BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) – Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention show that nearly two million homes in the United States have loaded, unlocked guns.
Two recent incidents from involving children injuring other children with guns emphasize the need to use caution when guns are present in the home.
In the most recent incident, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety is investigating a shooting involving an 11-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister on Sunday evening.
Sikeston police say the boy shot his sister in the shoulder with a .40 caliber pistol.
Wednesday, July 4, Independence County sheriff’s deputies were called to White River Medical Center in Batesville in regards to a boy accidentally shooting his sister in the head with a BB gun.
Six-year-old Hayden Coleman has grown up around guns.
“Whenever I was four, me and my dad would come up here and I would shoot my BB gun.”
His grandparents own Blackiron Indoor Shooting Range in Brookland, but Hayden has a quick answer when asked what the adults in his family tell him in regard to playing with guns.
“No, because they could accidentally shoot something that costs a lot of money, (or is) very valuable, and they could even shoot their brother or sister on accident.”
Hayden’s grandmother and Blackiron co-owner Cynthia Coleman believes the accidents in Sikeston and Batesville could have easily been prevented.
“Don’t leave it out. You don’t want to leave it in your dresser drawer. Don’t lay it on top of the TV stand, or the coffee table where someone else can get access to it, and wherever you do put it, don’t tell other people. They don’t need to know. Your children do not need to know where you keep your loaded gun.”
Cynthia is a proponent of having loaded guns in homes.
“An unloaded gun will not protect you.”
Cynthia said one of the keys to safety is to make sure the firearms are hidden and locked away.
She also recommends gun locks as an inexpensive option.
“On rifles and shotguns, I believe it’s a strap that goes inside so that the weapon can’t be loaded and can’t be used without using that strap,” she said. “For handguns, there’s an actual lock with a key that fits into the trigger mechanism so that the gun cannot be fired without removing the lock.”
Hayden said the rules are simple for him and his cousins.
“Do not touch any of them.”
The National Rifle Association offers several gun safety tips on the NRA web site:
Click here to visit the Blackiron Indoor Shooting Range Facebook page.
Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.