Unloaded firearms should be stored in a lockable gun cabinet, safe or locked vault. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow)

Unloaded firearms should be stored in a lockable gun cabinet, safe or locked vault. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow)

Opinion: Unintentional gun deaths and injuries are preventable

Kids’ curiosity is wonderful, until you are trying to hide something from them…

Kids’ curiosity is wonderful, until you are trying to hide something from them, such as a gun. I’ve talked to my kids about what to do if they find a gun at a friend’s house, but they might not do the right thing. After all, I’ve told them to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a thousand times, and they still forget.

So gun owners, I need you to know that hiding a gun is not the same as securing a gun. Kids die every year from finding and playing with loaded guns. There have been at least 184 unintentional shootings by children in 2020, according to Everytown, 75 of them fatal. Likewise, most suicides in the U.S. are by gun, because unlocked guns and ammunition are too often readily accessible when depression hits.

Unintentional gun deaths and injuries are preventable. What can gun owners do to secure their guns from curious kids, people contemplating suicide or use by a thief? Store them in a gun safe or locked storage, put them in a friend’s gun safe or use a cable lock or trigger lock, which are free from various groups.

Even if you don’t have kids, please lock your guns so they can’t be used unintentionally. Gun safety is always an adult responsibility. And parents, always ask how guns are secured in other homes before your child visits. For more information about keeping kids safe from firearms, see www.besmartforkids.org.

Heather Brandon,

Juneau

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