A 9-year-old boy has reportedly been accused of threatening three of his classmates with a loaded gun at his school.
The third-grader at Lauderhill elementary school was charged with possession of a weapon school property and three counts of aggravated assault. He has to spend 21 days in home detention and wear an ankle bracelet. He cannot return to school neither can he contact the classmates he threatened.
Authorities say the child brought a loaded .380 caliber Ruger handgun to the school on Oct.2 and began approaching students, telling them, “You see this? This is a real gun.”
The arrest report reveals the boy "removed the firearm from his right front pocket and then removed it from its holster ... and showed that it contained bullets" to one students. Then he approached a second classmate and pulled out the weapon, warning, “Don’t tell the teacher or else.” The he showed a third student the gun and, again, threatened to shoot if they told anyone.
A teacher alerted the vice principal of the school after someone informed about the boy in possession of a weapon.
Eventually, the school resource officer confiscated the gun without incident, according to police. No one was hurt.
The case brings into focus, yet again, the prevalent gun culture in the United States as well as the fact that nearly 4.6 million children in the country live in homes with at least one unsecured weapon.
As a result, children find guns and often unintentionally shoot themselves or others. According to a January 2017 report, toddlers shot about one person a week in 2015 and 2016.
"America's got a real problem," the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence stated in 2017. "We need to lock them up. Not the guns — that's just un-American. The toddlers. Round them up. Deport them. Get them out of our country. And keep them away from our guns."
As per an August report, at least eight children are accidentally shot every day with unsecured firearms in the home.
“We can all agree, eight children being unintentionally shot and injured or killed every day is simply unconscionable,” Kris Brown, Brady co-president, said in a statement. “Just like the term ‘designated driver’ changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term ‘Family Fire’ will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions around this important matter.”
In April, a 3-year-old toddler accidentally shot her pregnant mother in Indiana. In July, a two-year-old boy in Texas died after shooting himself in the head with an unsecured gun that he found inside his home. In the same month, a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old cousin at a home in Southern California. In September, a 12-year-old boy was arrested after he brought a loaded weapon to his school, North Scott Junior High, and pointed it as his teacher's face.
Despite the grim statistics, far from implementing sensible gun laws that would help prevent toddlers and children from getting their hands of firearms, there are U.S. lawmakers, such as former congressman Joe Walsh, former Senator Trent Lott, California congressman Dana Rohrabacher and South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, who are willing to endorse putting guns in the hands of children aged 3 through 12.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters