Over the weekend in Milwaukee, as many were enjoying the nice spring weather, a nine year old girl was shot dead by her brother. Miyanna Jelks was a child accidentally killed by another child, and just like that has become another example of the extent of gun violence.
While her parents will be arrested for this awful incident, there is still, ultimately, never any real “justice” when a child’s life is taken by gun violence. Milwaukee has always suffered from such violence, but as high school students everywhere march for their lives this week, Miyanna Jelks’ death must also be remembered and fought for.
Similar to Jelks, many other children live in households with guns. As a result, many children have also been accidental shooting victims and will continue to be victims if no change is enacted.
There are endless stories that I could fill this article with to better prove my point. Just last year, a six year old shot a four year old child in South Carolina, a father accidentally killed his daughter in Indiana, and a boy from Mississippi died in his grandparents’ arms on the way to the hospital after being accidentally shot in the chest.
That list can go on and on, further showing that no matter how many children fall victim to guns, people will continue to fight against the argument that more gun restrictions must be put into place.
Miyanna Jelks’ father obtained a gun even being a felon and he had a locked safe for his gun in his home…that he never used. It’s easy to simply push the blame for this shooting onto bad parenting (which could be argued to be true,) however in many of these accidental shootings, children have had frighteningly easy access to their parents’ guns.
As I mentioned before in previous articles, gun control doesn’t just mean taking away everyone’s guns. It means providing the proper training to use guns, especially if families allow their guns to lay out in the open for their children to pick up.
It means having a better background check system for purchasing guns. It means teaching people how to safely secure their guns in their homes, so curious children don’t use them.
According to a study published in Newsweek, shootings are now the third leading cause of death for children in the United States. While this is extremely important, let’s look at the causes of death that come before shootings: illnesses and unintentional deaths (such as car crashes.)
As for illnesses, we created vaccines and have made so many advances in medicine to help treat diseases in an effort to save children’s lives. With cars, we have enacted speed limits, restricted the driving age, and forced people to pass a test before they are allowed to control a vehicle.
Yes, it is true that illnesses and car crashes still, unfortunately, take children’s lives everyday but it’s crucial to remember that the country has at least attempted to regulate these issues.
So, it doesn’t really make sense that guns have become so dangerous to our children and, yet, there has still been nothing done to help solve America’s gun problem.