About a third of U.S. children live in homes with guns. That wouldn’t pose a risk if guns were stored responsibly. But because many guns are not, American kids are 16 times more likely to be accidentally shot and killed than kids in other developed countries. A majority of these deaths happen when children are in their own homes, unsupervised, and playing with a gun.
The problem is that many parents don’t think it can happen to them. It’s easy to believe your guns are well hidden or that your children know to stay away. But studies show that more than two-thirds of kids know where their parents keep their guns, even when the parents think they don’t. And more than a third have actually handled the gun. Parents underestimate their children’s curiosity, and the results can be catastrophic.
We need to start an honest conversation about what responsible gun ownership means, and we should develop technology and laws that make safe storage the norm.
We can protect our kids while respecting the rights of lawful—and responsible—gun owners.