We often come across stories that will leave you shaking your head and wondering if the world has gone mad. This, unfortunately, is one of those times.
This last Saturday in Jefferson County, Tennessee, 8-year-old MaKayla Dyer was playing at home with her puppies. That’s when an 11-year-old neighbor boy approached her and wanted to play with them too. MaKayla was wary. She had been bullied by this kid when they first moved to the neighborhood, and after a talk with the school, it had mostly stopped. But she still didn’t trust him, so she told him no.
She had good reason to be suspicious. In response to this rebuke, the boo apparently retrieved a gun and shot her dead. The boy has been charged with first degree murder as a juvenile at this point. At the very least, he’ll spend the next 12 years in prison. Loosers all around.
How the boy got his hands on a loaded gun is going to be the subject of much inquiry, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see charges leveled against his parents in the days to com. Sadly, it’s yet another example of how gun owners endanger everyone, and not just their own children. While everyone worries about sex offenders snatching their child, statistically speaking, the gun owners in your neighborhood are hundreds of times more dangerous.
While I support responsible gun ownership, it’s flat out foolish to keep loaded guns around for “self defense.” (See: Guns for Protections to get a sobering look at the actual odds of that gun doing something productive verses something tragic.) So if you’re a gun owner, please educate yourself. Keep then locked and unloaded, and choose not to be one of these accidents waiting to happen.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to MaKayla’s family. There are no words for something like this. “Hug your babies every chance you get,” says MaKayla’s mother, “because you never know when they’ll be gone.” That’s about the first thing I’ve heard with this story that does make sense.