Children and Guns: Under the Same Roof
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Children and Guns: Under the Same Roof

Hamilton : OH : USA | Aug 03, 2009 at 7:02 PM PDT
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Over the years we have heard of tragedies where children have shot themselves or other children while playing with a gun. These are truly tragedies that can be prevented. Out of curiosity I wanted to know if self-inflicted gunshot wounds are one of the leading causes of death in children in America. I found that death by self-inflicted gunshot wounds or gunshot wounds by other children is NOT in the top ten causes of death in children in the U.S.

With this said a 5-year-old boy in my own town of Hamilton, Ohio shot himself with his father’s gun on July 18th, 2009 and subsequently passed. On July 21st, his father turned himself into the police on charges of negligent homicide. Which means his father did not act to prevent the shooting death of his son, a first degree misdemeanor.

Is this fair? The newspaper article states that loaded guns should be locked away from curious children. I think the key term is "curious." In this case the father had a concealed carry license and had the gun loaded in an apartment closet. Let me ask this. What good is an unloaded gun locked away when an intruder breaks into your house and has invaded your home and threatened you and your family in a matter of seconds? The gun would probably not be helpful and therefore useless to have in the first place.

What is the solution for guns and children to share a home peacefully and without tragedy? Take away the curiosity and educate your children on guns. It has worked for me and my husband’s family.

As a child growing up my grandfather was the first Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Rex D. Davis. As a democrat, he strongly supported the right to bear arms.

But my curiosity of guns was relieved when I was about 5 years of age when my father took me out to shoot a rifle. The power amazed me. Even at 5 I knew a gun was not a toy and should be handled with respect. My father explained that guns should be handled with respect, should be taken care of and should never be brandished unless it is going to be used.

My husband and I are gun owners and my step-daughter received her first rifle when she was born as did all of the grandchildren. They were all taught to handle guns with respect.

It is up to a court of law to determine if this father should be convicted of negligent homicide. I would venture to guess, that he is already facing a life sentence of guilt and pain of losing his son.

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Children and Guns
Children and Guns
GretchenWPerry is based in Fairfield, Ohio, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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