Gun owners prevent injury through safety, sensibility

News Break [An Arrowhead Column]: To keep incidents of accidental gun violence from occurring, firearm owners should practice responsible gun ownership by locking away firearms and ammunition from those who could hurt themselves or others with them.


According to CNN, gun violence has surpassed major traffic/vehicle incidents as the leading cause of death for children aged 18 and younger in America.
It’s hard to see the statistics reported by groups like the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit corporation that reports gun violence incidents, and not feel hopeless as mass shootings make headlines every day.
So the question still stands: What do we do now?
How do we stop these numbers from rising, and more people, specifically children, from getting hurt?
Much of the solution comes from teenagers becoming more educated and registering to vote for those who want to enact change.
But, that is a tactic that has already taken place by adults in this country and it does not seem to be working, as evidenced by the rising numbers we see every day on the news.
There have already been at least 146 mass shootings this year alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Legislation that attempts to put any amount of guidelines on acquiring a gun doesn’t seem to be making it past legislative committees or a singular Congressional chamber.
The next logical step in helping to solve this issue is addressing the problem at the source. This source is the access to firearms in the home.
Teenagers and young adults who would like to legally purchase a gun and have it in their home need to learn the best ways to secure it safely.
Doing so will prevent others from messing with the firearm and indirectly hurting themselves with it, or taking it to hurt someone else.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 1,900 accidental child injuries by a gun since 2014, which solely looks at children who are 11 years old and younger.
Many of these incidents involve children picking up a gun and accidentally firing it upon themselves, which indicates that the gun was not securely put away and out of the child’s reach.
Guns and ammunition must be put away and locked up so kids who do not know how to handle such a weapon do not end up hurting themselves and contributing to these high numbers of accidental gun injuries.
Another issue with not securing firearms safely is the risk of someone with a severe mental illness finding it and using it to either hurt themselves or somebody else.
This risk can lead to the possibilities of gun suicides and mass shootings occurring in this country.
If a kid does know how to operate a firearm, it’s still a good idea to lock up the guns in a place that only the caretaker can access, so they don’t end up grabbing it for malicious or suicidal use in the future.
It’s a solution that everyone regardless of political opinion can agree with because everyone generally wants to keep kids safe from dying from a weapon they do not know how to operate.
Even if these kids know how to operate these weapons, preventing them from accessing such weapons when they are in a time of distress can assist in keeping them safe.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 8,695 injuries from a gun in 2023 so far.
To prevent this number from continuing to rise, a firearm owner’s responsibility for gun safety is the most important part in keeping kids safe from gun violence.
Putting away guns in a safe place in the house stops gun violence from happening in the first place and keeps everyone safe from these shootings that continue to happen in our country.