June 21 Marks National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

June 21 Marks National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2015

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson [at] bradymail [dot] org

 

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Washington, D.C. – The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, will mark June 21, the first day of summer, as National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day. The ASK Campaign reminds parents and caregivers the importance of asking if there are unlocked guns in the homes where children play. For 15 years, the ASK Campaign has partnered with over 400 grassroots organizations to spread its message in neighborhoods nationwide.

“Millions of Americans have guns in their homes thinking it makes their family safer, but every day across our country, parents learn how incredibly tragic that misperception can be,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, united with the Million Mom March. “The bottom line is a gun in a home with kids dramatically increases the chance that a child in that home will be wounded or killed, either by suicide or a preventable accident. There are simple things all parents can do to keep their kids safe. One of them is to ask if there’s an unlocked gun where your child plays.”

This ASK Day, to encourage more parents to ask this life-saving question, the Brady Center is organizing “America’s Largest Playdate” events in five cities: Brooklyn, NY; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Williston, SC; and Los Angeles. Families who are looking for something fun to do for Father’s Day are invited to join one of the playdate events, and have their kids help attempt a Guinness World Record for the largest game of telephone ever played. In addition, ASK Day events are being held in dozens of cities, including 20 organized in concert with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids.

“All parents care about the safety of their children,” said Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. “The ASK Campaign helps parents talk with each other comfortably about guns in the home. Asking this simple question is an important step every parent can take to help their kids stay safe.”

“All people need to be careful about safe storage of guns to protect children and other family members,” said Barbara Barlow, MD, MA, Executive Director and Founder of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. “Loss of a family member from a gun injury is a terrible event that must be avoided at all costs.”

One out of three homes with children has guns, many left unlocked or loaded, according to the Brady Center’s recent report, “The Truth About Kids & Guns.” Approximately 1.7 million children in the U.S. live with unsecured guns. Every year, thousands of kids are killed and injured as a result. In fact, 80 percent of unintentional firearm deaths involving kids under 15 occur in the home. And in two-thirds of school shootings, the gun comes from the home of a parent or relative.

Parents and caregivers have been urged to sign a pledge to spread the ASK message in their community. The pledge can be found at AskingSavesKids.org.

“Even though we never had a gun in our home, we lost our son to an unintentional shooting,” said Ann Marie Crowell, of Massachusetts. “So before every playdate, ask the question that could have saved my son’s life: Is there an unlocked gun where your kids play?”

“We began the ASK Campaign in 2000 and thousands of children are alive today because of it,” said Gross. “Surveys show that more than 19 million parents have started asking life-saving questions about unsafe access to guns, and millions more have been educated about the dangers of guns in the home. So let’s make ASK Day the start of a safe and fun summer.”

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The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.