Media Monday

Apr 13, 2015

So, another defenseless child is shot. No, it wasn't at school like Amina Kocer-Bowman the eight year old girl who was sitting at her desk when she was shot by a classmate who just dropped his backpack on his desk causing the weapon to fire.

Neither was it like the Marysville-Pilchuck High School mass murder/suicide. Nor was it at a movie theater, a Wal-Mart, some other place of employment, a political gathering....or in the family van, like a police officer in Marysville, WA. Yes- I said police officer who knew his son had a fascination with guns and then left four children alone with a loaded weapon with the safety off. The end result was his three year old son shot and killed his seven year old daughter.

This time this defenseless child was asleep in his bed, in the middle of the night. In his BED...! can't get a safer place than where you sleep. This child's name was Kaden Lum. A beautiful little two year old boy just starting to enjoy life. A life needlessly cut short because of this country's perverse fascination with allowing any ne'er-do-well to purchase a gun.

So- I drew a cartoon showing the contrast between Kaden and our gun culture. I guess I just got tired of reading and seeing increasing and needless gun deaths. I realized I needed to say something, draw something that will lead to a debate that will change our society so there won't be anymore kids shot while they sleep. An editorial cartoon is graphic protest intended to provoke debate. It was published in the Kitsap Sun, April 5. I felt it was a safe cartoon because editorial cartoonists usually exaggerate to make a point. What I drew was pretty much undisputable, Kaden was remembered as an angel and America's Gun Culture more like a fallen angel. 

Some of Kaden's family members were upset that I remembered Kaden by using his image to make a political point. So upset, I get the feeling that it may be because the political point is not one they would agree with. So upset, they want the editorial pages of all newspapers to be eliminated. So upset they want me and David Nelson, editor of the Kitsap Sun who published the cartoon to be fired. Well, so much for free speech where, I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. We're all free to disagree with whatever ...and that even includes free speech and free expression.


There are a lot of sick people in this world...and quite a few have restraining orders against them, that do not allow them to purchase or posses any firearms.  Our laws are a big part of our gun culture and restraining orders are one aspect of those laws. Another aspect of our gun culture- where the weapon possessed is justification to take the law into our own hands.

A restraining order fiasco playing out at about the same time was the Marysville-Pilchuck mass school shooting. The father of the shooter, who made the gun available, had a permanent restraining order, that didn't allow him to have any firearms. This gun culture is so sick 'n' turns out he had more weapons than he could even shoot at any one time. 

I guess all gun owners are responsible.... right up until the moment they're not. 



-Milt Priggee

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