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Activists want parents to know if kids are around guns

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.– It’s National Ask Day and gun safety activists are encouraging parents to find out if there are guns where their kids play. It’s a question they say never occurs to many parents–but can help their child avoid a dangerous situation.

Otis Warren is a victim of gun violence and uses his experience as an educational lesson for those he cares about most.

“I’m a father and a grandfather, so I talk to them all about this,” said Warren. “My suggestion to anyone who has a gun is to put them up where your children don’t even know where they’re at.”

Gun control advocate Ron McMillan says it’s easy to control what goes on inside your own home, but what parents need to be thinking about is what’s going on outside of it.

“My kids are going over to so and so’s house, and I ain’t been there, so I need to know is there a gun in that house? Are the parents in that house cool? We can check those things now and we can make that follow up call. We have to start thinking ahead,” said McMillan.

Every year National Ask Day falls on the first day of summer when the “heat” is up.
Studies show between 33 and 40 percent of households with children have guns and almost 90 percent of accidental shootings involving children are linked to an easy to find, loaded gun in the house.

“You can call the cops, but they comes after the crime is committed. We need to do things for ourselves to prevent the violence,” said McMillan.

McMillan says there are factors every parent should condider before putting their child under someone else’s care.

“Depending on who you live in the house with…that relationship…is there domestic violence,? Are there drugs? Is there a gun? If you have any of those things, it becomes a red flag,” he said,

While some accidents can’t be prevented, Warren says it’s up to parents to at least do their best to protect their loved ones.

“We as parents got to step up to the plate,” he said. “We got to ask the questions, we got to stop what is about to occur. Until we do this, this is what’s going to happen.”

More statistics according to The Center to Prevent Youth Violence:

-Studies show that between 33% and 40% of American households with children have guns (Johnson 2004 and Peter Hart Research Associates Poll, 1999, American Journal of Public Health, April 2000)

-42% of parents with guns keep at least one unlocked; 25% keep at least one loaded, and 14% keep one unlocked AND loaded (Global Strategy Group Parent Study commissioned by CPYV, 2011).

-A gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide, criminal assault or homicide, or unintentional shooting death or injury than to be used in a self-defense shooting (Kellermann, p. 263).

-Many unintentional injuries of children and teens result from access to firearms in the home.

-Almost 90 percent of accidental shootings involving children are linked to an easy-to-find, loaded handgun in the house (Society of Pediatric Nurses, 1998).

-Eighty-eight percent of the children who are injured or killed in unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes or in the homes of relatives or friends (Pediatrics 2005).

-An average of 8 kids and teens are killed by firearms every day and 42 additional children and teens are seriously injured (Injury Mortality Reports, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, 2010; 2011).

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