For one Alabama family, the usual joy of the Christmas season turned dark with grief when their 10-year-old son was shot dead while handling a loaded gun with his friends.
Of all the important lessons parents need to teach their children, gun safety must be at the top of the list.
Even if you have no guns in your home, your child may encounter one, and what they don't know could kill them.
If a loaded gun is in your home, secure it so only a trained adult can reach it, and fire it if necessary.
Inexpensive, but effective trigger locks are available everywhere you can buy a gun.
Today, take ten minutes to sit down with your child, and explain that a gun should never be touched.
When a child is old enough, NRA gun safety courses offer a great way to learn respect for weapons. For now, you can explain to your child that they should treat every gun as if it is loaded, and to never, ever point a gun at another person.
The responsibility lies with you, even if you have no guns in the home. Statistics tell us your neighbor does. So, please talk to your children about the 10-year-old Alabama boy who will never see another Christmas.
And ask yourself if you have taught your children that a gun is never a toy.
WTVM Editorial Committee
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