The Ventura County Star (CA) editorialized about the nine-year-old victim of a local accidental shooting and reminded us all about the dangers of having a gun in the home, especially ones that are not properly secured:
Although he may not realize it yet, a 9-year-old Camarillo boy is extremely lucky to be alive today after being shot in the face with a .45-caliber pistol… Police are looking into whether the gun was secured and how the 13-year-old got his hands on it. Under the law, a loaded firearm in the home must be secured in a locked container, disabled with a locking device, or otherwise reasonably secured.
What happened in this Camarillo home will certainly serve as a warning and a lesson that this family and the two boys will never forget. It is also one that other parents, guardians and children would do well to note.
The latest U.S. data available show 3,184 children and teens were killed by gunfire in 2006. Of those shootings,154 were determined to be accidents, says the Children’s Defense Fund. A study last year found that more than 1.7 million children in the U.S. live in homes with loaded and unlocked guns…
Another recent study revealed these sobering facts: In homes where a gun was present, 39 percent of youngsters knew where it was stored, and another 22 percent said they had handled it despite an adult warning to stay away.
Clearly, the decision to keep a handgun or a rifle in the home is not one that should be taken lightly. It’s one that demands adults be extra vigilant in making sure children can’t get their hands on these weapons.