I am absolutely humbled by the terrifying power of firearms.
I grew up in a home completely opposed to guns of any kind. Neither of my parents owned one. I never shot a gun as a child or teen…
Then, I married my Woodsman. He practically grew up with a .22 in his hands. He spent more time hunting in the woods as a teen than I did practicing at the piano during those years (A LOT).
I went through hunters safety, and obtained my concealed carry license from the DOJ in my late 20’s. I used to carry whenever I went out without my husband. And, I was stressed out the entire time. Because, I was raised to fear guns. And that fear has never gone away.
I know exactly what guns are designed to do– kill. They aren’t designed to protect shite. They are made for ending the lives of birds and mammals. Period.
When did we start believing that guns protect people? No, sometimes people with guns protect people … But people without guns have been known to do the same.
My husband (who has to carry a gun with him every day at work and is weapons certified) taught me the gravity of loading a bullet into the chamber of a handgun. Bullets wound, maim and kill.
This idea that guns are made for protection is flawed. Guns kill. It’s what they do. Even when we don’t intend for them too.
Most gun owners know full well that:
People with loaded guns kill people.
Perhaps, Brumby has just made his peace with that fact.
May we all by humbled by his example.