Unsurprising findings from a surprised pediatric researcher:
Few American families that keep firearms in their homes store them safely, a pediatric researcher says.
Nearly 200 million guns are privately owned in the United States, and more than one third of all American homes report keeping at least one gun in the house, according to previous studies.
“Over 70 percent of families surveyed reported not storing their firearms safely in their residence,” said Robert DuRant of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. “This concerns us a great deal because having guns in the home increases the likelihood that they will be used in a suicide or unintentional injury.”
DuRant encourages all pediatricians to talk with parents about safe gun storage practices. The safest practice would be to remove guns from the house, but if parents are unwilling to do that, they should lock them and store the ammunition separately, he said.
The survey defines “safe storage” as a locked, unloaded firearm stored separately from ammunition. Or in other words: a well-secured paperweight.
Logically the reason so many households fail to “safely” secure their firearms is because they own them for self-defense. In the event of a home robbery an inaccessible gun is pretty useless; only slightly more advantageous than calling the police.
It is generally the case that in my household a loaded weapon is within an arm’s distance of me at all times. As of this writing, I’ve yet to accidentally shoot someone. I guess my life isn’t a horribly biased episode of Law & Order where crazy right-wingers randomly shoot innocent people when they’re not killing high school teachers for teaching evolution.