We can pass child safety laws for seat belts and medicine caps. Why not gun storage? | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

On Dec. 28, 2023, the Miami Herald reported: “Teen brothers’ fight over Christmas gifts ends with sister fatally shot, Florida cops say,” a story by Irene Wright. This incident, which ended in the death of a 23-year-old mother of two, was completely preventable. We don’t have to continue to live like this.

The 14-year-old brother should have never had access to an unsecured firearm in Largo, Florida. He “pulled out a gun and pointed it at his brother’s head, threatening to shoot.” Then an adult intervened but never secured the firearm. His sister tried to deescalate the situation and ended up getting shot in the chest while holding her 11-month-old-child, who was not injured. Children should not have access to guns. This sadly was a preventable death.

Safe gun storage

The United States Congress has been passing legislation to keep children safe since 1938, when the Federal Child Labor Provisions were enacted. Numerous other public laws were passed involving child safety with seat belts, bike helmets, car seats, alcohol consumption, tobacco/vaping, lawn darts, curtain/shades/blind cords, red dye #3, child-proof medicine caps, child abuse, school safety, perilous toys, safe swimming and others.

The time is now to pass commonsense gun-violence prevention legislation to protect our children.

Roughly 4.6 million minors live in homes with loaded, unlocked firearms. Seventy-four percent of school mass shooters get their unsecured weapons from home or from a relative’s home. Most American voters are in favor of Congress passing gun violence prevention bills. Too many men, women, teens and children missed this holiday season due to firearms.

Gun injuries and deaths are a public health emergency. As of the beginning of this month, according to Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. has an average of 118 people who die from gun violence each day. Of those who died, 1,306 were teens and 276 were children. Congress must act to choose our children’s lives and our lives over gun lobby funding, Second Amendment radicals and gun manufacturers’ profits.

On Dec. 6, 2023, Senate Majority Leader chuck Schumer, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy called for unanimous consent on three bills to end gun violence. All three were blocked by Senate Republicans.

One bill that was blocked was S173, Ethan’s Law for Safe Gun Storage. Ethan’s Law in the House — HR660 — passed in the House of Representatives and is stuck in the Senate without a vote. This is ludicrous.

For the sake of our children’s safety, please vote for gun violence prevention senators in upcoming elections. Contact your senators and urge them to co-sponsor Ethan’s Law for Safe Storage. Please vote to save our children, families and communities. We don’t have to live like this.

Katherine E. Donovan is a gun owner, retired Broward County Schools administrator and grandmother to three grandsons.




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