Gun Safety… can we talk?

ASK-Decision-Tree-Infographic

Click to see full size infographic

We’re taking a break from the City Snapshots to talk briefly about our other advocacy work at WCA.

New York State has a reputation of having some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, but it currently does not have a Child Access Protection (CAP) / Safe Storage law which would penalize a person for allowing children to have access to a firearm (especially in a reckless manner). This is in contrast to the twenty eight states plus the District of Columbia that have some CAP law on the books. We have been paying attention to the progress of Nicholas’s Bill as it moves through the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.

On July 16, a number of child advocates convened at the offices of Child Care Council of Westchester and listened to Jessica Meller, a representative from the Westchester chapter of the Million Mom Marchspeak about Nicholas’s Law and the ASKing Save Kids Campaign. The ASK campaign encourages parents to inquire if there is an unlocked gun in the homes where their children play.

There was considerable discussion about how difficult it is for people to broach the subject of gun ownership. 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.

Since this IS a data blog, we thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to survey our audience and generate some data of our own.  We wanted to find out just HOW uncomfortable it is to ask your neighbors if they own a gun. Results for the survey will appear as soon as you respond (only one response per computer).

Any insight you have into this matter, ESPECIALLY if you’ve asked your neighbors if they own a gun, would be much appreciated. Feel free to comment below!

6 comments on “Gun Safety… can we talk?

  1. Pingback: Want the Latest Data on Westchester's Children? - Westchester Children's Association

  2. According to a recent study by National Institutes of Health; more than half of firearms in this country are stored unlocked. It’s frightening to know child could gain access to that firearm and fatally injure themselves or others.

    A few resources might be useful in this regard:

    1. Gun Safety for Parents > http://ammo.net/parents-guide-to-gun-safety
    2. Safe Gun Handling > http://www.nssf.org/safety/basics/
    3. Fundamentals of Firearm Safety >
    http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~joe/firearms-safety.html

  3. Pingback: Kids and Gun Safety Continued - WCA - Children By The Numbers Blog

  4. I think it is very helpful to give parents language they can use to ask other parents if there are guns in the household. The question in your infographic, “Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?” keeps the emphasis on a parent’s concern for the child and avoids conveying a sense of judgment about the neighbor’s gun ownership. Thank you.

    • Yes, it’s important to keep the conversation centered on the child’s safety, rather than venturing into the much more delicate subject of gun ownership. At the end of the day, what we’re really concerned about is keeping kids safe and out of harm’s way. That’s what matters most.

      Thanks for joining in on the discussion!

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