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One Dad’s Ideas on Keeping Kids Safe

This piece was submitted to our 100K STORIES PROJECT by Jeffrey Nelson. Jeffrey is a businessman by day and freelance webpreneur by night. He writes for several publications on topics ranging from business to technology. His current pet-project is writing about biometric information over at NationalBiometric.org. Guest posts do not necessarily reflect the stance of Moms Fight Back.

 

Gun safety is a heated topic no matter how you slice it. I believe, however, there is a way to talk about helping prevent gun-related incidents involving children without taking a broader political stance on guns. Regardless of my personal feelings, this helps the message reach as many people as possible without igniting emotions or inviting defenses to be put up.

Why Is Gun Safety Important To Me?

Outside of the obvious reasons (life is sacred, violence is bad) I have three little boys under the age of five. Like many parents, I’m very concerned about their health and happiness. I have recently realized that not all parents see things the same as me with regards to gun safety.

Let me explain…

A few months ago, I was chatting with a coworker at my place of work in Texas, USA. As we were chatting she casually dropped the fact that she has a loaded gun on her nightstand at home at all times. Normally, being in Texas, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. However, I happen to know that she has a young, three-year-old girl at home. When I inquired as to whether or not she was concerned about her daughter someday finding the weapon and harming herself or someone, she boldly exclaimed that she was not.

I was a bit taken back by that. When I followed up, she explained to me that her daughter knows better than to touch mommy’s gun. She is a very nice lady and a great person, however, I wasn’t sure how someone could trust a three-year-old child so much with a topic so important.

What’s The Point?

After that conversation, I started to do some research to see how many people thought like her. It turns out, there are a lot of them.

I was surprised by a few things in my research:

  • The number of people who have guns and keep them unsecured.
    • Estimates are around one in three households with 1.7 million children at risk
  • The relative infrequency with which incidents occur
    • While one preventable incident is way too many, a few hundred incidents per year with 1.7 million children at risk was surprising to me.
  • The relative ease at which the risk can be minimized.
    • Through my research, I found five fairly easy steps to help drastically improve gun safety for households where children live. In fact, I created an infographic on 5 gun safety tips to help lay it out in an easy-to-read way.

While there is no magic bullet, those few simple steps would help drastically reduce those numbers going forward. I can’t imagine anything worse than having something happen to your child and thinking you could have done something to prevent it. I hope this message can help stop that from happening to as many people as possible.

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