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A First Grader Accidentally Took Guns to School, and an Adult Needs to Be Held Accountable for It

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iStock_000007055037_SmallIrresponsible gun ownership should be prosecuted and punished, because when we are dealing with tools designed for killing things, negligence can and frequently does lead to tragedy. There is no situation where a child winds up accidentally bringing two guns to school that is not a direct result of an adult behaving negligently, but still that happened recently in Texas.

According to NBC News, a first-grade boy brought two guns to class recently, completely by accident. Investigators say the boy’s father was going on a hunting trip, and he had put two unlocked handguns into a backpack that was identical to the backpack his son took to school. The boy wound up picking up the wrong backpack, and found himself sitting in first-grade class with two real guns in his bag.

Luckily, the boy at least seems like a good kid with an extremely sound head on his shoulders, because as soon as he saw that he was carrying a backpack full of guns at school, he went right to his teacher and reported what had happened. It is lucky that he is such a good, sensible kid, because another six- or seven-year-old could have thought they were toys, or showed them off to his or her friends, or decided to play the world’s worst game of cops and robbers, and this story could have ended in tragedy.

Someone who does not have a sensible head on his shoulders, though, is the parent responsible for leaving real guns not only within reach of a small child, but in a backpack that is identical to the backpack that small child would be carrying. How does that even happen? If you saw a TV show where an adult had a backpack full of guns and a child had an identical backpack full of schoolbooks, you would say, “Well, I know where this is going!”

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Texas law says adults can be held criminally negligent if a child gains access to a loaded gun, and firearms dealers have to display signs that say:

IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.

Apparently this kid’s father just wasn’t paying enough attention. News reports have not specified if the guns in the child’s possession were loaded, but if they were, an adult could face charges for this.

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