Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey about kids and gun safety! While this informal data we’ve collected from our followers shouldn’t be relied on as an official statistic, it does suggest that raising the topic of gun safety with friends and acquaintances can be very uncomfortable for many of us. 88% of survey respondents said that asking a neighbor if they own a gun is more difficult than talking to their children about sex.
It’s standard to discuss food and pet allergies when setting up a playdate, but the question “Do you own a gun?” can admittedly raise both the blood pressures of the asker and the askee. The challenge: pose the question in such a way that it addresses children’s safety, which is a subject that everyone can agree on, as opposed to gun control, which is a subject not known for generating calm, quiet discussion.
As part of our advocacy work, we’ve continued to follow the progress of Nicholas’s Bill as it moves through the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. Unlike 28 states and the District of Columbia, New York does not have any sort of Child Access Protection (CAP) / Safe Storage law to penalize adults who don’t safely secure their guns from being accessible by a child. While we’re fortunate that Westchester County does have a Safe Storage law, no such law exists at the state level.
According to the New York State Department of Health, every year in New York State:
- About 210 children (19 years old and under) receive treatment at a hospital as a result of an unintentional firearm injury.
- 75 of these children and youth are hospitalized because of the severity of their injuries.
- 2 children die as a result of an unintentional firearm incident.
Keep in mind that unintentional firearm injuries are quite likely under-reported, and the above figures only include unintentional injuries and deaths reported at a hospital. The actual number of children who are harmed or killed by firearm incidents in New York could be higher.
Regardless of our views on gun ownership or gun control, we can all agree that keeping our kids safe is an important responsibility. Share your thoughts: What can we do to make progress on the issue of kids and gun safety?