Children and Guns

Flower Girl & Toy GunChildren and guns. Two words, when combined, are a family’s worst nightmare.

Gun deaths of children are like domestic violence. It is pervasive throughout every strata of society. Law enforcement and law violators. Close-knit families and fractured families. Urban houses and rural farms. Wealthy and poor. Law-abiding gun owners who have attempted to store their firearms safely and law-abiding gun owners who are negligent.

Gun deaths of children are more likely to be accidental and done by other children. The greatest tragedy is that all gun deaths of children by children could have been prevented. And now it is too late.

In case you missed it, the New York Times recently reported about the hidden toll of children and guns in their Bearing Arms series. The article goes into depth about how and why the numbers of accidental children gun deaths are so under-reported. It also tells the stories of parents who think they’ve safely stored their firearms, only to tragically find out otherwise. We get a glimpse behind the stories we read in the headlines about children and guns deaths.

There is no doubt gun violence takes more than the lives of those killed. We know there is unspeakable grief for families of those whose children die because of something so preventable. We don’t want to really think about the irreparable consequences of accidental gun deaths have on the child who accidentally shot their friend or sibling. The article also has a video taken while attorneys are interviewing a 14 year-old boy who accidentally shot his friend. It is heart-wrenching.

Children – those who are accidentally shot and those who accidentally shoot – are the truly innocent victims of preventable gun violence. It doesn’t matter which side of the gun debate you choose. We all must ask ourselves: Am I willing to do what it takes on an issue that can be prevented?

If not, be prepared for sadness upon sadness.

2 Replies to “Children and Guns”

  1. I am shocked by the number of headlines I see about children killed with guns. Many, probably even most, of those deaths could have been prevented if gun owners had been responsible enough to store the guns and ammunition in locked cases, and not together. Even those families who have taught gun safety and respect of guns to their kids do not realize that their children may one day use one of those guns to kill themselves. Depression runs high among teens in our country and kids are good at hiding those feelings of despair from everyone except themselves because of the stigma attached to mental health. You can bet a kid like that knows right where the guns are and how to get to them.

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