From today's DesNews. Of course, guns kept locked up are worthless
for self-defense. I also notice that gun accidents--rare as they
are--are far more likely in urban areas where gun ownership is lower.
I also note that the VAST majority of deaths reported were
self-inflicted. As Japan shows, the tools used for suicide may
change, but out-lawing guns does NOT reduce suicide. And never mind
the intrusiveness of having your pediatrician ask you about AND REPORT
on your gun ownership, storage habits for those guns, etc.
I will believe that these kinds of "studies" have ANYTHING to do with
safety--rather than attacking guns and the right to an effective
self-defense--when they start asking about household chemicals,
swimming pools, and other common articles that pose MUCH greater
dangers to children than do firearms. If one believes recent reports,
the hand-sanitizer I have sitting on my sink or the fluoridated
toothpaste my children use are both fatal if ingested in the wrong
So do the pediatricians ask about good brushing habits or remind us to
be careful with household cleaners? Nope. They just nit pick about guns.
Families lax on gun storage?
Study on safety risks includes 2 Utah clinics
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
and Demian McLean
Two-thirds of gun-owning families fail to store their firearms
safely, posing a potential risk to children at home, according to a
pediatric study that questioned parents on the topic when they brought
children in for well-child doctor visits.
Locking up all guns lessens the odds of firearm accidents or
suicides among children, according to a team led by pediatric
researcher Robert DuRant of the Wake Forest University School of
Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The findings appear in the June issue
of the journal Pediatrics.
"If guns will not be removed from homes where children live and
play, then the safe storage of those guns becomes a health priority,"
the study said.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council's Clark Aposhian said he was
skeptical of such a study, believing it artificially inflates the
number of actual accidental shootings involving children and unsecured
"The whole idea of this study is, in my opinion, meant to elicit
a knee-jerk response that is generally defamatory towards firearms,"
Aposhian said that does not mean he is against the secure
storage of firearms. In fact, he said depending upon the household,
gun locks and gun vaults are appropriate.
"We're more realist as well in that we'd rather educate," he said.
About a third of those responding said they have at least one
gun, with rural households likelier than urban homes to own two or
more firearms and store them unlocked, the report found.
Still, serious gun injuries to children are 10 times more common
in urban environments than rural ones, the study said. Researchers
attribute the difference to "long-established cultural differences,"
including rural residents' greater familiarity with the weapons,
commonly used for recreation.
Urban residents tend to keep guns for protection, a purpose that
may provide fewer opportunities for practice, the study said.
Researchers found that the gun type was associated with storage
habits. Long-gun owners store their guns in places other than a locked
cabinet, but with the ammunition in a separate location. Handgun users
were more apt to store the guns loaded and to use gun locks. They also
found that those not raised with a weapon at home were more likely to
store guns safely, as were long-gun owners with children 2 to 5 years
old, compared to families with older children.
Gun ownership in the United States ranges from 5.2 percent of
homes in Washington to 63 percent in Wyoming, the study said.
The study sample came from 96 pediatric practices in 45 states,
Canada and Puerto Rico. During routine well-child visits to the
pediatrician, the parents of 3,745 children ages 2 to 11 were
questioned. Most of the study respondents were female.
In Utah, two pediatric clinics participated in the study: Willow
Creek Pediatrics in Draper and Utah Valley Pediatrics in American
Fork. Although no Utah-specific data was included in the study, about
one-fourth of the parents overall said they keep at least one gun at home.
The Utah Department of Health's Violence and Injury Prevention
Program says that on average, 220 Utahns die, 100 are hospitalized and
180 are treated in emergency departments for firearm injuries each
year. The numbers were based on VIPP statistics from 2001 to 2005.
However, the health department said 82 percent of those deaths
were suicides, 15 percent were homicides, 2 percent were undetermined
and 1 percent declared "unintentional."
Aposhian told the Deseret Morning News that education is vital
to firearms safety.
"Educate your child," Aposhian said. "My child goes to another
house, they stand a much better chance of surviving if a gun is left
out because they have been educated. 'Stop. Don't touch that thing.
Leave the area and go tell an adult.'"
Contributing: Lois M. Collins, Deseret Morning News
E-mail: [email protected]