School shootings shock our national consciousness. Although children die every day from gun violence, there is something especially harrowing about these tragic acts. Schools are supposed to be safe havens where children can learn, grow, and achieve. Yet guns from the home pose a continuous threat to our nation’s schools.
In Sparks, Nevada, the gun was in a cabinet above the refrigerator, hidden behind cereal boxes. The father believed his twelve-year-old son didn’t know where it was. In Troutdale, Oregon the gun was in a bedroom, shared with an older brother. In Chardon, Ohio the gun, owned by an uncle, was in a grandfather’s barn. And in Omaha, Nebraska the gun was in a father’s bedroom closet.
The ease with which young people are able to access guns is deeply troubling. Surveys show that 1 in 20 high school students reported carrying a weapon in the past 30 days. Keeping our schools safe starts at home, and parents have a fundamental role to play in averting school violence. In the United States, 4.6 million children have access to an unlocked, loaded gun in their home. Tragedies could be avoided if parents would only take simple steps to ensure that these guns are not accessible to their children.
This America’s Safe Schools Week, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is launching a new initiative aimed at raising awareness about the dangerous connection between guns in the home and youth gun deaths, and achieving a future where no child is killed by a parent’s gun. Find out how you can help at www.bradycenter.org/imagine
If we don’t start doing something about access to guns in the home, not only are these tragedies likely to continue, but so are the hundreds of suicides and unintentional shootings that take place in homes across the country each year.
We have the ability to make our schools, homes, and communities safer. Let’s start doing it.
The Truth About Kids & Guns
Each year, nearly 20,000 American children and teens are injured or killed by guns. “The Truth About Kids & Guns” report catalogues this deadly impact, providing the most recent data available from leading credible sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to show where, how, and why these deaths and injuries occur. Read the full report on our website at www.bradycenter.org/truthreport