A message from Central Oregon Coast Chapter of NOW
Every time our state loses a child to gun violence, we hear outrage at the senselessness of the tragedy. Gun deaths in Oregon now outnumber car fatalities.
It is rare that we hear about a tangible opportunity to do something to prevent more children from dying. One such opportunity though is the ASK Campaign. The ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign urges parents to ask their neighbors, friends, and relatives if they have a gun in the home before sending their children over to play. It is a comprehensive national public health campaign, developed by CPYV / Center to Prevent Youth Violence, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Over one third of homes with children have guns. Many are kept unlocked and loaded, and every year thousands of children are killed or seriously injured as a result. ASK provides a practical opportunity for parents to protect their children from gun violence. Parents across the country are committing to ASK the simple question that could save their child’s life – “Is there a gun where my child plays?”
And, for those of us with guns in our homes, if there is any chance that there will be children in our homes let’s commit to keeping our guns unloaded and locked. Hiding guns is not enough. Just talking to kids is not enough. Kids are curious and if they find guns they’re likely to play with them. ASK, unload and lock.
For more information about the ASK Campaign or ASK activities in your area, visit www.AskingSavesKids.org.
Nancy W. Campbell Mead
Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
Editor’s note: A large portion of gun deaths in Oregon is the result of suicides.