Tragedy struck at a metro Detroit school in late March. ABC Action News 7 WXYZ reports that a eighth-grade boy brought a handgun to Davidson Middle School in Southgate, Michigan, and shot himself in the school bathroom. In light of incidents like this and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, The New York Times reports that gun control advocates led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) are pushing for stricter federal gun regulations, especially on assault weapons.
Southgate, Michigan, Suicide
Tyler Nichols was 13. According to The Oakland Press, the eighth grader used a .40-caliber Glock handgun to shoot himself once in the head on Thursday, March 21. He was found by another student in a second-floor school restroom around 8:15 a.m. There were no other students in the bathroom. The student who found the injured boy reported it to a staffer, who contacted the police. The gunshot victim was taken to Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton, Michigan. He was listed as brain dead upon arrival.
Police reported that the gun used was owned by a family member of Nichols, and city Public Safety Director Thomas Coombs said at a press conference that it was legally registered but not properly secured.
When news of the shooting hit, officials put the school into lockdown mode. Classes were canceled for Friday. At the press conference, Superintendent William Grusecki said that in response, school officials will be cracking down on security. Students may be searched in the mornings. Kids were advised not to bring backpacks or bulky coats and to carry school items in the open.
Larger Gun Control Issues
Kids and Guns quotes statistics that 40 percent of homes with children contain guns. That's about 22 million kids living in proximity to a firearm. In houses with handguns, 30 percent of those guns were left unlocked and loaded, according to 1997 survey. In 2002, a child died by gunshot accident or suicide every nine hours. Two-thirds of kids in grades 6-12 said in 1999 they could access a gun within 24 hours.
In federal gun control legislation, The New York Times says Senate Democrats recently nixed a ban on assault weapons that was included in broader firearm regulations. Vice President Joseph Biden and families of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims spoke out recently on tougher gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons. Semiautomatic handguns like the Glock used in the Davidson Middle School suicide could fall under that ban. Gun rights advocates are concerned that this highly favored, best-selling handgun would no longer be available anymore, says Guns.
A 25-year teacher, homeschool parent, and native Michigander, Marilisa Sachteleben writes about educational issues in her state's most pivotal city of Detroit.
- Politics & Government
- Dianne Feinstein