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Child Safety

Gun Accident Takes an 8-Year Old Girl


Maybe I’m naive but I keep hoping that people who are informed and trained about safety measures and are knowledgeable in the use and care of firearms will always keep their weapon(s) with safety on and locked up high when not in use. It is beyond sad to think that one more child, an eight-year old girl in New Jersey, has died because her parent, a police person, neglected to put the safety on their weapon and lock it up. I don’t condemn the parents, but feel terribly sorry for them and for her siblings. They will never know what Sailor Righter, their daughter and sister, might have become one day– a mother, a teacher, an olympic athlete–no one will know because her short life was ended tragically by accident. Our hearts go out to this family in their grief.

The most basic of requirements in the care and handling of a firearm advises gun owners to keep weapons locked and up high when not in use. This time the weapon was loaded, not locked, and placed on a shelf within reach of three children. Now, there is one more statistic to add to the total of unintentional injuries causing the death of those less than 10 years old.

There are a host of smart gun technologies that preclude the use of a gun by a child. Why are they not in use? Where weapons are kept in the home, any home, they should be. And if the technology isn’t sufficiently developed to be 100% child-proof, why isn’t it?

Author: Marianne Halterman

Marianne is a member of the SafeKids Coalition of the Central Shenandoah Valley.

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