Although I am a supporter of gun control in America, this is a story that is about an entirely different aspect of guns and gun ownership. A six year old girl was shot by her thirteen old brother in Oakland Park, which is in Broward County, south of Pompano Beach, Florida. The incident happened about 7p.m. Saturday night.
The children were home alone. They were playing ‘hide-and-seek’, when the boy accessed a hand gun. The six year old received a gunshot wound to her chest while in the living room of their home. After interviews with the boy and neighbors, it is being called an accident at this time.
The 6 year old girl was transported to Broward Health Medical Center, and is critical, but stable condition.
Neighbors described the actions of paramedics when they arrived on the scene. They said they ‘didn’t waste time with a stretcher, the walked or carried her to the ambulance’.
An aunt who arrived at the home after the accident was in shock when she saw sheriff’s deputies and flashing lights at the residence.
“It is very difficult when you’re dealing with children,” said Dani Moschella of the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “Specifically, children that went through a very, very traumatic situation because this family will never be the same afterwards, no matter how it ends up.”
“It’s not right for a little girl or any kid to get access to a weapon,” said neighbor Justin Latourrette. “That little girl there, God hope she survives through it.”
The Child Protective Investigative Section was on the scene, attempting to discover how the teenager obtained access to the handgun.
National statistics show that every two hours, someone’s child is killed with a gun, either in a homicide, a suicide, or as a result of an unintentional injury.
They also give the fact that a gun in the home is forty-three times more likely to be used to kill a friend or family member than a burglar or other criminal.
Here are some important measures organizations advise parents to implement to deny access to guns kept in the home.
Eliminate any possibility of children accessing a gun.
Never keep a loaded gun in your home or car.
Guns and ammunition should be safely locked up at all times in separate locations.
Trigger locks should always be installed.
Get proper instruction on the handling of firearms. Always keep the safety on. Unload the gun before laying it down. And never use drugs or alcohol simultaneously while using a gun.
And because half of the homes in the United States have firearms within them, it is necessary to instruct children about the dangers of firearms, even if there are none in your own home.
Fully explain to your children the danger of guns.
If they encounter an individual of any age brandishing a weapon, they are to leave the area and contact and inform their parents.
Question the parents of your children’s friends. Ask them if they own guns, and if they do are they locked up, unloaded, and inaccessible to children.
Have serious talks about movies, television, and video games. Ensure that they understand the difference between fantasy and reality.
If these simple, and reasonable rules were followed on Saturday evening, a little girl would not be in the hospital fighting for her life.
Columnist-The Guardian Express