More guns are lost in home burglaries than are ever used for self protection. This adds to the number of illegal guns on the streets. Then factor in the number of guns found in homes by children – with tragic results. Next, add in the grim fact that most guns in the home, if fired in anger, are used against a family member in an argument.
Burglars are much more reluctant to steal watchdogs.
"This week, a toddler fatally shot himself after finding a gun in his parent’s car. According to Jackson, Miss., authorities, the 3-year-old was sitting in the car at a gas station when he found the gun in the front seat and shot himself in the face. Police questioned the boy’s parents, but no charges have been filed.
But these aren’t freak accidents. More than 500 children die annually from accidental gunshots. Some shoot themselves, while others kill friends or siblings after discovering a gun….
Here are just a few heartbreaking cases:
-On July 19, 4-year-old Dylan Jackson shot himself to death after finding a loaded gun at a friend’s home during a birthday party.
A 3-year-old Southeast Washington boy shot himself in the foot and grazed his hand while playing with his father’s gun – which he found lying on the floor.
A 2-year-old Tampa boy shot himself in the chest with a loaded 9 mm he found in his parent’s couch while playing.
Last February, a 13-year-old boy shot himself with a semiautomatic handgun in the home of his guardian, a Maryland police officer.
The 10-year-old son of a New York City police officer died after shooting himself in the face with his father’s loaded revolver. The boy found the weapon on a shelf in the basement while looking for a ball his mom had hidden.
Is there a way to stop these senseless deaths?
The NRA (National Rifle Association) sponsors classes that teach children if they find a gun to leave the area and inform an adult, but studies show kids who take these classes are no less likely to play with guns than kids who don’t attend class.
“The biggest mistake parents make is assuming their child doesn’t know where the gun in the house is,” says Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “Kids are smart and if they know there’s a firearm in the house, they’ll probably figure out a way to get to it.”