June 21, 2022 Blog
Every day, eight children are killed or injured by unintentional shootings in the United States. These shootings happen when a child finds an unsecured gun at home and fires it accidentally, harming themselves or others. They are tragically common, but they are preventable.
Today is #ASKDay, a time to remind parents, caregivers, and all the rest of us about the importance of asking about firearms in the home. Summer means kids are out of school and likely spending time in other homes. Just as you’d ask about allergies, supervision and other safety issues before your child visits another home, ask one more important question: “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?” It’s a simple question that can save a life.
In the United States, 4.6 million children live in a home with access to an unlocked or unsupervised firearm. And three quarters of children report knowing where guns are located in their homes. Children are curious, and when unsecured guns are involved, curiosity can turn deadly in the blink of an eye.
This summer, we’re asking you to join us in pledging to ASK about firearm storage. Ask other parents, family, and community members about unlocked or loaded guns in their homes.
Parents and guardians ask all sorts of questions before a playdate, from allergies to internet access, guns should be part of that conversation. Here are a few examples from End Family Fire about how and when to ask about safe storage:
Parents dropping off their kids for a playdate: “My kid is pretty curious, and our doctor recommended that I ask — is there an unlocked gun where my child will play?”
Teens taking their first babysitting job: “Is there an unlocked and/or loaded gun in your home?”
Young adults moving into a place with roommates: “Does anyone own a gun? If so, how is it stored?”
Asking if there are firearms in the house and if they are safely stored–locked, unloaded, separate from ammo–can prevent tragedy before it’s too late.
– Kristen Ellingboe is Communications Manager with the Alliance