According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), at least 285 children got hold of a gun and inadvertently shot someone in 2017. That is why the AAP recommends that no guns be in the home of a child. If this is not possible, they recommend all guns be locked away properly, and that you discuss gun safety with any household where your child plays. Any death or injury from accidental gun use is a travesty, and it is up to responsible adults to ensure children are not able to get their hands on weapons.
If a family decides to have guns in their household, it is important that these guns are stored properly so children do not have access to them. Proper storage means that all guns are stored unloaded, separately from ammunition. The gun should be stored in a lockbox, gun safe, or vault. A trigger lock can also be placed on the gun for added protection. If you do not have a lock, many police departments will give them away for free.
People may argue that they are not be able to adequately protect their families with all of these precautions in place, yet the truth is, children are more likely to hurt themselves with a gun rather than be protected by one. According to the AAP, a gun in the home is 43% more likely to kill a friend or family member than kill a criminal. Further, children with behavioral health issues are more likely to use a firearm to harm themselves or others. The risk of suicide is 4-10 times higher in a house with a gun. Continue reading “Guns in the Home”