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In the News

Common Sense President Makes Statement on School Shootings and Easy Access to Guns
Common Sense about Kids and Guns, 3/24/2001

Once Again, School Shooter Uses Guns from Home:
Adults Must Stop Easy Access
Statement from Common Sense about Kids and Guns President Victoria Reggie Kennedy

WASHINGTON, March 23 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement from Victoria Reggie Kennedy, president of Common Sense about Kids and Guns:

Once again, a student has taken firearms and ammunition from home and used them in a school shooting. But as the complex issue of gun violence is debated, there is one thing we can do right now to protect our children from gun deaths and injuries: eliminate easy and unsupervised access to guns in the home.

The importance of adult responsibility and proper firearm storage in the home is heightened in light of the recent school shootings. Not only did the two San Diego students bring firearms and ammunition from their homes, but according to the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, two-thirds of the 41 students involved in 37 school-shooting incidents since 1974 got their guns from their own home or that of a relative.

While many factors led up to each school shooting, the easy access to firearms at home in two-thirds of the cases demonstrates the overwhelming importance of adult responsibility to ensure that no child or teen ever encounters a loaded or improperly stored firearm in the home.

All adults must take action now to prevent these kinds of tragedies from ever happening again. Each time kids use guns from home to hurt themselves or someone else, there is an adult who acted irresponsibly by allowing that child or teen to have easy and unsupervised access to a gun. If adults act responsibly, access to guns at home can be controlled.

There are many complex issues that lead to gun violence in our society, and we must address those issues in a serious way. But right now, today, there are common sense steps that all adults must take to keep our kids safe.

All gun owners must:
-- unload and lock up their guns;
-- lock and store ammunition separately; and
-- keep keys where kids are unable to find them.
All parents must:
-- ask if guns are safely stored at places their kids visit or play;
-- talk with their kids about guns; and
-- teach young children not to touch guns and to tell an adult if they find one.

Without any exaggeration, the way a gun is stored can be a matter of life or death for our children. As adults take responsibility for reducing kids’ unsupervised access to guns, we can begin to reduce the number of tragedies involving kids and guns. And remember, the child you save may be your own.

-----------------
Mrs. Kennedy is the president and co-founder of Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating adults about steps they can take to protect children from gun violence. For more information on this topic, please go to http://www.kidsandguns.org or call (877) 955-KIDS.

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