In one of our previous blogs, we wrote about gun safety programs for children across the United States. These programs are becoming more and more popular, as statistics show that 40% of households in America contain guns and, further, 30% of those guns are loaded and not secured.
ABC News must have had the same thing on their minds because on January 31st, they aired a 20/20 special called “Young Guns.” The special was hosted by Diane Sawyer and David Muir, and covered the hot topic of kids and gun safety across the United States. A large emphasis was placed on the importance of keeping guns in safes and how some families who hide their guns don’t think that they’re necessary. The special also talks to families who believe that teaching their children how to properly shoot a gun is a big part of gun safety. Here are a couple of the main topics that the special covered.
Are Your Children Safe at a Friend’s House?
Diane Sawyer visited a neighborhood in New Jersey and talked to families about their feelings on gun safety in the home. Specifically, she asked them about guns in the homes of their children’s friends. Sawyer questioned parents about whether they ever asked if there were unlocked guns in these homes. Every parent that Sawyer talked to said that they had never even thought to ask. Parents normally talk to other parents about things like their children’s food and animal allergies, but not about guns in the home. According to ABC News, roughly 85% of accidental child shootings between 2003 and 2006 were committed by another child. With statistics like that, perhaps we should start talking to each other about how our firearms are stored when having our children’s friends over.
Hiding the Guns Doesn’t Work
One of the most shocking parts of the special was when the news team visited the homes of parents who didn’t have gun safes and who simply hid their weapons. All of the parents that 20/20 visited said that their children didn’t know where they kept their guns. The children surprised their parents by leading them straight to the hiding places. Sawyer and Muir gave a quick update after the show and gladly reported that the parents who hid their guns had since gone out and purchased safes to store their firearms.
It may be no one’s right to tell someone how to educate their children about gun safety; however, after watching the special and hearing the stories of the two families that lost a child because of unsecured firearms, it is clear that storing guns correctly is crucial. Parents can protect everyone by investing in a gun safe for their firearms to keep them out of the hands of their unsupervised children.