Educating about gun safety is important

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

tragedy occurred Saturday involving a 9-year-old boy who allegedly shot his older sister during a fight over a video game controller.

According to coverage by the Clarion Ledger, the boy’s sister, a 13-year-old, was rushed to the Le Bonheur’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis where she later succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.

It is currently unknown how the boy got access to the gun, or if he will be facing charges, coverage states.

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This incident, combined with so many others, raises concerns about gun safety in regards to children not just in this state, but nationwide.

When a firearm is present in a home with children, several steps should be taken to protect everyone involved.

According to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, “1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns.” And, “Among children, the majority (89%) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home.

Most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parent’s absence.”

If a gun is present in a home with a child, be sure to place the firearm somewhere out of reach, preferably in a secure gun safe.

According to the study, “31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented with the addition of 2 devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator.”

The use of a safe can help ensure firearms are locked away and out of reach. 

Additionally, be sure an adult is present when a child of the appropriate age is allowed access to a firearm.

Children should be taught proper safety techniques from a young age.

It is imperative that they understand that guns, even those they think are unloaded, can be deadly and should never be used as a toy.