Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

For parents who own guns

This article is a plea for parents to keep guns away from their kids. From the article:
Most gun owners believe they are responsible. And they well may be, but that can’t mean much to the family of Lourdes Guzman DeJesus, the 13-year-old Homestead girl fatally shot on a school bus by 15-year-old Jordyn Alexander Howe, a boy showing off the gun his stepfather left on a closet shelf.
Nor does it negate the fact that over the past five years more than 10,000 children died by gunfire in the United States — 570 in Florida alone.
As adults, we all hold some responsibility for Lourdes’ death — for not doing more, for not demanding more, to keep our children separate from our guns.
Jordyn Howe’s mother reportedly didn’t know there was a gun in her home. But her teenage son did. He knew exactly where his stepfather kept the apparently loaded and unlocked firearm. That’s not unusual. Studies show that most kids know if and where a gun is kept in their home, even when their parents say their children have no idea. And when parents believe their kids would never dare touch their gun — that they know better — that doesn’t pan out either. Many kids admit they already have.
If a doctor had asked Jordyn if there was a gun in his home, he may have said, “Yes,” perhaps bringing about a lifesaving conversation with his mother. Jordyn’s doctor could have facilitated an important revelation to Ms. Howe, and helped her discuss preventing a potential tragedy with her husband, perhaps removal of the gun from the home — the safest option. Or, if the stepfather was determined to keep his gun at home, she could have guided him to ensure the weapon was stored locked and/or unloaded, which in a home with children substantially reduces the risk of gun death and suicide.
However, just about the time that Jordyn would have been due for his 14-year-old medical checkup, the Florida Legislature passed the nation’s first law banning doctors from asking questions about access to firearms.
There is a lot of good advice here for how and why to keep guns away from kids. Please read the whole article. Lives depend on it. And remember- every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

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