Letter to editor icon 1

Letter to editor icon 1

You store your firearms securely with guns and ammo in separate locked storages because you are a contentious parent. But, when you take your children or grandchildren to play at other houses, how safe are they?

In Montana, our gun culture means that some households believe the myth that a readily available loaded firearm is essential for a safe home and that children can be educated to stay away from these dangerous tools intended for defense. Unfortunately too often these ideas prove to be false, as medical research and news stories have demonstrated. This month, near Seattle, a 4-year-old inadvertently shot his pregnant mother with a firearm kept for self-defense.

Children, especially boys, have intense interest in firearms. This media- and game-driven fascination means that firearms and children can be a deadly mix. Even in the remote possibility that a child in a home can self-regulate and avoid a dangerous weapon, visiting children may not.

It is a very difficult question to ask of our fiercely self-reliant Montana neighbors. However, when you consider sending your young ones to the homes of friends, be sure to ask about firearms and firearm storage habits. Is your child or grandchild playing near a loaded firearm?

John Mott


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