Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
For Immediate Release: January 22, 2015
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson [at] bradymail [dot] org
WASHINGTON - Our hearts go out to three families in Missouri, Florida, Michigan who have suffered tragedies this week due to the dangers of unlocked, loaded guns in the home.
- On January 19, 2015, a five-year-old in Missouri found his grandfather’s gun and unintentionally shot and killed his nine-month-old brother.
- Two days later, a two year old in Florida found, played with, and unintentionally shot himself fatally in the chest with his father’s gun.
- And in Michigan that same day, a three-year-old was killed in an unintentional shooting.
These are just a handful of stories that represent the thousands of children shot unintentionally each year. In America, 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns and nearly 1.7 million children live in a home with an unlocked, loaded gun. Far too many children have access to guns and, more often than not, they know where the guns are stored. Every day, seven children and teens are killed by guns and another 44 are shot and survive. These shootings are more likely to occur in a home than anywhere else, according to the Brady report “The Truth About Kids and Guns”. In the cases of unintentional shootings, almost half the time the shooter is a family member, often a sibling.
The easiest and first place prevention can occur is at home, in conversations between spouses, neighbors and at our pediatricians’ offices. After weighing the risks and benefits of having a gun in the home – just like we do about other risky, dangerous items – parents and caregivers can make sure the gun is stored unloaded and locked, and ensure that the ammunition is stored separately. Parents – gun owners or not – need to understand the risks of having a gun in the home and take a simple step to keep their children safe from guns: ask if there’s an unlocked gun where your child plays. We urge you to ask about guns in the home before it’s too late. To learn how to ask, visit www.askingsaveskids.org
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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.