Guns, Alcohol, and Teens; Deadly Combination

Two teenagers were drinking in Chicopee, Massachusetts on a Saturday afternoon.  At least one of them was 15 years old.  Likely because of the alcohol, they ended up on the wrong front porch while looking for their friend.  The man inside ultimately shot the 15 year old in his stomach and he later died.

Drinking alcohol, particularly when you are under age, obviously puts you at risk.  Judgment, impulse control, and memory are frequently affected.  Driving after drinking is both risky and far too common.  Unplanned sexual activity, falls, fights, drowning, failing classes, and engaging in inappropriate behavior that result in arrests or expulsion can all be consequences of heavy drinking.

Unfortunately, the combination of guns and alcohol can be a deadly combination, even when those drinking don’t have a gun.  With too many people armed and ready to defend their property, a stupid mistake can be terminal.  When the drunk individual has access to a gun, however, the risk is exponential.  Alcohol is involved in over a quarter of all suicides, and alcohol has been linked to more homicides than all the other substances combined.  While guns are not always the weapon of choice, they are the most common and the most lethal.

As parents, we need to talk to our kids about the many risks that drinking pose.  Particularly drinking around guns.