Moms Demand Action Teams Up with Local Law Enforcement to Promote Be SMART Campaign to Prevent Unintentional Shootings by Children in the U.S; BeSmartforKids.org
#NotAnAccident Index Reveals There Have Been at Least 159 Unintentional Shootings by Children Nationwide This Year, Resulting in 100 Injuries and 62 Deaths; Florida, South Carolina, Texas Have Seen the Most Unintentional Shootings by Children This Year
NEW YORK – Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today joins local law enforcement in more than 25 states across the country for National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to keep neighborhoods safe and secure. Neighborhoods across the country will host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits. To learn more, visit https://natw.org/about.
“My son, Eli, was just 4 years old when he unintentionally shot himself in the head after finding an unsecured gun at his paternal grandmother’s house,” said Haley Rinehart, volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network from Bowling Green, KY. “Eli sustained life-altering injuries, and while he is now a healthy young man, I have made it my life’s mission to ensure that no other family experiences the trauma my family went through. Through the Be SMART program, we can work together to make encourage responsible gun storage and prevent tragedies.
Volunteers with Moms Demand Action will be joining forces with law enforcement and other local advocates to host almost 90 Be SMART tables at events around the country to promote the Be SMART campaign, an effort focused on preventing unintentional shootings by children. So far this year, there have been at least 159 unintentional shootings by children nationwide, resulting in 100 injuries and 62 deaths. This year, Florida, South Carolina and Texas have seen more unintentional shootings by children than any other state, with 14, 12, and 11 such incidents respectively. Moms Demand Action volunteers will table at events in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
“As families are enjoying the final days of summer and preparing to send kids back to school, it is vitally important that communities understand the dangers posed by unsecured guns in homes and vehicles,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That’s why Moms Demand Action volunteers from coast to coast are teaming up with local law enforcement for National Night Out to discuss what we all can do – gun owners and non-gun owners alike – to prevent tragedies and promote responsible gun storage.”
In an effort to address unintentional shootings by children, Moms Demand Action launched Be SMART, a public education campaign asking gun owners and non-gun owners alike to come together to reduce the number of unintentional shootings, suicides and homicides that occur when firearms are not stored responsibly and children or teens get ahold of a gun. The campaign asks parents and caretakers to take five steps to help prevent shootings by children: Secure all guns in your home and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the risks of teen suicide; and Tell your peers to be SMART.
Since the program’s inception in 2015, volunteers have delivered the Be SMART message at nearly 1,200 community events in 37 states. For more information, visit BeSMARTforKids.org
For more information on unintentional shootings by children, please visit the #NotAnAccident index.