Two year old Caroline Starks was recently shot by her own five year brother with his own gun that he received for his birthday. The commercial media often reports on these incidence with an enormous amount of shock and acts as if they're completely isolated; this is misleading even if there doesn't seem to be a direct connections to the various similar incidents. There is almost certainly many common causes including the gun culture that is currently being debated as well as early child abuse that leads to escalating violence and violence in the media. In the case of accidental shootings like this the leading cause might be largely that a child so young even had a gun.
The following is an excerpt from Kid Shootings who have complied a much more comprehensive list of the surprisingly large number of these incidents than the commercial media has.
This is just one of many incidents that they have listed; their category for accidents includes 336 entries and they have only begun compiling them since last year. A large portion of these are about children who accidentally kill other children or themselves with guns that are apparently readily available to many children although most of us that aren't involved in the gun culture might not even realize this is so common.
The media coverage on this is long overdue but like the media coverage on just about everything else it is still highly inadequate. They have been focusing almost entirely on this one case as if it is isolated or they have been provided a limited amount of coverage of the other incidents by mentioning quick statistics in most cases. The primary focus of this debate seems to be based on the gun control issue which is certainly part of it but they're doing very little to discuss many of the other contributing causes.
Ironically when the NRA claims that the problem is metal health they're right although it is clearly not the sole contributing factor.
If the NRA had it's way we would focus solely on mental health or at least pretend to while we do everything we can to make sure that while we're doing this all the people with these problems with mental health continue to have access to guns so they could continue to cause more shootings. The most likely contributing cause to most mental health issues including violent behavior and the obsession that many people have with guns is almost certainly closely related to early childhood upbringing and the values they're taught at a young age.
In previous posts including Continued withholding of solutions in Clackamas and Newtown I have attempted to explain how escalating violence starts at a young age and it is often taught to them by adults who use corporal punishment to discipline them or abuse them in more obvious manners and this escalates to bullying and other forms of violence including domestic violence later in life and many murders or other forms of violence. this almost certainly also leads to more authoritarian behavior where they're more likely to follow the crowd without question. In this case the crowd they often follow is devoted to total deregulation of guns without any scrutiny or rational thought or review of the specifics. Fortunately as most polls seem to indicate this doesn't seem to apply to the majority of the public but it does seem to apply to a large and vocal minority that gets an enormous amount of influence from the political and media establishment.
As discussed in the blog previously cited violence in the media also needs to be addressed but one thing that might be especially important in this case appears to be the marketing to children that the gun industry has been doing.
Apparently there has been a large effort to market guns to children for quite a while now but those of us who haven't been involved in the gun culture might not have been aware of it. As I mentioned in Wal-Marts unethical marketing to children apparently this is more common than many of us realize and I didn't even know about it until I started Googleing about that and since it was shortly after the Newtown incident I also considered the marketing of guns while I was at it; however if anything this type of marketing is even more common than I realized at the time. A Mother Jones article, Here's How the Rifle That Just Killed a 2-Year-Old Girl Is Marketed for Kids sheds a little light on this type of marketing and there's much more where that came from.
The people that represent the NRA and the corporations that sell us products that have much more consequences than many of us realize seem to have there way with the commercial media and the government until there is a major disaster and it has to be brought to the attention to the public. Even then they don't cover it nearly as well as they could or should which is why this type of thing happens over and over again. It is becoming increasingly obvious that we need to do much more to rely on alternative media outlets in the short term including Kid Shootings Blogspot which does a much better job compiling data on this subject and many other outlets that cover different aspects of the issue. In the long run we clearly need much better coverage from the traditional media which would involve major media reform that wouldn't allow a small percentage of the public with a common motive, profit, to have overwhelming control of the mass media.
Under the current circumstances it should be clear to most people that pay attention that the commercial media has turned into a massive propaganda machine where even the most moderate pundits or reporters don't do nearly as good a job as they could or should.