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Re Porter - Reckless gun owner
bethany porter

Apparently on Monday, a student brought a loaded firearm to Hickory Creek Elementary school because his mother reportedly put it in his backpack. I’ve seen a few people trying to defend this by saying we don’t know the whole story, but I don’t think that matters. What matters is a child had access to a deadly weapon and it ended up in a school. It is a miracle no one was hurt. 

According to the District Attorney’s press release, the mother of the student placed the loaded gun in his backpack the day before school. I can’t even imagine why a parent would do that or how that could accidentally happen. Parents need to be more responsible with their weapons. Children should never have easy access to a loaded weapon, or a weapon at all. There are far too many cases of children shooting themselves on accident because of the parent’s ignorance.

Obviously I am not a parent and I am not a gun owner, but you would think if you had a child in the house you would be more careful with a weapon and always know where it is. Children are children and they likely don’t realize guns are deadly weapons due to having toys that look the same. It is fortunate the weapon was found when it was and no other children at the school found it and thought it was a toy. 

This situation also caused a lot of panic in parents following a vague phone call sent out to parents. I think if the school was going to inform parents on what happened they should have just told the whole story or at least what they could at the time. The phone call only mentioned that a situation happened, law enforcement was there investigating, no one was ever in danger, and the school day will continue as normal. I understand why this freaked parents out. 

Parents should be held accountable when these things happen. For instance, the parents of the Michigan school shooter, Ethan Crumbley, bought the 15-year-old a Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol on Black Friday. The Crumbleys stored the gun in an unlocked drawer in their bedroom. They also failed to mention the gun when school authorities raised concerns about Ethan’s behavior. Ethan took the gun to school and fatally shot four students. His parents were charged with manslaughter as well. 

I think that case sets an example. Parents need to be held responsible. A troubled 15-year-old boy does not need a weapon. They are not toys and everyone does not have a right to own one. What happened at Hickory Creek is a completely different situation, but it could have ended badly because of the parent’s recklessness. 

Personally, I think her side of the story is irrelevant because a loaded gun still ended up in the backpack. Even if she didn’t purposely place the gun in his backpack, the gun still ended up there. Gun owners should be more responsible.

Southern Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at (931) 473-2191.