Op-Ed: Saving the Children
By Gerard Valentino
(This commentary has also been published at CNSNews.com)
A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 24,000 children are injured in shopping-cart accidents every year. A staggering 85% of those children are under five years of age. That dwarfs the number of children who were injured with guns last year.
It appears that your child has a much better chance of being hurt in an accident involving a shopping cart than with a gun.
Yet, gun control activists continue to target guns as an evil that must be eradicated. At the same time they ignore the risk to children created by much more common items like shopping carts, swimming pools, and even 5-gallon buckets.
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Sarah Brady, who proclaims that her organization exists to save lives, particularly those of children, may want to change the scope of her organization to include shopping carts.
Brady also should call for an end to the now ubiquitous "plastic carts" which are undoubtedly more dangerous because they are lighter and more likely to fall over when improperly loaded. That would fit in with calls to ban plastic handguns, which some erroneously claim can pass unnoticed through metal detectors.
High-capacity shopping carts may also need to be heavily regulated because the more items that a cart can hold, the more unstable they might become, leading to accidents. Such a ban would parallel the high-capacity magazine limit, which Brady trumpeted as vital to ending crime in America.
Can we also expect calls to regulate shopping carts because they are inherently unsafe? Surely a reasonable cart-control program would be supported by most Americans.
Of course, the pro-shopping cart lobby will claim that the carts are perfectly safe -- even necessary to help people shop with ease. But cart-control activists will bemoan the proliferation of a pro-shopping cart culture, no doubt boosted by a powerful pro-cart movement.
Although defeats at the ballot box will haunt the anti-cart movement, they will use the nation's mayors in an effort to sue the cart companies out of business.
When the courts begin to side with the legal right of a shopping cart company to sell their product, no doubt such rulings will be met with outrage by the nation's mayors and groups like the Brady Gang.
Not that any rational person honestly believes that shopping carts are responsible for injuries to children. Parents who fail to supervise their children properly are to blame. But, just as with guns, many people are content to blame an inanimate object instead of accepting responsibility for what happens to their own children.
There is a long list of everyday items that kill or injure more people than guns do, although guns injuries and deaths often get more coverage -- and more sensational coverage -- in the establishment media.
Until Brady and other gun control activists realize that a gun is nothing more than a tool incapable of good or evil intentions, the threat will remain to our civil right to bear arms.
Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair.
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