Thursday, November 28, 2013

Have A Safe Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for all the people in our lives, reflect on our relationships, and feel thankful for the resources we have.  It is a holiday that is particularly relevant to me, as part of my family dates back to the period and region of the original Thanksgiving, and may even have had a family member present at the actual event at Plymouth.

One hallmark of Thanksgiving is visiting with friends and relatives at their homes.  But as you eat lots of great food, joke with your relatives, and watch games, please be aware of any guns in the home.  If there are children around, I urge you to ASK about guns in the home before you visit, and make sure that, if any guns are there, that they are locked up, separated from ammo, or removed from the home.

For more on the ASK campaign and tips on how to get the conversation started, see here:

HERE is also a good link with a flier to help.

HERE is a previous blog post with some relevant statistics about children and guns.

HERE is a previous blog post that compares parents' perceptions about guns in the home compared the reality shown by statistics.  It's shocking how underestimated the danger is.

The public health departments of Seattle and King County, Washington, have taken a proactive step in protecting their youth.  Via their "Safe Storage Saves Lives" campaign, they are working with area firearms retailers to offer 10-15% off discounts for gun locks and safe boxes.  From an article:
The “Safe Storage Saves Lives” campaign developed by Public Health – Seattle and King County is an inspired effort to promote the use of safety devices on weapons kept in thousands of homes. Congratulations to public health director  Dr. David Fleming, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Sheriff John Urquhart, participating gun dealers, and 20 participating law enforcement agencies for stepping forward Monday to promote the ideal holiday shopping event. Thank you. 
As explained at this King County site, starting November 25, 2013 through December of 2014, mention Public Health or LOK-IT_UP and receive 10-15 percent off select storage devices or lock boxes at participating retailers. The initial list of 15 shops and their locations is at the site. 
Proximity to firearms is reflected in tragic statistics available for review via this county link. Homicides, accidents and suicides aided and abetted by easy access to weapons.  The risks and hazards are compounded students who show up on school grounds with guns from home.  
This is not about Second Amendment prerogatives, but the responsibilities that go with rights that can have lethal consequences for others.

And with all the shootings across America, every day, and the profound increase in mass shootings in the last year, doubtless the issue of gun violence will come up at home.  To help with that conversation, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has made this place-mat (see below), with an informative quiz, to help with the discussion.  I urge you to download it and put it somewhere prominent where you and your relatives can discuss.

Please be safe this Thanksgiving, eat lots of turkey, and cherish your relatives.