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24 March, 2020 – Reported by Middletowntranscript.com, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released a paper, “The Importance of Safe Gun Storage During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” It reads:
“As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across America, communities are increasingly urging residents to practice social distancing to help slow the spread. While families are contending with tremendous disruptions to daily life and nearly unprecedented uncertainty, COVID-19 also presents a life-threatening risk for America’s young people: unsecured guns in the house.”
“Recent data indicate that approximately 4.6 million children and teens in the United States live in homes where loaded guns are kept unsecured.
“Two of the greatest threats posed by unsecured guns to children, teens and young adults are accidental shootings and suicide.”
“We must ensure that firearms are properly secured to protect the millions of young Americans who are spending significantly greater periods of time in their homes. By practicing safe storage— keeping unattended firearms unloaded and locked, with ammunition stored separately — gun owners can significantly reduce the risks of unintentional shootings and firearm suicide and save lives.”
“On Jan. 25, 2020, a three-year-old in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who discovered a loaded and unlocked gun shot and killed himself. Less than 24 hours earlier, a five-year-old across town had shot himself in the hand.”
“As demonstrated by the tragedies in Baton Rouge, children as young as three are strong enough to fire some types of handguns. In one study, 73% of children under age 10 living in homes with guns reported knowing the location of their parents’ firearms, and 36% admitted they had handled the weapons. Many of these children handled guns without their parents’ knowledge. Nearly a quarter of parents did not know that their children had handled a gun in their house.”
“When children and teens have unsupervised access to firearms, tragedies are all but inevitable. According to the CDC, 888 children under the age of 18 died from unintentional gunshot wounds between 2009 and 2018 in the U.S. Among these victims were 598 children ages 14 and under. Children ages five to 14 are more than 20 times more likely to be killed in unintentional shootings in the U.S. than in other high-income countries.”
The paper also talks about the risks of suicides with unsecured guns, and this time of uncertainty and epidemic can be very stressful.
The photo is of Tripp Shaw and his family; his dad was ‘play wrestling’ with Tripp while wearing a gun, and Tripp was shot dead.
While we at One Pulse for America have been calling for people to take home gun safety seriously for years. We will do it again now, in the hope that perhaps lives can be saved. Children should not die from adults’ ignorance.
Please contact your friends, family, local community social media groups and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
If you have children at a home that has guns, please be more vigilant than ever before. You’re probably thinking about the Corona virus and staying safe from it – and you should be. But please do all you can to ensure that your child doesn’t become a tragic statistic.
Please think about this: from 1 January to 26 March 2020: 38 little children died from shooting, and a further 111 were injured. Think of how many that is, and then you can add on the 190 teens killed and 479 injured. Many of these occurred because loaded guns in the home were left unsecured. Think of how the rest of the family will feel for the rest of their lives.
If parents had kept guns unloaded, kept rounds and guns locked away securely, fitted gun locks -available free from many police stations – these little children would be here today, and these teens would be looking forward to college or work, and growing up.
Please, ask your local police force for help on gun safety. They may offer a free gun lock. You might regret it if you don’t. There is no second chance here. And by the time you read this, the sad fact is that the numbers quoted here from the Gun Violence Archive quoted will be going up.
Or a short tweet:
Please take precautions re. corona pandemic, and if you keep guns at home where children live, please take extra care. As of 26 March 38 children died from shooting, 111 were injured. 190 teens were killed and 479 injured. These tragedies were avoidable. Ask ur police for advice
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