A 4-year-old Maryland boy is a hero today, not because he saved a cat from a tree, but because he had the intelligence to call 911 to alert police that he and six other children (all between the ages of 2 and 4) were stuck inside a hot car with no adult to help them.

The boy’s mother, who showed up 10 minutes after police arrived, had no explanation for leaving her 2 children and 5 other toddlers that she was babysitting in such dangerous conditions. The children had been in the hot car for at least 20 minutes with the windows rolled up and the engine off before the boy called 911.

Stranger yet, the car was unlocked and even though there were 7 toddlers in the car, there was only one car seat. We all know that there are laws against leaving children unattended, against leaving children in a hot car and against using a vehicle without children properly restrained, but apparently this woman didn’t care. It’s not the manufacturer of the car’s fault or the person that sold the woman the car’s fault — it is 100% her fault whether due to human error or malice, and she should be held 100% accountable.

When a person does something wrong – they do something wrong – not the clothing they wear or the food they had for breakfast. We have lost sight of accountability. I understand the idea behind not publishing the name of someone because they did something terrible and hateful, but by doing that, you are erasing the fact that a “person” committed the act, and not an item. I think we are doing this wrong. How can a person be held accountable and blamed if no one knows who it is?

This time of year when everyone is planning for vacations, remember to know the laws of the states you may be traveling through or staying in if you plan on carrying your firearm. Several states share North Carolina’s conceal carry rules through reciprocity, but sometimes you have to travel through states that don’t to get there. Call the State Police of the states you are traveling through if you are unsure. In some cases you can apply for a “travel pass” that will allow you to go through a state (while abiding by their laws). Of course you can scratch New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland off that list. Most of the items that are legal in North Carolina are not legal there and most likely no exceptions will be made. Know the laws to avoid ruining your summer get away.

Looking for a list of states that reciprocate? Check out the NRA’s website. They have lots of free and valuable information.

Remember knowledge is power and being accountable for your actions and holding others accountable for theirs is common sense — something that needs to be restored in this country ASAP.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.