Accidental Shootings by Children

 

Accidental Shootings by Children

Posted on January 7, 2017 at 10:40 PM

An article written by Ryan Foley, Larry Fenn and Nick Penzenstadler featured in USA Today on October 14, 2016 reported children die of accidental shootings at the hands of themselves or other children at a rate of one every other day. Most of these shootings are inside homes, where a legal firearm is owned. Children ages 3 and 5 are the most susceptible to accidental shootings, with the second most susceptible group being teens. Young children tend to find a fascination with a firearm and how it works, while teens may like to show off their access to firearms to friends. In each situation, the curiosity and showing off makes these children, family members and friends unintentional targets of accidental shootings.

The incidents of accidental shootings have been overshadowed by a heated debate regarding the Second Amendment and gun ownership AKA “the gun debate”. Children’s lives should not be held captive by this debate. The solution to these preventable incidents is parental/child communication and education. Gun locks are a proven means to prevent accidental shootings by children, however, the purpose of maintaining a firearm in a home for protection may discourage a gun owner from using a gun lock. In this instance, a good holster should be used along with educating the children in the home about firearms and the danger they pose.

I met a nurse who was concerned with having a firearm in her home to protect her family. She asked what kind of holster I used and I told her to go to a firearms store and request a level three holster and to ask them about the safety features. I then told her she should have a conversation with her children about the dangers of firearms. The conversation with the nurse was one event that influenced the decision to write the story of Juan, Robert, Heather and their adventure involving a found firearm. Brownie Bear Teaches Gun Safety is written at a first-grade level and includes illustrations. It initiates a conversation about the dangers of firearms to deter accidental shootings involving children.

Foley, R., Fenn, L., & Penzenstadler, N. (2016, October 14). Chronicle of agony: Gun accidents kill at least 1 kid every other day. USA Today. Retrieved from usatoday.com

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