4-year-old US boy shoots, kills sister
Even the best coaching may not prevent firearm-related accidents.
In the latest of several accidental shootings of children by other children in the US, a four-year-old boy has shot and killed his six-year-old sister according to Livewire. The accident took place as the boy’s grandfather was cleaning his firearm.

In recent weeks the spotlight has been on accidental shootings of this nature as pro-gun lobbyists proclaim their right to bear arms. Despite claims that owning guns is necessary in order for some people as a security measure, there is plenty of fuel for the anti-gun camp. In SA the guns-as-security argument is often cited, although the results of a recent study may have parents questioning the presence of firearms in the home:

Shocking study

According to FisherPrice.com, “In two recent studies, young children were given a lecture by a police officer about gun safety: if they find a gun, they should not touch it; they should leave it there, and tell an adult. After the lecture, the children were left in a playroom with toys and two real, unloaded guns. Despite their recent instruction, and their parents’ confidence that their children would follow the police officer’s instructions, the majority of the children picked up the guns, played with them, and tried to fire them.” (Emphasis added).

Kids are simply kids. The action of picking up a gun, pointing it and pulling the trigger is most likely to be play-related and without the intention of inflicting harm on anyone else. Unfortunately, the results of such innocent play may be catastrophic. Despite claims that children may be too young and therefore not strong enough to fire a gun, there is plenty of proof that even child as young as three understands how to point and shoot and has the strength to do so.

Here are some essential tips on children and gun safety:
  • Use safety locks on firearms.
  • Store firearms in locked cases.
  • Hide the keys to these cases.
  • Store the ammunition separately from the guns.
  • Tell your kids not to play with guns and NEVER to point a gun at someone else.
  • Instruct your kid not to touch a gun found lying around, but to report it to an adult.
  • If your child is at a childcare facility or with friends or relatives, find out whether or not there are guns on the property and, if so, how these are stored. If uncomfortable, rather find an alternative place for your child to play. (Via Fisher Price).
Is gun safety something which concerns you as a parent?

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