“Kid Finds Gun”

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Gun owning TPM Reader SS sent in a note yesterday which meant a lot to me …

Not sure what kind of feedback you are getting on your constant drumbeat of articles about accidental child gun deaths, but, as a gun owner in gun country, I have gradually come to appreciate it.

In the gun world, there is a lot of reinforcement of the idea that gun critics are mostly irrational “hopolophobes,” and there is a lot of discounting of individual gun accidents with recourse to their statistical unlikelihood and/or what is usually a fairly obvious and egregious violation of either one of the “four rules” or the safety protocols we all like to believe we would never, ever forget to follow. (And there is something to the statistical argument: gun critics like to bemoan how many guns there are in this country, but you don’t often hear “per gun” rates of either homicide or accidental deaths–maybe to be fairest these would have to be “per gun-owner.”)

But all of this is to say that, given the horrible possibilities of even the tiniest slip up, it is good to be confronted, in the non sequiturish fashion in which you do it, with all the latest permutations of the old story of “kid finds gun.” For me personally, it is particularly effective that these just pop up in the flow of seemingly unrelated news on a site that I’m going to for a very different purpose than reading about gun deaths. That might be why it’s so effective for me, but I might occupy a rather small zone in the Venn diagram of your readers.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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