Readers write



Securing firearms is key to reducing accidental child deaths

I applaud Arthur Kellerman and Stephen Hargarten, authors of the opinion piece “Parents, please lock up your firearms,” published on Jan. 24. Children are resourceful and have shown time and time again that they can access guns without the knowledge of adults. Secure storage of firearms will reduce the number of child deaths in Georgia.

But what is ‘secure storage’? The ‘gold standard’ is to store guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Methods of locking guns range from an inexpensive gun lock, lockboxes that can be used in the home and vehicles, to handgun and rifle safes.

Some firearm owners are reluctant to lock or unload their guns because they feel it prevents quick access to the gun. The good news is that today a good quality biometric handgun safe can be purchased for less than $100. This is a small price to pay for child and teen safety.


Education needed on safe handling, storage of weapons

Regarding “Parents, please lock up your firearms” AJC, Jan. 24, the authors have some good points about firearms problems with facts and numbers as the basis. Many child firearm deaths trace to the home as the source of the weapon. If children find a weapon unsecured, then the adults are responsible. Often the “adult” responsible for the weapon was not a parent and was not related to the child. Anyone who leaves a loaded gun tucked under a sofa cushion or “hidden” on a closet shelf with children in the house is negligent.

The basis for irresponsible actions often is ignorance. The case of Alec Baldwin is emblematic of unsafe weapon handling. It matters not who hands you the gun, what was said about it, or how many times you have done it. When handling a gun, the first and absolute responsibility is to make the weapon safe by inspection and action.

Safe handling and storage of weapons need priority educational effort in schools and through PSAs.