You may have heard the news that a 6-year-old boy in Chicago accidentally shot and killed his 3-year-old brother. The loaded gun had been stored on top of the refrigerator wrapped in a pair of pajama pants. While such incidents are called accidental shootings, they are not accidents—they are preventable. At least 211 child-involved shootings have occurred in the United States so far this year.
National PTA has partnered with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to promote responsible gun ownership through the Be SMART campaign. The campaign aims to reduce unintentional child shootings by having gun owners and non-gun owners practice and promote responsible gun storage. The Be SMART campaign urges everyone to take five simple steps:
- Secure all guns in homes and vehicles.
- Model responsible behavior around guns.
- Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes.
- Recognize the risks of teen suicide.
- Tell peers to be SMART.
Your PTA can sign up to be a SMART PTA. The Be SMART campaign also has tools and resources that you can share with parents in both English and Spanish. Whether you are a gun owner or not, we all can promote responsible gun ownership to help prevent these “accidents” from claiming the lives more children.