Letters to the Editor

Letter: Unsecured guns

September 3, 2014


To the editor:

This summer, a 3-year-old child in Wichita died when he found a gun in his home and shot himself. Sadly, such a tragedy is not rare. A recent analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety found that about two American children are killed every week in unintentional shootings. Most often, the firearms were legally owned, but not secured. These tragedies are often reported as accidents, but most of them are preventable with safe gun storage, a common practice of responsible gun owners.

Nearly three-fifths of the states have laws to allow police to bring charges against gun owners if children access their unsecured guns. We should be disappointed that Kansas is not among them. There’s evidence that child access prevention laws reduce the number of children killed or injured in gun accidents and they can also substantially reduce child gun suicides.

Polls show that 86 percent of Americans — and 77 percent of gun owners — agree that parents with guns in their homes should be required to keep them locked and unloaded. With election season nearly upon us, please tell your elected officials and those running for office to support laws that prevent children from accessing unsecured guns.


Bob Smith 3 years, 9 months ago

Your stats are dubious. That organization counts anyone 19 or younger as a child and includes gang and drug-related deaths. Just factoring out gang-bangers killed in Chicago would make that total plummet.

Dan Eyler 3 years, 9 months ago

I am far more concerned that your liquor cabinet is locked that the guns. I grew up with guns in the house but it was the booze me and my friends were interested in not dads guns.

Brock Masters 3 years, 9 months ago

The boyfriend was arrested in the case of the 3 year old cited above. He was a convicted felon who illegally possessed the gun.

I do support gun safety, securing guns and preventing accidental deaths, but I do question whether the author would also want parents who leave their children in cars, run over them, have pools not secured and result in drownings also charged with a crime

If a child dies and a gun or a pool is involved does it matter if there was also parental neglect? I think people would be outraged if a mother was charged with a crime after losing a child she accidentally backed over, but these same people want a mother who lost a child due to a gun accident charged. Both are tragic accidents that could be prevented and yet only one demands prosecution?

John Smith 3 years, 9 months ago

Even CNN corrected their reporting after Everytowns stats don't check out. There are far more dangerous things in this world killing more kids every year, knifes, cars, chemicals etc. My Grandparents, Parents and many other family members have had loaded guns in their homes for decades. Teaching kids about gun safety goes a long way toward effecting change. Gun safety used to be taught in public schools in the past, however I hear it has not been taught for a couple of decades.

Josh Thompson 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm confused by this response? The author merely pointed out that gun owners with children should be required to lock up their arsenal. Being a father of four, I totally agree. I'm not a gun owner myself, but if I were, you can bet mine would be locked up tight to protect my family.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

good....bring on the wild wild west cowboys.....oh yeah and I'm a gun owner embarrassed by certain people.

Chris Scafe 3 years, 9 months ago

Regardless of whether the stats are accurate, I think most Kansans would agree that there are certain people who should not have access to guns. I used to work with adults who were profoundly and multiply disabled. Most of them have no concept of what a gun is, what it is used for, or how to use it, yet if you put a gun where they could reach it, many would be capable of grabbing it and pulling the trigger. So can we agree that those people should not have access to guns? If they should not, how do we handle a person who gives them access? Do we ostracize them, beat them up, or punish them using laws? Most people I know would want to punish a person who gives access to a loaded firearm to a person who is incapable of understanding the firearm's purpose or function. If we punish the access provider through the law, that's gun control. I use this argument to show that a society like ours needs some kind of gun control. The question then becomes, where do we draw the line? I support Gina Spade's contention that a three-year-old should not have access to loaded weapons. I also understand that teens can be taught to handle weapons in a safe manner; it happens on American farms and ranches all the time. Again, the question becomes, where do we draw the line? Wherever we draw it, that's gun control and we need it.

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