ONE RUN! A Child Death: Gun Safes and Parent Education Can Save Lives As with most fathers, I wake up every day thinking about my children. I know I will be able to talk to them, maybe even give them some helpful advice, sometimes hear them tell me I’m a dinosaur, but most importantly, I know they are there to love and cuddle me. I’m sure I speak for all parents who love their children when I say that my greatest fear is that one of my children will die before I can.
For some, articles on children’s accidental gun deaths and injuries, as well as calls for gun safety, are a recurring theme that no longer has any impact on readers. This complacency regarding gun safety will never be tolerated by families who have witnessed the tragic deaths and injuries caused by firearms to children. It also cannot be tolerated until we stop reading headlines in newspapers like the one in the Associated Press on March 14, 2012.
“Death of Washington boy’s third gun accident in three weeks” This tragic story about a three-year-old boy who shot himself in the head with a gun left in his parents’ car comes out in March 2012. According to the police, the three-year-old’s death demonstrates the need for increased gun safety awareness and gun security. This was the third unintentional shooting of a child in three weeks, two of which resulted in fatalities. A sibling found and fired a gun left unattended in a car the week before, killing a seven-year-old girl; in February, an eight-year-old girl was critically injured when a gun fired inside the backpack of a nine-year-old boy as he put it on a desk.
Family life is turned upside down by one shot from an unlocked firearm. The impact of that single fatal shot has serious psychological, financial, and social repercussions for the child’s friends, families, and communities in addition to the unimaginable guilt and grief felt inside the family home. It is common for parents to incorrectly assume that their child is educated about gun safety, to have misconceptions about children’s ability to distinguish between a toy gun and a real gun, or to have the belief that their child knows not to handle a real gun.
In his article titled “A firearm safety program for children,” M.S. Hardy: They simply cannot say no,” noted; It is challenging to persuade children and adolescents to avoid guns and to behave responsibly in their presence. Small kids and those in grade school habitually miss the mark on capacity to pass judgment on their plausible gamble of injury, recognize unsafe circumstances, spot ways of forestalling injury, or apply security illustrations they have learned in a homeroom to this present reality.’
In one experiment, a police officer spoke to preschoolers and their parents about the dangers of guns and asked them to promise never to touch one. After the meeting, the kids were recorded playing in a room where toy and genuine firearms were covered up. The children who had attended the class found and played with real guns almost at the same rate as those who had not received any instruction, despite their assurances. Studies indicate that 85 percent of parents with guns do not practice safe gun storage, which adds to the problem.
A layered approach to gun safety education that includes gun safety education for parents as well as friends and acquaintances who have guns in their homes is what this kind of research does indicate rather than merely focusing on children as the target audience for gun safety education. Safeguarding children from gunshot wounds begins at home. If you own a gun, keep it unloaded in a pistol or gun safe, keep ammunition separate from guns, and always remind children that guns are not toys and should not be touched.