Be SMART - Gun Safety Now

From Moms Who Demand Action (for Gun Sense in America):

If you haven't already, get *very* familiar with these letters — they're the core of our new #BeSMART campaign. Following these easy steps can help reduce unintentional child shootings that occur once every 36 hours.

The latest school shooting was on a school bus in Florida.  Shooting into a bus full of kids.  (It was gang-related and probably done by juveniles who should NOT have any access to guns.) 

We can do this.  Given the huge number of accidental shootings in this country (not to mention the suicides and actual murders), we either have too many guns or too many careless people who own guns.  We probably can't do anything about the number of guns but we can do something about the numbers of careless people. 


Anonymous said…
The National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle program also has excellent safety guidance for kids:

NRA member
Yes and the question is why more parents with guns don't access it.
seattle citizen said…
NRA member, help me out: I understand that hunting and sport (target, etc) guns can and should be locked up, and I'm sure the NRA agrees, but what does the NRA say about, and train atound, regarding locking up "personal protection" weapons (usually handguns)? Many, many people buy guns because they believe these will give them protection, but odds are that less than, oh, no percent of these are secured in gun safes. I mean, that would defeat the purpose. So a bunch of guns are in bedside drawers or under car seats, etc....What is the NRA's position on securing these? Seems like lots of kids are hurt, or even killed by them. My aunt, when she was little, was shot by her little friend's father's Luger, which had been in a drawer. Just a couple of years ago, a Snohomish deputy left a handgun in the center console of his car when he went into 7/11 and one of his toddler children killed the other.
How can weapons purchased as "personal protection" be kept securely, out of the hands of children or thieves?
seattle citizen said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
zb said…
Good question -- I don't know, but are you supposed to teach toddlers and Kindergartners about gun safety? And that guns aren't toys (well except the ones that are). Kind of like taking all the safety caps of your meds but teaching the kids that drugs aren't candy.

'Be always thought those guns in safety holsters would be awfully tempting to a child (a school security guard had his taken by a child recently). What's the training to keep that from happening, especially when it's a kid's prank and not an attempt to disarm the gun holder?
seattle citizen said…
I should have made more clear that I don't think guns purchased for "personal protection" CAN be kept securely. And I didn't even touch on that holster issue...Pretry tempting for a kid to try and sneak that out.
And don't get me started on the wacko "arm the school staff" craziness.....
Lori said…
The Eddie Eagle program has actually been evaluated for effectiveness and found not to work.

There are 2 studies in the pediatrics literature published about 10 years ago. One looked at children ages 4-5 years and the other at ages 6-7. The researchers put them thru the training then later evaluated their reaction to finding a gun (unloaded!) in a playroom full of toys.

Guess what? Even the young kids could parrot back Eddie's message about "Stop, don't touch, leave the room, find an adult," but in the controlled environment, when they found the gun, they didn't do any of those things. They picked it up, they played with, they didn't go find any adults. And that is how to determine whether a program works. Being able to repeat the words is meaningless if the kids don't actually act on them.

A gun is an attractive nuisance. We can't expect young children to comprehend the dangers and act accordingly, even after we've "trained" them. If we could just tell our kids to avoid dangers, we wouldn't put covers over our outlets or gates at our staircases or fences around our pools, right?

It's silly to think that we can use cartoon birds to train 5 year olds not to touch a gun. But that's not really what Eddie was designed for. Many believe he's just Joe Camel with wings.

In the end, it's up to adults to make sure children cannot access loaded firearms. There is no substitute for parental responsibility.
Lori said…
And, hilariously, I now see that someone in my family has given me a photo for my blogger profile! Hmmm.
Anonymous said…
seattle citizen,

I have no idea what the NRA's "official position" is on how weapons for personal protection are stored around the house, but there are many small safes on the market that provide both secure storage for a handgun and easy access when necessary.
They're the best of both worlds, and are sized to fit in nightstand drawers, the center console of vehicles, etc..

Lawful gun owners are far more law abiding than the population as a whole. In fact, there was a study recently done that showed that police officers commit crimes at a higher rate than concealed weapons permit holders.

NRA member
NRA member, could you please give us the link for that study?
Lori said…
Yes, I'd be curious too. I am 99% certain that at least here in WA, researchers are not allowed to access any records about who has a concealed pistol license, so estimating crime rates among those who have such a license seems methodologically very difficult.
Anonymous said…
NRA, the big issue is accidents, not crime. Of the accidental shootings, how many of those involved guns that were safely stored? None.
Anonymous said…
Here's a link to one of the studies I think Lori might be citing on the insufficiency of the Eddie Eagle program:

The abstract is written in clinical psychology-ese, but, the bottom line is that the training programs didn't translate to real life situations -- kids could repeat the messages they'd learned about gun safety, but they still played with guns when they found them. The Eddie Eagle program was specifically evaluated and found to be unsuccessful in preventing children from playing with guns when they encountered them.

Anonymous said…
As Lori says, non-advocacy research on guns and public health has largely been stifled, by record keeping issues as well as limits in the funding for research.

On the incidence of crime committed by holders of concealed carrier permits, I can find two cites to advocacy groups:

1) Violence policy center (gun regulation advocacy site): which examines killings by concealed carry permit holders (gleaned from news reports). Bottom line number: 743 deaths in their database.

2) John Lott at the Crime Prevention Center (gun advocacy site) that compares police crime to rates of revocation of concealed carry permits (in FL) to the rate of police facing weapons violations (everywhere).

And, an analysis of the problems of apple/orange comparisons such as those in the Lott post:

Anonymous said…
Lawful gun ownership should be protected.

The laws need to forbid gun ownership.

Repeal the second amendment.

Anonymous said…

Are there any other civil rights you'd like us to give up?

You're entitled to your opinion. Good luck with your proposed amendment to the Constitution.

NRA member
Anonymous said…
I understood that the Second Amendment is "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

I haven't kept up-to-date with the US constitutional crises that are so ominous and imminent that US firearms owners must leave their weapons loaded and out of safes so they can be stolen or used by the wrong people. I've read that even some police officers have left their firearms available for their children to use, with tragic results.

I'd think that guns thieves can't get hold of would be less likely to be used in incidents where the security of a free state is not at risk. Just as a mobile phone that is shut off or has its ringer set to "silent" or is inaccessible to the driver of an automotive vehicle in traffic is not likely to be involved in a "distracted driving" accident.

I apparently live in a culture or area where most people think otherwise. Their logic is... unaccessible to me.

Anonymous said…
NRA member,

I'd also take away the civil rights of corporations, maybe the right to discriminate based on sex orientation and gender preference.

But the 2nd amendment is top of my list, and as for luck, I think the routine blooddbaths and child deaths, maimings and terror caused by the proliferation of firearms will eventually lead to abolition. Too bad so many, many people will suffer before then.

Excellent tips on gun safety. A person who own any firearm for personal use must abide by the gun law and should take proper care that children cannot reach the gun at any cost.

Unknown said…
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Mass License To Carry Class
Unknown said…
Parents and teachers won’t be able to be with a child all the time, it’s necessary to educate the child about the uses and dangers of guns.

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