Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.
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Dolman: Strict gun laws keep everyone safe
How gun-saturated is this country today?
Let’s start with the story of the 7-year-old boy who police say brought a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol into Wave Preparatory School in Far Rockaway, Queens, on Thursday. Along with the gun, the second-grader had a separate magazine loaded with 10 bullets in his backpack and 7 to 10 additional rounds in a plastic bag, according to police.
There may or may not have been a bullet in the gun’s chamber. The New York Police Department is trying to find out.
The encouraging news is that the child’s mother, Deborah Farley, 53, has been arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.
If you think strict gun laws only punish law-abiding owners, I think this case says otherwise. It is New York’s way of saying gun ownership is a life-and-death matter that comes with serious responsibilities. It says carelessness will be dealt with sternly.
But here’s the discouraging news: This sort of thing happens all the time.
It happened on Wednesday in Texarkana, Ark., when an 11-year old boy brought a handgun into College Hill Middle School to show a friend.
It happened last week in Allentown, Pa. when a 16-year-old took a loaded handgun into Allen High School.
It happened in Utah last month when an 11-year-old brought a .22 caliber pistol and ammunition to class at West Kearns Elementary School.
An Associated Press poll this week said three-quarters of Americans are angrier about the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School than they were about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But wait—at least 9/11 was inflicted on us by an external enemy. We’re doing this to ourselves. We have to stop.