Fox 17 Nashville aired segments of a study from Texas about kids and guns last Friday. Researchers put eight random children–pre-school to kindergarten age–in a room with a fake gun to see what happens. It took one youngster 15 seconds to find the gun and start paying with it. Anchor Jennifer Waddell noted that most of the children had never seen a firearm, but that didn’t stop them from passing it.
“He’s shooting my daughter,” said one disturbed mother. The children’s parents were placed in a separate room, where they could watch the study unfold.
The only two children who did not pick up the gun were the ones who had guns in their homes–and were told how dangerous they could be by their parents. You know, exactly what the National Rifle Association teaches in their safety courses. So, gold stars to the parents who told their children what to do if they see a firearm in their vicinity without an adult present. For the parents who never told their kids what to do, it’s very simple: A) don’t touch it b) leave the immediate area c) find an adult. Lots of accidents can be avoided with these three easy steps.
Luckily, gun safety has played a role in decreaing such fatal accidents in homes for the past 20 or so years (via NSSF):
During the last decade, the number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities involving children 14 years of age and under has decreased by 28 percent and by 74 percent over the last 20 years.
Unintentional firearm-related fatalities are substantially lower than the number of unintentional fatalities caused by other forms of injury.
Firearms are involved in less than 1.5 percent of unintentional fatalities among children 14 years of age and under, and are among the least likely causes of unintentional fatality.
In the past 10 years, firearm-related fatalities in the home have dropped by 33 percent, and by 50 percent in the last 20 years.
Firearms are involved in fewer than 1 percent (0.5 percent) of all unintentional fatalities in the United States.
Also, drowning remains the leading cause for death of young children, not firearm-accidents. Still, gun owners and non-gun owners-alike should have discussions with their kids if they ever see a firearm unattended without an adult present. Kids will listen, and you certainly don’t need to create a database akin to the ones for child predators to obtain who is and who isn’t a gun owner for play dates. Yes, that was actually thrown out there as a policy initiative by some in the media.