Leaving Firearms Lying Around The House Is Definitely Not Safe For Kids

We have already established the fact that prevention is better than cure. It goes to say that we can never be too careful around kids and prevent every little scrape and graze they get in the play ground. But what about our houses? Sure, kids have to learn to use scissors and knives one day but guns? Are we really being careful enough?

According to Dr. Joseph Simonetti, at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, around 40% kids have access to firearms at home. 40% is a big number, it depicts almost half of United States, not to mention the fact that having a fire arm at hand exponentially increases chances of committing suicide.

The data was collected between the years 2001 and 2004 and targeted teenagers regarding presence and access of firearms at home.

Another aspect of the study was to observe the trends between teenagers who had suicidal tendencies due to some mental illness or had already committed suicide to those who were healthy and had never attempted suicide. The astonishing part was that both groups had equal access to firearms.

Although, the researchers say, “One of the limitations of this study is we’re using data that was collected from 2001 to 2004,” it does not change the fact that there is a huge amount of danger in keeping a firearm at home.

Firearms at home are a risk factor for suicide and need to be handled with care and stored away with even more caution.“We need better studies on how to promote safe firearms storage especially in households with children and children with mental illness,” said Simonetti.

The trend observed by Simonetti and his colleagues shows that most of the firearm incidences were seen in the rural areas and homes of those who are rich. Although there might have been changes in how people decrease access of firearms, there is some truth in the fact that some children might still have firearms at their disposal.

“There is a disconnect between these generally agreed upon storage methods and what’s happening in the community,” said the researchers.

It does not hurt to be stay safe and keep our children safer from accidental or suicidal firearm injuries. The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest a safer course of action through safer storage of firearms, especially since previous researches have shown a decreased rate of such incidences with better safety precautions.

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Comments

  1. Doug says

    I have to disagree with the majority of this article. In fact, I start disagreeing in the first few sentences. I start to disagree before you use the 40% statistic. Too many people try to prevent bumps and scrapes. They try to prevent a child feeling like they made a mistake. Children need to learn to make mistakes and they need to learn that dangerous behavior has consequences. I’m no saying you should leave a loaded revolver in your two year-old’s bed but I am saying that a respect for firearms should start early. If your children respect them, your children are unlikely to abuse them. If your children know how much falling from the swing hurts, they will probably not throw their friend down some stairs. Your article references teenagers. By the time I was a teenager, I was proficient with the safe usage of firearms and had a deep respect for their power. Educating your children is the only way to make this work. Like any other tool, misuse has consequences.

  2. says

    One must sometimes admire the extents to which someone is pro-gun control will go to in order to further their agenda, including deception. Let’s examine the premise – careless or negligent storage of firearms can lead to the deaths of innocent children. Granted, and no one has ever said otherwise. But that itself does not an article make.

    The author then tries to impress upon the reader the “severity” of the problem, by citing the following:

    “According to Dr. Joseph Simonetti, at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, around 40% kids have access to firearms at home. 40% is a big number, it depicts almost half of United States, not to mention the fact that having a fire arm at hand exponentially increases chances of committing suicide.”

    The reader latches onto “40% is a big number”, and unconsciously equates the 40% with the number of deaths of innocent children due to firearms. But let’s take a closer look at that insinuation.

    In 2001, the first year of the data cited, the population of the US under age 18 was 72,671,175 according to the CDC WISQARS database. In that year, a total of 125 unintentional firearms deaths of those under 18 years old occurred nationwide. This equates to a rate of 0.17 accidental firearms deaths for every 100,000 juveniles.

    Not quite so big a number as implied.

    As to suicides, the presence of a firearm does NOT increase the chances of a suicide, as Dr. Simonetti mistakenly states, but increases the chances the attempt will be successful. However storage has little to do with suicides, as a suicide is an intentional act. As such, a person with intent can and will eventually access the firearm regardless of storage method.

    Nonetheless, the CDC database reports 451 suicides by firearms in 2001 of those 17 and younger. Again, out of a population of 72 million, this still represents a very small rate of 0.62 deaths per 100,000 persons.

    So once again, we see the conflict between the facts and the emotional hype from sources like the author.

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