I recently came across a Facebook page about a child who was playing at a friends house after school one day. When the parents dropped their daughter off at school that morning, they never imagined it to be the last time they’d see their 13 year old daughter alive. You see, the daughter and her friend had found a loaded gun in a kitchen cupboard and it ended badly. Very badly.
When we moved last year, we knew we’d be starting over, and getting to know new friends and other parents. We agreed that we’d ask fellow parents if they had guns in their homes before we let our daughters go to any playdates at those homes.
Did we do that?
Do we think about it?
All the time.
Recently we were out with another set of parents who have kids about the same age as ours, and my husband actually brought up the gun subject with the other father.
The other father owns guns. He is a responsible gun owner and explained, in detail, where and how he stores his guns. Responsible gun owners will do that. They won’t be offended that you asked, and they will tell you everything you want to know.
But we both agreed that this is something on all of our minds, gun owners and non-gun owners alike. And it’s obviously on the minds of other mom’s I know. I’ve seen them reading the same Justice For Brooklynn posts on Facebook. So why do we have such a hard time asking these important questions? If we don’t ask, we could be reading an entirely different post right now, one I don’t ever want to write.
So if you’re reading this, don’t be afraid to ask your fellow parent friends. Don’t assume you know the answer. Let’s create an open dialogue and keep people informed rather than in the dark.
Will my daughter play at our friends’ house? Absolutely. Because I know the father takes his responsibility as a gun owner seriously.
Though it’s not just a gun owner’s responsibility. It’s our responsibly as parents to educate our kids as well. June 4th is National Safe Day. Go over these SAFE steps with your kids and let’s get ahead of senseless gun accidents and deaths.
June 4th and National SAFE Day holds the power to prevent tragedy from repeating itself. One in every three households in the United States has a gun stored somewhere inside. The Brooklynn Mae Mohler Foundation is committed to ending senseless child deaths through education of responsible gun ownership, and empowering parents to ask about guns where their children visit.
How many close friends does a child have? One in three households has a firearm. If one of those households has a gun, is it secure? What about family members? Do they visit cousins or other relatives that may have unsecured guns? Secure storage is vital to the safety of children and is the responsibility of the gun owner.
The life of one innocent child is not worth challenging the odds of possibility. There are many ways to secure a firearm, that still allow for fast access, and there is no excuse to place easy access above child safety.
Parents, whether gun owners or not, need to take steps to educate children and to ask the question when in homes where their children visit– “Are there any unsecured firearms in the home?”
HOW TO OBSERVE
S- Secure all firearms in the home
A- Ask the question about unsecured firearms in the homes your child visits
F- Frequently talk to your children about the dangers of firearms
E- Educate and Empower other’s to be SAFE
Thank you to Justice for Brooklynn for sharing your story. We are so terribly sorry for your loss, and we will do our part to help create an open conversation around gun safety.