The headlines in Sunday's Louisville Courier-Journal jumped out at me: "Boy, 3, Shoots, Kills Dad." How could this happen? The story indicated that the 33 year old father left his .45 caliber gun on a table in their house. As the family watched television the young son shot and killed his father. There was no lock on the gun. His wife, three children, and another juvenile were present at that time. This tragic scene in Salem, Indiana, is repeated too often around the country. One simple precaution of placing a lock on a handgun when children are in the house could save thousands of lives. There is no federal law mandating a lock on all guns when children are present in the home. Some states have gun lock laws, others do not. This tragedy demonstrates how important a gun lock law is. Indiana is among the weakest in gun control laws and has no law mandating a gun lock.
"From January through mid July 53,289 persons have been shot, with 141 shot today. In the United States over 1.69 million children under 18 are living in households with loaded and unlocked firearms. A 2000 study found that 55% of U.S. homes with children and firearms have one or more firearms in an unlocked place." (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.)
We live in a violent culture where guns are reverenced. Children and adults are dying in large number in cities and towns around the country.
Our voices need to be heard by our state legislators, US representatives and senators. Our newspapers need our letters to the editor on the subject and our pulpits need to challenge the violence around us. Strong, common sense legislation, consistently implemented, can save lives. We do not need assault weapons, a "stand your ground" piece of legislation, concealed weapons, or weapons in schools or churches. We do need locks and adequate background check waiting periods.
This is not a left wing agenda or a right wing agenda. It is a common sense agenda and a peace agenda.