OUR VIEW: Keep guns locked away, where children can’t access them

Published 8:22 am Monday, May 1, 2023

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Our Wednesday editorial began with this statement: “It’s the type of headline you never want to write, that frankly you never expect to write.”

On that day, we were referencing 13-year-old Jayden Gunsby, who had just been arrested and charged with murder.

Here we are again, once more referencing a headline that we wish would never have to be written. A 2-year-old was killed in an accidental shooting Wednesday night.

According to police, the 2-year-old managed to get a gun out of a purse, and then pulled the trigger, ultimately ending his life.

The incident is still under investigation at this time, and as of this writing, no charges have been filed.

Both of the incidents referenced above are tragic. Families are hurting. This community is hurting.

They are also both different and unrelated. 

One major difference is we don’t know how Gunsby allegedly acquired a gun. We do know someone his age can’t legally purchase a firearm, and somehow it allegedly ended up in the hands of a 13-year-old.  A court of law will ultimately decide that case, and more arrests are possible, but a teenager should not have a gun.  

We hope many read this and immediately consider the importance of gun safety. If these two tragedies don’t reinforce why guns should be locked away and away from children, we’re not sure what will. 

If you are a gun owner, make sure your weapon is in a safe location where a child has no way to get to it. Put it in a gun safe or a locker. 

Anyone who owns a gun can never choose to be careless. Ever.

The Second Amendment ultimately gives us all the right to bear arms, but it’s also the responsibility of a gun owner to ensure firearms are locked away, kept in a safe location and not allowed to get into the wrong hands.  That doesn’t mean leaving them under your pillow or on a nightstand.

Safekids.org recommends that guns be stored unloaded and ammunition stored away from the gun in a locked container.

Anytime a gun is not stored away, it should be in the hands of the gun owner and never left unattended. 

Also, children need to understand that guns in video games are not the same as guns in real life. It’s hard for a child to understand the finality that comes with misusing a gun, the idea that a life can change forever in a split second. We’re not saying you should talk to your toddler, but as children age, there’s an appropriate time to talk to your children about firearms. Make sure you have that conversation. 

Children should not be in possession of guns. They shouldn’t have access to guns. Period.

But more and more, especially teenagers in our community, seem to have guns.

There are a million ideas on how to alleviate this problem, but ultimately adults locking up their own firearms would be a large step in the right direction.