Kids and guns don’t mix–lessons from a childhood tragedy

As a father, my heart breaks because a 9-year-old girl was shot dead by another child when they were left alone with a gun.   

It happened Wednesday morning, when police responded to a report of a shooting on North Bouvier Street. Officers found the girl in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. They rushed her to Temple Hospital, transferred to St. Christopher’s and she died there at 1:50 p.m.

Kids and guns don’t mix, and we have to know that, but it still hurts to know that her father’s being charged in connection with her death, because he had felonies and couldn’t legally own guns. 

So, while I agree that if he’s guilty, he endangered the welfare of a child, and recklessly endangered others, I also believe that after losing his child, no punishment is bigger than that.

But as we move forward into this new year, I want to leave last year’s gun violence behind, so I’m gonna need all of us to hold our children close, and let them know we love them. 

I’m gonna need every parent to approach our children with the same oath doctors take—first, do no harm. That means don’t endanger them by leaving guns unattended. It means if you own guns, own them legally. It means if your kids will be around your guns, employ gun locks. It means teach them that guns are not toys.

And finally, if you have guns you don’t need, consider turning them in for a hundred dollar gift card this Saturday between 10 and 2. Go to Yesha Ministries at 23rd and Snyder or Greater Exodus at Broad and Fairmount, because if losing one gun means saving one kid, we all should choose life every time.  

Photo: Glock. By mynameisgeebs. Creative Commons License

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