Every year, there are about 300 incidents in which a child gains access to a firearm and it discharges unintentionally. Death by suicide with a gun takes the lives of nearly 500 of our children each year. Those who attempt suicide but survive have reported that they try to take their own lives within 10 minutes of thinking about it and opt for the easiest way to complete the act. That usually means using a gun if one is available.
As a mother and educator, I find these numbers terrifying. Especially when they hit so close to home.
After the lockdown at Hylton High School last week, I reached out to Moms Demand Action to learn more about their BeSMART gun safety program and partnered with them to give a presentation in my home.
The presentation was short and impactful.It reinforced the responsibility of safe firearm ownership by adults by educating us on how to properly store unloaded guns and ammunition. It was a way to have a frank and educational conversation about guns without all of the tension and partisanship that usually invade any dialogue surrounding the topic. It was helpful for all of us.
Having these living room conversations can help spread the word about making sure we are keeping our kids safe, and we can bring these conversations to our schools.
Offering spaces for Moms Demand Action at our back-to-school nights, spirit nights and other events could also help make sure that adults are getting the message about safety.
We have so many resources geared for student safety available to us in our community. Prince William County schools can partner with our police department, sheriff’s department, the Department of Justice and the National Alliance of Mental Illness to offer programs to parents and educators on a variety of issues that affect our children.
Candidate for Prince William County School Board