A recent editorial in the Chronicle called for a state program to increase public awareness regarding safe gun storage. Citing the 600 Texas children who are annually killed or injured by guns and the 1,900 Texans who commit suicide with guns, the paper argues that
Because the number of firearm fatalities is comparable to the number of motor-vehicle deaths in our state, surely lawmakers can find a source of revenue to pay for a safe gun-storage campaign. The campaign would fall squarely within the Texas Department of Safety’s stated vision to “proactively protect the citizens of Texas.”
Children being killed or injured by guns is certainly tragic, but where should the Department of Safety draw the line on proactively protecting Texans? Should the Department of Safety seek to educate us about every conceivable cause of death and injury? Clearly, this would be absurd.
Every activity in life carries with it some risk of death or injury. But this does not mean that the government should barrage us with constant warnings about those risks.
Responsible people educate themselves regarding the risks involved in their activities. They take appropriate precautions, and when they judge the risks to be too great, they abstain.
Of course, the Chronicle and its nanny state cohorts like to focus on the minority of individuals who aren’t responsible. And then they want to penalize the responsible for the actions of the irresponsible. The proposed public safety campaign for safe gun storage is but one example. Someone will pay for the campaign, and you can bet dollars to donuts that the financiers won’t be limited to irresponsible gun owners.
The proper purpose of government is the protection of individual rights, not educational campaigns. If the paper wants to see a campaign to educate the public about safe gun storage, it is more than welcome to lead that effort. Hearst, which owns the Chronicle and five other Texas newspapers, has the resources to lead such a campaign at no cost to taxpayers.
It’s extremely doubtful that the paper will put its money where its mouth is. It’s much easier to advocate programs that spend taxpayer money than to actually show some integrity.