Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

980 Children with guns

This article from the Sacramento Bee highlights the problems with having loaded guns in the home for self defense. Another tragedy involving a young child and a loaded gun in the home. Another senseless gun death. A 3 year old child of a Placer County Sheriff's Deputy, got her hands on a loaded gun and shot herself. She died hours later. Another family grieving. Another family dealing with a preventable gun death. Another family with a loaded gun at home with the idea in mind that it is needed to defend the home against evil folks who are lurking around every corner. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that from 1999-2006 ( last available data) 980 children died from gun injuries, mostly at home, accidentally. Where is the outrage?

You can bet if that many young children had died from a faulty crib, a faulty window shade design which cord can choke babies, a faulty child seat, a loose medicine bottle cap, etc., the media would be all over it. It would a national problem that must be dealt with by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. But guns are one of the rare products not regulated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, by design of the NRA and the elected leaders who do its' bidding ,that does not want to deal with these inconvenient facts.

Children and loaded guns do not go together. Read, in the highlighted article, the comments from the University of California, Davis ( which, by the way, has done an excellent hidden camera video about the dangers at gun shows all over the country). It is noted that when a household has young children, having any loaded gun around is simply a bad idea. This will assure that these type of accidents will not happen. The second best thing is to have trigger locks and, of course, locking the guns in a secured safe away from sight. But, as we all know, as pointed out in the article, children are curious and will investigate items around the house.

I have watched as my children and now my grandchildren, explore their environments. I also know that little boys in particular start making shooting noises and gestures from a very early age. They are aware of guns and how they are used. It almost appears as if it is inherent in their very natures. So when a young child sees a real gun, of course he or she will think it's something to be played with. Parents keep their children safe from most other hazards, but for some reason, some families simply do not get that loaded guns are immune from their child's curiousity. In the tragic Sacramento area gun death, the father is a law enforcement officer. This is not the first accidental shooting of a law enforcement officer's child. Unfortunately, they happen often enough that law enforcement officers should have heightened awareness of the problem.

Every day in America 8 children and teens die from gun injuries. This is a national tragedy that the NRA wants to keep quiet. It doesn't fit with their agenda of more guns in homes for self defense and more guns in public. It doesn't fit with the need for the gun industry to sell their products, no matter what. As long as we sit by and let these children kill themselves in suicides, accidental deaths or homicides, we are complicit in the end result. Too many children and too much grief for families and communities.

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