A man carefully opens the glass cabinet and pulls down a display case. This one has a long and storied history. It is one of the most prized in his collection. So valuable, because it was the first of it’s kind only 1100 were made. Of those only 100 for civilian use. Originally designed in 1846. When he looks upon it he sees the amazing ingenuity of a Texas Ranger combined with an American Inventor. It is his very own Colt Walker … replica. (He isn’t a millionaire after all) Right next it sits a box of 44 caliber lead shot and powder.
That man could be you, who knows.
A pistol and its ammo. Sure this is a black-powder pistol, nonetheless, it is a pistol next to its ammo.
Standing up next to that is maybe a Winchester .30-30 that you have fun at the range with and another box of shells, or another rifle, or two, or five. It doesn’t really matter, what matters is that you own a gun. And you are a parent. If you own a gun, then you have an obligation to protect your child from its dangers. Especially if they are young.
Did you know that unintentional gun deaths in the United States happen four times more than other equally wealthy and developed countries across the world? This is a serious problem, that can use all the attention it can get. These are our children. I’m going to skip the whole father-vs-dad argument because no matter who you are you have a responsibility to care for your firearms in a way to protect your children.
A study was conducted analyzing data from 16 states with 26.6% of the US population and 26.8% of deaths from firearms. The group includes states that are urban and rural, east and west coast, northern and southern, high-gun and low-gun ownership. So the study that provides an excellent cross-section of the United States for statistical purposes.
For unintentional firearm deaths in the 0-9 age bracket, over the course of the 10-year study, 138 children died. In the 10-19 age bracket, the total was 306; the highest in any age bracket. The numbers were broken down into self-inflicted deaths or the death of another person (“other-inflicted” deaths)
0-9 age bracket – 52% self; 48% others or 1.2 deaths per million people.
10-19 age bracket – 34% self 66% others or 2.5 deaths per million people.
Let’s put things in perspective, because the number seems low, but remember that 4x global developed nations fact as well. It isn’t like children aren’t dropping like flies, but 4 times the deaths per capita in one country than another is significant. Here is how those stats break down for the United States.
The #1 cause of death is accidents.
The #2 cause is cancer. 3.6 kids under age 15 per million will die each year.
The #3 cause is accidental death by firearms. For children 0-19 there will be 1.9 children per million, who die from guns each year.
So for all of you who own guns, who have family that own guns, who know what a gun is, who have seen a gun, who have heard the word gun. For all of you protect our children.
Let’s see what Eddie Eagle from the NRA has to say about it what we should teach our children, there are key steps according to him when you see a gun. 1) Stop! As soon as you see it. 2) Don’t touch. 3) Run away. 4) Tell a grown-up.
Simple rules put out by a well known and widely respected firearm enthusiast organization. Always keep guns away from unauthorized users, especially children. I’ll tack on some advice from elsewhere, keep guns and ammo in separate locations that are not reachable by children or anyone else unauthorized.
Please keep all of our children safe. Educate them, prevent dangers, and protect them.
Cite: Solnick, S.J., Hemenway, D. Unintentional firearm deaths in the United States 2005–2015. Inj. Epidemiol. 6, 42 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-019-0220-0