January 25, 2013 by Nash Riggins
Nehemiah Griego is the shining example of why gun control in the US is absolutely vital.
On Sunday morning, the 15-year-old preacher’s son snuck into his mother’s bedroom, where the family kept their guns. He then proceeded to shoot his mother in the head, along with his 9-year-old brother asleep in the bed. Afterwards, he went next door and shot his weeping younger sisters, ages 5 and 2, in the face – before waiting for his father to return home from his job as a prison chaplain and killing him with an AR-15 rifle.
Why did this clearly troubled youth commit the unthinkable? According to police, the teen’s rationale for the killings was that he’d been “frustrated” with his mother as of late – and, although subsequent reports are highlighting the fact that he enjoyed playing violent video games as if it’s some massive revelation, it is completely nonsensical to blame pop culture.
After all, how can Call of Duty be the pegged as the cause for over 30,000 gun-related deaths per year in America? Violent video games are just as, if not more, popular in the UK – yet the entire nation sees less than 40 gun-related deaths per year. At the end of the day, logic dictates that fewer people will be shot if there are fewer guns on the market.
Unfortunately, many in America fail to draw this connection. In fact, the day after 21 children were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut was reportedly one of the best days gun retailers had seen all year. What’s more, in the past month alone, the all-powerful National Rifle Association has welcomed 250,000 new members to its ranks – why?
Parents across the country have flocked to Wal-Mart’s gun counters under the false presumption that, now more than ever, having a gun in your home somehow ensures that you are protected from harm; however, this presumption is naïve at best. Harsh as may seem, the Griego family’s tragic demise on Sunday can ultimately be sourced back to their own gun cabinet. The same can be said for the mother of Adam Lanza, who was killed by her own gun before her son proceeded to murder over two dozen innocent children and school teachers in December.
Such cautionary tales prove that, if anything, it’s safer for a household not to own a gun. There are more firearms in the United States than there are legal adults, and the majority of them are perfectly legal. Nehemiah Griego’s father taught the boy how to shoot responsibly – and in the eyes of the state, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the Griego family owning their own small stockpile of weapons for protection and recreational use. Yet no parent can predict the ways in which teen angst may materialise where guns are readily available – and if the son of a preacher is capable of such evil, what makes the teen next door any different?
Even if the NRA wants to blame punk rock, Grand Theft Auto and Barack Obama’s children for the almost 1,000 gun-related deaths that have occurred since the Sandy Hook massacre, no one can logically deny that a vast majority of those same killings wouldn’t have otherwise occurred if the troubled teens in question had no viable access to firearms.