President Barack Obama announced his plan Wednesday, calling for bans on military-style assault weapons, magazines carrying more than ten rounds of ammunition, and requiring universal background checks - closing loopholes for gun shows and private transactions.
Whether you agree with these proposals or not, no one can deny we have a problem. Mass shootings are becoming more common. President Obama said, “We can’t put this off any longer. Every day we wait, the number will keep growing.” The president maintains protecting our children is our number one priority, and if you are currently a gun owner, that responsibility is yours.
Keep your guns secure. Children are naturally curious. Thieves look for them. Some people are mentally ill. It is your responsibility as a gun owner to keep weapons out of the hands of untrained, underage, criminal, or unstable people.
There are gun safes, cabinets and trigger locks that keep your weapons secure. Many have easy access if you are keeping your gun for home security. Don’t depend on finding a “good” hiding place. Your kids will find that hiding place, and that’s a tragedy waiting to happen.
If you are storing your guns and don’t require instant accessibility, be sure the weapons are empty, and bullets for those weapons are under separate lock and key.
Know how to use it. If you’re going to keep a gun, know how it works, how to maintain it, and use it safely. If you want your children to learn about guns, do so responsibly. No matter what level of knowledge, guns must not be accessible to minors. You may think you know what’s going on in their lives, but you don’t. Many children bring guns to school that they find at home under the guise of “show and tell,” only to run into difficulty. These are children. It is your duty to protect them - sometimes from themselves. Thousand of children commit suicide with guns annually, and there are thousands more fatal and nonfatal shooting accidents. Gun safety classes are often offered by local law enforcement, the National Rifle Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s up to you to decide if you want a gun in your home. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. However, when the founding fathers wrote this, they never envisioned the firepower we have available today.
With 24/7 media coverage, violence in entertainment, and the pressures of life closing in on all of us and our children, we must keep the lines of communication open, observe and spend time together, and secure things that can hurt them and others. Lock up your guns.
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Source: Reuters, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Rifle Association, About.com