Every year, gun violence claims the lives of over 33,000 Americans. Horrific visions are formed when the media reports these tragedies. Particularly devastating are unintentional deaths of children who find guns and shoot themselves or anyone else who might be close by.
Nicholas Naumkin was 12 years old when he was unintentionally shot by his friend who found an unlocked and loaded gun in his father’s dresser. Another example was the 2-year-old from Peoria, AZ, who found a gun in his home and shot himself. Yet another horrific incident occurred just last week when 5-year-old Mariah Davis was fatally wounded after finding a gun under her grandmother’s pillow.
If these guns had been safely stored, these tragedies would never have occurred. Guns are lethal and should be safely stored and locked when they are not in the immediate possession or control of the owner to prevent an unintentional death, whether it be a child or adult. Currently, six cities and one county have firearm safe-storage laws—New York City, Albany, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Westchester County.
I am gratified that Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum has initiated a bill for a safe-storage ordinance in Nassau County. Legislator Birnbaum recognizes that we as adults must act responsibly to protect humanity—and children in particular.
It is my fervent hope that Nassau County will be the next county to rightfully adopt this ordinance.
—Lois A. Schaffer