Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Article: We need a law to keep guns away from kids
HERE is an op-ed from Heidi Yewman, a board member of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as published in The News Tribune, advocating the passage of a Child Access Prevention law for Washington state:
Feb. 22, three children under the age of 10 have died or been seriously
injured in Washington state because adults did not lock up their guns.
If 2012 is a normal year, there will be at least five more kids shot by
We see these shootings as unfortunate accidents; we think that nothing can be done.
years ago a lot of people died in unfortunate accidents as the result
of drunken drivers; we thought nothing could be done. But then we did
something about it. We passed laws, and drinking and driving became
socially unacceptable. Now a lot fewer people die every year from
can also do something about kids dying from bullets passing through
their little bodies: We can pass laws that hold adults responsible for
failing to properly store their firearms. A majority of states have laws
designed to prevent children from accessing firearms. In those states,
unintentional firearms deaths have fallen by 23 percent among children
under age 15.
are designed to encourage a certain behavior for our safety.
Drunken-driving laws, seat-belt laws and speed limits make us all safer.
Before all these laws were enacted, people died, and we decided to do
something about it. Now fewer people die because they’re drunk, speeding
or not wearing seat belts.
are roughly 280 million guns in the U.S., nine guns for every 10
people. This problem is not going away. For context, there are 245
million registered cars, trucks and motorcycles in America – all
regulated – because we now know that it’s not “unfortunate” when
children die because their parents are driving drunk or not wearing seat
belts or driving too fast. It’s preventable.
are gun deaths. Washington state leaders should, without delay, pass a
child-access prevention law to hold parents accountable – but mostly to
influence behavior, much as laws have done with drinking and driving,
seat belts and speeding. Because there is something we can do about it.
Yewman of Vancouver, Wash., is the author of “Beyond the Bullet:
Personal Stories of Gun Violence Aftermath” and is a board member of the
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Thank you, Heidi, for your passionate work to keep children safe.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.