I’m reading this horrifying article about this poor kid who had a breakup with his girlfriend, spiraled, acted out, and eventually killed himself. His mom blames TikTok for providing him with provocative suicidal ideation videos, but at the end, the lede, buried as deep in exposition as you can get, revealed this nugget:

When Dave realized that Mason had gone to his room, he ran there and pounded on the door, trying to get him to unlock it.

But Mason was already gone. The 16-year-old died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

This happened in Arkansas, so I wondered how easy it is for a kid to get a gun.

You must be 18 to purchase, but you can possess a shotgun or rifle without restriction at any age. Did mom and dad buy him a shotgun for his sweet 16? If he were 18, he could purchase any weapon with no restrictions. No parental notification. No waiting period. No permit. No mandatory safety course. No registration. Nada.

So parents need to know what books kids are reading, what teachers are saying about sex, whether or not there’s a trans kid in their county, and what their kids are doing on TikTok, but are perfectly ok with that same child possessing a device specifically designed to take a life.

A child, mind you. Can’t vote, can’t drink, and can’t enlist in the military.

It boggles my mind.

So let’s say it was a gun of one of the parents. They are the ones who brought the weapon into the house and failed to secure it. No information can be found on the internet about what kind of gun was used. Was it a rifle or shotgun, that he would be legally allowed to possess, or a handgun he got access to by other means. I think it’s telling what the news article leaves out, while calling for accountability for TikTok. I mean, TikTok is trash, but the elephant in the room is easy access to guns.

You are 5x (3x by suicide, 2x by homicide) as likely to die by gun violence if there is a firearm in your house, either by your own hand or the hand of a family member. The best way to stay safe from gun violence is to not own a gun.