Gun Safety & Kids...
now, you probably know what guns are and what can happen if they fall into the
wrong hands. Even though guns are featured in many television shows, video
games, computer games, and movies, it's important to know that real guns are
dangerous. Guns are so dangerous that they can hurt or even kill someone you
know — including other kids.
safe can keep kids, teens, and even adults from getting hurt. Many times, guns
are fired by accident. All kids should know what to do if they find a gun or if
they are with someone who finds a gun. Read on and learn what to do if you come
into contact with a gun. Because whether you live in a big city, in the suburbs,
a small town, or on a farm, it could happen.
Guns Aren't Fun
though you've seen cartoon characters get up and walk around after being shot by
a gun, it's important to remember that this could only happen on television or
in video games. A real gun is never a toy, and life is not a video game. Real
guns use bullets that hit actual targets. If that target is an animal or a
person, the bullet can rip through skin, muscles, bones, and organs, doing a lot
of damage. A gunshot can permanently cripple someone or even kill.
why you must never play with a real gun. Even if you think you're safe, anything
can happen once you put your finger on the trigger. Most kids in gun accidents
later say they didn't fire the gun intending to hurt anyone, yet someone got
badly hurt. So never show a gun to a friend and never, ever
point a gun at anyone — including yourself — even as a joke. You or your
friend could end up in the hospital or worse.
also never funny to say you have a gun or threaten to shoot someone. These words
are taken seriously and the police may be called. These pranks don't end up
being fun for anyone involved.
Safety at Home
gunshot injuries happen after kids discover loaded guns at home. In the United
States, there is great debate over gun control. No one seems to agree on who
should be allowed to own guns and under what conditions. But experts on all
sides believe that keeping a gun in the house is a serious decision, and the gun
must be kept locked up where kids can't get to it.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that the best way to prevent
gun-related injuries and deaths is to remove guns from homes. However, the
decision to own a gun is up to each family. Yours may have decided to keep guns
in the house. Your dad may hunt, for example, or your mom may be a police
officer or work in another profession where guns are required. Some families use
guns for protection. But any gun can be dangerous if a kid tries to play with
you come across a gun at home, you may be tempted to check it out — but DON'T!
Eddie Eagle, a program sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA),
teaches kids what to do when they come across a gun:
REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE AREA
TELL AN ADULT
touching the gun is very important, but don't forget to also leave the area and
tell an adult. By leaving the area you can keep yourself safe in case someone
else decides to touch the gun before an adult can remove it. Remember, a baby
sister or brother may be strong enough to pull a trigger!
a Friend's or Neighbor's House
people don't advertise the fact that they own guns. Before you visit your
friend, make sure your parents check with your friend's parents to see if they
own a gun. You may already be playing at a friend's house when you learn that a
gun is nearby. If your friend wants to show you the gun, say "no" and
leave right away if you are close to home. Or call your parent for a ride and
talk about what happened as soon as you're picked up. Don't worry about getting
your friend into trouble — you will be helping to keep him or her safe.
what you hear on the news can be scary, especially if you hear about kids
getting hurt at school. Once in a great while, a kid who has access to guns may
use one to express anger. When that happens, no one feels safe.
thing to remember about gun violence at school is that it doesn't happen very
often. School is actually one of the safest places for you to be. Most schools
never experience serious violence.
if someone at your school threatens you or talks about bringing a gun to school,
speak up! Tell an adult like a teacher, a guidance counselor, or the principal
as soon as possible. If you feel awkward doing this in front of other students,
ask your teacher for private time or go to the school office to talk to the
principal or counselor. And tell your mom or dad. They can get in touch with the
right person at your school.
Don't feel that you're being a tattletale if you tell an adult that someone is threatening you. You will not get into trouble for reporting that you don't feel safe or that another kid is doing or saying something that scares you. You may even be a hero and prevent a tragedy from happening.