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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Gun violence: Parents should take steps to protect children from guns in homes

Whenever tragedies like last week’s unintentional shooting of a Lake Stevens 3-year-old occurs, we ask ourselves, “How this could have been prevented?” [“Parents of Lake Stevens boy shot in mouth had argued about guns in home,” Local News, Nov. 24]

However, given that firearms are found in more than one-third of children’s homes across the country plus the fact that the injured child’s father is a proud gun-owner, it becomes clear how easily these tragedies happen. Far too many children have access to guns and, more often than not, they know where the guns are stored. Many of these firearms are kept unlocked and loaded, and every year thousands of children are killed or seriously injured as a result. Most kids who die by gun violence die in their own home, and half of the time the shooter is a family member, often a sibling.

These accidental shootings can be prevented. After weighing the risks and benefits of having firearms in the home — just like we do about other risky, dangerous items — parents and caregivers can make sure firearms are stored locked and unloaded with the ammunition stored separately.  Parents — gun-owners or not — must understand the risks of firearms in homes and take a simple step to keep their children safe: Ask if there’s an unlocked gun where your child plays.

Amanda Turner, president Seattle chapter of the Brady Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: Amanda Turner, gun control, guns

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