Handguns in Households with Children

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Handguns in Households with Children Guns in America are a problem as bad as the drug problem: 43% of households that have children have handguns in them; 10 children die every day from handguns, approximately one every 2 ½ hours. That is the same of a classroom of children every two days. Parents do not realize that children get the physical capacity to reach and discharge a firearm long before the ability to understand the potential consequences of these actions. Parents who insist on keeping guns in the home should be urged strongly to store their firearms unloaded and locked in a secure place. Actions like these will reduce the probability of children being killed by a firearm. The presence of handguns in households with children frequently leads to fatal accidents, suicides, and murders. The majority of handguns kept in homes are NOT kept safely locked up, simply because people are stupid enough to believe that they need to be able to access that gun as fast as possible in case of emergency. These people keep their guns in bedside drawers, closets, under mattresses. Most of the children who are involved in fatal accidents are older children. In 1999, the most recent year which data are available, 34 children under the age of 5 died in gun accidents. Among children aged 5-9, there were 56 fatal gun accidents; and among children aged 10-14, 146 fatal accidents. For instance, on July 21, 1999, in Lakepark, Florida, a 6-year-old boy fatally shot his 5-year-old brother Corey Andrew Wilson, as the boys played with a shotgun they found under a bed in their grandparent’s bedroom. The best way to reduce gun risks is to remove guns from home. Candamo 2 Children suicide has truly become a problem of outbreak proportions in America that must be addressed from every direction. As numerous studies have shown, children use guns in roughly two out of every three-suicide attempt, and handguns are used in 70% of these. In 1998 alone, 1200 youth in America committed suicide with a gun, the same of one every seven hours. Children suicide attempts are usually impulsive acts, and the easier it is to carry out. Using a firearm in a suicide attempt drastically increases the likelihood that the attempt will be fatal. Simply having a gun in the home actually increases the chances of suic... ... middle of paper ... ...ban or recall hundreds of products that cause injury or death to very small numbers of children, yet they will not pass laws making guns safer because of the NRA. Maybe people may not be able to fight the NRA on the national level, but there are many cities and states that have already taken one step forward. Such a small number, however, is not enough to convince the politicians that they don’t need the NRA’s money or votes. The children need their help. In conclusion, despite the guidelines regarding safe firearm storage in homes with children, a study reports less than half of gun-owning parents store their firearms safely. Many parents underestimate the risk of leaving their children in the home with an unlocked and loaded firearm. The gap between awareness and reality is particularly great for gun-owning parents. More gun-owning parents trust their children with a loaded gun and believe that their young child can tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun. And in many cases they will not be able to tell the difference. So to have handguns in homes around children will sooner or later produce fatal accidents, suicides, and even murders.

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