WTVM Editorial 10/09/23: Gun Safety - Again

Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 10:57 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Gun violence is a top-of-mind issue for all of us these days.

But there are some basic safety measures worth repeating...to make sure kids, especially young children, can’t get easy access to guns.

A mother in Central Florida just violated the cardinal rule of gun safety: she left her gun unlocked, in her car.

That allowed her 11-year-old son to grab it and fire shots at two 13-year-olds he was fighting with after a football game.

Now that 11-year-old is charged with attempted murder and his mother faces a misdemeanor charge of leaving a firearm unsecured.

That should be a felony.

The bottom line is, never leave a gun accessible to children, especially in a car.

Many car break-ins happen specifically because criminals are looking for guns in a trunk or glove box.

Always keep guns locked and hidden and away from the ammunition...so both are unlikely to be found at the same time.

Trigger locks or “loop locks” like this one that lock the gun’s chamber are inexpensive ways to disable a weapon and possibly stop a tragedy.

Locking up guns will deter some kids, who due to peer pressure or curiosity, might otherwise make a fatal decision with a gun.

Responsible adults know guns should always be locked up...not most times, every time.

Teach children the devastating, destructive power of a gun fired in anger or by accident.

Talk to kids about much better ways to solve disagreements.

If and when a parent feels the child is old enough, teach them gun safety and proper gun handling.

Don’t be afraid to start the conversation about the danger of guns and keep talking about it as children grow.

And always remind them of the value of human life and how one squeeze of the trigger can end everything.