SATIRE/Rosie Sorenson

This Way Madness Comes

Since 2015, more people in the US have been shot by toddlers than by terrorists. And what has Homeland Security done to stop them? Uh, nothing.

An article in the Washington Post opens with the story of a two-year-old boy in South Carolina who, while sitting in the back seat of his parents’ car, discovered a loaded handgun, picked it up and shot his grandmother who was riding in the passenger seat.

Questions linger: who would leave a loaded gun in the back seat of a passenger car? Or perhaps the two-year-old brought it with him because he really didn’t like his grandmother. Maybe grandma refused to buy him that Uzi he was hankering after. The kid would have had a perfect defense. “I just found it in the back seat, your honor!” I mean, who would send a two-year-old to the slammer?

The article goes on to say, “Cases like this happen a lot more frequently than you think.” One three-year-old even “managed to wound both of his parents with a single shot at an Albuquerque motel.” Kid was probably practicing for his Cub Scout sharpshooter badge. You never know.

In Milwaukee this year, another toddler shot and killed a relative, his mother, in the car. Again, who leaves a loaded gun in a car where a child can get at it?

Isn’t it comforting, though, to know modern children are that talented and resourceful? For years, we’ve been treating them like babies, underestimating their skill and cunning.

I say it’s high time toddlers got off their diapered butts and joined the gun bandwagon. Shooting grandma? Or Mom? Now that’s something the NRA can be proud of.

To the parents who think it’s cute to take their children to the gun range to practice shooting their miniature pink or blue rifles, I say, “Look out—you’re next!”

But don’t forget―Christmas is coming. I can’t wait for the Barbie and Ken matching pistols; the Kermit the Frog video on how to load an AK-47; and the Betsy Wetsy doll that shoots bullets out of her butt.

It’s good to be an American.

Rosie Sorenson of Richmond, Calif., is humor columnist for the Foolish Times whose work has appeared in many newspapers and other publications as well as popular anthologies, including the forthcoming The Magic of Memoir, edited by Brooke Warner and Dr. Linda Joy Meyers. Her essays have been broadcast on KQED-FM in San Francisco in its Perspectives series. Email

From The Progressive Populist, November 15, 2016

Blog | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 2016 The Progressive Populist

PO Box 819, Manchaca TX 78652