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November 13, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Police officer on trial for children's gun accident

Removal of guns for safer homes

The incident involving the Marysville officer and his children imparts a sobering reminder — guns inflict horrifying damage upon our families and communities [“Defendant in tears during trial’s opening,” NWFriday, Nov. 9]. Seven-year-old Jenna Carlile’s death is not a stand-alone accident. Let us take a moment to remind ourselves of the threats that guns pose to children.

Forty percent of U.S. families own a gun. But a whopping 61 percent of these families don’t store their guns properly — locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition. Of the 23 wealthiest countries, 87 percent of children killed by guns are American children.

Children are curious and impulsive; these traits can prove fatal when mixed with easily accessible guns. In a study on gun safety, 39 percent of children reported knowing where their parents’ guns were stored and 22 percent reported handling the weapons without their parents’ knowledge.

Gun injuries are prevented by storing guns away from children. But the best way to prevent gun deaths to children is the removal of guns from homes and communities. The Carlile family’s tragedy grimly reminds us to take caution and make sure the homes in our country are safe for our children.

— Norin Ansari, Providence, R.I.

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