The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published an article
which contains advice for children concerning guns. But first, things must be put in perspective, which is a favorite of some of our commenters.
According to the CDC, for all children younger than 15: 54 died from firearm accidents, but almost twice as many died from falls or poisoning. More than 400 children died from smoke, fire or flame; 761 drowned; and more than 2,000 died in car accidents. No children younger than 1 year old died from firearm accidents.
After downplaying the whole business, the author Bob Aldridge, goes on to explain that the small numbers doesn't mean it's not important. There are things we need to do.
There are two ways to prevent children from dying in gun accidents: child-proof the gun and gun-proof the child. Child-proofing guns is fairly easy to do. First, keep guns unloaded and locked in a storage device, such as a gun safe, that no one can access but the gun owner. Second, keep all ammunition in a separate, locked container that no one can access but the gun owner.
What's your opinion? Are there gun owners who actually do this? Wouldn't storing your gun like that eliminate whatever benefit you wanted to have from the gun in the first place? Assuming the gun is in the home for self protection, what possible good is it locked up and separated from the ammo? So, I'm guessing that most gun owners don't do this, please correct me if I'm wrong.
About gun-proofing the child, does anyone who has now, or ever has had an inquisitive five-year-old around the house believe this? Do you really believe the Eddie Eagle type education of young children, instructing them not to touch, works. I personally don't believe it and I would consider it the height of irresponsibility to depend upon such methods.
So, what that leaves us with is keeping the gun loaded, but in a place where the child either can't reach or doesn't know about. Extremely risky behavior.
Children should never handle guns without a knowledgeable and responsible adult supervising. Children should, repeatedly, be taught the following if they encounter any gun under any circumstance without adult supervision: Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult!
When I was a kid, these kinds of warnings only served to increase the curiosity. How about you?
The pro-gun folks who won't bend on anything no matter how sensible, ask, "well how come the numbers are so low then." Well part of the answer is in the fact that we're talking about deaths. If you add injuries, the number increases. If you add shots fired which accidentally miss, which I think count, the number increases still. If you also add times the kids play with the gun but don't fire it, again by luck or timely intervention, the number increases once again.
What's your opinion? When people who own guns have children, what should they do? I say they should remove the guns from the house entirely. That's the only way to ensure safety for the kids. The only exceptions should be those homes which are frequently broken into by rapists and kidnappers, homes in which the domestic arsenal is the only thing standing in the way of tragedy. All the others should use some common sense and get rid of the guns.
What do you think?